De-godding God, Sin & Social Evil

Hebrews 1:3 ESV
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high 

Revelation 4:8 ESV
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

2 Timothy 3: 1-5 ESV
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

“When people first sinned against God, God responded by pronouncing death (cf. the repetition of “so-and-so lived so many years, then he died” in Genesis 5). All along the Bible’s storyline, God responds to sin with judgment because he is so deeply offended (e.g., the flood). The sin that above all arouses God’s wrath is idolatry, the de-godding of God. “The Lord your God is a jealous God” because he alone is God. Idolatry is vertical; social sins are horizontal. All social evils exist first and foremost because humans de-god God. Sometimes in our efforts to communicate what Christianity is about we focus on the social structure of sin to show that Christianity is socially relevant, but that misses the heart of what sin really is. Although all the social manifestations of sin are horribly ugly and must be dealt with in their time and place, they must be put within the larger framework of idolatry. That is why when Paul preaches to a pagan crowd in Acts 17, he defines the problem in terms of idolatry—anything that dethrones God, that makes humans the center and removes God from the center. In short: the drama that is unpacked by the developing storyline of the Bible puts at the center of the plot the need to be reconciled to God. And that necessarily returns us to the expiation of sin and the propitiation of God.”

Carson, D.A. (2010-03-01). Scandalous (Re: Lit Books) (Kindle Locations 964-974). Good News Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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About pastorjoehite

Senior Pastor of Valley Fellowship of Yakima
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