There is also an issue I want to bring up here and that is the fact of God's holiness. Something we cant, maybe even after we give our lives to Christ, always fathom, bc its something we dont possess. Holiness, from what Im beginning to understand, is something God wont compromise on. Holiness mingled with sin is tainted, it isnt holy anymore. There are stipulations as to how God will recieve us. Why would he create a creature he loves with the capacity to reject Him and His ways? Because He can, I guess, is one answer. Another way of thinking about it is that He wanted a very special creation (thats us), one that choses to love Him back simply because He is who He says He is. Who is willing to trust Him and get to know Him on His terms. God, being the creator, has that kind of special sovereign privilege (is that spelled right). Once sin was found (how it got there is debated in christian circles, original sin is for another thread I guess), I see it as if God said 'Well, lets run with this. I want to demonstrate my love, mercy
, grace, righteousness, justice, sovereignty
etc... Ive got a plan' Or another way of understanding is to say that God had a plan all along. He knew that if he made us this way, with the capacity to choose him or anything else that we would choose anything and everything else... and from the very beginning of creation he had this plan. I kind of also see it as if God created us but maybe with something missing, that holiness, he created us as flesh and blood with the ability to fail, not imperfect, not as defective already, but with the ability to fail.. and we did, and we do on a very regular basis. This is where free will comes is, but yes I also think it was part of God's design, His plan. He created us with the ability to seek Him out or go our own way. Yes He loves us all, and wills that we should all love Him back and know Him the way He knows us (or get to know
Him bc it aint gonna happen in an instant
). He didnt leave it up to guesswork on our part, He wants to reveal
who He is to us... We have absolutely no ability to know Him apart
from Him showing Himself to us. Sin comes from wanting to know Him but really wanting nothing to do with Him (or saying we want to know him but really not wanting to know once he's revealed it to you), from completely ignoring Him, rejecting Him. The absense of God is sin... And all kinds of evil flow from a heart that was created to know Him but rejects Him, because he gave us the ability to be creative we create all kinds of ways of doing all kinds of things but in doing all that, without Him guiding us and correcting us along the way, we inevitably create evil ourselves. So evil doesnt come from God, it comes from an absense of Him. He did create us with the ability to do all sorts of things without Him. Its only in going along with Him do we learn that without
Him all kinds of evil, sin, and such exist. Evil didnt originate with God, evil originates from the creativity God has given us and the powerful imagination He's given us, we do it by rejecting Him. Not Him. That is part of what I find so amazing about how He created us. With all these amazing abilities to do so much even without Him, but once we start talking about who He is we dont want Him. That he's so patient with us, I find that amazing.
The bible teaches that all have gone astray and that even our goodness is like filthy rags in His sight. Its because only in Him is there any potential for goodness. What Im saying is that I think we think we know what goodness is, and what God is saying is 'you have an idea but you really dont have a clue. You think you know what goodness is and how to do good, but you really dont, let me show you.' He doesnt look at the outward things, He looks at the depths of our hearts, something we dont really have the ability to do, altho we think we do. But I bet we find ourselves doing something small, a little white lie and justify it, but up there I said something about holiness, and if you mix holiness with even a little bit of sin, it isnt holy anymore. Just like heaven, God wont compromise on this one thing. He'll bear with us patiently while we learn, while he tries to reach us, but if he lets us into heaven with even the tiniest bit of sin it wont be heaven anymore. (thats what the link talks about in the first post I made in this thread). So, what He's done is sent His son, the perfect sinless One, to take our punishment, to be rejected instead of us. The remaining time we have after accepting the gift of salvation is 1) to continue to be humbled and learn God's ways, often failing but ever forgiven and ever learning, and 2) call others to Christ. To go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. The full gospel. Covering sin, hell, God's love, atonement, the cross, the need for repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
So many words... I hope some of it made some kind of sense.