Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Radio Preacher

Today I hear a radio preacher preaching about the cross and using a kind of credit card theology to express what God was doing on Calvary.  At times we preachers need to step back and listen to some of the creative things we come up with to illustrate divine work.  Being one who has pulled some ridiculous and strange illustrations out the homiletical hat enables me to recognize one when I hear it.  As the preacher talked about the sin transaction which took place on the cross, he said that God took the debt on our credit card and canceled and put it on Jesus' account.  Now, I understand what he was trying to say and why he was using the credit card idea, but it just did not float.  At least not for me.
While there is some debt business being transacted on the cross, it is not exactly like transferring credit card balances to someone else's card.  Actually, the cross has always seemed to be about the integrity of God.  The one thing God cannot do is to lie.  Maybe, cannot is the wrong word.  Maybe it is more accurate to say that one thing God will not do is lie.  He will not be untrue to Who He is and what He has said.  In the creation He brought into being is the gift of free choice.  We can decide to do what the Creator wants us to do or we can choose to ignore it.  We can choose the unholy way of sin or we can choose the holy way of obedience.  Both decisions have consequences.  The first leads to death and the second to life.  

When we choose to sin, we choose separation from God and His holiness.  What does God do?  Does He wink at our sin and tell us that it is ok?  Does He make light of it?  No, instead He provided a costly way for us to be reconciled to Him even though we chose to sin while at the same time maintaining His own integrity as a trustworthy and faithful God.  He sent His Son to die, to take upon Himself what we rightly deserve for our sins.  In doing so we are reminded that our sin is costly serious business and not to be taken lightly.  A death has taken place for us.  Because of that death we are again enabled to live as we were created to live.

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