As I brought to them all the Evil,
so I will bring to you all the Good.
By: Oshea Davis
[- This sermon is part of my Yale project in transcribing previously unpublished Christology Jonathan Edwards sermons. As an example for today, this sermon is an attempt to write modern day sermons patterned after these; I do this in hope to inspire the legacy of the Christ-centered and Christ-supremacy preaching of Jonathan Edwards in the hearts of my peers. - ]
For thus says the LORD: 'Just
as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring
on them all the good that I have promised them.
Jeremiah's timeline is during of the last good king of Judah, Josiah, and
through the captivity of Jerusalem by Babylon.
He came from a priestly class in a levitical town Anathoth. He did not marry and faithfully prophesied
approx. 42 years. During this time the
Assyrian empire was crumbling and Babylon was taking advantage of this by
conquering the Assyrians and the surrounding kingdoms. Israel has already been
carried off and scattered, and Jerusalem is weakened from the wars and paying
tribute to Assyria for many years.
It is herein God calls Jeremiah to prophesy to a people who are facing
imminent punishment. God calls his people to repent and face the punishment of
their God, for if they do, the punishment will not be so severe; but if they
continue in unrepentance the punishment will be even more severe. Their sins have already reached the breaking
point and there is no turning God's punishment. Jeremiah prays for mercy for
the people but God replies back: "The LORD said to me,
"Do not pray for these people anymore," (14:11).
Furthermore, (15:1-3) "The LORD said to me,
"Even if Moses and Samuel
stood before Me, My mind would not
be favorable toward this
people. And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction," says the LORD: "the sword to slay,
the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to
devour."" Jeremiah, understanding the inevitable punishment and the weight
of his brethren persecuting him for these prophecies sorrows in despair, "Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me, a man of
strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent for
interest, nor have men lent to me for interest. Every one of them curses me."
Under this weight of sorrow, God
speaks to Jeremiah about the restoration and redemption of His people in the
future in chapters 31-32. It is in
context we read the following:
I will give them one heart and one
way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children
after them. 'And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not
turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that
they will not depart from Me. 'Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good,
and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My
soul.' "For thus says the LORD: 'Just as I have brought all this great
calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have
Then God tells Jeremiah the assurance
of this redemption in the next chapter by revealing the good of the people
hinges on the messiah, or the Branch of Righteousness from David. The surety of
the Messiah fulfilling His role as redeemer is as sure as God's covenant with
the day and night:
Behold, the days are coming,' says the
LORD, 'that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house
of Israel and to the house of Judah: 15 'In those days and at that time I will
cause to grow up to David a Branch of Righteousness; He shall execute judgment
and righteousness in the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, And
Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be
called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.' 17 "For thus says the LORD: 'David
shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 'nor
shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me,
to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.' 19 "And the word of the LORD came to
Jeremiah, saying, 20 "Thus says the LORD: 'If you can break My covenant
with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and
night in their season, 21 'then My covenant may also be broken with David My
As much detail as the Almighty used to punish the
wicked He will, for Christ's sake, use as much detail and sovereign power to
perform great good to the Elect.
What we have here is the considering of how detailed and sovereign God is
in punishing the wicked so that the saints from this perspective might be
encouraged to see how detailed and sovereign God will be in performing the
mercy and goodness to them in Christ.
Therefore, we will investigate three things:
I. How Jesus is the dividing line of these two groups.
II. How detailed and sovereign God is in punishing unbelievers.
III. How detailed and sovereign God is in giving grace to the elect.
I. How is Jesus the dividing line of these two
First. Simeon the priest
spoke about Christ as the dividing line where good falls on one group and evil
to the other in Luke 2:34 when it reads, "Behold,
this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel." Jesus spoke about Himself in a similar way
in, NLT Luke 20:17-18, "The stone
rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone.' All who stumble over
that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone on whom it falls."
Those who reject are crushed, but those that stand on this stone will find
safety and salvation. And so the prophet
Isaiah foretold this, NLT Isaiah 28:16, "This
is what the Sovereign LORD says: "Look! I am placing a foundation stone in
Jerusalem. It is firm, a tested and precious cornerstone that is safe to build
on." An antitype can be seen when the red sea parted: for them that trusted
the LORD they found a safety and a firm footing, but for the wicked they found
a wall of stone that crushed them to powder.
Second. Paul in Romans 3:25-26
tells us that even the past saints who believed in the LORD did so upon the
mercy of God's restraint, waiting upon the propitiation of Christ's future
death. "God set forth [Jesus] as a
propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness,
because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously
committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might
be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." And so Paul tells us that when we preach
Christ that, NIV 2 Corinthians 2:15-16, "we are to God the aroma of Christ among
those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the
smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life." Here Christ is the dividing line where
through belief one is an aroma of sweet life and where through unbelief another
becomes an aroma of death.
There is no neutral ground for
as Jesus Christ said you are either with Him or against Him: Luke 11:23 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he
who does not gather with Me scatters." If you are not with Jesus you
actively "scatter" against Him.
Third. Jesus is the apple of
God's eye; He is the eternally begotten Son of the invisible God. Jesus is the perfect, infinite, beautiful
image of His Father. Doubtless God loves
His own glory, and so He loves the perfect image of His glory. How great
will be the Father's love to them that love His Beloved, and how terrible will
be His wrath to them that reject His Beloved.
The Father's love for His Son is the original, eternal, and infinite Love.
It is the fount of all love and goodness. No love to any created thing comes to
it without it starting in this infinite personal love of the Father to the Son.
From this eternal spring all love originates and to which all goodness and love
finds as its last ending place.
This is why the apostle speaks of the pots of destruction and mercy in
Romans 9; he is showing how the vessels of wrath make known God's power and
heightens the mercy given to the vessels of mercy, but the vessels of mercy are
fruits of Christ's death, being imaged after Him. "Christ is the head of the church, the firstborn from the dead, that in
all things He may have the preeminence." And so the reason the Christ is
the dividing line of all public good and judgment is to illuminate the
centrality of His preeminence.
The Father always seeing the image of His Son before Himself, in this
light through reflex, made the world for Jesus as a gift; this is why Christ is
exalted with the public Preeminence and Supremacy and why all things are summed
up in Him as the apostle tells in Ephesians 1:10, for the world was given to
the Son for His public supremacy. And
the Son being the image of the Father, His exultation is the Father's.
By the Father's design Christ is the public
central axis upon which all good is given (whether elect Saints or angels) for
Christ's Name, and likewise to which all judgment is given for the public
supremacy of Christ's Name.
Fourth. For the elect Christ
has already died; He has already paid His blood to His Father, and the Father
has already accepted His blood for the churches redemption, depositing its
merits into their accounts at a definite time and definite place. Jesus has already had the sin of the church
confessed upon Him and He has already suffered outside the gate. Christ has already been exalted to the
Father's right hand and has already been interceding for His bride. He is already in authority to see to it that all,
whom He died for, will be with Him in the last day. And so the assurance of the elect receiving
all the good Christ intended is as sure as the sun running the course of its
Therefore, since the love of the Father to His Son is vindicated in the
greatness of the public supremacy which His Son receives through the vessels of
wrath and mercy, then doubtless the greatness of the wrath for the one will be endless
as the mercy to the other will be so. This leads us to the next point of
II. How detailed and sovereign
God is in punishing the wicked.
First. Our text shows God is a God of vengeance, for it is He who claims
responsibility for the evil or calamity which has and will happen to Jerusalem:
as I have brought all this great calamity on this people. & Nahum 1:2, "God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious.
The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His
Second. (1.) God is the-ultimate, primary, and metaphysical-judge and
punisher. Although God used secondary instruments such as the Babylon to be the
physical hands that cut down and bind up, yet they also are under God's
sovereignty and causality in it. Just as
the axe in the hand of an executioner did the beheading yet it was done "by"
the executioner. And so, even secondary instruments are created by God, upheld
by God, have their own hearts moved by God (Prov.21:1) and therefore, secondary
causes do not distance God from being the primary or metaphysical author of
evil; but He is not the direct author of it in the since of doing it for evil
sake as man does. God decrees and
orchestrates evil for His glory and the good of His saints; we do evil for the
sake of evil. God is not responsible for
evil, because He is not accountable, for responsible presupposes
accountability. God is responsible for
evil though in the since of orchestrating it metaphysically.
Indeed, God is the metaphysical author of evil in the sense of decreeing
it and orchestrating it into being.
But He is not the author of evil in the
sense of doing evil.
God gave the dreams to Joseph, which was the tipping point of his
brothers wanting to kill him (Genesis 37:5, 8).
They were not mad enough to kill him, until something happened. But God needed them to be, for He had a plan
to save many through Joseph. The dreams
were one thing to bring this about, which were God's doing. God, in this light, does not merely use or
allow things in motion, but rather, causes or orchestrates them into
being. Who is it but God who must uphold
the devil into metaphysical being? Who
is it who sustains our tongues into being as we use them for evil? Who turns the heart like waters to any
direction, even to evil? (Proverbs 21:1).
Consider that even physical secondary causes are created by God, are
sustained by God, moved by God, and even have their own hearts directed by God
(etc). This is why I say God is the metaphysical author of evil.
Moreover, it is impossible for God to
even be tempted to do evil. Indeed, God
is an infinite being who possess every good thing in infinity; and therefore,
He is never tempted to hurt or mistreat His creature to get something, for He
has it all. We are tempted to do evil
for 2 reasons. 1. We are evil ourselves,
or darkness. Ephesians 5:8, "For you were once darkness." But God is light and has no shadow of
turning. Darkness is not produced by
light; light produces light. And so God
is the Father of lights. 2. We lack and
so we steal, lust, hurt, and kill to get what we want. God possesses infinity. He possesses infinite blessedness, happiness,
value, and beauty. There is nothing good
which God does not already have. We have
nothing for which God would want to hurt us, or do us wrong to get, since He
already has it. Furthermore, since God owns everything it is miss-category to
say God can steal since He owns all things.
Therefore, it is impossible for the Infinite Existence to even be tempted
to do evil, let alone do evil.
(2.) God sovereignly called the Chaldeans to be His rod of punishment
against Jerusalem: Habakkuk 1:5-6, "Look
among the nations and watch -- Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in
your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you. 6 For indeed I
am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through
the breadth of the earth." Indeed,
God called Babylon as a man calls for his pet to do his bidding, Isaiah 46:11,
"Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I
will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it."
Also, in the last day God is the direct punisher, and so God using
Babylon to punish is an anti-type of God punishing and judging directly upon
His judgment throne with the Hell he created. Here, Babylon was the feet treading the wine
press directly, but in the last day Christ is the one treading the grapes with
His wrath and with His hell.
(3.) The crucifixion of Christ is the central point of reference for us
to behold God's sovereignty in evil and our understanding of it. (Acts 4:27-28) God said He determined people to "do" those sinful and evil acts
against Christ. The cross was to God's
glory and our good. See, the worst sins
ever committed were not just allowed by God, but rather, according to scripture
they were both planned and caused by God for very good ends, for a great
saving. As always, we look to the cross
and person of Jesus Christ for our central point of reference
Third. The same infinite wisdom
God used to create the universe out of nothing and used in planning the story
of redemption is also used to catch the wicked in their own schemes. Job 5:13, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness."
And regarding the punishment of wicked Jerusalem we see the great detail
and wisdom God used to catch every sort of wickedness to be used against them.
The wicked trust in the strength of their arms to save them, but God is
stronger and overcomes even the valiant men and crushes them. "Both the great and small shall die," Jeremiah
16:6. & Jeremiah 46:15, "Why are your
valiant men swept away? They did not stand Because the LORD drove them away."
The young man who is strong will die by the hand of the stronger, "The young men shall die by the sword," Jer.
Indeed to the wicked who were nightmares to the innocent with falsehood
and violence, God in return becomes their worst nightmare: Ezekiel 11:8 "You have feared the sword; and I will bring
a sword upon you," says the Lord GOD."
For the wicked who trusted in their inheritance of 7 children find that,
"Her sun will set while it is still day;
she will be disgraced and humiliated. I will put [her] survivors to the sword
before their enemies," Jer. 15 (NIV). Luke 19:26, "From him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away."
Many wicked who love and trust in their delicacies and pleasant smells,
will find a God of vengeance decreeing that "their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their
corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood," Isaiah
34:3. Indeed they cry out, "My tent is plundered, And all my cords are
broken; My children have gone from me," Jer.10:20. Judah prided itself in his fine sheep and
shepherds, but for wicked that trusted in them and not God it is written, "A voice of the cry of the shepherds, And a
wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard. For the LORD has plundered
their pasture," Jer. 25:36.
Some wicked persons in Jerusalem trusted in Egypt and in the power of
man's science and swiftness, but the LORD catches the wicked in their own nets.
"You said, 'No, we will get our help from
Egypt. They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.' But the only
swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you,"
(NLT) Isaiah 30:16. & (NLT) Isaiah
31:1-3, "Destruction is certain for those
who look to Egypt for help, trusting their cavalry and chariots instead of
looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
These Egyptians are mere humans, not God! Their horses are flesh! When
the LORD clenches his fist against them, they will stumble and fall among those
they are trying to help. They will all fall down and die together."
Some wicked men openly defied God in the open fields of Judah, by
sacrificing their children to the moon and sun. The LORD therefore, granted their
wish and sacrificed them all to the moon and sun slaying them in the open field
until their bodies piled up like dung hills. Jeremiah 8:2, "They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of
heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they
have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall
not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth."
Many wicked love their robbing of the poor and forsaking the pleasures of
God so that they may feast on the gluttony of the world, and likewise for these
God grants their wish and gives to them their own children to eat. Jeremiah
19:9, "And I will cause them to eat
the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone shall
eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and in the desperation with which
their enemies and those who seek their lives shall drive them to despair."
The wicked love to sin in secret with all sorts of vile fornications and
adulteries, but God will expose their filth to shame them. Jeremiah 13:26, "Therefore I will uncover your skirts over
your face, That your shame may appear."
The Lord promised to catch the wicked in their wickedness and throw it on
their own heads and as an anti-type we see God doing just this in terrifyingly
great detail to Jerusalem through Babylon. Deuteronomy 7:10 "God repays those who hate Him to their face,
to destroy them. He will repay him to his face!"
Indeed, for the guilty there is a judge.
For he who runs, the One who pursues is faster. For the one stealing in secret, there is a
One who sees in secret. For the one
ready to sacrifice to idols, there is also One ready to sacrifice them in the
open field before the moon. For the one
who sins in another's face, there is One ready to repay to the face. For the one who sins in secret, there is One
who sets traps in secret. To the one who
builds a house out of blood and deceit, there is a carpenter who has the hammer
of justice in His right hand and Thor's mighty hammer in the left. For the prideful Pharaoh, there is an ocean
ready to swallow him up. For the
arrogant king, there are worms ready to eat the flesh. For the one who lies, there are men waiting at
the door to carry off their dead body.
For wicked armies, there is a David ready to subdue. For the harlot, there is a fire ready to give
smoke for the praises of men and angels.
For he who has a loose hand for evil, there are chains ready to
bind. For the tongue that sets forests
on fire, there is a fire ready to set them ablaze. For those who eat and could not be satisfied,
there is an unquenchable darkness ready to devour them. For those who accused others, there is a
Devil ready to accuse them one great day.
For the coward, there is a bold One ready to give strong judgment. For the one who does not have, there is One
ready to take away what little he did.
For those ready to proclaim they see, there is One ready to blind. For those who gave other people nightmares,
there is One ready to become theirs. For
those stuffed with worldly pleasure and wine, there is One ready to tread the
winepress in the fierceness of His wrath.
Vengeance has a name, dread has a name, terror has a name, wrath has a
name - and His name is Jesus Christ!
Psalm 11:4, "God's eyelids test the
sons of men." Babylon falling upon Jerusalem was only testing men with His
eyelids, but on Judgment Day God will test the wicked with His stomping foot
upon the winepress. What words are
sufficient to describe the terror of the LORD except scandalous illustrations,
"for wherever the carcass is, there the
eagles will be gathered together." (Matt.24:28) Out of fear of doing injustice in describing
the true horror of God's wrath we shall move on to the next point.
III. How detailed and
sovereign God is in giving grace to the elect.
Many find comfort in the verse which the Apostle wrote in Romans 8:28, "and we know that all things work together
for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His
purpose," but sometimes many lack the required work to fully enjoy the
benefits of such a promise. Our text today hands to us one such pathway to
tread in order for the saints to grasp in purer and deeper apprehensions this
glorious promise. We are to behold the detail God has used to destroy the
wicked so that we might likewise see in greater detail and nearness how God
will work the good He promised for us.
First. As said before God is
sovereign over all things. Yet, compared
to His authorship and sovereignty over judgment and evil, His authorship and
sovereignty over the saints in mercy is different in this sense.
Although God upholds the Devil into being so that God is presently there
in the devil in the upholding sense-for God is everywhere present and
everywhere upholding-yet, God is not there in the intimate loving sense: we all
live, more and have our being in God, including the wicked. But with the saints
He lives within us as a living fountain. John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his
heart will flow rivers of living water."
The living water is the Spirit of Christ. The "rivers" indicate the endless, continual aspect of His fellowship.
The heart indicates the nearness of
Christ to His saints; and, the living
waters indicate the type of fellowship we have with Christ, intimate as
husband and wife. John 17:26, "And I
have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which
You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
Christ loves to call His saints His beloved and enjoys singing over them
whom He died for. Christ is sovereign over His saints with a personal nearness
of love and with the comforting presence of His Spirit.
Second. If the scriptures were
to give one word to the phrase "he will
work all things to our good," I suppose this to be "redemption."
Isaiah 29:22-24 teaches us about the doctrine of redemption, which will
consist of taking evil speech and turning it around for good by making them
speak with doctrine and salt.
"Therefore thus says
the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
"Jacob shall not
now be ashamed, Nor shall his face now grow pale; But when he sees his
children, The work of My hands, in his midst, They will hallow My name, And
hallow the Holy One of Jacob, And fear the God of Israel. These also who erred
in spirit will come to understanding, And those who complained will learn
In the preceding verses, God describes evil men by describing their evil
words. Sinners have empty words, words that offend other people, deceive
and lie about people. God teaches about the glory of redemption by
contrasting what was before, to what is the future reality of His saving.
God contrasts the words and understanding of a sinner to that of a redeemed
saint, whom God works all things for their Good.
Our passage says; "These who erred
in spirit will come to understanding, And those who complained will learn
doctrine." This is the heart of the meaning of redemption.
Those who were sinful morons, when God saves them, do not merely have the
stupidity wiped away but even more. God works this around for their good
by giving gospel faith and repentance that honors Christ and also causing these
same minds to be filled with understanding; they become wise men! God desires
to glorify Himself by using the very thing they so corrupted; God wants the
complainers to learn doctrine. Instead of speaking complaining words, God
works their failures and sin around for good, causing these same persons to
speak good uplifting doctrine!
Third. Our passage encourages
us to see the detail of God's sovereignty in causing evil and judgment upon the
wicked so that we might see in greater clarity the detail of Christ sovereignly
working His accomplished good in His suffering into every part of our lives. Romans
8:32,28, "He who did not spare His own
Son but gave Him up for us all, how shall He not with (Christ) also freely give
us all things... for we know that all things work together for good to those who
love Him, to those who are the called."
By punishing the wicked God vindicates the injustice done against His
glory by their lawlessness, but in working good for the elect, the Father
fulfills His oath to His Son given in the covenant of grace that they would
receive all the rewards of Christ's imputed merit given to them. On the account of Christ's suffering having
already vindicated the injustice against God's glory for our sins, God
vindicates Christ's sufferings with sending the Spirit to apply redemption to
all whom Christ suffered for. Regarding
the elect it is written, John 6:45 "They shall all be taught by God.' Therefore
everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me."
Doubtless the Father is infinitely pleased with His Son, and infinitely
pleased with Christ's freely given obedience to Him to suffer for many sinners;
and so doubtless the Father is infinitely pleased in seeing to it that we
receive His kingdom, and to be arrayed as stars in heaven sitting in the
heavenly place with Christ. Luke 12:32 "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to
give you the kingdom."
Christ also sees to it that we receive redemption, for He also says He
sends to us the Spirit. This is why Jesus
says the Jew had it wrong regarding righteousness, "because I go to My Father and you see Me no more." Christ is
referring to His exaltation into authority at His Father's right hand, so that Christ
has the power and authority to send the benefits of His freely given imputed
righteousness to those He died for by the Holy Spirit.
Fourth. For those who feel broken, as a bruise reed,
Christ works the good of kindness and gentleness; His hands are soft enough to
carry the most fragile. Not only does Christ carry the broken, but even
transforms them into lions by making them righteous through Himself: "the righteous are bold as a lion." The weak are strong through Christ, "for when I am weak then I am strong," 2
For the weak in faith there is a power that will work in them; it is the
same power that rose Christ from the grave setting Him at God's right hand and
placing all author, power, might, and dominion under Him: Ephesians 1:19, "what is
the exceeding greatness
of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty
For those who are weak under sin's enslavement
there is great power found in Jesus Christ: Romans, "for [the gospel] is the power
of God to salvation for everyone who believes."
For those who find themselves haters
of God and lovers of sin there is one who finds sinners and who loved us while we
were still sinners. "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,"
For those under darkness of
understanding and sin, Christ stands as a light among them, "the light shines in the darkness," John
1:5. & John 8:12, "I am
the light of the world. He who
follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." This
light not only shines in them but redeems them to be a light of Christ; it
shines out of them. Indeed, those who behold Christ as their treasure will have
Christ shine out of them and they will be full of light (Matt.6:22), even as
stars in the firmament.
For those who were under the wrath of God for sins they did in their
bodies Christ came once, born of a virgin, suffering under the law, and
appeased God's wrath in His death. Romans
3:25, "God set forth [Jesus] as a
propitiation-[appeasement of His wrath] by His blood." God was opposed to sinful man but in His
death Christ works this around so that now God's face shines upon many sinners
as the Almighty delights in singing the song of salvation over them.
For those full of fear and without a
Father Christ has worked good for you so that you may rest in such truths
telling us that, "you did not receive the spirit of bondage
again to fear, but you received
the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
For the broken who cry at night from injustice, persecution, and longing
for Christ's return there is one who bottles their tears up and works them
around for good so that injustice is paid, whether in Christ's death or in
hell; brokenness is healed with a free pass to a river of life and to a tree of
life with healing in its leaves(Rev.22:2); persecution is traded in for a Kingdom(Matt.5:10);
longing is replaced with Christ inviting His bride to come into His house and
telling her she never has to go out from His presence (Rev.3:12).
For them that destined their
lives to hell, being led away with
the sinfulness of their own hearts there is One whose suffering pre-destined them for adoption and who
by His Spirit leads them safely to
the Lamb's marriage supper.
For the lost
there is One who works to find that which is lost. "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that
which was lost." For the soul sick
with sin there is a physician working.
soul made filthy both by their sins and from the sins of others done to them,
Christ worked for their good by having their filth transferred to Him so that
He was crucified outside the gate, so that they may come inside the gate washed
clean by His blood.
that wore a crown of curses upon their heads, "cursed is the ground, for your sake...thorns it shall bring forth,"
Christ worked this around when He wore a crown of thorns in our place so that
we might one day wear a "crown of glory."
that made covenants with sin and the devil Christ made a Covenant of Grace so
that they might participate in the covenant of marriage to Himself.
who would one day sweat drops of blood while standing under the Judgment throne
of Almighty God there was a Divine One who clothed in humanity did already sweat
drops of blood under the impeding judgment that He would soon have to cry out,
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated,
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
For those whom Christ died for, the reverse is worked for
them. As just we learned in Jeremiah about how God turned the sins of sinners
upon their heads Christ works the opposite for His elect church. Gluttons of
sin are not given their children to eat; rather, they are now made thirsty for
righteousness and given Christ as the bread of heaven and as sweet wine to
feast on, for endless time. For those
strong with pride and strong with confidence of man, they are not given over to
the sword; rather, Christ makes them humble and gives them over to boasting
only in the cross. For who those sacrificed to the moon they are not in
returned sacrificed in the open fields; rather, Christ being sacrificed for
them, redeems so that they walk a life of sacrificial worship with open hands
Christ was a High Priest for many.
Therefore, for those who are under God's wrath, there is One who was
also under God's wrath. For those
needing God's wrath to be removed, there is One who was a propitiation so that they may be forgiven. For those who are dirty, there is One who was
endlessly filthy with their sin. For
those looking to be cleaned, there is One who was an expiation so that they may be clean. For those needing the vengeance of God to
pass over them, there stands one among them as a Passover Lamb. For those under the curse, there is One who
has been crushed under its power for them. For those needing God to be near,
there is a baby laying in a manger as one of them. For those under the fear of death, there is
One who was victorious over it. For
those weighted down with the shackles of sin, there is One ready to trade them
for the bonds of peace and grace. For
those who are dead in their sins, there is a resurrection of life. For sinners who are dry bones in a dark
valley, there is One who is the light of
life. For those who entered into a
covenant sin, there is a Mediator who has entered into the blood of the everlasting
covenant. To those who sacrificed to
idols, there was One who was sacrificed for the people. To those who need to reach God, there is One
who has entered behind the veil and is ready to intercede for them. For the guilty who deserve the ax of God,
there is One who has already endured the Sword of God. For those who recognize the law was against
them, there is One who has nailed it to a cross. For those who have painfully tried climbing
staircases (of works) to heaven, there is One who has climbed it for them. Even for the leper who at first resisted
salvations offer, there is still healing in the banks of Jordan. To those who seek the right to stand in God's
presence, there is One who is willing to clothe them in His righteousness so
that they shine as stars in the heavens.
Mercy has a name, all-things-working-to-the-good has a name-Jesus
Christ the Lord!
Doubting and Believe! Believe in God and also believe in Jesus Christ.
First. Jesus being made sin for
us, had evil worked upon Him so that He could work good upon His church. "He who did not spare His own Son, but
delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Christ also freely give us
Second. It should be a constant
source of pleasure for all saints to remember that all things working for their
ultimate good is by the suffering love of
Christ. The saints love to have
their minds in constant reflection upon their Savior who suffered in love for
Third. God fulfilled all he
promised to Israel. The deliverance of
Israel from Egypt into the Promise Land was a reversed engineered illustration
of what God did through Christ for the church. Joshua 21:45, "Not
a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of
Israel. All came to pass."
John 12:35, "Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light
is with you. Walk while you have the light,
lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is
Man is here and then gone, "every man at his best is but a vapor."
And sinners are less than a vapor for their foot is ready to slip and the
ground beneath them is ready to crack and give way. The fool does not understand justice nor is he
able to taste goodness, for why would one trade the flesh of the Son of Man,
the bread of heaven, for the flesh of their children.
For those who have enjoyed the light
of Christian influence around you but have yet to become the light of Christ do
not be foolish and suppose this light will always be shining or that it will
always be so warm. Do not commit the
unforgivable sin by putting off God's Spirit prodding your heart to sincere
repent, by giving up your life that your soul may close and be united with
Christ. The light of Christ is warm
today, but tomorrow it will turn into a fiery furnace for all who practice sin.
First. The crucifixion of
Christ is the central point of reference for us to behold God's sovereignty in
evil and our understanding of it. (Acts
4:27-28) God said He determined people
to "do" those sinful and
evil acts against Christ. The cross was
to God's glory and our good. See, the
worst sins ever committed were not just allowed by God; rather, according to
scripture they were both planned and caused by God for very good ends, for a
great saving. As usual, we look to the
cross and person of Jesus Christ for our central point of reference.
In Christ's death to save sinners we see God being the metaphysical cause
of much sin in very specific details.
But we likewise see God being the metaphysical cause of endless grace
and glory through the cross in great detail and faithfulness and that to our
own lives. Dear readers look to Christ
and Him crucified for you and you will gain a heart of great wisdom and
understanding! Jesus Christ knew it was
ultimately His Father's wrath that was being poured on Him. Jesus knew all sinful acts committed against
Him were both planned and caused by His Father's will and power. Yet, Jesus was not swallowed up by such
thoughts, for He knew the reverse was true as well! Just as thoroughly, detailed and great every
little sin, and wrong, and betrayal was fulfilled in His suffering, so likewise
as thoroughly, detailed and great will be His victory, life, His endless
purchased benefits of grace given to all His Children would be fulfilled. Indeed, for the joy set before Him He pressed
through for He knew it was a true joy and reward that would be fulfilled!
Second. It is right to feel taken back
by the sheer magnitude of God's causality over sin and evil: you are supposed
to be! But it is not right to be
swallowed up by it.
In Jeremiah 32:42 we learn whether it is God calling Babylon to destroy
Israel or God planning and causing evil to happen to His Son at the cross, in
such great horrific detail, that we are not to stop there; it is to lead
Christians to something else! It is to
help us understand the magnitude of God's sovereign love and grace in every
little detail of our life through Christ!
God does and will cause every person and detail in each and every one of
our lives to be worked out for good. And
even more so, for in Christ we have "much more received abundance of grace."
(Romans 5:17) Dear reader, be assured
and see even better the magnitude of
God's grace that will be faithfully worked in every detail of our lives; and this so that the magnitude of our
praise of Him in every detail would be truly worthy of Him, who is the Infinite
Stop unbelief. Believe! Turn from your disbelieving and trust God; be
swallowed up in your soul with the magnitude of God's love for you in Christ and
how true He is to His word, and how near He is to each one of His beloved
children through Christ. John 14:1 "Let
not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me."
be fair the basic phrase, "metaphysical author of evil", I received
from reading Vincent Cheung. I do not know if it is original to him or
not. His web site is www.vincentcheung.com