Friday, March 31, 2006

Lecture XIII and XVI

XIII.4. "Jesus then really suffered for all men; for the Cross was no illusion, otherwise our redemption is an illusion also." I believe that I oftentimes have forgotten that Jesus genuinely suffered on the behalf and betterment of mankind. Perhaps this error occurs in our thought because we have a hard time balancing the Cross in light of an all-powerful God. It is all too easy to assume that just because God is all-powerful that means something is "easy" and that nothing is "challenging" for God; in one sense this is true but in another sense it is false. Another reason I think we have found it difficult to identify Jesus' suffering is due in part to our taboo regarding suffering. Our current characterization of suffering is that it is evil, evil, evil, and that it ought to be avoided at all costs. For some reason we are entirely antagonistic of suffering; we avoid it like our grandmother's fruitcake during holidays.

XVI.2. "Let us then speak concerning the Holy Ghost nothing but what is written; and whatsoever is not written, let us not busy ourselves about it." I shudder to think how often I have spoken loosed lipped when dealing with knowledge of the Holy; it is frightening and convicting to think about.

XVI.10. "Let us hate them who are worthy of hatred; let us turn away from them from whom God turns away; let us also ourselves say unto God with all boldness concering all heretics, Do not I hate them, O Lord, Thine enemies? For there is also an enmity which is right, according as it is written, I will put enmity between thee and her seed; for friendship with the serpent works enmity with God, and death." I could be mistake, but the first part sure is fierce; he uses some serious language. I am not entirely sure how to take that; hate is something I have a very difficult time wrapping my brain and soul around. That God has enemies, it is tragic to think about such things. It breaks my heart to think about anyone at enmity with God; as Charles Spurgeon once said, "Spit on me, but, oh, repent! Laugh at me, but, oh, believe in my Master! Make my body as the dirt of the streets, but damn not your own souls!"


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