Like Jesus, we must be willing to tell people that there is a cost to following the Savior. We do not help the non-believer if we teach or imply that Jesus can be folded into the fabric of our lives without the world hating us (Matt. 24:9).
The cross was at once the most horrible and most beautiful example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on Himself the sins of the world. Once Christ had done that, once He volunteered to be the Lamb of God, laden with our sin, then He became the most grotesque and vile thing on this planet. With the concentrated load of sin He carried, He became utterly repugnant to the Father. God poured out His wrath on this obscene thing. God made Christ accursed for the sin He bore. Herein was God’s holy justice perfectly manifest. Yet it was done for us. He took what justice demanded from us. This ‘for us’ aspect of the Cross is what displays the majesty of its grace. At the same time justice and grace, wrath and mercy. It is too astonishing to fathom.
As exhausting as this research is for my exegesis paper, I must say...
I will write more of my findings as I proceed to write my paper throughout the semester. The social injustice that was going on in Amos’ day was just incredible. Researching the background of this book has me wanting to just dig deep into it.
But, alas, I would die. haha! Not really. But this process is physically and mentally exhausting. Yet it’s great at the same time!
Through this, I can truly see how this quote by Sproul rings true for us:
Here, then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy. - R.C. Sproul -
“I became a Christian in college, and I went home for a weekend visit and when I came back on Friday night to my town, I went to the drugstore where all of the guys always gathered on Friday nights. And, frankly, I was their leader. All the way through high school, I was their leader. And when I came back, to share with my friends the greatest thing to ever happen to me in my life, the cause of my highest happiness, my discovery of Christ as my Savior, and I sat down and and I told my buddies about Christ, I fully expected every one of them to get in line, and say "Way to go, R.C.! We’re right with you!” Instead, they were unanimous in their rejection of everything I said, and not only did they reject what I said, but they manifestly rejected me and thought I had lost my mind…
“I was hurt because I told them these things because they were my friends and I loved them, and I wanted them to meet my new friend, Jesus. Has there ever been a Christian who has ever been converted by the grace of God who didn't want to share that with all of his friends and with all of his relatives? After a while, we learn to be more discrete because we experience that often low-key, but nevertheless real, hostility that is deeply embedded in this world. This world hates the things of God by nature. This world, by nature, hates Christ! They can have peace with Christ as long as we make sure that we strip him of his real identity. But if you look at the biblical Christ, and you proclaim the biblical Christ, and you follow the biblical Christ with allegiance, you will be despised at some point by this world. That’s why the Bible says, "Beware of the person of whom everyone speaks well,” because if you make friends with the world, you could only have done that by compromising Christ.
“Now that does not mean, beloved, that we’re supposed to go out into the world and do everything that we can, to be as obnoxious as we possibly can, in order to prove that we’re truly His disciples. We’re not supposed to be looking for persecution or looking for hostility, but if we never experience it, it should be a wake-up call, that maybe we’re not as committed to Christ as we say that we are.”
Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.