Understanding Scripture. Part 4
Jesus says: "Unless you hate your mother and father, you cannot be my disciple."..."Unless you prefer me above all others in your being and in your doing, you cannot be my disciple"
Jesus says: "You cannot serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other."..."You cannot serve two masters, you will prefer one over the other."
In fact, we often see people serving two masters and emotionally loving both. If an alcoholic stops drinking, to save his family from the destructive results of his problem, he is hating alcohol and loving his family. According to the Semitic tradition of hyperbole, this is true, but emotionally, the man still loves the alcohol, and fights cravings every day.
2 John 1:5-7, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this...is...love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
Love does not concern the human emotion first. Love is a walk REGARDLESS of emotion. And by that walk human emotions are modified to line up with love. Do you believe God is as low as a human to be a puppet of emotion, which is so prevalent in christendom?
Is the perfect heart of God as low as a human heart, motivated by hurt, controlled by anger, deceived by ambition and controlled by lust? Reading the Bible in our limited human understanding you might think so. You may have heard that the God of the Old Testament is the angry God, and the God of the New Testament is the loving God. But God says "I do not change." (Malachi 3:6).
God hated the world, and God loved the world. What a paradox. What if I told you that by sending His son to die for sinners, as much as God was loving us, He was also hating us as well. Don't let your emotions sneak up on you when you read that.
Consider this: 2 Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Heavenly Father has a stake in changing us. The apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:14, And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. By the way...to you sinner haters who think you are no longer sinners because you are now a born again saint, notice that Paul here call himself the "Chief of sinners" though He is born again. He does not say "of whom I WAS chief, he says "of whom I AM chief!
The grace of God is EXCEEDING ABUNDANT. It's exceeding! The Greek word for "exceeding abundant" comes from a Greek word that means to "super abound." God's love is OVER THE TOP, UNDER THE BOTTOM and EXTENDS BEYOND THE SIDES! It's a love that cannot be contained, so that it goes beyond. It overflows. It exceeds.
Do you ever wonder why God changes people's names? The apostle Paul was first a Pharisee, known as Saul of Tarsus. In his writings, Paul claimed that he was a murderer, a "chief sinner" and lest you forget, God hates ALL who work iniquity, right? The Bible says so. That included Saul of Tarsus. If any man exists who God should hate to the highest degree, it would be THE CHIEFEST SINNER! Did the Lord NOT hate a murderer of Christians? When a human being hates something, usually his reaction is to condemn, to kill, to destroy. God has the same goal, but in a much higher way.
God's expression of hate for the sinner is that he does not favour the sinner to REMAIN in sin, and thereby destroys the sinner by creating a new person through the Spirit. The old man being freed from iniquity, removes the wall of partition between man and God by Jesus Christ, leaving a new man because of His love and grace. In other words, God hated the "chief sinner" Saul so much that He put His Holy Spirit into Saul and named him Paul. God utterly consumed and destroyed Saul. He ground Saul into powder. The Lion of Judah crushed Saul under his claw. Then, Paul emerged and was born. God loved Paul.
God sending his Son to redeem us and save us from sin is the ultimate act of hatred against sinners. It is the ultimate rejection of sinners. God hated Saul. God loved Paul. God rejects sinners by healing them of sin. God's hate is so much higher than whatever evil proceeds from the heart of mankind.
Thank God for His LOVE and GRACE, praise His Holy Name!
1 Co 1:25, The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
God hates sinners so much He destroys them by making them His sons and daughters.
Don't let anyone intimidate you into lowering God to their level. Trust Him always.
Making saints of sinners destroys the sinner, God loves the sinner so much that through Jesus Christ His Son He loved the sinner out of them. Would to God we hated the way God hates...we could then love the way He loves.