I don’t know where to start this entry.
This is an amazing chapter, through the reading of every page my eyes were opened and I understood more about God’s GRACE! For this I am thankful today. I want to draw nearer to His Grace every day, and yet, while reading this chapter I realized I know so little of it; so I come quietly, almost in tiptoes, and with trembling hands I type words here, because I don’t want to forget what I have learned. Come quietly and read along…
When Sproul explains us why God consumed with fire from Heaven the lives of Nadab and Abihu when they they offered a “strange fire before the Lord”; and why God struck down Uzzah when he touched the ark of God, and why God commanded his people to kill all the inhabitants of Canaan, the author is clear none of these men, women and children were innocent.
“There is a reason why we are offended, indeed angered, by the story of Uzzah and the story of Nadab and Abihu. We find these things difficult to stomach because we don’t understand four vitally important biblical concepts: holiness, justice, sin and grace. We don’t understand what it means to be holy. We don’t understand what justice is. We don’t understand what sin is. We don’t understand what grace is”
We simple expect God to be always merciful, and when He is just we just don’t like it.
“God does not always act with justice. Sometimes he acts with mercy. Mercy is not justice, but it also is not injustice. Injustice violates righteousness. Mercy manifests kindness and grace and does no violence to righteousness. Mercy manifests kindness and grace and does no violence righteosness. We may see nonjustice in God, which is mercy, but we never see injustice in God”
We are sinners, I am a sinner. The Bible says that the “souls who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek. 18:4)
Why am I breathing right now?
Why I haven’t been consumed?
Why God chose me to give me life when I only deserved death?
Why did God give me Grace when I only deserved His Holy justice?
This is the real mystery.
This is where we, the children of God, must make a stop and worship Him. It is only when we fully understand what holiness and sin and justice mean, that we can truly begin to understand the meaning of Grace.
Grace is always undeserved.
It is always undeserved.
Grace and justice, holiness and sin met in one place two thousand year ago on the Cross.
“The most violent expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the Cross. If ever a person had room to complain of injustice, it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever punished by God. If we stagger at the wrath of God, let us stagger at the Cross. Here is where our astonishment should be focused. If we have a cause for moral outrage, let it be directed at Golgotha.”
It is here, on the Cross also, where we see that God’s Grace is not infinite. Sproul reminds us, and I a thankful for that, that “God sets limits to His patience and forbearance. He warns us over and over again that someday the ax will fall and His judgment will be poured out”
Let us learn to remain silent, just as Aaron remained silent when we see God’s Holy Justice.
Let us be amazed by His amazing Grace, and His amazing Holy Justice.
You can read more thoughtful comments about this chapter at Challies. Tim invited us to read together this book, and it has been a great thing to do, with such an incredible group of readers.
The Holiness of God – The Insanity of Luther-
The Holiness of God -The Trauma of Holiness-
The Holiness of God – The Fearful Mystery-
The Holiness of God – Holy, Holy, Holy-
The Holiness of God – The holy Grail-
>I love your thoughts! This was a full chapter…I really appreciated the perspective Dr. Sproul put on it. Here are my thoughts:http://homewithpurpose.blogspot.com/2010/11/reading-classics-together-ch-7.html
>Hi Becky,Wonderful post on a powerfully written chapter. "Grace and justice, holiness and sin met in one place two thousand year ago on the Cross."So true. All God's wrath for sin hung on a Cross, and all God's sympathy for sin hung on that same Cross. As Jesus said, "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin." -John 15:22Blessings upon your head, sister!-E
>Well written. I am so glad that you wrote about your own personal interpretation instead of only quoting. As great as those quotes are, I get a lot out of reading your personal thoughts as we read as a group :0) Blessings to you as we celebrate Thanksgiving soon.
>Why am I not consumed? Too wonderful for me to know. But I am thankful that He has been so long suffering with me.
>Beautiful post; I always enjoy your words. 🙂 It's always so encouraging to read your blog!
>Hi BeckyCould you leave another comment on my giveaway post! I only had my ipod and hit delete instead of publish and I can't retrieve it!The Holiness of God is one of the most influencial books I have read in shaping my view of Him. Knowing God by Packer too.
>This is incredible! Thanks so much for sharing. Funny (maybe not), I just read the story of Nadab and Abihu a few days ago, and I remember feeling that bit of confusion.
>I know – this was an amazing chapter! “Why haven’t I been consumed?” Yes, that is the real mystery indeed. Your closing paragraphs sum up so well what we should do with this:“Let us learn to remain silent, just as Aaron remained silent when we see God's Holy Justice. Let us be amazed by His amazing Grace, and His amazing Holy Justice.”Great summary, Becky.