Christ took our punishment

If a crime occurs, what should we do? Do we punish the wrongdoer? Does the government seek to protect the victim? There has to be some standard for right and wrong, and someone must establish it—whether it is God, individuals, or the government. This is a universal human need—a need for order and justice. And the Bible explains why we all crave justice in the face of evil–because we all know the basics of God’s will. The law was written on all of our hearts as humans, as recorded in Romans 2:14-15.

Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.

The Christian worldview map matches the reality of our lives—the religion makes sense.  Yet people will still wonder, “How can you believe in God with all the evil in the world?” When people ask that, remember that they are using a Christian worldview to even discuss the topic, since there is no basis for ethics in evolutionary thinking. Furthermore, when you deal with real suffering, as in the case of rape, Christians don’t point to our genetic makeup and look for a biological excuse. We come along side the suffering person and offer help, as Jesus did when He walked the earth. Isaiah 53:3-6 prophesied this of the Messiah, Jesus:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus is familiar with suffering. He suffered as He lived here. He suffered on purpose to save us from the greatest suffering of all—eternal separation from God. So how can one believe in God with all the evil in the world? Because the Christian worldview provides a consistent view of reality both in the physical world and the moral one. There is order in the universe and moral order in the world. Planets rotate and people have a sense of right and wrong. Humans are created beings with the dignity of free will. Who, other than God, and what, other than the Bible, best explains this reality?

Christianity’s ethical stance is one of moral absolutes. With our best interests in mind, God has told us in the Bible what is permissible and what is not according to His holy and perfect character, giving us the dignity of free will. So the Bible shows us our sin by God’s Law—He reveals that we have all broken His commands like Adam and Eve, following the devil’s temptation to do things our own way instead of God’s way.. Yet the Bible also shows us our Savior by the Gospel. This Good News is that through Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death on our behalf, we can be brought back into a right relationship with God, which is for what we were created. While we work on earth, using all His talents and abilities to honor Him, which is the other reason we were created, we look forward to seeing God face to face in heaven one day. In His presence “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

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August 29, 2017

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