Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Cross Did Not Change God

This past week, in my sermon, I mentioned the Covenant of Redemption.  This covenant was made between the three persons of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  The Father agreed to elect his people, the Son agreed to be the redeemer, and the Spirit agreed to apply redemption.  God planned this from the beginning.  However, some of us might think that Jesus' death on the cross changed the way God felt about us.  Not so.  God has always pursued His people with an everlasting love.  I ran across the following words from A.W. Tozer during my personal devotion and I thought it complimented the sermon from this past week.  I hope you find these words comforting and know that God has always loved you - nothing can or has ever changed His love for you.

"The cross did not change God. “I the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6). The work of Christ on the cross did not influence God to love us, did not increase that love by one degree, did not open any fount of grace or mercy in His heart. He had loved us from old eternity and needed nothing to stimulate that love. The cross is not responsible for God’s love; rather it was His love which conceived the cross as the one method by which we could be saved.
God felt no different toward us after Christ had died for us, for in the mind of God Christ had already died before the foundation of the world. God never saw us except through atonement. The human race could not have existed one day in its fallen state had not Christ spread His mantle of atonement over it. And this He did in eternal purpose long ages before they led Him out to die on the hill above Jerusalem. All God’s dealings with man have been conditioned upon the cross.
Much unworthy thinking has been done about the cross, and a lot of injurious teaching has resulted. The idea that Christ rushed in breathless to catch the upraised arm of God ready to descend in fury upon us is not drawn from the Bible. It has arisen from the necessary limitations of human speech in attempting to set forth the fathomless mystery of atonement.
Neither is the picture of Christ going out trembling to the cross to appease the wrath of God in accordance with the truth. The Scriptures never represent the Persons of the Trinity as opposed to or in disagreement with each other. The Holy Three have ever been and will forever be one in essence, in love, in purpose.
We have been redeemed not by one Person of the Trinity putting Himself against another but by the three Persons working in the ancient and glorious harmony of the Godhead."

Tozer, A. W. (2005). The radical cross : Living the passion of Christ (118–119). Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread.

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