Saturday, December 27, 2014

An Eternally Interrupted Life

It has become somewhat uncommon for me to blog. But when I do, it is common for me to cite something I've recently read. Here is another one of those, from a book I recommend to any interested in the history of God's Church in general, and/or Martin Luther in particular.

 "Because the curse is God's own wrath at sin, and because Christ is God himself, when Christ's cross is preached you become a party to a struggle between God and God--in Christ: 'Therefore the curse clashes with the blessing and wants to damn it and annihilate it. But it cannot. For the blessing is divine and eternal, and therefore the curse must yield to it. For if the blessing in Christ could be conquered, then God Himself would be conquered. . . . But this is impossible,' Luther concluded in his Galatians lectures.
   God's 'alien' will in the cross has been conquered by his 'proper' will 'for you.' God won by losing your game and starting up his own game of forgiving sinners by raising them from the dead--no hide-and-seek being desired or necessary. Once you are raised from the dead by Christ's promise, death can no longer be feared. It lies behind you instead of threatening your future at every turn. The law and its demand becomes a past event, not a present threat or future goal. 'Who shall bring any charge against God's elect?' Paul asked. If Christ is the final judge and he killed killing by being raised from the dead and forgiving his sinners, then what further judgment do you fear? The sting of death is removed because Christ unilaterally forgave and so interrupted your life permanently. Laying your sins on Jesus means they are over and have no more power to slip into your conscience to say, 'What have you done?' Instead, Christ alone sits there calling his sheep by name and freely giving them all they need. Paul confessed that in such a new circumstance nothing (not death, sin, or devil) can 'separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Rom. 8:38-39)." - From Luther for Armchair Theologians, pp 158-59.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Pain from God

"Satan is not the Lord of suffering. God is."
R.C. Sproul Jr, commenting on Job 1 & 2, and Isaiah 45:1-7, 
concerning common misunderstandings and false beliefs regarding
God's relationship to His people's hardships.