How do grace and judgment work together? Here’s how inspiration reveals it.
“While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of His grace, Satan accuses them before God as transgressors. The great deceiver has sought to lead them into skepticism, to cause them to lose confidence in God, to separate themselves from His love, and to break His law. Now he points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer, [...]
Roseline lives in a village in northwestern Haiti. She felt rich, for she owned three cows. But she also felt grateful to God for her wealth and had dedicated one of her cows to God. Now the cow was about to give birth, and Roseline would give the calf to the Lord.
One day after finishing her morning devotions, Roseline went to tend to her cows. But her dedicated cow was missing. She walked up and down the path calling [...]
The world totters on the brink of moral collapse.1
The Judge of All is about to pass judgment on those who have refused to acknowledge Him as their Leader Eternal.
“Is there anyone else,” He calls out, “anyone else who wants to be free from the burden of sin?”
A few people struggle towards Him. The rest slink away.
“Not fair!” roars the enemy. “Condemn all or condemn none!”
“I won’t do that,” the Judge of All replies. “All who come to Me will be saved.”
The enemy [...]
Key Thought: Justice demands the death penalty for our sins. Yet grace through the suffering of Christ on our behalf delivers us from death if we accept it.
[Teaching Plan for "The God of Grace and Judgment" January 25, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does it mean to fear God? Are we to be afraid of God and the [...]
“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known”(Matt. 10:26).1
Looking around at the world, we shouldn’t have a problem understanding the idea of judgment and condemnation. One doesn’t have to be a believing Christian to realize that something is radically wrong with humanity. Who can’t see what a royal mess, even disaster, we’ve made of things? Maybe we cry so hard at birth because, instinctively, we know what’s [...]
Most everyone is familiar with John 3:16. What comes after, though, helps flesh it out and explain it even better.
Read John 3:17–21. What does it say about judgment? About grace? How do these verses reveal to us how grace and judgment work together?
The word translated “condemn” in verse 17 is also translated in some versions as “judge.” Clearly, though, the context is that of condemnation, because God has made it clear in numerous other places that the world will be judged.
Two themes appear in [...]
Critics of the Bible make a big deal of the fact that other ancient civilizations had their own flood stories. They argue that the Bible story isn’t unique, original, or even true but is merely a copy of some previous myth or legend.1
On the other hand, those who believe that the Bible is the Word of God see these stories as a confirmation of the reality of the Flood. The Flood happened, and Genesis gives the inspired account of it. [...]
Think about this: before sin, there was no need of grace because there was nothing to forgive, nothing to pardon, nothing to cover. It’s the same with judgment. Before sin, there was nothing to judge, nothing to condemn, nothing to be punished. Both grace and judgment arise, at least in a human context, only because of humanity’s sin.1
Read Genesis 3, the account of the Fall. In what ways are both themes, that of judgment and grace, revealed?
Satan succeeded in bringing sin [...]
The theme of judgment, divine judgment, runs through the entire Bible. And contrary to common beliefs, judgment is not contrary to salvation or to the gospel. Indeed, both themes are woven together in Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.1
And no wonder. Judgment and salvation reflect twin aspects of God’s character: His justice and grace. Thus, we should not pit the idea of judgment against the idea of salvation any more than we should pit the idea of God’s justice against His [...]
Friday’s section of “The God of Grace and Judgment” asks the question, “What’s the deadly spiritual trap of thinking that because we’re saved by grace, it doesn’t matter what we do? How can you protect yourself against falling into that deception?”
On the golf course we have another word for grace. It is called a “mulligan.” After you make a terrible shot, your partner may offer you a mulligan. You take another shot and the first shot does not count. It’s [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Genesis 3, 6; John 3:17–21; Rev. 14:6, 7.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Key Thought: God’s judgment is as pervasive in the Bible as is the theme of salvation; in fact, the two teachings are intricately entwined.
A soldier stood next to an old man about to be executed. He was guilty of being the “wrong” race and religion, nothing more. [...]
Marilyn Sewell, a Unitarian minister, made the following statement while interviewing Christopher Hitchens, a well-known atheist:
“The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement 1 (that Jesus died for our sins, for example).”2
Wait! What? How is that possible? I mean, either you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you’re a [...]