So I’m back after a busy week of kids, school and life! Here where I live Spring has sprung. The yellow pollen from the pine trees is beginning to coat everything and my scratchy, itchy throat and eyes tell me that everything else has also begun it’s new season. Aside from the allergy issue I love spring! There is much joy in seeing your hard work in the garden and landscapes bloom and thrive. The changing seasons which come year after year are such a testament to the constancy of God!
Since God is constant we can count on Him and trust that He did what He set out to do from the very beginning. The prophets in the Old Testament (Torah) spoke the words that God gave them, prophesying of judgements and promises to come. In Isaiah 54, Isaiah spoke of a judgement coming and likened it to that of Noah’s flood. It was carried further with a promise that would come after the judgement, just as Noah was promised by God that the earth would never be flooded by Him again. Isaiah was speaking of the Cross and the promise of peace in which God said, “I will never be angry with you again.” Something we find in the history of the flood is that God carried out His judgement and promise on people who believed and didn’t believe. Those people had no choice in the matter. So God carries out promises He has made to people who know nothing, believe nothing, hate Him, ignore Him, etc. These Old Testament prophecies and promises (covenants) show that we have a precedent that God fulfills His promises to all people, of all nationalities and walks of life.
Is this “Good News”? Yes! This is the good news of Peace, a cessation of conflict, war, hostility, anger!
Isaiah brought us the promise of the Cross: God would never be angry again – Covenant of Peace. Remember this is God speaking through Isaiah, not Isaiah making it up. God compared the flood to the Cross, so it can never be removed. This establishes that God’s conduct was set in stone before the Law. Not one OF law, but before the law. We see that as long as there is law, God’s promises are based on “if you do, I will do”. The only time God can carry out a promise without man’s involvement is where there is no law. This is very important to understanding what happened at the Cross.
Do you think or believe that the greater possibility is that Jesus accomplished more than what we are taught He did? Or could man have underestimated the power of the work of Jesus?
Isaiah shows that God is not angry with anyone anymore. The Gospel of Peace, created and fulfilled without man’s agreement, is established by comparing the promise that came out of the flood. God established and confirmed that the Gospel of Peace wasn’t only to those that believed, but, like the flood’s promise, had nothing to do with people’s belief. If history has shown us nothing else, it’s that people have a hard time with belief. Most people can’t believe, even as Adam didn’t.
If God is not angry with anyone, Why isn’t He angry? He hates sin and all sin must be touched by the wrath of God. This brings us to Righteousness. God can’t associate with anyone who isn’t righteous. Thus Jesus saying, “My God why hast thou forsaken me?” as He hung on the cross. But I get ahead of myself! Since we all know that there was “no man righteous, no, not one,” then there had to be judgement. God’s comparisons show that He can and will do things without man’s input. Could it be that God carried out judgement without man being involved? What about sin? God had to carry out judgement/wrath on sin.
We’ve all done good and bad things, right? We mostly think we’ve done right. But under the Law, if you break one law, you’ve broken them All. The apostle Paul affirmed Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel on this in Romans 4:15, “no law, no transgression”. So is the law there or not? Paul called it the law of sin and death. In 2 Corinthians the law has been abolished, nailed to His Cross and taken away. The law was not there for you, but for God to show us something greater – God carrying out His promise without the law. Remember He did this with Noah’s flood, pre-law days.
If God only keeps/fulfills His promises to those who keep the law, then no one will see the promise of God. No one will ever be righteous because if you break one law, you’ve broken them all. Is sin something we deal with now or is it a past tense issue? The Catholic Church established the basic tenets of Trying to close this gap between God and us. The Reformation didn’t take this away, but only caused people to see these issues apart from the authority of the Pope. These issues weren’t addressed in all those years. The things taught before Protestantism were taught for 1500 years, before a change in mindset, before going through a Pope. It’s foolish to think that the Reformation brought the full understanding of the work of the Cross!
I would be foolish to think that I have a full understanding of what Jesus did! No matter how good I tell you God is, He’s even better than that! The power of God is way more than human words can say. His love is way more than I can comprehend!
I don’t know about you, but I longed to be released from the burden of sin. Could the Cross have done away with sin forever? If there is sin, then God would have to be angry. But God made a promise and He keeps them. When John saw Jesus he said, “Behold, the Lamb who Took Away All sin.”
Next time I’ll get into righteousness. If you want to read further teachings on the Gospel of Grace and Peace then go here to The Gospel Revolution website. Until next time, Grace and Peace to you!