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Word For The Week

Thought for the Week

Although it feels a very long time ago now, the Black Lives Matter protests of last summer brought the issue of justice to the fore. Those protesting in America and elsewhere quite rightly wanted justice to be equal and proportional, regardless of someone’s skin colour. Although it may not affect many of us here, it’s something I think we can all understand. We all want justice to be fairly administered, we want to see wrong things righted and those who are guilty punished. But what about when it is us who are the guilty party?

Question 18: Will God allow our disobedience and idolatry to go unpunished?
Answer: No, God is righteously angry with our sins and will punish them both in this life, and in the life to come.

Because God made the world, he set the rules and the way things should be. Humanity has consistently and wilfully lived in opposition to God’s rule, choosing to rebel against God and his good ways. This is what we call sin, as we have been thinking about for the last few weeks. If we broke the law in this country, we’d expect there to be consequences, and the same is true when we break God’s rule. God is angry with sin and will punish sin in this life and the next. But notice the very careful language of our catechism. God is angry with our sins. God is love and God loves his creation, yet God is also rightfully angry with our sins. As one person pithily puts it: “God hates sin but loves the sinner.” And so God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross to take the sins of the world, so that all who trust in him might have Jesus take their sins rather than bear them themselves. This is how God can be a God who is just and cares about justice, while also forgiving the sinner. It’s why anyone can come to God, regardless of what they’ve done. God punishes sin and maintains justice, but God loves the sinner and has made a way for all of us to dwell with him.

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