Part 1: The Uncomfortable & The Curious
The Love, The Justice, The Wrath, The Mercy of GOD Intertwined!
Which God? The Christian God is "Three-Fold"
When believers say "God" without a qualifier, we are usually talking about the Trinity as one God—the Godhead or God unit (Genesis 1:26). God the Father, God the Son (Jesus)
This triune God is the God of the Christian Bible. You may be wondering where your puzzle piece fits in this grand masterpiece! Read on! The mystery of why you exist will soon unfold.
Let's Start with Sin!
People often say, “oh this act or belief or lifestyle isn’t bad. I’m not hurting anyone,” but you aren’t the standard...God is. The weight of sin is measured by who we’ve sinned against. It is God himself that you are sinning against. Here is a fantastic analogy from the documentary, American Gospel- Christ Crucified, that puts the gravity of even the "smallest" sin into perspective:
If you scratch a rock, there is no consequence because who cares about a scratched rock?
If you scratch a junk car at a dumpster, someone might look at you and ask what you’re doing, but those cars are getting tossed so there’s no consequence there either.
If you scratch a car on a used car lot, you might be charged a fee or asked to repair the damage.
But if you scratch a brand new Ferrari on a lot, you just might have to pay for the entire car!
A little white lie to a friend is a grave sin in the eyes of a holy God. Similarly, a scratch is a big deal on a Ferrari because of the car’s value compared to that of a rock.
So when we say, "What I'm doing is not wrong because it’s not hurting anyone," that statement is flawed because God sets the standard and, every sin is an abomination from His vantage point. The consequence of every sin is eternal death aka Hell. I will talk about Hell in a different post, but just know it's not a great place to be for reasons you may find surprising...stay tuned!
Are We All Born This Way?
Yes, we are born with a propensity to sin. James—Jesus's earthly brother—gives us an incredible outline in James chapter 1 verses 14-15:
You may be wondering why we sin in first place?! Everyone and their mom has heard about our infamous ancestors Adam and Eve. If not, no worries; read Genesis chapter 2 & 3. Let’s be real though, you would have eaten the forbidden fruit too! Adam and Eve were without sin, but when given the opportunity to choose between good and evil, they chose evil and fell into sin. As a result, the first man’s disobedience established a culture and inheritance of sin. Yes, nature and nurture! The Psalmist said, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5). Some evil desires are natural and some are learned. Whether naturally acquired or nurtured, our evil desires will always give birth to sin. This is why everyone is guilty of sin and no one person is more guilty than the next.
There is a consequence for our sin because God is a holy and just God. We are all in need of a savior because we can never be righteous enough to save ourselves from suffering the consequence of our sin (Isaiah 64:6). Due to our very dire dilemma, God the Son—Jesus Christ—accepted God's commission for Him to be the ransom in our place (Romans 7:15-25, 8:1-4). Even though God sent Jesus, Jesus also willingly sacrificed himself for our salvation (John 10:17-18). Why? Because of love! Jesus became a human being, took on the sins of the world, and nailed every sin to the cross by dying. He conquered death, and in doing so, redeemed those who believe in Him from eternal condemnation (Romans 5:18).
Jesus's death on the cross satisfied God’s wrath and balanced the scales so that we may not suffer the eternal consequence of our sins in Hell.
This is not a religion where "good" people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell. Saved people go to Heaven and unsaved people go to Hell. In fact, Christianity is not a "religion" per say... I'll explain what I mean by that in a different post.
As you may have noticed, God is love AND wrathful AND just AND merciful all at the same time! He is comprehensively everything and beyond our grandest imagination, but these descriptors—love, wrathful, just, merciful, and so forth—come closest to describing the attributes of God for our finite mind.
Ok, so this concept of being a sinner is SUPPOSED to make you feel either uncomfortable OR convicted. If you don't fall into either category that's okay, but generally, this isn’t a feel-good message if you've always thought yourself or humanity to be good. The word of God is purposefully offensive to those who do not believe because most people think highly of humanity and reserve evil for the Hitlers of the world. This repulsion is a normal reaction!
Furthermore, if you profess to be Christian, but disagree with — not wrestle with, but adamantly disagree with—anything in the Bible, including our proclivity to sin, you are not actually a believer of the Jesus in the Bible. You have in fact pieced together your own religion. A religion that is only good and acceptable if you agree with it, is a religion where you are god.
I know I might've ruffled some feathers, but Part 2 is the heartbeat! So don't give up now. Binge on!
Credit to: Lexine Cudjoe - The Bible Binge (source - https://clexine.wixsite.com/thebiblebinge)