Christian Theology and a Merciful God

QUESTION: Christian Theology Ė Merciful God

ANSWER:

Only one thing can protect us from Godís justice on the Day of Judgment: Godís mercy. In His mercy, God has provided an advocate for every individualóan advocate so righteous that He washes away the sin that should condemn us. God as the Redeemer, in the person of Christ, saves humanity from His wrath.

Christian Theology Ė The Love of God
The central theme of redemption is the love of God. John 3:16 tells us, ďGod so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.Ē Using John 3:16 as a text for portraying Godís love, theologian Floyd Barackman points out the following characteristics of this love:
    Godís love is universal. God loves every nation, tribe, race, class, and sex (male/female) equally. There were no social prejudices when God offered His Son. Christ died for the rich and for the poor; for the free and for the enslaved; for the old and for the young; for the beautiful and for the ugly.

    Godís love is gracious. God loves sinners even when they hate Him and are undeserving of His love. Romans 5:8 clearly outlines the nature of Godís love: ďBut God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Ē How could God love the sinner? This question is answered by the Christian doctrine of grace. Christianity declares that Godís love and mercy are so awesome that He can love the sinner while hating the sin. He expects His children to do likewise (Jude 22, 23).


Christian Theology Ė A God of Love
Godís love is sacrificial. God did not send His only Son to earth just to be a good example or simply to be a teacher, but to be a perfect and atoning sacrifice for humanityís sin. Christís substitutionary death was sacrificial and closely resembles the Old Testament concept of atonement. The main difference between the Old Testament concept of atonement and the New Testament concept is that atonement in the Old Testament was temporary, whereas in the New Testament Christ atoned for sins once and for all (1 John 2:2). Through the death of Christ, God has reconciled the world to Himself, and offered a way for His wrath to be appeased (Colossians 1:20)óhumanity now must be reconciled to God through faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Godís love is beneficial. For all those who receive Christ (John 1:12), for all those who are born from above (John 3:3), for all those who believe (John 3:16), there await certain eternal benefits given by God. Scripture declares that through Godís grace, the believer will not be condemned (Romans 3:24) and will not be captive to sin (Romans 6:11). Further, the believer is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) who has been declared righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), redeemed (1 Peter 1:18), forgiven (Ephesians 1:7), and the recipient of the gift of eternal life (John 3:16).

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Todayís Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

Christian Theology - Learn More!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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