So yesterday I said I would give you the last half summary of our Sunday sermon, but as I am studying back over my notes…there is just too much info. I try to keep these short so you all will keep coming back (insert smile).
Hope you don’t mind if we stretch this into three days…but it is really good stuff!
If you didn’t read yesterday’s post we are going over my notes from Pastor Brian Talty’s sermon from July 16th (firstdecatur.org/sermons) on Matthew 16 about the many facets of the Crown Jewel of Christianity – the Cross <3
I am adding some of my own reflections and some other material so I am putting my notes in Italic to protect Pastor Brian from anything I would add to his words that he may or may not agree with!!!
Today we pick up with #5….
Propitiation: the act of appeasing an offended party.
As Pastor Brian pointed out, the thing that makes God’s grace, mercy and love so special IS the TRUTH of His judgment, wrath and anger.
His anger is because of His protective love.
He gave us examples of God’s Active Wrath in the Old Testament (Sodom and Gomorrah/fire and brimstone) and the New Testament (Ananias and Sapphira/lied about tithe and were instantly killed).
Then there is God’s Passive Wrath outlined in Romans 1: 18-32.
I must tell you that this passage would be the reason you are not getting all four points today.
These verses bring me to my knees as I look around the spiraling mess of our culture. We surely have, in our prosperity in this land that we love, become a people who have worshipped the creation and not the Creator and we are reaping the harvest of death daily as a result.
God’s passive wrath in New Testament is when he hands you over to your evil desires to face the consequences of your choices. And we ALL deserve the wrath of God because of our natural tendency to go our own way.
AND YET through Christ’s propitiation – God’s wrath against our sin is absorbed by Jesus on the Cross.
1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins and not only our sins but also for the whole world.
1 John 4:10 In this is love – not that we loved God – but that HE loved US and sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins.
This is the only way because God is Holy, Just and Righteous.
As only God could do, I received a book for my birthday and have begun reading it and the passages I read yesterday speak so clearly into this very subject.
So I am going to stop here with my sermon notes and share from the pages of this book to help solidify the powerful truth of what Jesus did for us as giving Himself to appease the wrath of God against us.
In the book No God but One, author Nabeel Qureshi explores the paradox of the Absolute nature of God and how can He be both fully/completely just and fully/completely merciful?
He points out that a completely, perfect Just Judge would rule guilty on every infraction of the law, from the least to the greatest 100% of the time, just as a completely perfect Merciful Judge would forgive every infraction of the law, from the least to the greatest 100% of the time.
God is our perfect Father and He loves us with both mercy and justice.
In our offenses, He must extend justice (would we not want that as the victim??) and yet mercy (don’t we need that as the perpetrator??)
So how does God “draw the line”?
Listen to the words of this man, who has come to understand the gift of grace and transformation:
“Herein lies the genius and infinitude of the love of God: He does not draw the line. He offers mercy to everyone who has ever sinned while also demanding justice for every sin ever committed. He does this by offering to bear the consequences of our sins himself. The consequences of our sins is death, and God is willing to die on behalf of all of his children.” page 41
This is what the Cross is.
This is what Jesus Christ, THE Messiah, has done for us.
For the sins of a whole world that has rebelled against the Loving God who created us.
I cannot add to such a profound thought.
It brings me to my knees.
May I encourage you today to examine your own heart in light of Romans 1: 18-32 and ask God to show you where you have worshipped creation instead of Him who created you?
Let the precious Blood of Jesus Christ wash away the shame and guilt of those transgressions as we turn our grateful hearts to Him.
“He loves us, and we are forgiven.
When we realize the depravity of our sins and the depths of our rebellion against God, it exceeds the minds capacity to grasp this grace.
He engulfs us with his infinite love and absolute mercy, though we cannot earn it.
It is into that overwhelming flood of grace that our hearts release their poison.” Nabeel Qureshi, No God but One page 46