GOODNESS AND SEVERITY

T. PIERCE BROWN

In every generation there are those who seem to think they know more about God than is revealed in the Bible. We hear that a loving God could not possibly condemn all the good people who have failed to obey him. For those who are willing to listen, Paul should help to clarify that. ” Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee God’s goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” (Rom.11:22). Throughout the Bible the same picture is presented over and over. Skeptics seem to think that God should make special provisions for them.

In the story of the plagues whenIsraelwas about to come out from Egyptian bondage, those who sprinkled the blood of a lamb on the doorposts were promised that the firstborn in their family would not die. How good a person may have been, or how much his parents had done for suffering humanity, or how high he was in the social structure did not matter. The grace of God was extended to all that would accept it on his terms. One could laugh at the idea that there was any value in the blood, but that did not change God’s decree, nor limit his grace. It seems so evident that one feels almost silly to have to bring it up, but we doubt that one person in a million would assume that putting the blood on the door was a work of merit that earned them the freedom from the death of the firstborn. Nor was anyone of which we hear so blind that they would say, “I accept the fact that the lamb has been slain for me, but since I know that I cannot work myself out of bondage, and that if I am saved from death it will be by God’s grace, so there is no need of my putting the blood on the door posts.” It is amazing almost beyond belief that there are so-called scholars who use that kind of language about our salvation.

T. Pierce Brown

1068 Mitchell Ave.

Cookeville, TN. 38501

e-mail: tpiercebrown@multipro.com

Phone: (615) 528-3600

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