In our weekly bible class in the church that my wife and I attend, I make it a point to teach from the Bible. In context, looking at the relevant meaning to the listeners of what the passage or topic would understand at the time of writing, and what we can know that GOD is saying to us today. Just so you have a complete picture of what I try to do every week, I cede to what the Bible says, not my opinion, or what I want it to say.
Every few weeks, as we inevitably re-state the Gospel message, repent of your sins, and believe in Jesus, the cross, and the fact that GOD poured out His wrath onto Jesus at the that time, numerous objections and comments fly from the same guys in class. Every time. “So, you mean that GOD killed GOD”? Yes. And this one, “GOD would never pour out His wrath on His own Son, you are separating GOD! GOD is love! It was the burden of sin that killed Jesus”! Do any of you agree with these guys?
My response? Well, I decided it is time to switch gears a bit, and systematically teach about sin, its origin, history, nature, effect, and GOD’s attitude towards it as well as HIS ultimate response. I’m not going to reteach it here, if you want to know, go grab a good systematic theology, sit down for a couple of weeks and work it out.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. –George Bernard Shaw
Here is what I have noticed about these men, and then plenty of other people in general, when the topic of sin comes up. They don’t like it. They don’t like talking about it, and they really don’t like what the Bible has to say about the effects and our responsibility to sin.
Real quick. Everyone is a sinner. The wages of sin is death. GOD is righteous. He makes the rules. He doesn’t make us sin. We are held responsible for our actions. What we do counts. Adam stood silently beside Eve during the conversation with the serpent and did NOTHING. Nothing to stop it, nothing to rebuke the serpent, to stand for GOD, and his Word, or to protect his wife.
Therefore, we men have followed our first father down that path ever since. There, I did teach a little about it. What does all this have to do with these guys in my class? A lot. Their lives fully reflect their understanding, and willingness to submit their lives to GOD. They blame everyone and everything else for whatever predicament or situation that they happen to be in. They think GOD is somehow responsible for their sin.
So do a lot of you.
So, where did this lack of understanding come from? Poor teaching, and an apathy to crack open the Bible on their own and actually read it. Oh yes, pride and arrogance as well. I once fell into both categories in my youth and ignorance, until a good man took me under his wing and taught me the Gospel in its truth and entirety, and taught me how to read and study GOD’s word. Church needs to do a better job of this. Some do, many don’t. More importantly, men need to do a better job with this. It is your and my responsibility as grown men to stop being spoon fed babies, grow up, and take responsibility. Read your Bible. Learn what it says!
Let GOD be GOD.
Act like a man and put your big boy pants on. Really. When men start reading their Bible, and learn who GOD is, and actually begin to listen, things change. Immediately and powerfully! Try it, you might like it.
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13