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| | |-+  Jesus, Grace, and the Judgement Side of God
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Author Topic: Jesus, Grace, and the Judgement Side of God  (Read 2013 times)
psalmistsinger
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« on: May 09, 2003, 03:51:52 PM »

Part 1.   

Lately I have wondered at the grace of God that saves us and influences our lives, and how this message of love at times divides. (Matthew 10:34-39)                     
Often we give great lip service to Grace while seeming afraid to let it sink into our hearts.            

We read that we have been saved by grace through faith (Eph.2: 8-9) and we remain unwilling to trust completely in whom and what saved us.            

To Him Who said My yoke is easy and My burden light (Matthew 11:28-30) , and of Whom it is said to cast all our cares on Him for He cares for us (I Peter 5:7) , we say 'Not all Lord. Let me keep a portion'.            

So many times when we speak of grace we qualify it with an untrusting "but". "Yes, we are saved by grace but..", or "Yes, God is love but.."             

What are we so afraid of? Are we afraid that in teaching grace by faith in Jesus and nothing else that some, particularly new, believers will use this as a license to sin? Cannot those who are mature, by example, help the weak along being confident that God will complete what He has started? (Romans 15:1-2) (Phil.1: 6)                  

Consider for a moment you who are born of the Spirit, living according to the Nature of God that has been birthed in you; do you really have a desire, being dead to sin to live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2) Or have we by habit and tradition found it easier to walk by sight and not by faith?    

Instead of the narrow way of faith we choose the broad way of righteousness by our own works, unwittingly substituting good deeds and our own efforts for grace and the love of God.

The Gospel is a message of truth and beauty. How is it that we are so easily swayed from this message of grace?          

We sing songs and speak of Jesus as being all that we need and within a matter of sentences, and the way we live our lives, we take it back.

We say that we believe God made Him Who knew no sin to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, and that we trust the Lord completely! All the while we worry what our responsibility and work is - as if the gift of God could be earned. Jesus said that "this is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent"(John 6:29)      

Jesus. Period.                           

Sometimes, somehow, we muddle that truth with some sort of initial salvation that the scriptures never speak of and dilute the message of grace, as though now some sort of works were necessary to remain saved. If anything the Apostle Paul told the Galatian church to stay with what they had initially received. "This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the flesh? "Galatians 3:2-3.                      

Instead of Jesus came that we might have life, and more abundantly, what is often preached is Jesus died to make a way for us to keep the Old covenant law if we'll try really hard and then, maybe, we might be worthy of eternal life. Instead of a son and joint heir with Christ in our own house we become servants earning our keep in someone else's house. Fearing the hard Master of the house we forget whom God has birthed us to be (His people) and that perfect love casts out fear.

Often we seek for a balance between law and grace when no such balance exists. The scripture doesn't say the law came through Moses and grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, it says but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17) , signifying a completely different covenant. Is the Moon balanced by the Sun or is it totally out shone?

Sometimes we speak as though to say that God is love (which the scriptures teach) and that all we really need to do is trust Jesus (which the scriptures teach) is somehow flawed because we become so concerned with the wrath and the "judgment side" of God. Yet, have you noticed that while the scriptures teach that God is a God of justice, they do not teach, "God is judgment"? They do teach "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love " I John 4:8.  

The very nature, the very fabric of God is love! This is why the scriptures also teach that.."mercy rejoiceth against"(or triumphs over)"judgment." James 2:13.   

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psalmistsinger
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2003, 04:22:27 PM »

Part 2 (the conclusion)

Is there a "judgment side" to God?

All judgment for sin was placed upon Jesus and sin was condemned in the flesh! (Romans 8:3)

Certainly God judges between good and evil as He also teaches us to do, and yet we as children of God are not to be condemning, for ".. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."  John 3:17.                        

Condemnation comes when men and women reject Jesus and, by disbelief in what He accomplished for us at the cross, seek to achieve salvation by their own works. So yes, there is a "judgment side" to God, but those with the love of God shone abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost are not appointed to wrath. ( 1Thes. 5:9 )   

"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth" (disciplines) "every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? "  Hebrews 12:6-7.

So we see that even the judgments of God are based on His love!                                              

"Like as a Father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth our frame; He knows we are dust." Psalm 103:13-14.  

As a Father loves his children so the Lord loves us and has filled us with His love. And love fulfills the law. (Romans13:10)   

We love to say that Jesus didn't destroy the law but fulfilled it! This gives us an excuse to hold on to our thoughts of earning  (this is unbelief in what Jesus accomplished for us) the love and pleasure of God. And it is true that Jesus didn't destroy, but fulfilled the law - yet, what does it mean for the law to be fulfilled?

The Bible is composed of two testaments or "contracts". The "Old Contract" and the "New Contract".                                              

The "Old" is called old for a reason. The Apostle Paul said in that God promised a "New" that the first was decaying (obsolete) and vanishing away. (Hebrews 8:13) .

This means that it is no longer binding.

If an electrician and a painter are contracted to work on the same house the provisions of their contracts bind them until the house is complete. Neither person has anything to do with the others contract and as each one's task is complete, when the house is painted and the wiring connected, each is free to move on to other contracts with different provisions - they being no longer bound by contracts that have been fulfilled.

The "Old Contract" (or the law) that God gave to Moses was good and Holy, yet it did not impart righteousness. Paul said that it was a ministry of death (II Corinthians 3: 7) , and again that ".. as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" "And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live by them." Galatians 3:11&13.

God made this Old contract with the nation of Israel, and no one else, before the coming of Christ.

Isn't it interesting how concerned so many of us are with a law that never applied to us? (If I were the electrician why should I be concerned with the painter's contract?)                                                                    

The "New Contract" was promised 430 years before Moses received the "Old" (Genesis 17:2-7: Galatians 3:17) , so the "Old" was given with the knowledge that there would be a "New"; one that is written on hearts and minds. (Jeremiah 31:31-34: Hebrews 8:8-13.)

What the Old covenant was in the shadow of outward works the New covenant is in reality in the hearts of believers; -The righteousness of God! (Romans 3:28 - 31: II Corinthians 5:17- 21)               

No longer is there a standing "contract" of God working as an outside motivation for servants of God to perform works of righteousness. Now those who are born of the Spirit are moved inwardly by their nature to perform and be what they are naturally, as children who have inherited the character and characteristics of their Father. (Ephesians 4:22 - 5:10).    

First, however, Someone had to fulfill the old contract. -  Jesus!                             

Tempted in all points as we yet without sin! (Hebrews 4:14-15) The Lamb of God found worthy! (Revelation 5: 4-14) The mediator of a better covenant! A covenant of the heart! (Hebrews 8: 6-13; 9:15)   

No, the law was not destroyed, but it was fulfilled and is no longer binding.       

It is finished. (John 19:30)  

Gabriel the Psalmistsinger                    

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