This is the sermon for Sunday, October 16th, 2011.
Unless noted, all Scripture is from the ESV.
Bless God part 12
What kind of God is it that
we need to be rescued from Him?
This is the 12th sermon in our series entitled, “Bless God.” In this series we are looking into God, hell, heaven, and the chief end of man.”
We are in the question portion of the series – endeavoring to answer many questions that are being asked in the Church today.
This is the final question that we will determine to try to answer: “What kind of God is it that we need to be rescued from Him?
In the video that we played of Rob Bell’s promo to his book, “Love wins,” he had this to say: “Millions of people were taught that the primary message, the center of the Gospel of Jesus is that God is going to send you to hell unless you believe in Jesus. And so what gets subtly sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues us from God. But what kind of God is it that we would need to be rescued from Him? How could that God ever be good? How could that God ever be trusted and how could that ever be good news?”
Well, we are going to use each of these questions as a spring board to answer this final question this morning. Let’s begin.
What kind of God is it that we need to be rescued from Him?
Let’s look at a couple of God’s attributes this morning that will answer this question:
- God is perfectly holy.
Leviticus 19:2 – Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
1 Peter 1:15-16 – 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Psalm 22:3 – Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Psalm 30:4 – Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
Isaiah 6:3 – And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
- God is perfectly just.
Psalm 9:7-8 – 7But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, 8and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness.
Psalm 111:7 – The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy;
To understand the difference between a perfect God and imperfect man, let’s now look at a few of man’s attributes.
- We are sinners.
Romans 3:23 – … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
- We are deserving of God’s wrath but forgiveness is offered through Jesus.
Psalm 51:3-4 – 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Psalm 32:4-5 – 4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. 5I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Psalm 25:17-18 – 17The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
- So the God we need to be rescued from is holy and just in His judgment of sinners, yet at the same time He offers forgiveness to those who don’t deserve it through Jesus Christ.
How could that God ever be good?
He’s good, not based on what we feel about his holiness and justice, but He’s good because Scripture says that He is.
1 Chronicles 16:34 – Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Chronicles 7:3 – When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
Psalm 25:8 – Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
How can that God ever be trusted?
We don’t trust God based on what He has done for us or what He will do for us, but we trust God because Scriptures tells us too.
Psalm 9:10 – And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 20:7 – Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
How could that ever be good news?
Let’s unpack a classic passage of Scripture from the Apostle Paul that I believe answers this question well.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 – 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
- The church has a message: “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” The Church’s message is not some feel good positive message that is no different than what can be heard on Doctor Phil, Joel Osteen, or some other program or book; but our message is about a holy, just God judging a sinful world because they deserve it, yet He sent is Son not to condemn, but save those who believe.
- The message (appeal): “Be reconciled to God.” This is a message of repentance. What sin has corrupted, Christ came to restore. We must be reconciled with Him.
- Why and how reconciliation is possible: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” In simple terms – Jesus took our sins and the punishment for our sins in our place – and we receive His perfect righteousness. This is known as the great exchange.
As we finish up today with the question portion of the series, I need to ask this: have you truly trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you being restored in relationship with God or are you going through some type of religious service apart from Christ? It is not your service or works that save you, but is it Christ service and work that does. Trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sins today. Ask Him to be merciful to you and save you.