Tuesday, August 23, 2011
In the light of the Gospel that we have come to know, believe and deeply love, one of the delights I have had is the continuous revelation that Father gives. As we journey with HIM into greater freedom and the more He shows us Who he really is, we are continually faced with new views of Him that He wants us to replace the old religious ones with.
The old traditional view of Wrath is a real stickler and I doubt (but deeply hope) that this one will leave without putting up a fight. But, as Ive come to discover, writings and authors that I would have rejected outright a few years ago, I now embrace. Seeing His love for me has made all the difference, and a lot of "confusing or so called truth in tension" scriptures have begun to make a lot more sense in the light of The Gospel (Im dont speak lightly when I say that during most of the previous decade, what I spent studying and learning about was a far cry from what I now see The Gospel as).
No Regrets - It could have been 2 decades!!
WRATH: Religion will tell you that this has to do with God pouring out His anger over sinners. I beg to differ and would (hopefully in a blog or two's time) like to show that Religion has created a god in its own image and likeness!!
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them." - John 3:36
A few days before John had said these words, Jesus was teaching that God is Loving towards all men -("the entire world" - Cosmos) - BOTH believers AND non-believers, and will not condemn them. He said:
"Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might (will) be saved."
"....but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them."
There are a few words used in Greek that translate into the word "life". In this instance John uses the word "Zoe". "Zoe" is the type of God-life that only comes from Him as a gift to all who trust in His Son. It is the very substance and essence of God's life. If one refuses to trust (or direct their faith towards) the work of the Son they can't experience this free gift of Zoe-Life(Salvation) - BUT their rejection DOES NOT make God angry* (as is commonly believed) , rather it stirs His passion and desire** for them even more - that they would yet taste and see His delight in doing only GOOD to them (Jer 32:40-41).
(*Isa 54:9 "This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. (ESV)
** The word "Wrath" by definition, properly, has NOTHING to do with Anger but Rather refers to Gods "Desire" and "Passion" resting on them (His desire and Passion is love flavoured - 3:16).
So, "....but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.", can also read "But whoever rejects Jesus cant experience Gods intended life, nevertheless/ notwithstanding/ yet God's desire and extreme passion continues towards them" (!!!!!!!!!!!)
The implicated passionate indignation or vengeance side of "wrath" is NOT directed toward its object of desire!!! But, rather its directed towards that which would harm it - sin!
That's what HE ACCOMPLISHED in Himself on the Cross... against sin:
Rom 8:1 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
His wrath (ie, His desire/passion for US, and His indignation/vengeance against sin) was shown for us all to see when "He made Him Who knew no sin to become sin (noun) for us..." (2 Cor 5:21)
John 3:18 "He that believeth in Him is not condemned (also:"Judged") ; but He that believeth not is condemned (also:"Judged") already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus then in the very next verse (vs 19) TELLS US what the condemnation/judgement is - AND he says that THEY ARE ALREADY under this Decision of His. It is not a future Decision, but a Past Decision!!
John 3:19 And this is the judgment (His decision): that the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. (sin was messing with mankind - the object of His affection)
God made a decision/judgement about them: They are truth rejecters because they are under the dominion of sin!! He saw that they prefer evil and darkness. He does not condemn them but intensely desires to win them over with His Love and Goodness (Rom 2:4).
He showed this Decision/Judgement throughout His life that He (God) was A "FRIEND OF SINNERS" (Luke 15:1), That He "came into the world to save sinners"(1 Tim 1:15)
In other words this Judgement of GOD that Unbelievers are under was TO BENEFIT THEM, NOT TO HARM THEM. To draw them back to Him.. to LOVE them back to their senses:
Rom 2:4 Don't you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him? (CEV)
The big fear-inducing "God's wrath-stick" that Religion has been waving over Jesus' Bride has been grossly misunderstood and on-taught to millions over the years and all the while, instead of revealing to us just how awesome His love towards us is, has instead been a sickening cause of legalistic conformity and life-chocking bondage!!
As I have grown in my understanding of His amazing Love and Grace, even His "Wrath" has become for me a beautiful attraction to Him. How deep the Fathers Love for us, How vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only Son, to make a wretch His Treasure!!