Whose Side is Who On?
The gospel is marvelous. Christ died in our place on the cross. He took our sin upon himself, bore our punishment, and rose again so that we might be justified and reconciled to God. Instead of being God’s enemies, because of the work of Christ, he is always for is. What wonderful, life-changing truth!
The Good and the Bad
Recently, I have noticed a few people who have unrepentant sin in their lives use the Bible to prove that they are right and that those who are trying to help them are wrong. The Bible is used to show that they are good and that those who are opposed to what they are doing are being cruel, nasty, and judgmental. They are good, the other people are bad. So how is it possible to go from being broken about our sin to having the prideful attitude that we are in the right?
A Deluded Heart
Somewhere along the way, they have stopped dealing with their hearts. They have allowed sin to remain and have been unwilling to live in God’s way. Perhaps someone hurt them and they refused to forgive and speak to the person. Perhaps they got weary of suffering and became resentful. It is usually in these areas that the process starts, and then it grows to such an extent that they are deceived about their spiritual condition. Eventually, their hearts are deluded and they manage to persuade themselves that whatever they are doing is not so bad. They may even say that God told them to do it.
There is Only One Side
This made me think about how easy it is to think that God is on our side. Please do not misunderstand me, in Christ, he is for us. But this does not mean that he is for everything that we do. He does not give us unconditional backing and approval for unrepentant sin.
Years ago I was struck by this when I read Joshua 5:13-15. As Joshua was about to enter the Promised Land, as commissioned by God, he asked the Commander of the Lord’s army if he was on the side of the Israelites or on the side of their enemies. The answer was, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord.” Joshua learned that he had to be on God’s side, seen in his response of humble worship.
Isaiah had a similar experience when he saw the Lord sitting on his throne. Seeing the holy God made him realize his sinfulness and his lost condition. He cried out to the Lord and was cleansed of his sin.
We Are On God’s Side
These passages came to mind this morning as I read Galatians 1:4. Jesus gave Himself for our sins, according to the will of the Father, so that we may be delivered from this present evil age. We have been justified and reconciled to God through Christ. He is for us and the reason for this is to rescue us from evil. Through Christ we are on God’s side, having been rescued from evil so that we may live for His glory.