Jekkyl & Hyde
There are still a few around. They so talk about God that you’d think he was a Robert Louis Stevenson character. You remember, the devoted and kind doctor, Dr. Jekkyl who took the drug and found he had an inner Mr. Hyde. Some people talk about God, of Christ and his cross, as if God in holiness could hardly wait to damn humanity and yet he gives his Son to deliver us. The notion that God’s holiness means he’s eager to damn sinners is sheer nonsense! “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17) Rather than provoking him to obliterate us completely, our awful sin provoked the Holy Father to mount a rescue operation.
It’s right to denounce sin and even more right to live it down in righteousness; but there’s little point in our speaking or acting as though we took it more seriously than God does. We are not to fraternise with sin or be on friendly terms with the world but we mustn’t pretend that our opposition to it is greater than God’s. His opposition to sin is pitiless and ceaseless, but it’s combined with a relentless love for sinners.
The cross of Jesus did not bribe God to adopt a forgiving mood—it was the expression of his eternal love.
The cross of Jesus did not buy grace from God—it was the unveiling of an eternally gracious God.
The cross of Jesus didn’t persuade an unwilling God to come to our rescue—it was the final demonstration that God had indeed already moved that way.
Understandably we want God to crush impenitent unrighteousness; but one reason we’re eager for that is because we don’t have his capacity for endurance. We feel pain too keenly and are easily frustrated when our godly enterprises are thwarted by sinners. Our love pools are too shallow and when sinners come to drink of them too frequently they dry up; but, after all, we’re only humans, only weak and sinful humans. God does not hold us responsible for not being God!
Just the same, in our anxiety to have the sinners and their sin destroyed we mustn’t resent God for being the God he is; one who is not willing that any should perish!
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.