Gotquestions.org

You are currently browsing articles tagged Gotquestions.org.

“Are we to love the sinner but hate the sin?”

GotQuestions.org

Answer: Many Christians use the cliché “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” However, we must realize that this is an exhortation to us as imperfect human beings. The difference between us and God in regard to loving and hating is vast. Even as Christians, we remain imperfect in our humanity and cannot love perfectly, nor can we hate perfectly (in other words, without malice). But God can do both of these perfectly, because He is God. God can hate without any sinful intent. Therefore, He can hate the sin and the sinner in a perfectly holy way and still be willing to lovingly forgive at the moment of that sinner’s repentance and faith (Malachi 1:3; Revelation 2:6; 2 Peter 3:9).

The Bible clearly teaches that God is love. First John 4:8-9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

How exactly does that work? We hate sin by refusing to take part in it and by condemning it when we see it. Sin is to be hated, not excused or taken lightly. We love sinners by being faithful in witnessing to them of the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ. A true act of love is treating someone with respect and kindness even though he/she knows you do not approve of his lifestyle and/or choices. It is not loving to allow a person to remain stuck in sin. It is not hateful to tell a person he/she is in sin. In fact, the exact opposites are true. We love the sinner by speaking the truth in love. We hate the sin by refusing to condone, ignore, or excuse it.

Recommended Resource: The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson.


What’s new on GotQuestions.org?

What is the significance of the Greek Empire in biblical history?

What is the significance of the Medo-Persian Empire in biblical history?

What is the significance of the Babylonian Empire in biblical history?

What does the Bible say about decision-making?

What is the Key of David?

What is the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2?

Why is “accepting Christ” mentioned in evangelism when it is not in the Bible?

What is Homiletics?

What is the supremacy of Christ and what are its implications?

Who was Cyrus in the Bible?


GotQuestions.org seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by providing biblical answers to spiritually-related questions. To continue in this mission, we need your support! For more information, please visit our Support Page


We apologize, but with over 179,000 QOTW subscribers, we simply cannot handle email replies to our QOTW. If you have a question about the QOTW, please submit it on our website. Thank you.

Tags: , ,

Gotquestions.org

Question: “Could Jesus have sinned? If He was not capable of sinning, how could He truly be able to ‘sympathize with our weaknesses’ (Hebrews 4:15)? If He could not sin, what was the point of the temptation?”

Answer: There are two sides to this interesting question. It is important to remember that this is not a question of whether Jesus sinned. Both sides agree, as the Bible clearly says, that Jesus did not sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22). The question is whether Jesus could have sinned. Those who hold to “impeccability” believe that Jesus could not have sinned. Those who hold to “peccability” believe that Jesus could have sinned, but did not. Which view is correct? The clear teaching of Scripture is that Jesus was impeccable—Jesus could not have sinned. If He could have sinned, He would still be able to sin today because He retains the same essence He did while living on earth. He is the God-Man and will forever remain so, having full deity and full humanity so united in one person as to be indivisible. To believe that Jesus could sin is to believe that God could sin. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:19). Colossians 2:9 adds, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

Although Jesus is fully human, He was not born with the same sinful nature that we are born with. He certainly was tempted in the same way we are, in that temptations were put before Him by Satan, yet He remained sinless because God is incapable of sinning. It is against His very nature (Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 2:18, 4:15; James 1:13). Sin is by definition a trespass of the Law. God created the Law, and the Law is by nature what God would or would not do; therefore, sin is anything that God would not do by His very nature.

To be tempted is not, in and of itself, sinful. A person could tempt you with something you have no desire to do, such as committing murder or participating in sexual perversions. You probably have no desire whatsoever to take part in these actions, but you were still tempted because someone placed the possibility before you. There are at least two definitions for the word “tempted”:

1) To have a sinful proposition suggested to you by someone or something outside yourself or by your own sin nature.

2) To consider actually participating in a sinful act and the possible pleasures and consequences of such an act to the degree that the act is already taking place in your mind.

The first definition does not describe a sinful act/thought; the second does. When you dwell upon a sinful act and consider how you might be able to bring it to pass, you have crossed the line of sin. Jesus was tempted in the fashion of definition one except that He was never tempted by a sin nature because it did not exist within Him. Satan proposed certain sinful acts to Jesus, but He had no inner desire to participate in the sin. Therefore, He was tempted like we are but remained sinless.

Those who hold to peccability believe that, if Jesus could not have sinned, He could not have truly experienced temptation, and therefore could not truly empathize with our struggles and temptations against sin. We have to remember that one does not have to experience something in order to understand it. God knows everything about everything. While God has never had the desire to sin, and has most definitely never sinned, God knows and understands what sin is. God knows and understands what it is like to be tempted. Jesus can empathize with our temptations because He knows, not because He has “experienced” all the same things we have.

Jesus knows what it is like to be tempted, but He does not know what it is like to sin. This does not prevent Him from assisting us. We are tempted with sins that are common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). These sins generally can be boiled down to three different types: “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NKJV). Examine the temptation and sin of Eve, as well as the temptation of Jesus, and you will find that the temptations for each came from these three categories. Jesus was tempted in every way and in every area that we are, but remained perfectly holy. Although our corrupt natures will have the inner desire to participate in some sins, we have the ability, through Christ, to overcome sin because we are no longer slaves to sin but rather slaves of God (Romans 6, especially verses 2 and 16-22).

Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll.


What’s new on GotQuestions.org?

Who was Apollos?

What is the meaning of the Parable of the Leaven?

What is the meaning of the Parable of the Dragnet?

How is theology ‘the queen of the sciences’?

What is lifestyle evangelism?

Is being drunk in the Spirit a biblical experience?

Can the return of Christ truly be said to be imminent?

What does the Bible teach about church structure?

What is the immanence of God?

What is contemporary theology?

Tags: , ,

 “In regards to forgiveness, is there a difference between willful sin and ignorant sin?”

Answer: Though God makes a distinction between those who sin in ignorance and those who sin willfully (Numbers 15:27-31), repentance is always necessary to receive forgiveness (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; Acts 26:18). Repentance is literally a change in one’s attitude about God and accompanies saving faith in Christ (Acts 3:19; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:20). Without it there can be no forgiveness. Jesus said, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3; Luke 17:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9).

To sin willfully is to go back to trusting oneself rather than the blood of Christ for our forgiveness (Hebrews 10:26; Hebrews 6:4-6). However, sinning in ignorance is not excusable, either: “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (Ephesians 4:17-19; see also Acts 3:17-19; Acts 17:30-31).

Those who crucified Christ sinned in ignorance, yet they were still held responsible for their actions. Jesus, while hanging on the cross, prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). However, of all those who were present at Christ’s crucifixion, only one accepted His forgiveness and, correspondingly, His salvation (Luke 23:43). Jesus had the power to forgive all the evil people gathered around His cross and make them right with God, but the only person who repented was one of the criminals beside Him. All the others, who rejected Christ and His forgiveness, apparently died in their sins. There is no record that they ever repented. Forgiveness is available to all, but we leave it to God’s sovereign grace to cause the transgressor to truly repent in order to be pardoned (Ephesians 2:4).

Those who reject Jesus and His gospel in ignorance must accept Him and repent of their ways in order to receive forgiveness of their sins (Luke 17:3). Jesus made this abundantly clear: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). It doesn’t matter whether someone misses the way because of ignorance or because of willful rebellion—he has still missed the way.

People are not as ignorant as they may claim, however. No one can be utterly ignorant of God, and no one has an excuse to live in disobedience. The Apostle Paul said, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

Though we may at times sin in ignorance, we can always be assured of God’s forgiveness. The Apostle Paul is a classic example of this truth: “Though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). Yet for those who willfully and habitually sin, Peter makes it clear that “if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2 Peter 2:20-21).

John gives us the bottom line when it comes to forgiveness: ”If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

Recommended Resource: Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen.


Related Topics:

What is original sin?

What is the unpardonable sin / unforgivable sin?

What is the sin nature?

Is there a biblical list of sins?

What is the conviction of sin?


Return to:

Questions about Sin


Return to:

GotQuestions.org Home

Tags: , , , , , ,

Shattering Strongholds-Prayer Book/Gotquestions.org/and Barbara Fisher

“What does the Bible say about anger?”GotQuestions.org

Answer: Handling anger is an important topic. Christian counselors report that 50 percent of people who come in for counseling have problems dealing with anger. Anger can shatter communication and tear apart relationships, and it ruins both the joy and health of many. Sadly, people tend to justify their anger instead of accepting responsibility for it. Everyone struggles, to varying degrees, with anger. Thankfully, God’s Word contains principles regarding how to handle anger in a godly manner, and how to overcome sinful anger.

Anger is not always sin. There is a type of anger of which the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” God is angry (Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5), and believers are commanded to be angry (Ephesians 4:26). Two Greek words are used in the New Testament for our English word “anger.” One means “passion, energy” and the other means “agitated, boiling.” Biblically, anger is God-given energy intended to help us solve problems. Examples of biblical anger include Paul’s confronting Peter because of his wrong example in Galatians 2:11-14, David’s being upset over hearing Nathan the prophet sharing an injustice (2 Samuel 12), and Jesus’ anger over how some of the Jews had defiled worship at God’s temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-18). Notice that none of these examples of anger involved self-defense, but a defense of others or of a principle.

Anger turns to sin when it is selfishly motivated (James 1:20), when God’s goal is distorted (1 Corinthians 10:31), or when anger is allowed to linger (Ephesians 4:26-27). Instead of using the energy generated by anger to attack the problem at hand, it is the person who is attacked. Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Unfortunately, this poisonous speech is a common characteristic of fallen man (Romans 3:13-14). Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied (Proverbs 29:11), leaving devastation in its wake, often with irreparable consequences. Anger also becomes sin when the angry one refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside (Ephesians 4:26-27). This can cause depression and irritability over little things, often things unrelated to the underlying problem.

We can handle anger biblically by recognizing and admitting our selfish anger and/or our wrong handling of anger as sin (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9). This confession should be both to God and to those who have been hurt by our anger. We should not minimize the sin by excusing it or blame-shifting.

We can handle anger biblically by seeing God in the trial. This is especially important when people have done something to offend us. James 1:2-4, Romans 8:28-29, and Genesis 50:20 all point to the fact that God is sovereign and in complete control over every circumstance and person that enters our path. Nothing happens to us that He does not cause or allow. And as these verses share, God is a good God (Psalm 145:8, 9, 17) who allows all things in our lives for our good and the good of others. Reflecting on this truth until it moves from our heads to our hearts will alter how we react to those who hurt us.

We can handle anger biblically by making room for God’s wrath. This is especially important in cases of injustice, when “evil” men abuse “innocent” people. Genesis 50:19 and Romans 12:19 both tell us to not play God. God is righteous and just, and we can trust Him who knows all and sees all to act justly (Genesis 18:25).

We can handle anger biblically by returning good for evil (Genesis 50:21; Romans 12:21). This is key to converting our anger into love. As our actions flow from our hearts, so also our hearts can be altered by our actions (Matthew 5:43-48). That is, we can change our feelings toward another by changing how we choose to act toward that person.

We can handle anger biblically by communicating to solve the problem. There are four basic rules of communication shared in Ephesians 4:15, 25-32:

1) Be honest and speak (Ephesians 4:15, 25). People cannot read our minds. We must speak the truth in love.

2) Stay current (Ephesians 4:26-27). We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. Dealing with and sharing what is bothering us before it gets to that point is important.

3) Attack the problem, not the person (Ephesians 4:29, 31). Along this line, we must remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).

4) Act, not react (Ephesians 4:31-32). Because of our fallen nature, our first impulse is often a sinful one (v. 31). The time spent in “counting to ten” should be used to reflect upon the godly way to respond (v. 32) and to remind ourselves how anger is to be used to solve problems and not create bigger ones.

Finally, we must act to solve our part of the problem (Romans 12:18). We cannot control how others act or respond, but we can make the changes that need to be made on our part. Overcoming a temper is not accomplished overnight. But through prayer, Bible study, and reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit, ungodly anger can be overcome. Just as we may have allowed anger to become entrenched in our lives by habitual practice, we must also practice responding correctly until it becomes a habit itself.

Recommended Resource: The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way by Gary Chapman.

What’s new on GotQuestions.org?

 Shattering Strongholds On Self

Heavenly Father, I come to You now in the Name of my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Heavenly Father, I am standing on the truth of Your Word. You said You would give me the Keys to the Kingdom, that whatsoever I would bind on earth would be bound in heaven and whatsoever I would loose on earth would be loosed in heaven according to Matthew 16 and 18. Right now, in the Name of Jesus Christ, I bind my will to the Will of God, that I will be constantly aware of Your Will and purpose for my life. I bind myself to the truth of God that I will not be deceived by the many subtle deceptions of the world and the devil. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I bind myself to the Blood of Jesus. I want to be constantly aware of the Blood of Christ Jesus’ miracle working power to restore and heal and keep me safe. I bind my mind to the mind of Christ that I will be aware of how Jesus Christ would have me think and believe. I do not want to react out of my own human thoughts when situations arise suddenly. I want to think and act as Jesus would have me act. I bind my feet to paths of righteousness that my steps will be steady and true all day long. I bind myself to the work of the cross in my life so that I will continue to die daily to my own selfish desires and motivations and be more like Jesus. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I bind the strongman so that I may spoil his household and take back every bit of joy, peace, blessing, freedom and every material and spiritual possession that he has stolen from me. I take them back right now! I loose the strongman’s influence over every part of my body, soul, and spirit. I loose, crush, smash and destroy every evil devise you may try to bring into my sphere of influence during this day. I repent of every wrong desire, attitude and pattern of thinking I have had. Forgive me, Heavenly Father, for holding onto wrong ideas, desires, behaviors and habits according to 1 John 1:9 and John 14:14. I renounce and reject these things in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I loose every wrong attitude, pattern of thinking, belief, idea, desire, behavior and habit I have ever learned. I loose the strongholds around them that would keep me from being completely surrendered to the will of God for my life. I loose all doubt and confusion from myself. I have bound my mind to the mind of Christ and I loose every wrong thought and evil imagination that will keep me from being in sweet unity with You. I bind and loose these things in the Name of Jesus Christ, who has given me the keys to do so.   Amen!

Shattering Strongholds On Others

Heavenly Father, I (we) come to You now in the Name of my (our) Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Heavenly Father, I (we) pray for _____, and _____.  I (we) ask You to forgive them for all of their sins, iniquities, trespasses and transgressions, and I (we) ask you to cover their sins, iniquities, trespasses and transgressions with the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and cleanse them of all unrighteousness according to John 14:14.

Heavenly Father, by the power of Jesus Christ, I (we) bind _____’s and _____’s body, soul and spirit to the will and purpose of God for their lives. I (we) bind _____’s mind, will and emotions to the will of God. I (we) bind them to the truth and to the Blood of Jesus. I (we) bind their minds to the mind of Christ, that the very thoughts, feelings, and purposes of Christ Jesus’ heart would be within their thoughts. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I (we) bind their feet to the paths of righteousness that their steps would be steady and sure. I bind them to the work of the cross with all its mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, and dying to self. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I (we) loose every old, wrong, ungodly pattern of thinking, attitude, idea, desire, belief, motivation, habit and behavior from them. I (we) tear down, crush, smash and destroy every stronghold associated with these things. I (we) loose any stronghold in their life that has been justifying and protecting hard feelings against anyone. I (we) loose strongholds of unforgiveness, fear, and distrust from them. In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I (we) loose the power and effects of deception and lies from them. I (we) loose the confusion and blindness of the enemy from their minds that has kept them from seeing the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I (we) call forth every precious word of scripture that has ever entered into their minds and hearts that it would rise up in power within them. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I (we) loose the power and effects of any harsh or hard words, any word curses spoken to, about or by them. I (we) loose all generational bondages and associated strongholds from them. I (we) loose all effects and bondages from them that may have been caused by mistakes I (we) have made. Heavenly Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ, I (we) crush, smash, and destroy generational bondages of any kind from mistakes made at any point between generations. I (we) destroy them right here, right now. They will not bind and curse any more members of my (our) family. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I (we) bind the strongman that I (we) may spoil his house, taking back every bit of joy, peace, blessing, freedom and every material and spiritual possession that he has stolen from me (us). I (we) take back them right now! I (we) loose the strongman’s influence over every part of our body, soul, and spirit. I (we) loose, crush, smash and destroy every evil devise the enemy may try to bring into their sphere of influence during this day. I (we) bind and loose these things in Christ Jesus’ Holy Name. He has given me the keys and the authority to do so. Amen!

 Christian Word Ministries                           

www.christianword.org

428 Southland Dr.                                          Order Lines:  859.219.9082

Lexington, KY    40503                                                          859.260.1488

From; Barbara Fisher: 

It was not until I;

Committed:

1. to do or perform something wrong: to commit a crime.

2. to give over for care or safekeeping: The patient was committed to a hospital. The thief was committed to prison.

3 to pledge; promise: I am committing myself to help at the cookie sale.

Submitted

1 to place oneself under the control of another; yield; surrender: The team submitted to the umpire’s decision.

1 to refer or present to others for criticism or decision: Ronald submitted his drawings to the teacher.

Surrendered

1 to yield or give up: The fisherman surrendered his catch to the game warden. The army surrendered

2 act of yielding or giving up.

It was not; until I committed; submitted and surrendered; my life/my will; to the Lord Jesus Christ; that I was healed of all the bitterness and anger; I carried around on a daily basis.

Yes; I was saved! (I had accepted Christ)

Matthew 5:45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

No one needs to tell any of us; where we are spiritually.

We know personally; whether we ever tell anyone or not.

Ecclesiastes 8:11: Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Psalm 103:17: But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Psalm 103:18: To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

My Testimony! “But God”

Thank God; that His mercies; are new each morning.

Lamentations 3:22: It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Lamentations 3:23: They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Micah 6:8: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Philippians 3:12: Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Once; I was Baptized; again. My life changed for the better.

Note: I belonged; to a church; that only believed in Baptizing once; so I felt bad; that the Lord had instructed me to be Baptized again. 

At first; I thought; that God wanted to embarrass me.

Note: When the Lord; leads you to do anything. Simply obey. You do not need another opinion. Simply obey.

He hath done all things; well!

Mark 7:37: And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Please; don’t expect the blessings of God; to be active; in your life; if you are not practicing obeying; the Word of God!

1Corinthians 14:40: Let all things be done decently and in order.

Isaiah 54:14: In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

Isaiah 1:18: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Romans 12:1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Update 08/16/12: We must be careful; as parents. Our children watch everything we do. We do not want to set our children up to allow strongholds in their lives.

When; I read this on “shattering Strongholds”. I remember; what I went through and how God set me free.

I suggest to anyone; commit; submit and surrender you will to His perfect will. I’m telling you from my own personal experience.

Tags: , , , , , ,

What He has already done!

We must; believe and receive:

Hebrews 9:17: For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Christ paid a debt that you or I could never pay.

“If the penalty for our sins is eternity in Hell, how did Jesus’ death pay our penalty if He did not spend eternity in Hell?”

Answer: If we think of Jesus as merely a man, then this question is a natural one to ask. But the reason Jesus did not have to spend eternity in hell is that He is not merely a man, but the God-man. The second Person of the Godhead took on flesh and lived among men in the form of a man. But He was a man like no other because His nature was that of God—holy, perfect and infinite.

Several passages attest to this fact, such as the opening passage in John’s gospel. It is there we read the following:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).

This passage gives as clear a testimony as any that the eternal Word, who is co-eternal with God and of the same essence as God, took on human flesh and made His dwelling (“pitched his tent” or “tabernacled”) among us. As the Apostle Paul says regarding Jesus, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).

With that in mind, let’s look more closely at the question. It is most certainly true that the penalty for our sins is an eternity in hell. The Bible says quite clearly that all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23). We learn in the book of Revelation that those whose names aren’t in the Lamb’s book of life are cast into the lake of fire where they will be tormented “forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10, 15).

But how can the death of Jesus atone for the sins of every person who as ever lived? This is where the discussion of Jesus being the God-man comes in. If Jesus were a mere man (with sin of his own), then His death wouldn’t even atone for His own sin much less the sins of another. But Jesus is no mere man; he is God in human flesh. As a man, He can identify with those for whom He sacrificed Himself. As a perfectly sinless man, He can atone for the sins of mankind without first having to atone for His own sin. Finally, as God, He can fully satisfy the wrath of God that our sins incur.

Sin against an infinite God must be paid infinitely. That is why payment for our sin must be infinite. There are only two options for infinite payment. Either a finite creature (man) must pay for his sin for an infinite amount of time, or an infinite Being (Jesus) must pay for it once for all men for all time. There are no other options. A sin against an infinitely holy God requires and equally infinite satisfaction as payment, and even an eternity in hell will not dissipate God’s infinite, righteous wrath against sin. Only a divine Being could withstand the infinite wrath of a holy God against our sin. It requires an equally infinite Being as a substitute for mankind to satisfy God’s wrath. Jesus, as the God-man, fits the bill perfectly.

Recommended Resource: Salvation: God’s Marvelous Work of Grace by Lewis Sperry Chafer.


Related Topics:

What are the various theories on the atonement?

What is expiation?

What did Jesus mean when He said “It is finished”?

What is justification?

What is propitiation?


Return to:

Questions about Salvation


Return to:

GotQuestions.org Home

Tags: , ,

What does the Bible say about obedience?”

Gotquestions.org


Answer:
The Bible has much to say about obedience. In fact, obedience is the essence of the Christian faith. Jesus Himself was “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). For Christians, the act of taking up our cross and following Him (Matthew 16:27) means obedience. The Bible makes it clear that we show our love for Jesus by obeying Him in all things: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

Obedience is defined as “dutifully complying with the commands, orders, or instructions of one in authority.” Using this definition, we see the elements of biblical obedience. “Dutifully” means it is our obligation to obey God, just as Jesus fulfilled His duty to the Father by dying on the cross for our sin. “Commands, orders or instructions” speaks to the Scriptures in which God has clearly outlined His commandments and His will. “One in authority” is God Himself whose authority is total and unequivocal. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded because it is our duty to do so.

Having said that, it is important to understand that it is the spirit of obedience, not the act of obedience, that is important. The Pharisees relentlessly pursued acts of obedience to the law and by doing so became self-righteous, believing that they deserved to go to heaven by what they had done. Heaven, to them, was a reward owed to them for their good deeds, but the Bible tells us that to God, all our righteous works are as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The obedience that was lacking in them was brought to light by Jesus who exposed their heart attitude. Their hypocrisy in obeying the “letter of the law,” but not the spirit of it, characterized their lives, and Jesus rebuked them sharply for it: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also appear righteous to men outwardly, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27-28).

Today, man is not called to obey the Law of Moses. That has been fulfilled in Christ. Man is to obey the “Law of Christ” which is a law of love for one another (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34). Jesus Himself put it in perspective when He answered the question put to him by Pharisees; “‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).

If we love God, we will obey Him, not always and not perfectly, but our desire is to obey Him and our lives give evidence of that desire. When we love God and obey Him, we naturally have love for one another. Obedience is commanded by God, not only because it glorifies Him when we obey, but because it is the best for us. Obedience brings joy, comfort and peace in a world where such things are hard to find, mainly due to disobedience and rejection of God and His Word.

Recommended Resource: Lord, Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late, Revised by James MacDonald.


Return to:

GotQuestions.org Home

Tags: , , , ,