Tuesday, August 28, 2012

God Does Not Punish His Children

Jesus didn't go around punishing people for sin even if the law said to do so. The predominant view of God today is that Jesus would have cast the first stone & all of the stones. But the truth is He loves people and doesn't hold sins against us.

Religion wants you to believe that God is a good God when it pictures Him abusing His children with guilt, shame, & sickness. That somehow "holy" means quick to anger, easily offended, and vindictive. If God's love & goodness is unrecognizable as love or goodness to mankind then the gospel isn't good news, it is non-sense. God is love, the bible defines love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. God is patient, kind, unarrogant, He does not seek His own, He is not easily provoked, He does not take into account wrongs suffered, & He does not rejoice in unrighteousness (not even in punishing it), but rejoices with the truth.
Perfect love cast out fear because fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). God is perfect love, if we think He punishes us then we aren't understanding His perfect love. If you think God punishes you then I implore you to explore His perfect love more.

Suffering does not equal punishment from God and neither does discipline or persecution. Punishment is "a penalty imposed for wrongdoing." Christian persecution usually comes from the consequences of right doing. Persecution and suffering can come from doing good things for God's sake & that doesn't mean God is abusing His children. It is just the world responding with hostility to God.

Paul says in Colossians 1:24, "I am happy about my sufferings for you, for by means of my physical sufferings I am helping to complete what still remains of Christ's sufferings on behalf of his body, the assembly." This is about living sacrificially for others out of love. God is loving His people through Paul and that love involves suffering for the sake of others, not getting beaten up by God for God's sick pleasure. Paul chose to put himself in danger for the love of Christ and for the love of others. Jesus did the same thing for the love of the Father and for the love of us.

It pleased the Lord to bruise Jesus (Isaiah 53:10) not because God gets sick pleasure from beating up His kids but because it served a purpose of greater love. God was pleased to bruise Jesus like a surgeon is pleased to cut someone open and remove a tumor. Christ took the beating that sin would give us to condemn sin so it would not be a barrier for mankind and God any more. God doesn't love abuse but He does love to free people from abuse. Christ offers freedom from the abuse of sin.

Some think God chastening is God punishing. The Greek word behind "chastening" does not mean punishing. It is the word usually translated as discipline and means help grow, teach, train, nurture, "the whole training and education of a child." God does not punish His children, He corrects them with truth for their benefit. [More on God's Discipline]

GOD CHOSE TO LOVE YOU AS A PERSON OVER PUNISHING YOU FOR YOUR ACTIONS. Thinking you've been good enough to deserve the goodness of God totally misses the point of the cross. On the other side of the coin, anyone thinking that bad things are happening in their lives because God is punishing them for something bad they've done is also missing the point of the cross. The point was not Him hating sin. The point was Him loving you. It's not, "For God so hated sin.." but "For God so loved the world.."

Most Christians think God's punishment is to make you feel really bad (shameful, guilty) about what you've done. God created mankind to be loved not to be punished. Jesus came to take away our sins. Shame, guilt, & condemnation should not be a part of a Christian's life in any way. When you are not judging yourselves in light of the finished work of the cross (free from sin, accepted, loved), you will still experience the punishing effects of sin (rejection, shame, condemnation). Even If you are deceived, ignorant, or ignoring you will live what you believe. If you believe God punishes you then you will label your own feelings of shame, guilt, depression, failure, dissatisfaction, etc as "God's discipline" or "God's punishment." Whether it is true or not you will live what you believe. Believe in His love! Trust in His love! He is love! He is The Truth! HIS LOVE IS TRUE FOR YOU!

Related Posts
The Discipline of the Lord, Our Loving Father Helping Us Grow
Suffering is Not God's Punishment
Christian Persecution & America

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