Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Believin' don't make it so

Have you ever heard anyone say, "I can't believe in a God who would _______."? Maybe you've said it yourself. Think about that for a second. God is who he is and who he has always been, and what anybody believes about him doesn't change a thing. If you believe with all your heart that it will be a sunny day, does that make any difference at all whether it will rain or not? God has revealed to us who he is through the world he created, and in more detail through his Word, especially in what we read about his Son, Jesus Christ--that is who God is. Often people try to reach beyond that to make God more like a human so we can understand him better, but it doesn't work like that. True, all humans are created in God's image, so all life is precious, but we are just a shadow which has been distorted by sin. We are commanded NOT to try to create God in our image (Exodus 20:4-6).

God is infinite, which means for all eternity there will be more learn about him and his ways. For now we have the Bible. The Bible is full of both clear truth and mystery. From the beginning the only way God gave people to be made right with him is by faith. Every human who ever lived--except for Jesus Christ--is a sinner who commits sin. Jesus came to Earth from Heaven to die to take the punishment of every person on Himself. Even that is something we cannot imagine. Because Jesus is the one sinless man, God was satisfied with his sacrifice in place of all humankind. Because Jesus is God he rose from the dead, never to die again. Christ died for all, but only those who accept his sacrifice are God's children. That's enough from me--just read it for yourself:

"What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.' So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.' So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, 'Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?' But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:14-24 ESV)

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