I’ve encountered many people throughout my years, whom I have shared the truth with, that God is not angry with them. And many times, their response, was “I wish I could believe that.” They couldn’t receive the truth of God not being angry with them, because they were measuring His attitude towards them using a different standard. Instead of looking at the truth in scripture, they were looking at their current circumstances, their emotions and feelings of the moment, to gauge God’s mood, instead of what His eternal word says. When things were going well, God was obviously happy, and when things were not going well, God was obviously displeased. And so for these people, thy were constantly living a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Never on a solid foundation, but always on the shifting sand of the present moment.
However, God does not want us to live that way… that’s not the abundant life that He came to give us. He paid a high and precious price to reconcile us with Himself – and that is not a maybe, or a half-hearted reconciliation. Jesus has done a complete work, one that has a sure result; one that we can be confident in, and one that does not waiver back and forth like the wind, or get tossed around by the waters of daily life. What we will be studying today is why you can be absolutely sure of your status with God today. Why you can be bold and confident in your relationship with Him, and know beyond all doubt, why He is not angry with you today.
It’s important, not only to recognize what your attitude towards God is, but also what His attitude towards you is. And that comes, with the foundation of what Jesus Christ has done for you, and what your relationship looks like today in Him.
You see, many people are still trying to cultivate a relationship with God via the Old Covenant – they are still trying to please Him by their performance, or demonstrate their love for Him by their attempts to keep the Mosaic Law. However that is not the kind of relationship that God wants us to have with Him today. Check out our first scripture of 1st Timothy 1:9-11:
“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers,
For fornicators, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for enslavers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”
Notice in verse 9 that the scripture is very clear – the Law is not made for a righteous man. I want you to grab hold of this fact, because as we have been studying the last few weeks, your identity is that of a new creation in Christ. You are no longer unrighteous – the unrighteous person died with Christ on the cross (Romans 6:5-6), and we are now completely new creations in Christ Jesus (2nd Corinthians 5:17). You died to the Law (Romans 7:1-4) and now you live through Jesus by His Spirit of Life (Romans 8:1, Galatians 2:20).
The latter portion of verse 10 also says plainly that the Law is for those who are contrary to sound doctrine. And this is a key point –because Jesus Christ came to set us free from the Law of sin and death, and He does it by His truth. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). So what is this sound doctrine? Look at verse 11:
According to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to Paul.
Now one thing to note about this verse is the word “blessed” used here is not the standard Greek word used for bless (which is eulogia, from where we derive our English word eulogy), but instead, the Greek word for blessed used in this verse is makarios, which specifically means “blessed and happy”.
So what is the implication of this? The sound doctrine being referred to in these verses, is indeed The glorious Gospel (the good news) of the blessed and happy God. Do you see? This is telling you something about God here. Today you can confidently say that God is not angry, He’s not mad – in-fact I can quite surely say that God is indeed totally satisfied and happy because Jesus not only paid our sin-debt in full, but He was an over-payment. God’s holy wrath and punishment against sin was completely paid, before Jesus dismissed His own Spirit. Think about it… Jesus was an over-abundance, the God of more than enough, even during is suffering for our sins.
Now let me ask you a very pertinent question… Do you see God as a happy God? Do you see Him as fully satisfied? Or do you still see Him as angry and demanding? Do you still see Him as needing to be appeased?
How does the church usually portray Him? The pastors and leaders that I grew up around all painted pictures of a wrathful and angry God, one to be feared in the negative sense of the word; one that I needed to walk on eggshells all the time with, or else He mind be displeased and punish me. A God that I was more likely to run away from than to run towards – and that’s exactly what I ended up doing for many years.
A lot of people have been fed a false gospel. And many are still feeding on it every week. They are not hearing the glorious Gospel of the happy God. They are hearing the bad news of the angry god, but it is not really the god of the Bible. The problem is that people cannot discern the genuine meat of the Gospel from the imitation meat, because they have been fed the imitation meat exclusively for so long that they think the imitation is the genuine! As a result, many of these people are burdened with guilt, condemnation, fear and shame. Sure, they will put on the Christian mask, a forced smile, and they will play it cool and act like they have it all together, but on the inside many of them are being tortured to a slow and agonizing death – and it’s entirely needless!
There are people suffering and dying of diseases brought on by guilt, shame, condemnation…experiencing spiritual and physical pain – and they stumble into the doors of a church building hoping that someone can give them the truth that will make them free, only to be given the standard false gospel routine, of God is a holy God and He can no fellowship with darkness, and you are a dirty rotten sinner, and after beating you down further for about 45 minutes, people are given a quick one minute sinners prayer and then told that they need to serve.
My friends, I’m sorry so be so blunt, but that is not the Good News. That is not the glorious Gospel of the happy God that was entrusted to Paul. Do you want further clarification of what the glorious Gospel is? Paul tells us in Acts 20:27-32:
“For I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.
Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
And now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
Paul confidently declares in verse 27, that he has not neglected to declare the whole counsel of God. Many preachers like to use the phrase “whole counsel of God” to imply a mixture of half-law and half-grace, some Moses and some Jesus all mixed together, and they call that the whole counsel of God. The problem is that the scriptures themselves don’t agree with that definition. Jesus Himself said that you cannot mix the new wine of Christ with the old wineskins or you will lose both. He also said that you cannot put a new patch of cloth on an old garment, or it will tear (Matthew 9:16-17)
You see, Jesus is not just an augmentation of the Law of Moses. He’s not just a patch for your law-keeping; He’s not just a spoonful of sugar to help you swallow the bitter-pill of the Law. No He is a New and Living Way (Hebrews 10:20). The living way is called new and living way because it is not according to the old way. Think about it. This isn’t complicated… no-one needs a doctorate to understand this, really.
Verse 28, Paul addresses the overseers, and he charges them to feed the church of God (which is the people, not the building); and notice that he says to feed the people, not beat them – the reason for this care is because Jesus purchased them with His own blood. So He has a very vested interest in the well-being and care for His people.
Then in verses 29 and 30, he warns that after He departs, grievous wolves will come in, and some even from your own selves, and they will not spare the flock. So this tells us that God wants His flock spared, God doesn’t want His flock wounded, eaten by wolves, torn apart… He wants His flock spared; and look at how the wolves would try to do it in verse 30: They will speak perverse things… that means perverted from the Gospel, the good news. They will not preach the glorious Gospel of the happy God which Paul wrote about earlier, they will preach the distorted view of an angry and demanding God… keeping people in bondage of guilt, fear and condemnation, because as long as you are in bondage, you’ll continue to follow them. You see, their goal is to draw away disciples after them. Not after Christ.
In verse 31, Paul mentions that for three years he warned people night and day about this, with tears. Paul was crying over this fact. This wasn’t just a casual comment made in passing, Paul knew the seriousness of these deceivers, and the pain they would cause… even the very souls of some people.
Then finally in verse 32, Paul gives one of the best fingerprints of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. What is sound doctrine? What is the Glorious Gospel, and what effect will it have on people? Read verse 32:
“And now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
The word of God, which we all are commended to, is the word of His Grace. Which is able to build you up (not tear you down), and give you an inheritance (not take it away) among all them which are sanctified (not those trying to earn sanctification).
Please understand that the Spirit could’ve moved Paul to say anything here. He could’ve said “I commend you to God’s Holy Law, which kills all who disobey it”, but no, he chose by the Holy Spirit to commend us to the Word of God’s Grace, which does not “puff up” as many seem to think, but it builds us up in Christ and the reality of who we are in Him and gives us an inheritance in Christ Jesus as well.
So I encourage you today. Don’t settle for imitation meat, when there is genuine filet mignon in the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Relax, God is not angry with you today in Christ Jesus – and please do not let anyone, anything or any circumstance talk you out of this wonderful truth. Don’t let Religious and Legalistic preachers, preach you out of this truth either. Paul warned about it for a reason.
Hold onto the truth, and live in the blessed and happy favor of God.