|“For God did not send his Son into |
the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.”
Many people have an image of God in their minds where they see Him looking down from heaven glaring at us because of our sin. Conversely, they try, at least sometimes, to behave themselves in the hope that God won’t glare at them quite as much.
But that’s not the way God is. The Apostle John captures one of the most prominent essences of God in John 3:17:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
God is love. He loves those He has chosen to belong to Himself and has made provision for their salvation from the penalty for their sins through the sacrificial death and resurrection of His one and only Son, Jesus.
God is love. And yes, He is also holy. God holds Himself in tension between His holiness and His love.
His holiness makes Him hate sin. His love makes Him reach out to those He has chosen by forgiving their sins through the shed blood of Jesus.
Some of my more liberal Christian friends emphasize God’s love. Some of my more conservative Christian friends emphasize God’s holiness. Each group see themselves as arbiters of either who God loves or whose behavior He cannot tolerate because of His holiness. They are both very wrong.
We cannot arbitrate on God’s behalf. We do not possess God’s enormous capacity for love. Nor do we possess even a modicum of His capacity for holiness.
So, we are left to look on in great wonder at the God who loves us with His eternal love, yet whose holiness condemns sin and requires that a penalty must be paid for that sin.
As we begin a new day, let us humbly accept the fact that there is much about our loving, holy God that we cannot understand. And, let us rejoice that He is our God—the God who loves us and, in the midst of His holiness and through His Son, demands that we live holy lives.