Different Gods?

For the past couple of weekends, I got to preach over what is probably my favorite topic to teach: The Bible...

The whole thing.

Two weeks ago I preached on the Story of the Old Testament, and this past week I talked about the Story of the New Testament. I had a blast (If you're interested in the sermons, you can check them out online).

One of the things I got to say this week in the first service but didn't mention in the second service was about something a lot of people struggle with: the misconception that the God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament.

Have you ever wondered about that?

At first glance, the God of the Old Testament seems to be a God of anger, punishment, and judgment while the God of the New Testament seems to be a God of grace, love, and mercy. What gives?

Christ gives.

In the Old Testament, God was speaking most often to a group of stiff-necked people who continually rejected His provision. They were prodigal people who thumbed their nose at God every chance they got. As a perfect God, God must always judge sin. Sin is serious business.

The good news of the New Testament is that God sent His Son to take the judgment we prodigal people deserved. At the cross, He took the judgment of God on sin upon Himself.

Most of the New Testament is written to the Church - people who have trusted Christ as their satisfactory payment before God. For those who have trusted Christ, we don't have to live in anticipation of God's judgment; Christ took it on the cross.

When you get to Revelation, God begins dealing with those who have rejected Him again, and begins dealing with them in the same way He dealt with people in the Old Testament: treating sin with the seriousness it deserves.

The God of the New Testament is the same as the God of the Old Testament. The difference is where we stand in relationship to the cross.


Kara said...

Love the last sentence...sums it up perfectly!

might have to quote you on the one day :)