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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The mercy of a just God

“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.” (Gal. 4:9-12).
The sinner doesn’t damage God when he sins. But he destroys the Son. The Father towers over sin and looks down in offended sensibilities upon a world of offensive sinners. Sinners don’t hurt God because He will destroy them when the time comes.
“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; Thy judgments are a great deep.” (Ps. 36:6). “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away Their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.” (Ps. 2:15).
The Father stands for justice, pure and unadulterated. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
“With the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright; with the pure Thou wilt shew Thyself pure; and with the froward Thou wilt shew Thyself froward.” (Ps. 18:25).
Through His Son, our Father in heaven has made it clear that He doesn’t play around with sin or sinners.

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God,… that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:6,7). “For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.” (Ex. 20:5,6).

In Paul we see the same bullish sentiment of the Father toward His intelligent creation. “I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?” (2Cor. 2:1,2).
Before sin came into being the mercy of God was in place through His only Begotten. Foreseeing the need for His mercy to His creation, the Father of all provided His only begotten Son as the means of that mercy. While sin and sinners don’t hurt God, they immensely hurt His Son; and His Son’s pain hurts Him.
But, the Father’s pain also comes with having children. He knew from the beginning that childrearing would have its cost. Having a family presupposes agony. The family of heaven and earth would greatly multiply the Father’s sorrow; but He had counted the cost. Thus, through His Son, “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3:15), He created His universe of developing angels and inhabitants of worlds, and then He created all the children of Adam who have made themselves sinners.
And even though the Father stands as District Attorney against sin and sinners, His Son, who He begat for the purpose of providing creation mercy, and who has never failed in that capacity, ever lives to be the defense attorney for sinners.
The Son naturally stands to defend us because, by His Father’s infinite wisdom, the Son created us; we came directly from His heart. Of the Godhead, the Son by virtue of begetting us, is the most intimately acquainted with, and attached to, us. Like a newborn to the mother, we have a special place in Christ’s heart. And as the mother never forgets the moment she laid eyes on her baby, the Son can never forget the day our race came from His hands of creative virtue when He breathed into our nostrils the breath of life. But, all of this mercy comes through the provision of the Father of infinite justice.
The merciful Son was the perfect intercessor before the infinite God who infinitely hates defects and mistakes. But, though the Son’s love was perfect, He would need to be still further perfected because of the entrance of sin.
“Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:6-9).
To intercede for sinners before the Almighty, the Son’s disposition of eternal mercy toward His rebellious world would need to be more greatly empowered. His empowerment could only come through His Father putting His love for them to the ultimate test. Drastically caring to the very end for inveterate rebels could only come out of witnessing the full affront they gave the King. The Son must endure to the maximum all the wrath of His Father in order to be the mediator between the infinitely holy God and the damnable sinfulness of sinners.
Gethsemane and Golgotha made the all merciful Son even more merciful. So “He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” If He could not abandon His love for us under the most intense wrath of God against sin and the temptations of Satan to lead Him to sin, then He would never in a million eternities give up His intercession for fallen man. On the cross, the God of infinite justice heaved all of His just hatred of sin upon His Son, His second self, the infinitely bound Son of His love. Our closest ties on earth only hint at the relationship binding the Godhead together in love.

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”(Eph. 5:28,29). Incomprehensibly more so, does the Father nourish and cherish His only begotten Son.
“I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (Jn. 17:4,5).
So, while the Father has held a purely strong stance against all defects in His developing heavenly hosts and inhabitants throughout creation, and has distanced Himself from them by giving the work of creation to His Son, He has ever shown His mercy by providing His creation a Mediator who would never cease to work in constant reconciliation between His Father and His created works of His love, especially in saving the sinful children of Adam.
Jesus says to all of His beloved created works, “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.” (1Sam. 12:23).
Before sin entered the universe, the created hosts of heaven and unfallen worlds, those holy and perfect beings, needed intercession before God, “for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.” (Heb. 7:18). They were weak and unprofitable, and they by themselves could not stand before God, any more than sanctified Abraham, who though he was “justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” (Rom. 4:2).
They were holy, and much holier and more powerful than Abraham, yet compared to the infinite holiness of their Father, they infinitely lacked. “For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.” (2Cor. 3:10).“Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints [Heb. qodesh qodesh, holiest ones, angels]; yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight.” (Job 15:15).

Even the holy angels and unfallen worlds needed an intercessor, and the Son had ever been that for them. Even they needed God’s compassion given through His Son, their great High Priest, “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that He Himself also is compassed with infirmity.” (Heb. 5:2). The Son was in their form; even He was less than the great King. “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not.” (Ex. 23:20,21).

The Son of God, like His Father and acting in His Father’s behalf, would by no means clear the guilty without their true humility and confession of guilt, and sorrow for their sin. Then, He would be their very merciful High Priest. He must first bring the proud sinner to real conviction. He can admit no leavening of His Father’s kingdom by the deceitful nature of sin that would break out into another plague in heaven as it had on Earth.

In angelic form, the Son identified with His faulty heavenly children, and cared for them and taught them how to be better, as the Father designed it should be. The provision of the Son’s intercession came from His Father’s love for His kingdom. The song of the angelic hosts as they flew around Him was, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us…” (Eph. 2:4).
That love of the Father, who is rich in justice toward every flaw, especially so with rebellion and the disgusting products of sin, led Him to give an avenue of mercy; otherwise, who could stand before Him? No one of “the whole family in heaven and earth” (Eph. 3:15) could stand before Him, even of the angelic hosts and inhabitants of the unfallen worlds.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”(Rom. 5:6-10).
But, sin and sinners have forced the brightest manifestation of the furthest extent to which God’s forbearance would go. They have also revealed the extent of the burden carried by His beloved Intercessor, and ours.“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.” (Jn. 3:16).
Of God we hear, “For Thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” (Ps. 18:27). But, of His chosen Mediator we hear, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8:17). “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25).
Of the Father we hear, “I will tread down the people in Mine anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.” (Isa. 63:6). But, of His provisions through His Son we learn, “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (verse 9).
Of the great King we hear, “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
But, “seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:12-16).
Of the Father we read, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31). “Our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29). “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Heb. 12:25-27).
But, of the Son we read, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised).” (Heb.10:19-23).
And through the Son we “are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb. 12:22-24).
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” (Jn. 17:3). Knowing the bond that exists between Them in love and the intimate roles each has through the justice of God and the mercy of His appointed anointed One, give us the victory over sin. Neither will leave us or forsake us, after all that They have gone through to make us and redeem us from Satan’s abduction.

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