What? God blots out sin for HIS OWN sake???


#1

My son shared this text with me last night and it’s a stunner. Here it is:

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How is this possible? I’ve always assumed (isn’t this part of Christianity??) that God blots out my sins for MY sake! And why not? I’m the sinner so I’m clearly the benefitiary of His generosity. And praise God for that!

But that’s not what this text says at all: No, God blots out our sins FOR HIS OWN SAKE!!!
What does it mean if something is done for the sake of a certain person?
Mustn’t it mean that it is for their benefit; on their behalf; it is done FOR that person?

If that’s what it means, doesn’t that turn everything upside down? Doesn’t that add an entire new dimension to God and His saving love? Doesn’t this suggest that God does this to, dare I say it, somehow “complete” Himself or something? Maybe “complete” is not the right word…???.. maybe more like “fulfill” HImself. But that should not be such a hard thing for us to grasp given that if we believe there comes a time when God is made “all in all!” that must mean that before that time God was NOT all in all.

Which fits perfectly with the idea that it is simply not in God’s nature to rest until everything is restored back to it’s intended and created order. Thus it makes no sense at all to suggest that anyone suffers for eternity (or is annihilated for that matter) when God Himself states that He wipes out our sins for HIS OWN sake. One need not be detoured into worrying about whether this insinuates that God doesn’t take sin “seriously” – for should God want to blot out my transgressions (yours too) on His Own terms and for His own sake, who are WE to decline?

Is it blashpemy to suggest that God is yet to be made “whole” (again, maybe not the right word; but you get the idea…) until all sin and rebellion is dealt with to His satisfaction? And that this text also suggests that God has the intention, and the ability to rectify the situation FOR His Own sake? And the very nature of sin, being counter to God, simply cannot stand in the way of God’s eternal purpose?
All of which would fit perfectly with Universal Restoration – and not at al with ECT or annihilation…

I’d love to know how our bible scholars and word experts here read this stunning text!

(written quickly at work; idea too exciting to not write about!)

Bobx3


Eternal Fire: Annihilation
#2

very cool!

i guess my thoughts are that if someone wrongs me and i forgive them…they may not care that i’ve forgiven them, they may not actually do anything about it at all. but by forgiving them, i set myself free: i pave the way for my own healing.

in a sense we wound God with our sin…embodied by Christ on the cross. so He forgives us for His own benefit, so that He can relinquish the pain and “heal”. this is probably not a good way to put it, but i’m finding it hard lol

so yes, that makes sense…He forgives our sin, He allows Himself to heal, etc. i’m not sure if this supports Arminianism with the “God doesn’t put us in hell, we choose it ourselves” point of view (though i’ve issues with this as the Bible states that many are “cast” into the fire); or if this supports Universalism. i suppose it just (to me) emphasises that God’s forgiveness is there for us to take.

could this absolve God of sorrow if people chose not to accept the reconciliation? He’s done His bit, if we choose not to accept, no sweat off His back…etc. i don’t think it’s a strong argument for that, though. especially since there blatantly WAS sweat and blood off His back!

i think though that you could take this further. if God does not remember our sin, He still remembers us. so…if there’s no sin, yet a memory of the ones that sinned, and they are not with Him in heaven…then this would cause Him sorrow and pain, and i don’t get a hint of that from these Scriptures. i get pure and simple forgiveness and amnesty…it’s a hopeful and joyous couple of verses.


#3

God’s reputation is on the line. “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake …” Ps 23

It’s very cool.

If God is doing it for Himself, we can be sure He’s never giving up on us.

Sonia


#4

Wow TV, I have the same feeling! That’s really exciting!!! It’s exciting because you hear so much about how God is conflicted. It’s really not in him to save us, but because he is part love Jesus dies on the cross and then he can get himself to forgive us. But, it’s not like that at all. It’s not that he has to get himself to forgive us, could take us or leave us. He is doing what he does, not just for us, but for him!!! And this probably shouldn’t really surprise us because, after all, he does have a plan to have mercy on all! :mrgreen: :laughing: I just love this and Sonia’s vs. that she adds. It just compounds and makes the case all that much stronger that God is working to reconcile all things for himself!!! Whipeeeeeee!


#5

Btw, you do some great quick writing TV! I just had to share this on fb!


#6

Ouch :blush: – that’s why I like to write from home with my spell check!

But the idea that God is saving me, you, us – ALL of us! – for Himself, has such resonance to me! Seems that in setting His creation right again (make right/ justify/ “rightify”??) He also in some way “sets” Himself right as well! I think this only underlines and re-emphasizes just how closely God identifies with us, His creation!

When I pause to consider what a massive emphasis we have placed (well we who’ve emerged from Arminianism at least…) over the years on our own efforts to “choose” God and to “will” our way into Grace and “will” ourselves away from sin, this text just shatters all that sort of thinking.

Rather, God intends to leave nary a single stain on His creation: He intends to heal and save every last bit of it.
… For HIS Own sake…

Wow – this is cool…

Bobx3


#7

Very cool indeed.The thought of it puts my mind and heart in an ***un-defeated ***state. :smiley:

So he has turned over all to sin in order to show mercy to all…For his names sake.

And Jesus said go learn what this means…I desire Mercy not Sacrafice.

The type of things to meditate on all the time for sure. His Goodness and Mercy do indeed follow us all the days of our lives.


#8

If God’s love fails, it will be clear to all Heaven that God is not GOD, but an imposter. (This was Satan’s challenge in Job.)

If a man builds a tower, he’d best make sure he can afford to complete it. If he cannot, all who see it will laugh at his incompetence. If this is true for us, how much more is it true for God.


#9

It’s very cool. :slight_smile:

We begin with an old heaven and earth. God is hovering over the dark, chaotic waters of the Deep. We end with a new heaven and earth where the Deep has been transformed into a glass sea glowing with inner light. Every last drop of chaos has been transformed.

On the cross Christ descended into deepest darkness, taking the light of God with him into hell. Then like yeast in the dough, like the city on a hill, like a lamp on the lampstand, he begins to fill and transform the darkness from the inside.


#10

Great find TV. It resonates with what I’ve been recently reading about P. T. Forsyth (1848-1921):

, Goroncy"]… Forsyth’s own insistence that holiness “must…establish itself in command everywhere.” If holiness’ essence is God’s perfect satisfaction and repose in eternal fullness, then one is at pains to understand how holiness might be satisfied with less than the “return to holiness” of at least every human person, if not every part of creation. Holiness’ satisfaction is not met by a pound of flesh but only by an entire absolute response in its own active kind.

Personally I think it’s two sides of the same coin, it is for God’s sake and ours. Therefore to satisfy both, He will definitely achieve it, otherwise I don’t think He wouldn’t have created anything (i.e. I suspect God is ultimately a perfectionist, in the positive sense of the word :slight_smile: )


#11

This is one of the big Calv verses which they deploy as evidence for God’s (original not subsidary) persistence to save those from sin whom He intends to save.

Isaiah 43 is topically near some testimony to the scope and eventual victory of God’s reconciliation, too (even though the term ‘reconcile’ isn’t used there.) I’m not a the office at the moment, but I hope I’ll remember this thread and do some commentary–or that someone will beat me to it. :wink: :mrgreen:

This verse is also quoted by Calvinists, strangely, when trying to explain why God might choose not to even try saving some sinners from sin. Despite the fact that this is not testified here, the principle application tends to be something like:

1.) God only saves people from sin for His own sake, not primarily because He loves them;

2.) So it shouldn’t be surprising if God refuses to love other people with saving love (or at all);

3.) Especially since hopelessly condeming such sinners shows how great and powerful God is;

4.) So the result is that God can boast about His self-greatness (um… magnify Himself) in both directions, which is far more complete than if He saved or condemned all sinners, right? RIGHT!!!

5.) And hey, God gets people to flatter (um… praise) Him, too, for saving them and not hopelessly punishing them like those other people over there; while also getting those people over there to hopelessly acknowledge God’s great power (and heck maybe even His love for the sinners He decided to save). Not that God needs their praise and, in the case of the hopelessly dis-elected and ever-punished sinners, their insincere rebellious hypocritical grudging flattery! But having all that certainly doesn’t hurt God, so why not? He apparently enjoys it for His own sake. IT SAYS SO RIGHT HERE IN ISAIAH HOW DARE YOU DOUBT IT YOU PROBABLY NON-ELECT SINNER!!!

There are soberly sorrowful modes of that line of thought, too. (Francis Chan comes to mind as a recent example.) I guess that’s better than triumphantly antagonistic versions. But still.

Anyway, yep, obviously universalists should agree with Calvs on this being a testimony that we ought to expect God to persist to save sinners from sin and keep at it until He gets it done, and to trust that He’s omnicompetent enough to get it done without voiding His other primary concerns (whatever those are).

I may add that fulfilling fair-togetherness between persons by saving sinners from sin, fits very well into the concept of a trinitarian God doing this because the fulfillment of fair-togetherness between persons is (in that case) God’s own essential reality as the ground of all reality. On that line of theology, if God didn’t blot out sin He would be acting (or otherwise willfully choosing) to fulfill non-fair-togetherness between persons instead–just like any sinner as a sinner!

Which, not incidentally, would result in God acting against the ground of all existence (Himself in the Unity of the Persons)–as any sinner does when we sin–which would result in the immediate annihilation of God and of all reality dependent on God (including the past, present and future of any natural system) since, unlike us, there would be no one to charitably save Him from such an annihilation in acting against the fundamental ground of reality.

We have God to thank for saving us from the annihilation that would be the instant result of any sin of ours (no matter how small). God would have no one to save Him (Father or Son or Holy Spirit in any of the Persons–the rebellion or rejection of one would be the destruction of all as They exist in one single ultimate substantial entity, not as multiple entities. And nothing exists beside or above the Unity of Deity either.)

So blotting out sin for His own sake would be even stronger if ortho-trin is true; but that ‘sake’ would precisely not be selfish self-preservation since the inherent ‘nature’ of God is that of interpersonal love (not any ‘selfish’ self-love). The Persons act to blot out sin for the sake of each other as Persons, and for the sake of the persons who sin.

That’s just what righteousness (fair-togetherness, dikaiosune) does. :slight_smile:


#12

Good stuff Jason. If God is proved wrong in his judgment to create Man, then God must cease to exist, along with all things.


#13

Yes yes!
This whole idea continues to come into focus for me.
I have heard an idea all my life (read it again today on some blog…) summarized like this…

But that’s really not coherent at all if God acts in righteousness – all the time, in every situation – because He is righteous. That would be like saying “God doesn’t have to act like God – but He chooses to act like God
That’d just be absurd wouldn’t it?

This takes me back, Jason, to our conversation of many many months ago where we were discussing how thoroughly God takes complete responsibility for the wellbeing of His entire creation. We didn’t choose to come about, nor can we choose to cease to exist. We do exist, and will continue to exist because, as part of HIs creation we are part of HIm in important ways.
Thus our creation comes about for the same reason our redemption does; it’s “God being God”.

Of course God will continue to be true to His true identity; and because of this reality, God is faithful to reconcile us back to Himself.
And the glory, honor, and praise is all God’s!!

Very very cool!!

Bobx3

(I’m also struck by how peripheral this matter of “free will” and “choice” is in this dynamic… As if it’s even possible that by rejecting God I can cause God not to be Himself… )


#14

Hi All
TV said:-

I’m just reading all this on Monday morning (here) before starting work- what a thoroughly encouraging way to start the week!

This idea is entirely consistent with the OT idea of justice/righteousness (same word in Hebrew, I gather) meaning that a thing is being true to it’s purpose if it is just; a set of weighing scales is just if it weighs accurately; a servant is righteous if he faithfully serves his master; a king is righteous/just if he fulfills his kingly obligations to his subjects etc.

God is just and His righteousness displayed because He is true to his covenant promise to redeem all mankind- can he do other and remain consistent with the Essence of His being- Love.

Well said Amy.

Well have a resoundingly good week with the knowledge of His abounding Grace.

S