Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Two Different Responses to God

Studying the first couple chapters of 1 Samuel outlines two very different responses to God. These chapters are a good reminder that the Lord blesses those who honor Him as He did for Hannah and her son Samuel. However, it is also a very poignant reminder that the Lord rebukes and punishes those who dishonor Him and sin against Him like Eli and his two sons. God doesn't mess around with sin. God doesn't turn a blind eye to sin. He hates sin and there are real consequences to our sin.

Some say that this is just "the God of the Old Testament" and that now "the God of the New Testament", is the God of love and mercy. People talk themselves into believing that somehow God has changed and is now ok with sin. This is crazy talk. God is the same yesterday today and forever. He has not changed. He has hated sin from the beginning and He still hates it. He has punished sin from the beginning and He still does. He is holy and righteous and cannot have anything to do with sin.

So, because of His great love for us, God sent His Son Jesus in order to kill sin. The work of Christ on Calvary has given everyone the opportunity to be free from the grip and consequences of sin. It begins with forgiveness, but doesn't stop there. The grace of Jesus Christ isn't simply about forgiveness. No! It is much more powerful and effective than that. The grace of Jesus Christ gives us victory over sin so that we no longer are controlled by it and therefore walk away from it.

Yes, all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. This is why we need Jesus so that the life of sin will be broken and we will truly be made new creations in Christ Jesus as we respond to Him in faith and repentance. Jesus gives us all we need to respond to God as Hannah did, with honor and love instead of how Eli and his sons responded to God with dishonor and sin.