I had a heated confrontation with a couple while shopping with my family yesterday. After my children walked past, the lady turned and said very loudly “I guess those kids really needed to rudely get past me!”
I stopped. My wife and children kept walking. There are two things you should know about me:
- You never disrespect a person I care about while I am present.
- If you choose to show disrespect toward someone I care about, I will die before I back down.
I began by exchanging apologetic words with the lady and her husband, and trying to lighten the mood. But, as they became more heated, I became less tolerant of their rude behavior. It ended with them realizing they should probably shut up. I made them fully aware that they were more than likely, perhaps with counseling, to survive through this terrible ordeal of a six year old and ten year old walking too closely as they passed by them in a store (seriously, my kids didn’t even touch them).
People can be stupid. Don’t be those people.
It did make me think, though…
When did we decide to turn God into a bad father? When did it become accepted that God would abandon us, not defend us?
Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament outlines the entirety of God’s plan to reconcile all of creation with Himself through Christ. He begins with Israel and painstakingly works his way through to Jesus. Paul explains that God’s people (Israel) have always been those who place their faith in God, not just a specific race. There is no place in Paul’s writing that gives a hint that a person with faith in Christ could be abandoned by God for messing up one too many times. In fact, Paul makes it clear that our righteousness before God is not tied to our works, but is already accomplished through our faith in Christ. Paul explains that all have sinned, so the only way to stand before God and be declared “not guilty” is through our faith in Jesus.
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-26)
God is often referred to as a good Father by Jesus and others in Scripture. We see echoes of this by observing the way an earthly father loves his children, then imagining how much more God would demonstrate His love as a father to us.
It would not have mattered if my children would have done something wrong to the couple in that store yesterday (yes, I would have made them apologize), I would have still defended them aggressively. I protect, defend, and would die for them because they are mine.
God feels the same way for his children: those who have faith in Him. He demonstrated this through Christ, who literally died in order to draw God’s children to Him. Don’t let false teachers and bad church theology convince you otherwise.
You didn’t earn your salvation. In fact, Paul makes it clear that even your ability to respond in faith is from God… so you don’t even get credit for that. There is literally nothing you did that saved you. You are God’s child and he will defend you, even when you’re wrong. He sees you as His child. That is the confidence we should be living in as followers of Christ.