Grace For The Journey
In any effort to solve problems, we are unlikely to agree as to what the solution of a problem is, unless we agree as to the nature of the problem. The religions of the world offer an enormous range of solutions to human problems.
- Some propose various forms of religious self-help exercises;
- Some advocate a kind of faithful fatalism;
- Others urge tapping into an impersonal energy or force in the universe;
- Still others claim that mystical experiences are available to those who pursue them.
One of the critical questions to ask is this:
The irreducible heart
Of human problems?
The Bible insists that the heart of all human problems is rebellion against the God who is our Maker, whose image we bear, and whose rule we seek to overthrow.
All of our problems, without exception, c
Can be traced to this fundamental source:
Our rebellion and the just judgement of God
That we have received by our rebellion.
This must not be misunderstood in some simplistic sense. Someone has rightly said, “It is not necessarily the case that the greatest rebels in this world suffer the greatest pain in this world, on some simple tit-for-tat scheme.” But whether we are perpetrators (as in hate, jealousy, lust, or theft) or victims (as in rape, battery, or indiscriminate bombings), our plight is tied to sin – ours or that of others. Further, whether our misery is the result of explicit human sin or the fruit of a “natural” disaster, Genesis 3 and Romans 8:18-23 insists that this is a disordered world, a broken world – and that this state of affairs has come about because of human rebellion.
God’s two-fold judgment on the Adam and Eve sin is striking. The first (Genesis 3:16), which promises pain in childbearing and disordered marriages, is the disruption of the first designated task human beings were assigned before the Fall: male and female, in the blessing of God, being fruitful and increasing in number (1:27-28). The second (Genesis 3:17-19), which promises painful toil, a disordered ecology, and certain death, is the disruption of the second designated task human beings were assigned before the Fall: God’s image-bearers ruling over the created order and living in harmony with it (1:28-30).
With perfect justice God might have destroyed these first rebels. He can no more ignore such rebellion than He can deny His own deity. Yet, in mercy He clothes them, suspends part of the sentence (death itself) – and foretells a time when the offspring of the woman will crush the serpent who led the first couple astray. One reads Revelation 12 with relief, and grasps that Genesis 3 defines the problem that only Christ can solve.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”