Rockport Sermon

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Jesus Loves Me, this I Know!"

Some questions have been asked concerning my message on Sunday Morning, “Jesus Loves Me This I Know”, and the question of our sins and God’s anger. I want to try to make this response as brief as possible. I want to begin by affirming that, NO dear friends, God is not angry with us because of our sins. Now doesn’t that cause the believer to want to go out and sin with impunity? No, it doesn’t. The gospel makes the believer want to live a holy life. The question is, how does he do that, which is actually another message, but part of the answer is believing that what God says is true. Actually, it is very common for believers to live lives filled with guilt concerning their sins, and feel that God is continually mad, or “upset” with them. No, dear ones, God has forgiven you “all trespasses”. Isn’t He gracious? Isn’t He kind? Doesn’t that make you want to love Him more? Be patient. “He that has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” It is His love, kindness and forgiveness that excite us towards a practical living out a pure life, not His anger.
One verse that was referenced in questions about God’s anger for sin toward the believer was Gal 5:7.
Gal 5:7- Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for what ever a man sows that will he also reap.
The context of this verse has most to do with the believer doing good, especially concerning those who labor in the gospel
He is certainly not talking about the sins of a believer, for in the very next verse, the result of the wrong type of sowing is corruption, and the result of the right type of sowing is eternal life.
If anything, this verse has more of a reference to character and a hope for eternity, whether false or true.
It makes for “good preaching on sin”, to use this verse to attempt to prevent the believer from sinning, but it is simply the wrong use of scripture for a gospel preacher.
If this verse is the only ground we are going to stand on to attempt to prove that “God gets angry with his children”, than we are on shaky ground.
Spiritual warfare again sin is another subject, which always needs to be addressed. The true believer always desires to fight against sin, but the question of how that is scripturally carried on is another subject also. I would maintain that a big part of it is having our minds renewed concerning sin, the cross and the love of God. We are always to admonish one another concerning sin, but more importantly, we are to point one another to Christ. The believer is always to strive against and resist sin, but how is that accomplished? We are admonished by Paul in Romans concerning “reckoning” and “yielding” and it would pay great dividends to us to study what he says. Scott covered this beautifully in his exegesis of Romans, where the doctrine of sin is most full covered. Scott’s work on this subject is very clear.
In essence, when we understand that "We are dead, and our lives are hidden with God in Christ" Col 3:3, our theology about God's attitude towards us my get cleared up.
Another question that was raised was concerning the "discipline of God". Yes, God does discipline his children, but it always in love. God never disciplines his children in anger. (by the way, just like we should not!) His discipline is "for our good", not as a result of His being angry at us. it is simply His way of training the believer for godliness.
when I was in training for football, it was rigorous. It was often painful. It was sometimes not fun! but there was no anger or punishment involved. I was being prepared for survival! When a head to head collision came between me and some young 20 year old college football player, I wanted to be prepared. My trainers and coaches were kind to me to get me ready for those days, or I may not be walking today. God is so kind and good to discipline His children, and give them His grace in order to endure trials.
the scriptures teach us that it is God's goodness that leads us to repentance, not His wrath. that, glory to Him, was vented upon Christ, for us.
let's rejoice that we have such a loving God, who although He will pour out His wrath without mixture upon them that do not know Christ, upon His blessed children, He will lavish only grace upon grace.


Scott said...

Thank the Lord for the finished work of Christ, in which his righteous anger against my sin was poured out fully and finally. Oh, what a Savior.

Amy said...

Good perspective. Too many live too much of life in condemnation, awaiting punishment. This is the antithesis of grace. Are there consequences for sin? Of course, if you play with fire, you will get burned. But this is a consequence, not a punishment. As Bob wrote, it is a natural discipline, you now know not to play with fire. You can make the spiritual analogy. When someone has the law written on their heart through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you can't help but NOT want to sin. You will run to your God of love rather than from a god of wrath. Our security in Christ is founded on theology such as "But God demonstrated his love for us..." and "In love he predestined us..."

PRAISE GOD!!! Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so!

Bob said...

Yes of course. When I mentioned in the message that Jesus had born our sin, its shame, its guilt, its consequences, etc. I was referring to the eternal consequences of sin. Yes, God does chastise his children in love, but it is not out of anger, it is not punishment, it is training. when we sin, there are natural consequences in the flesh. Sometimes they are not even apparent, such as when anxiety or stress or worry slowly kill you.
thank you for your kind comments

Aaron said...


Thank you so much for this message. I think that some people that would argue with your message, perhaps do not understand that at times we do "feel" distant or perhaps that God is angry with us. Even our own perceived "feelings" of this are God's kindness toward us and His faithfulness bringing us back to him, rather than Him expressing his anger toward us.

130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!

2 O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?

4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.

8 And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

Psalm 130 (ESV, of course)

Bob said...

Yes my brother. Of course I would concur that a "feeling" of distance because of my sin would be something that God could use, but that the experience of many believers is that they are believing the "lie" that God is angry with them, and they are motivated by guilt, which only keeps us from intimacy with our Father.
Blessings to you my friend.