God’s Love For Sinners
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. John 3:16.
The apostle Paul tells us that God’s character has been misunderstood and misinterpreted since the beginning of the world. People knew something about Him once, but they didn’t glorify Him as God. As a result they “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).
It is possible for us, in our minds, to change God into something other than He really is, even if we don’t bow down to idols of wood and stone. If we don’t have the proper understanding of His character, then we’re worshiping a false God! We understand that the last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. Unless we know what God is really like, we won’t be able to reveal Him to the rest of the world! Jesus came to demonstrate to the world what the Father is really like.
One day Jesus and His disciples passed by a blind man (John 9:1). The disciples asked, “Master, who sinned? this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Their question was based on the common concept of God and evil. The people of Christ’s day believed that disease and death were God’s arbitrary punishment for wrongdoing, either by the sufferer himself or by his parents. Because of this, the suffering person had the additional burden of being considered a great sinner.
Jesus corrected their error by explaining that sickness and pain are caused by Satan. But one of the devil’s clever traps is to project his own attributes onto God, and as a result millions of people through the centuries have blamed God for suffering, sickness, and death.
John 3:16 and 17 tell us that God loved the world enough to send His own Son to redeem us. He “sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” That’s the gospel! That’s redemption!
from Faith that Works
Morris Venden | Review & Herald (2000)
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