Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We will never ungod God

Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Ray Ortlund address the Porterbrook study group here in Omaha on the topic of the love and wrath of God in the Old Testament. He chose to address this topic because "there is a widespread misconception that the Old Testament is a book of wrath, while the New Testament is a book of grace, as if the two testaments had different angles on God". He went on to dismantle this misconception by showing both that (1) there is more wrath and judgment in the New Testament that some people think, and that (2) there is more love and grace in the Old Testament that some people think.

I wanted to share a few segments from his presentation because I thought it was brilliant (to put it mildly). This will be the first of two portions I wanted to share from his talk. I don't say this often, but you owe it to yourself to read every word of what follows...

Love is intrinsic to God's being and spontaneous in its outward flow—within the Trinity, first and foremost. Jonathan Edwards preached that, in heaven, we will all be deluged in an ocean of the love of God. It's just who God is.

By contrast, his wrath has to be provoked. We have to prod him and prod him to draw wrath out of him.

And we did. We provoked to wrath the most sweet-natured person in the universe.

God is the easiest person in the universe to get along with. There is no necessity in God that he judge us. His whole heart is biased toward loving us. But we forfeited his willing delight in us by our rejection of him in Adam and in our own choices.

We are all nice people here today. The problem is we are all nice, evil people. And God will never make peace with evil. His wrath is not a moody vindictiveness or a petty woundedness.

His wrath is his solemn determination that:
  1. we will never ungod him
  2. we will never bring his government down by our protests
  3. we will never veto his joy by our self-pity
  4. and his love will triumph for all who don't mind being loved by God as God.

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