Monday, September 26, 2011

Stop Trying to Justify God

Our culture sees no need for the gospel - indeed, it seems more and more so-called evangelicals see no need for it, either - because we want the wrong person to be justified.  What I mean is this: we are so consumed with the "problem" of evil and suffering, and the injustice of it all, that we have missed the greatest problem of all, our own sin.  We spend our days either condemning or denying God on account of "injustices" that we no longer see our own condemnation and the infinitely heinous injustice we have perpetrated against God in our sin.  We think God needs to be justified.  We have forgotten that we are the ones who need to be justified.

Further, God does not need to justify his ways to us.  Why does he allow so much suffering?  Why did he allow sin to come into the world in the first place?  Of course, many will say that God must be either unloving or not sovereign.  God's own word tells a different story, of course, that leaves us with perplexing questions: how can such a good and holy and omnipotent God rule over so much chaos and criminality?  God's word denies that he is unloving or unholy or unable.  He could have kept the world in sinless perfection if he had wanted to.  But he does not tell all the whys or hows.  And he does not have to.  Because he is God, and you are not.

But whereas God does not have to answer to you or me, we have to answer to him.  And the fact is, we are traitors.  We owe God everything, and we have taken his good gifts and turned them into idols.  We have not been thankful.  We have not been good.  Our minds and thoughts and affections have been very much anti-God.  Why should he have to answer to us?  We must answer to him.  And we are sinners, naked before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

God does not need to be justified.  You do.  How will you appear before God?  With arguments and accusations?  I dare say, all your accusations will appear criminal in themselves when you are finally confronted with the holiness of God.  Until we drop our frivolous case against God and realize that we already stand justly condemned in the court of the Sovereign of the universe, we will never truly understand or appreciate the gospel.

The gospel says this: it is the good news that God has come into the world, not to be justified, but to justify.  He has come to make sinners right with himself.  And the way he has done that is through his own Son, Jesus Christ, who took our sin on himself and paid the debt in our place.  When a sinner places their faith in the Son, God's word says that they are justified.  And that is what every single human being on earth needs right now.

Stop trying to get God to justify himself, and face the reality that you need to be justified by God.

The Christian Work Ethic: Ephesians 6:5-8

Back in chapter 4, we noted that the apostle commends and commands labor.   In other words, he speaks to the morality of labor: “Let ...