Grace for Your Day May 23

In his book on The Atonement, Leon Morris writes:
The total number of times that Gods’ wrath is mentioned in the Bible exceeds 580, so that it cannot be said to be an occasional topic. There is a consistency about God’s wrath in Scripture which we do not find in similar expressions used about the gods of the heathen. The heathen worshipped capricious gods. The worshippers could never guess what the gods would be up to next. They could never tell when their gods would be angry or what it was that annoyed them. The Hebrews were not in doubt. They knew that one thing and one thing alone aroused God’s anger, and that was sin . . .

In the Bible the wrath of God is intensely personal. The prophets did not think of an absentee God who benevolently allowed the universe to go on its way with all kinds of impersonal mechanisms in operation. They emphasized the sovereignty of God. They saw him as active in the affairs of men. Specifically they were sure that the punishment of sin was due to God Himself. They could ask, “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? (Amos 3:6) . . .”
 
His anger against sin is a grim reality and, if it is to be removed, its removal is due to none less than God Himself which is what the word “propitiation” refers to . . . It is the turning away of God’s anger through the death and sacrifice of Christ so that He could look at us and be appeased. Jesus died so that “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
 
Leon Morris was right. God’s wrath is personal. He takes it very seriously when we sin against Him which is why the cross is so important because it is the only place where our sins were dealt with once and for all. This is what the Book of Hebrews talks about when it says in Hebrews 2:17:
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

This is a comforting passage because it tells us why Jesus came into the world. Jesus did not come to be cruel or harsh or mean to us. He did not enter into the world to be rough or bitter or insensitive. He came to be merciful by becoming the propitiation of our sins.

He also came in order to be our “faithful high priest” which means that He died in order to be a faithful representation of God’s love to us. He went to the cross to remind us that God still cares even when we keep sinning because there is no end to His kindness. His grace has no limit which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to talk about “The Propitiation for Our Sins.” We are going to do this because it is important to realize what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. He took away every bit of God’s wrath towards us. He removed every form of anger so that there is nothing separating us from His presence anymore. We do not have to stand at a distance from God because Christ made a way for us to run straight into His everlasting arms.

We are also going to examine this subject because it should change the way we look at God. We do not have to see Him as an angry, furious Deity anymore who is out go get us. Now we can see Him as “a merciful and faithful high priest” which should bring joy to the heart of every believer.

Please join us on Sunday morning as we talk about that. The service will begin at 9:30 and it will be livestreamed on our You Tube Channel for all those who cannot make it in person. – Jeremy Cagle

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