A.W. Tozer on a well-balanced view of God:[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/visit.php?lid=2310]The Faithfulness of God by A.W. Tozer[/url]In this sermon A.W Tozer rebukes the magnification of one aspect of God to the diminishing of another. The following is an excerpt from the sermon:1) "... if God is 'all Justice' then we have a God of Terror and we flee from Him in great fright. There was a time when the church swung over to 'hell and judgment and sin' and all that. And, we rather tremble when we think of how the church went through this period, when about all she talked about was the justice of God. And so God was looked upon as a tyrant and the universe was a kind of a totalitarian state, with God at the top ruling with a rod of iron. But if we think only of the justice of God, that's the concept we'll have.2) "And, over on the other side is a reaction from that; came the time, when we only thought about God as being 'Love,' God is love is our main text now and so we have not God the Terror but we have a sentimental spineless God, the God of the Christian Scientists (Universalism). God is love and love is God and all is love and all is God and God is all and all is God. Pretty soon we haven't got a thing left but a lot of 'spun-candy' (cotton candy?) that you buy at the circuses. That's all we have is sweetness and nothing but sweetness because you've magnified the love of God without remembering that God is just. 3) "Or, if we make God 'All Good' then we have the weak sentimentalist [God] of the modernist and the liberal. The God of the liberalist and the modernist is not the God of the bible because in order to get the God they get they have to get rid of most everything that God did in the Old Testament. God couldn't make the sun stand still, He couldn't send fire on Sodom and Gomorrah; they say that was just 'nature.' And, God couldn't send a flood upon the ungodly; they say that's just an overflow -- we just had a little flood there, you know [...] So in order to make room for God that's nothing but 'good' -- just stands up there or sits up there in a great glob of goodness. They (the modernists and liberals) had to get rid of most everything that God ever did by way of justice. 4) "And then if we make Him all the 'God of grace and nothing else', and fundamentalism over the past 50 years has made God practically a God of 'grace and nothing else'. And, so we have a God who cannot see moral distinctions. And, because God cannot see moral distinctions, why, His church has been unable to see moral distinctions! And, instead of a separated holy church we have a church that's so geared into the world you can't tell one from the other! It's because grace has been so preached, that is was said of a certain great english preacher, that he preached grace in such a manner as to lower the moral standards of England. It's entirely possible to preach grace in the church until we become as arrogant and brazen as can be! Forgetting that grace is ONE of the attributes of God but not all. 5) "Forgetting that while God is a God of grace He is also a God of justice and a God of holiness and a God of truth! Well, God will always be true to His creatures because He's a faithful God. Faithlessness is one of the greatest sources of heartache and misery in all the world and God will never be faithless, He cannot be." (His faithfulness means He never changes but always remains perfectly the same.)
I think this thread is closing in on agreeable middle ground. boG and MJones have considered the problem from two different angles. The problem is the lack of respect for a holy God and the holy living He desires we live.Considering where boG lives, it makes sense that he would be a little more sensitive to the wrath that will be displayed against such blatant sin. I on the other hand, considering where I live, am more sensitive to the fact that there are so many in church who live too much like the world.I can speak more from my perspective as boG has spoken more from his. My perspective comes from 30 years of trying to please God, but I have to admit, no matter how hard I tried, I could not live perfect before Him. One of the reactions to failure is more resolve not to fail. Part of that resolve, in addition to all the personal things you do to guard against future failures, is to be more vocal against the sin that distracted you. Somehow we feel it proves to God how serious we are. But in 30 years of effort, I say you cannot of your own will and determination, live holy before God.A few years ago when I came to the end of myself, God stirred me to seek Him as I never had before. After a couple of years of this seeking, it pleased Him to hasten the seeking process by allowing a storm to blow through my life. It became a refining fire that at first burned away impurities. But for two years, this fire continues to burn. Where once it burned away sin, now it burns Him in. At first I sought relief. But as time went on, He challenged me to trust that He would sustain. In this process of seeking and staying close to Him, I realized I had found Him as never before. The closer I got to Him, the more of Him I wanted. I began to notice as I was full of Him, the distractions of sin were no longer distractions. There was no capacity for sin.It is in that light that I put so much emphasis on knowing Him. When you know Him personally to this extent, you become most aware of His love. It is the only thing in all my Christian walk that has empowered me against the stronghold of sin. Where the fear of wrath never could, His love did.Though there is the need of being aware of both the wrath and the love of God, from a personal point of view, in the midst of a fire that continues to refine, I am overwhelmed by a sense of His love more so than His wrath. Personally, because of this experience, I lean more toward the love of God as the most compelling reason to give our lives to Him, while at the same time, at least aware of the wrath that awaits those who do not.
Thank you for your responses MJones, I honestly enjoy them and I find a kindred beauty in all of your words that I share in my own heart.
Where once it burned away sin, now it burns Him in. [...] The closer I got to Him, the more of Him I wanted. I began to notice as I was full of Him, the distractions of sin were no longer distractions. There was no capacity for sin.
It is the only thing in all my Christian walk that has empowered me against the stronghold of sin. Where the fear of wrath never could, His love did.
Though there is the need of being aware of both the wrath and the love of God, from a personal point of view, in the midst of a fire that continues to refine, I am overwhelmed by a sense of His love more so than His wrath. Personally, because of this experience, I lean more toward the love of God as the most compelling reason to give our lives to Him, while at the same time, at least aware of the wrath that awaits those who do not.
"the OVERWHELMING message both of the Bible and of Christians at all times has been the LOVE of God."
I have to say that at first I chose not to reply to this thread for several reasons. It seemed a little radical, I had never zeroed in on that subject and it was far from what I was curently experiencing. But, something drew me to it. Though I don't intend to launch a study into the subject, I will at least now have the subject in mind as I read. I do not regret at all the participation in the discussion. At first I wondered if it was not the 'useless arguments' that we are warned to avoid, but good has come out of it. I am glad, if for no other reason, to see that there is a kindred spirit as you pointed out. We have approached the same burden from different ends.It is rare to find people who have an appreciaton for the deaper things of God and the capacity to discuss them. That is the one thing I have enjoyed about this forum. Though I do not know anyone personally, I have been able to communicate with those, like yourself, who are like minded.I am ready to let the topic rest, but look forward to conversing about other topics. I started a thread the other day, 'your ministry', in an attempt to get some of us who obviously know and walk with God, to tell of how He has used the different gifts He has given us to build His church. I have come to enjoy and have had many opportunity's given to talk with people one on one. It is almost as if I am so full of Him, that He simply comes out in conversations that I have. I have developed a passion for writing. Again, even in that I find one on one oportunities as I enjoy writing letters and emails. It is low key, but He is using it. It is cool. So far, I don't think anyone has picked up on what I was after. I thought it would be good for many to see the different ways God is using those who walk with Him. If you feel so led, I would feel honored if you would be the first to give a brief discription of 'your ministry'. It is in General Topics in case it interests you. Don't worry if it does not.One final point of clarification on the original purpose of this thread.
boG wrote: My point, if we "say we have no sin" or imply "that we can no longer sin" (before the soon coming Day) then we deny the commands to be on guard against sin and remain vigilant.I try to choose my words carefully, but to claim I have 'no capcity to sin', was a poor choice of words. Maybe in comparison to the struggle that was present at times before, it could be viewed as not having a capacity. But it would be more correct to say that the capacity for sin, or maybe even more acurate to say the lure of sin, has been greatly diminished. Without a doubt, sin has lost its pull. I think you quoted part of the verse that states, he who sufferred in the flesh is done with sin. (I am going from memory, I hope it is close) I have suffered a fiery trial. It has burned away sin and continues to burn Him in. My struggle is not with the pleasures of sin, it is more to maintain my focus on God and the truths He has given me to believe, as satan does his best to distract, disceive and discourage. Without a doubt, I have been challenged to trust. It requires an ever so close walk with God. _________________Mike Jones
It seemed a little radical
Spurgeon said this, "The love of God therefore existed before there was any good thing in man, and if you tell me that God loved men because of the foresight of some good thing in them, I again reply to that, that the same thing cannot be both cause and effect. Now it isquite certain that any virtue which there may be in any man is the result of Gods grace. Now if it be the result of grace it cannot be the cause of grace. It is utterly impossible that an effect should have existed before a cause; but Gods love existed before mans goodness, therefore that goodness cannot be a cause."
This is a question of "virtue" is it not? I ask, is man being created in the image and likeness of God considered a moral quality?
I posted a question to your quote of Spurgeon on the thread, I ask if you would please respond and make your concerns known so that if there is any danger I have not been careful to observe that you might urge caution to others to protect us all from foul doctrines. Thanks for the caution.
As usual, when things like this come up, we who have the status of 'not too shy to talk' and above enjoy weighing in. I think God may even enjoy what His kids have to say.But again, as usual, once the dust settles and all are quiet, God enjoys speaking. This thought came to me this morning while I was getting ready for the day. 'While we were yet sinners, He died for us.' It seemed His 2 cents toward the issue.Abe_Juliot, I didn't so much think of this as addressing your point, but I do think it somewhat relates. I'll include the entire verse.Romans 5:6-8You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man, some might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.