Thursday, April 28, 2016

Propitiation and Redemption

The sacrifices and rules of separation specified in the law of Moses provided spiritual protection for the children of Israel. The cost of this protection was that it allowed the accuser to demand the implementation of the curses against the disobedient.

The Old Testament sacrifices satisfied God (because he knew that they would be supplemented in the future by Jesus death on the cross). The powers of evil were not satisfied with the sacrifices. They liked the covenant, because it gave them the ability to enforce the curses on sin, but they did not like the sacrifices, because they felt that people were getting off to light.

God was willing to forgive sin. It was the powers of evil who wanted it to be punished.

God is judge over everything.

God is the judge of all the earth (Gen 18:25).
However, he is not the prosecutor. He does not bring a case against humans. The accuser/prosecutor is Satan. If he is silenced, there is no prosecutor, therefore no case for the judge to hear.

The Holy Spirit is our defence attorney/counsel (paraclete). Jesus also defends us before God the judge.

But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1).
The righteousness of God means that he is not caught up in false accusations of the spiritual powers of evil. He does the right thing by his covenant, and declares us to be righteous. He silences the spiritual powers of evil and the accuser who want to bring charges against us.

The enemy’s greatest trick is to deceive the world and Christians into believing that God demanded death and hell for sinners, when it was actually the spiritual powers of evil themselves who demanded it. They have tricked us into believing that God is full of wrath and vengeance, when it is really them. God is gracious and forgiving, whereas the spiritual powers of evil are harsh and cruel, but they have tricked the world into believing the opposite.

God wants to restore people. The powers of evil want to punish. It is sad that many Christians seem to be on the side of the latter.

Some Christians believe that we need to preach God’s wrath as part of the gospel. They fall into the trap that Paul exposed.

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance (Rom 2:4).
The kindness of God leads us to repentance, when we realise that he gave his son to rescue us from the spiritual powers of evil, while we were still alienated from him. That is the good news we should proclaim.

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