Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving, Perfect God





- a throwback to that time it snowed in SC. oh, I miss it.-


We read an excerpt of Jonathan Edwards' most famous sermon in class, and this is what was going through my head as we read it.
“It is nothing but God’s mere pleasure that keeps you this moment from being swallowed up in everlasting destruction.”-Jonathan Edwards

It might sound harsh, scary, unpleasant, but it’s the truth.


We humans have deceived ourselves into thinking that we’re pretty great. Have you ever pondered how truly great God is, though? Have you ever taken a minute to try and fathom God’s holiness?


Here’s a passage from Revelation 1:12-18 to give you some perspective:


“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around His chest. The hairs of His head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, from His mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’”


If that imagery doesn’t wow you, I don’t know what will.


Do you see the significance of this? Those eyes of fire that John talks about are the eyes that see into the depths of your soul. Those feet of bronze are the same ones that were nailed to the cross. The same Jesus who said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” is the same Jesus here.


This is our God.


This God has named the stars and knows the number of each of the hairs on our heads. This God has crafted each and every human personally and uniquely. This God is completely perfect, not lacking anything good because His very character defines goodness. This God stretches the span of His hand across everything that we have ever seen and more – everything that even the most skeptical humans believe in, the stars, the universe, all the galaxies, is charted territory in God’s eyes. He didn’t have to build a boat to sail across the ocean or a rocket ship to fly across space because He created it with no more than His voice. (Remember John’s imagery, the roar of many waters? That voice created the universe.)


 Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards’ most famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, shows just what God could do with our filthiness. Edwards speaks of us as loathsome insects compared to God. By theory, God should abhor us; He should want nothing to do with us, and that’s how Edwards describes it.*


I, on the contrary, know that Edwards’ images are not completely accurate. Never once does he describe God’s love, God’s grace. Edwards’ view of God should be accurate; God should hate and despise us. He has every right to cast us into the depths of hell and never think of us again.
But He doesn’t.


In fact, God not only doesn’t cast us into hell, he loves us deeper and wider and longer and higher than anyone could ever imagine. He loves you more in a second than anyone ever could in a lifetime.


Readers, Christians of the past and present are living proof that God can take broken, despised, horrific, and loathsome beings and make them beautiful. God doesn’t look at our filth with indifference – He doesn’t let it slide. But He does offer to be the perfection that we can’t. Edwards describes God as dangling us over hell’s pit, but in reality, at least for now, He’s is holding out His hand, waiting for us to accept His free gift: Take my righteousness, He says, because I have already paid your debt. God knows that we as sinners have absolutely nothing to offer Him but our filthy, dirty rags, and He still offers us His righteousness. He accepts us because our debt was paid when God the Father turned His back on God the Son – when their perfect unity was broken for us.


A holy and perfect God who shouldn’t want anything to do with us died for a whole bunch of sinners. He carried the weight of every sin that was and will be committed. Yes, God is angry at our sin, but His love is so big that He became that sin for us.


I hope I never lose the wonder of this fact, and I hope you don’t either, because a fact this beautiful, this mind-blowing, is what turns the greatest rebels into children of a holy God.


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* I would encourage y’all to read [this excerpt] from the sermon. Like I said, it's not completely accurate, but when you read it from the right perspective, it can be so refreshing.

4 comments :

  1. This is such an encouraging post once again <3
    P.S. I'm in love with your new blog design! So jealous XD

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    1. Thanks, Laur ❤️ I can always count on you to read my posts!

      And I downloaded the template from the internet :)

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  2. How'd I miss this post?

    Anyway, I love it! I love the play on the title of that sermon; I learned about "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" this year in Am Lit and I was like "...seriously"? Not to say that it wasn't true, but if someone tried to preach that way today, I think we'd somehow lose more souls for Jesus than gain.

    Really love your perspective on it though! ^^

    (P.S. I too love your new design ♥)

    O | Life as a Young Lady

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    1. Sorry I'm just now getting back to you, O! And you are so right. Scaring someone to Christ is definitely not the way to go. Thanks again for stopping by!

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