Monday, October 08, 2007

You're Blaming Me?

We are accepting questions from the audience in our Sunday School. Here is the latest one:

“All men are sinners. I fully believe that. But, what I don’t get is why we as Christians let God totally off the hook for that. Why? Seems like if we are God’s creation and 100% of us are sinful (Born that way), then there is a huge quality control issue. As the saying goes, ‘When they made you, they broke the mold, and then beat the mold maker. Why is God not at least partly responsible?

Thanks for the question. This question comes up from time to time. “Why am I responsible if this how I am made? God, why did you make me this way?”

This is such a natural part of human reasoning that the apostle Paul addresses this exact topic in Romans, Chapter 9. I encourage you to read the entire chapter, but here is the excerpt on this question:

“14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 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.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 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?” 21 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? 22 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, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

In addressing your question, you need to know that our concept of God, our understanding of His authority, our comprehension of His love and wrath, and the understanding of our sin is so far short of reality that we usually come up with incorrect presuppositions and conclusions in these matters.

The ultimate answer is that He is God. We have a hard time with this in our western culture and rugged, independent heritage. Cultures who have a King understand the sovereign rights of a ruler much better than we. In fact, it flies all over us to say, “He is King and can do as He wills”. Regardless of how we feel about that it is, nonetheless, true.

Is there a quality control issue with God? How do you control quality?
The Bible makes it very clear that things have gone wrong. Man was created perfect with a freedom of choice and man chose to serve the creature rather than the creator.

Most makers, it would seem, would then begin to smash and burn to correct the error.

But this maker is different, He loves His creation! He does not desire that any should perish.

He does the unthinkable; He becomes the piece of clay! He enters in, demonstrates the proper way to address the Creator and live for the Creator and then suffers the crushing penalty reserved for vessels of wrath. He then returns from the destruction to proclaim good news- “I offer restoration and forgiveness”.

This sacrifice now allows for the salvation of flawed creatures while, at the same time, still keeps perfect standards of quality and purity. There is now a way that the flawed creatures do not have to be destroyed!

Sadly, most of the creation, it seems, will not accept the correction. They still shake their fist at the maker. This is the great, uncorrectable flaw and rejecting the Son will heap up a fiery furnace of incredible wrath from the Maker. When we turn our backs on the good news, we are rejecting our only chance to survive inspection!

There is precise and perfect quality control from God. He will one day separate the flawed from the unflawed. Those stamped by the Son will be declared perfect. Those who resisted because of pride and sin will be discarded to their shame and misery.

At that point, the factory will once again be perfect to the glory of the Maker. Only now, the creation will see Him in a new light- not only our Maker, but also our sacrificial Lover! To Him Alone Be the Glory!

A final note- we are responsible for our sin.
One of the founders of Princeton, Archibald Alexander summed up judgment day like this:

“The things which shall be brought under the eye of the Judge, and exhibited to the view of the universe, are, all deeds done in the body — whatsoever a man hath done, whether good or bad. Every secret thing. "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14. Every idle word. "I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give a account thereof in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36. The thoughts of the heart shall also be made manifest. Every unholy desire; every proud, envious, or malicious thought; every secret purpose of iniquity; every unhallowed temper; every rebellious and discontented and ungrateful feeling towards God and his government, will be brought into judgment.
And the inquiry will extend not only to positive acts; but also to omissions of duty. Great as is the number of the acts of wickedness, the catalogue of omissions will be greater, and not less criminal. The first sin of this sort which will claim the attention of the Judge, will be the omission to entertain and cherish right sentiments towards God. No more heavy charge will be brought against any individual on that day, than that he neglected to love the Lord his God with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. This is the total violation of the first and greatest command, and the fountain of all other iniquities. The neglect to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ when he was offered to us a complete Saviour in the gospel, will, to the unfruitful hearers of the word, be an accusation of the highest kind.
O reader, whoever thou art, let me entreat you to inquire without delay, whether you are prepared for the scrutiny and judgment of this coming day. Have you made you peace with God? Have you repented of all your sins? Are you in union with Christ by faith? Have you any clear scriptural evidence that your sins are pardoned? What says conscience to these inquiries? Be assured, if your own heart condemns you, God, who is greater than your heart, and knoweth all things, will much more condemn you. But your situation is not like that of them whose day of grace is ended. You are yet in the place of reconciliation. You have yet a little time before you — God only knows how much. Now, then, hear the voice of warning — hear the voice of mercy. Now "strive to enter in at the strait gate." Now forsake your sins, and live. Accept the offered grace — "lay hold on eternal life.’” (The Day of Judgment, Archibald Alexander)


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