suck it up

January 8, 2016

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

  “If, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God” (1 Pet. 2:20).

  Affliction and suffering are the lot of all men, the privilege of all believers. Our sufferings bring forth need, and our need brings forth His comfort and consolation. Blessed need! “As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation” (2 Cor. 1:7). Blessed promise!

  “If you aspire to be a son of consolation; if you would partake of the priestly gift of sympathy; if you would pour something beyond commonplace consolation into a tempted heart; if you would pass through the intercourse of daily life with the delicate tact that never inflicts pain; you must be content to pay the price of a costly education—like Him, you must suffer.”

 

A most unpopular topic, equal to why does God allow evil, a favorite topic of atheists. Next on the list is always suffering. Look up every verse in the bible on suffering, most of the time it is spelled out that a; you deserved it, b; it’s from God and c; it will change you for the better. Yet all the popular talking heads always equate suffering with a lack of faith, or secret sin. Ironic, since Jesus had neither and suffered greatly of you and I.

 

If Christ had only earned forgiveness of sins for us, then we would not merit heaven. Our guilt would have been removed, but we would simply be in the position of Adam and Eve before they had done anything good or bad and before they had passed a time of probation successfully. To be established in righteousness forever and to have their fellowship with God made sure forever, Adam and Eve had to obey God perfectly over a period of time. Then God would have looked on their faithful obedience with pleasure and delight, and they would have lived with him in fellowship forever.

 

For this reason, Christ had to live a life of perfect obedience to God in order to earn righteousness for us. He had to obey the law for his whole life on our behalf so that the positive merits of his perfect obedience would be counted for us. Sometimes this is called Christ’s “active obedience,” while his suffering and dying for our sins is called his “passive obedience.”  Paul says his goal is that he may be found in Christ, “not having a righteousness of [his] own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil. 3: 9). It is not just moral neutrality that Paul knows he needs from Christ (that is, a clean slate with sins forgiven), but a positive moral righteousness. And he knows that that cannot come from himself, but must come through faith in Christ. Similarly, Paul says that Christ has been made “our righteousness” (1 Cor. 1: 30). And he quite explicitly says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5: 19).

 

 

Obedient, yet suffering, suffering yet obedient, two sides of a coin, two sides of our Christian experience. The suffering saint, the suffering servant, we have to be both in order to be even one.

 

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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