I thank God that our God is unbalanced

Monday Musings for October 26, 2020

Good morning, Musers,

Skeptics beat up on God all the time. They take things like his justice — a core attribute for a holy God — and call it meanness, intolerance and fascism — while just the opposite is true: God is loving, long-suffering and forgiving. It’s just that he has a few rules.

And here’s the thing: these rules are not unreasonable! … especially when we consider how our sin offends his holiness. Now, we need to obey his commandments, but is that a big deal? Is it a problem not murdering, not stealing and not envying?

Here’s the thing: if we try our best to do these reasonable things, God blesses us a thousand times more than he would punish us if we disobeyed. Furthermore, he goes out of his way to bless us… getting things in motion before the foundations of the earth, wooing us, regenerating us and keeping us secure in him. But being human, we resist and complain.

I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, though. We Christians are not saved by obeying the law. We are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. We need to lay all our sins at the foot of the cross and rely on his atoning sacrifice to save us. But here’s the question: saved for what? Is God just looking to reward us? Or is there something more substantive going on?

We Christians are “God’s people” … just like the Old Testament Jews and the unclassified saints like Job and Melchizedek who were faithful to God before Abraham was even called. They understood that we must obey his “commandments” … whether they are written in the sky or on tablets of stone. The same is true for us Christians: although we are all redeemed through the blood of Christ — and are blessed as God’s children — the understanding is that we should obey the commandments of our Father.

Let’s take a lesson from the “unclassified” members of God’s family; they sacrificed, tithed and lived honorable lives under God before the call of Abraham. These people knew nothing of the Christ who would come, yet they were saved by his sacrifice the same way we and the Jews were. Furthermore, they were responsible to obey God’s “commandments” too… which even though they had not been written down, they were “in the air” (so to speak) — and they still are!

The Jews, of course, did have the written commandments… which (arguably) made things clearer. But they had to grind away with the sacrifices to pay for sins; these pointed to Jesus’ sacrifice which was to come.

Now, I’m glad we Christians no longer have to sacrifice animals, but we do still “have to” obey the law and do good works. Doing this is not what gets us to heaven… but doing them is our purpose. This is why God put us here (Ephesians 2:10).

Under all covenants and/or dispensations, God has had one requirement: obey his commands. If you do, things will go well with you… and your children… and their children — for a thousand generations! But if you don’t — if sin is holding you captive — then you might enter captivity indeed — like the Jews… and like the ones we Christians put ourselves in every day.

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