God's Kindness & Severity
Intro. Man has struggled to understand the seemingly conflicting nature of God.
A. We see both in the Bible
1) A God who holds life sacred & holy
a. Yet instructed His people to kill
2) A God who lovingly calls all men to Himself
a. Yet "cuts off" those who reject Him.
B. It's logical that God would love all that is good & holy
1) Also logical that He would deal with evil.
2) In dealing with good, He's always kind
3) In dealing with evil, He's always severe.
C. In His word, we see a God who:
1) Loves - Deut. 7:6-8 (read)
a. "For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
2) Hates - Prov. 6:16-19 (read)
a. "I hate divorce!" Mal. 2:16
D. We see the same attributes in Jesus
1) Called the Lamb of God (meek, mild?)
a. Yet drove out the men & animals in the temple.
2) Said He wants to leave peace. - John 14:27 (read)
a. Yet says He brings a sword - Matt 10:34 (read)
b. The Greek means "not peace only, but also a sword"
E. It's worthwhile to study God's goodness and His severity
1) It gives us fuller understanding of His nature.
2) Must think about both attributes when we consider God.
I. The goodness of God is seen everywhere
A. In His creation.
1) Gen. 1:9, 12, 17-18, 21, 25, 31 (read)
B. In His provision for man's every need
a. Food, water, shelter, medicine, etc
2) Emotional - Love, friendship, music,
C. In His provision of salvation for fallen man
1) Rom. 1:16-17 (read)
a. He does not owe us salvation!
b. Could have destroyed the earth & been rid of us.
D. In the spiritual provision of blessings for His children
1) Phil. 4:6-7 (read)
a. This is the peace of which Jesus spoke
II. We also see the severity of God
A. In OT, we have examples of Nadab & Abihu who offered "strange fire" to God
1) Obviously not pleased with man's "improvisations!"
B. In NT, we have example of Ananias & Saphira
1) Reminds that God takes lying seriously
C. All are to remind us of His severity in dealing with sin.
1) Too many dismiss sin as no big deal
2) Some separate big sins, little sins
a. Catholics: Mortal sins/venial sins
3) God makes no distinction
a. Sin is sin & all sin separates us from God.
III. Yet, in all this, there is no unfairness with God
A. He alone is the only righteous judge
1) He executes justice & mercy with fairness
2) Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him." Acts 10:34,35
3) He doesn't look at social position, nationality, or wealth
a. He looks deeper, at thoughts & intentions & actions!
1. Heb. 4:12-13 (read)
b. Then, He judges accordingly
1. Rom. 2:9-12 (read)
B. Yet despite man's constant rejection of Him, He still offers salvation to anyone who'll accept it.
1) In this we see His ultimate goodness
2) Displayed so we do not have to experience His severity!
His children must incorporate these attributes into their own lives.
A. Practice love, goodness, kindness & mercy
1) "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." Gal. 6:10
B. Look at sin as God does, hate it.
1) "From your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way." Psalm 119:104
2) "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good." Rom. 12:9
By Zeke Flores
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