I was thinking…

March 16, 2007

The Bible is pretty clear that God cannot be in the presence of sin.  He is holy and does not tolerate it.  We talked about it in worship band practise tonight.  I’m pretty sure that this is a basic and adhered to principle in terms of Christian thought.  If someone wants to question this then I’ll go to the Word and give you some actual examples (assuming they’re there).

Here’s the thing.  Let’s assume that this is true for a few moments.  If God cannot tolerate sin or be in the presence of sin, how does he tolerate the earth or humanity in general.  Something is missing here and to be honest, I’m not sure I know.  God has the characteristic of being everywhere.  Yet the earth is plagued by sin.  Even Christians (in whom God presides by his Holy Spirit – – and the Holy Spirit is fully God, right?) sin, daily…often hourly.  How can we say on the one hand that God cannot be in the presence of sin and then on the other hand say that God lives is us.  Something is messed up here – – trying to figure it out – – any wisdom to offer?

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5 Responses to “I was thinking…”

  1. jt* said

    not to mention the fact that he took on flesh and for 30 some odd years was surrounded by sin.

  2. CHRIS C said

    I think about things too. I recentaly thought about how I should get a new hoodie.

  3. Katy said

    jt*- thanks for that reminder. It is astounding that God took on human flesh.

    The wording of your comment made me think of something. Orthodox Christianity holds that Jesus was:

    “the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; ‘like us in all things but sin.'” (Council of Chalcedon)

    So, one little tangential note- If Jesus was “fully human” but was also “without sin” (Heb. 4:15), then it means that his human flesh was not sinful.

    But in his perfect “God-ness” and in his sinless humanity, Christ did walk on our earth and touch and hug and eat with sinful people day and night for 30+ years. Which really is mind-blowing when I read things like:

    “Then Moses, Aaron … [and] the leaders of Israel went up the mountain … And though [they] saw God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they shared a meal together in God’s presence!” (Ex. 24:9,11)

    The author sounds surprised that they were not destroyed, and even more so that they shared a meal with God. (The exclamation mark is the author’s not mine.)

    So, this really doesn’t answer your question Jay. I guess I’m just saying, “yeah, how does that work?”

  4. Ian said

    I’m not sure if we need to know how “it works”…our response should simply be that of gratitude. Sin and evil were not created by God or are of God. Yet it is through the self-giving love of the Trinity that we are deemed as the objects of love as opposed to objects of wrath.

    It is incredible to think about the humanity of Christ (the ultimate example of self-giving love) and the fact that salvation is only made possible through God becoming man.

    (this is Lauren by the way…nice blog Jay!)

  5. James said

    Sorry I’m way behind on this but I just found the blog.

    I think the cross answers once and for all that God has freely chosen to come to us in our sin, and has overcome it. I mean, he didn’t just take on flesh, he allowed himself to be killed by us, and surely there is no greater sin than the fact that God came to earth and we rejected and killed him. But even this didn’t deter him from being present among us (even among the disciples who all fled from him). To me that says that there is no sin or sinner so vile that they are actually removed from God’s presence. Yes, God can’t tolerate sin, and there are consequences to that reality, but Jesus has dealt with them on the cross.

    Now, I think there are still consequences in our walk with Christ if we remain unrepentant about our sin (ie. grieving the Spirit), but there is still that bottom line of the cross which says that God has chosen to be present, even though he hates it.

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