For you are not a God who desires iniquity;
Neither shall the worker of wickedness dwell with you.
Neither shall the transgressors continue in your sight;
You hate, O Lord, all them that work iniquity.
You will destroy all those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloody and deceitful man.
Take a good look at this image. This is what Jesus endured for you and I, as a result of the sin talked about in our Scripture today. The little Bible study group that I am involved with is beginning a study of the Book of Romans, and I am overwhelmed at just how much I need to learn about the foundation of our faith's doctrine. I am looking forward to doing a "deep dive" and sharing the real meanings and consequences of words like Salvation, Justification, Propitiation, Redemption and Glorification; words that I'm afraid my past Church experience never adequately illuminated. Along with those words, we will be studying the implications of Justice, Wrath and Fear of the Lord; all but missing from sermons today. But God is revealing His truth to me daily, and I am grateful.
Take the word Salvation, for instance. Christians will tell you they've been "saved", or that Jesus Christ is their "Savior". But do they really grasp the magnitude; the weight and enormity of the word? I contend that most do not, because they have not grasped how huge and great is our God.
Yes, the word denotes the spiritual and eternal deliverance granted immediately by God to those who accept His conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, in whom alone it can be obtained. I daresay many of us are boastful that we have gained this state, once we proclaim our faith in Jesus.
But I'm afraid that too many do not understand, nor seriously contemplate, from what we've been delivered. And the modern Church seems only interested in concentrating on the gift of Grace that accompanies our salvation. So, have you given earnest thought to what we rightfully deserve? Can you see in these verses in Psalms how clearly God declares His hate for iniquity, an old word that simply means sin? For God sees all sin as evil, my friends.
I am using the Septuagint version of Psalms 5, because I believe that this Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible is the closest we can come to the original intent of Scripture. In comparing with some of the more modern translations, I find that they don't have quite the impact that this version does. These verses make it pretty clear that God hates sin and sinners. Any transgressor or worker of wickedness will not be allowed to dwell with Him; nor will they even be allowed in His sight. He will destroy liars; sinful men who are opposite of what God is (Truth). He abhors deceitful men. Abhor is a strong word; in the Greek, it means to loathe, find disgusting, make an abomination.
So you can see that we, in our sinful state, deserve to be cast out of God's sight; to never be in His presence. He hates us; He finds us disgusting, and if not for the saving act of Jesus, He would destroy us. That is what we deserve! Instead, God offers up His own Son to take the punishment we deserve.
The image on this page depicts just how severe God's wrath is towards sin. He will not tolerate it, and being a Just God, a price must be paid! Thankfully, for you and I, Jesus took our punishment upon Himself, saving us from eternal death and absence from God. By declaring our faith in Jesus as that substitution, we can gain "salvation" from utter destruction. BUT notice that there is one more condition that accompanies our salvation .... repentance; another term that seems to be slipping out of the modern Church's lexicon.
If we "turn away" from sin, back towards God; AND believe that Jesus died for our sins, THEN we can be delivered from the fate we deserve. But you have to do both, and continually. If you continue to sin, and make no effort to turn away from your wickedness or transgressions, then aren't you the liar and deceitful man talked about in our Scripture? Haven't you belittled Jesus's payment on your behalf? Doesn't this make your Salvation even more precious and important to safeguard? Do you really want to take it for granted? These are hard questions, and no doubt there are those who will denounce the very asking of them. But I just want you to meditate upon how big our God is; how much He loves us; and how big the price that was paid for us. The next time you hear the word "salvation" spoken, stop and think of what we've talked about here. I hope you will never think of it the same again.
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