Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daily Devotions from the Heidelberg: A Truth We Need to Face

Tuesday

Q&A 10: A Shock to Our System!

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

10 Q. Will God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?

A. Certainly not. He is terribly angry about the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit. As a just judge he punishes them now and in eternity. He has declared: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the book of the Law.”

2) Scripture

1 John 4:10: In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Comment

Q&A 10 is a shock to our system! Most people never consider the truth that God is “terribly angry about the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit.” Many unbelievers today would say, “How can you believe in a God who is angry about sin? I don’t want to worship a God who gets angry about sin. I don’t think sin is that big of a deal.”

The problem, however, is that sin is a big deal to God. Sin was such a big deal to the Lord that he himself had to become a man and endure his own anger against sin! On the cross, the eternal Son of God endured the punishment our sin deserves, so that we might have the Father’s favor. This is what 1 John 4:10 teaches us when it calls Christ’s sacrifice a “propitiation.” Lutheran theologian J. A. Preus rightly says, “Propitiation refers generally to the idea that, through the sacrifice, God’s wrath is satisfied. . . . When we say that God is propitiated, we mean that He is no longer angry because of our sin.”

Unbelievers may complain about God’s anger against sin, but no one can say that God does not love us, for he himself was willing to come and endure his own righteous anger against sin! Instead of complaining about the just consequences of our sin, which the Lord plainly warned us was death and the loss of his favor (Gen. 2:17), we should be thankful that our God cared enough to come to earth, to take to himself our human nature, and suffer in our place. How great is God’s love for us that he bears his own righteous anger against sin in the person of his Son! O how gracious and merciful this God is to take the punishment his creatures deserved, so that we might not ever endure this punishment ourselves!

Discussion: Do most people think that God is angry about sin? How does the cross show that sin is a “big deal” to God? Which attitude pleases the Lord, complaining about his righteous anger against sin or thanking him that he was willing to bear his own righteous anger at the cross?

Prayer Starter: In your prayer thank the Father that the Son was willing to die as the one who would turn away God’s righteous wrath/anger against our sin. Pray for an unbeliever you know, that they might realize the great love of God for them displayed at the cross.


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