Many are fearful of God, and so they ought to be.
- He is the Good One who knows what is best for his creatures.
- He is the Holy One who prescribes how men must desire, think, speak, and walk.
- He is the All-Knowing One who observes every sin.
- He is the Jealous One who looks with wrath at enemies who seek to steal his glory.
- He is the Just One who promises all transgressions will go unpunished.
- He is the Immutable One who always remains the same; he will not change.
However, many are free of such terror, and so they ought to be.
Colossians 1:15-23 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
- He is the First One; with the Father and the Spirit he spoke all into existence.
- He is the Central One; he is the epicenter; for him everything has been created.
- He is the Visible One; he who could not be gazed upon took on flesh to be seen.
- He is the Saving One; he has lived, suffered, sacrificed, and died, but today he lives!
- He is the Shepherding One; how he loves, leads, provides, and protects his church.
- He is the Sovereign One; he easily governs all; he holds all things together.
- He is the Victorious One; he is and always will be preeminent.
- He is the Peacemaking One; he makes hostile enemies his friends.
- He is the Sanctifying One; he makes the evil and reproachable holy and blameless.
The Gospel makes the difference.
Unreconciled friends, do you tremble before God? Do you understand the consequences of your enmity? Would you run, hide, and hate him today, only to do so even more at the final judgment? Would you really go into eternity alongside the devil and his demons? Your sin is great. Your God is holy and unrelenting. He always keeps his word, and those who die trusting in their own merit, they will experience hell and eternal separation from their Good God. However, this does not have to be the case for you. Jesus came to earth and lived a holy life that he might give his righteousness to those who request it. In addition, he died a gruesome and substitutionary death on behalf of all those who request his righteousness. This means all the good merit you would ever need, it has been supplied by Christ. And all the bad demerit you would ever accumulate, it has been put upon Christ’s shoulders and the condemnatory debt has been paid. This is true truth. This is Gospel truth. And it applies to all who recognize their sin, recognize their insufficiency, give up trying, run to Jesus in faith, and call upon him to be their Saving Lord. Oh hell-bound friends, why would you tremble any longer? Will you come to Jesus right now?
(If you do so, will you please write and tell me about it? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reconciled friends, rejoice and give thanks. God is the First One who created you to be lost and then found. He is the Central One who created you for himself. He is the Good One who knows what is best for you, and he is the Holy One who has prescribed on your soul and in his book all you need to know to love and worship him. He is the All-Knowing One who foreknows your rank sin, but he is the Jealous One who loves you as he loves himself. He never tolerates Satan maliciously toying with his elect bride. There is hell to pay for messing with his spouse. However, being the Just One, he knows the hell you deserve, so he becomes the Visible One. Yes, you know the story well. The Saving One takes on human flesh and a human soul. He lives, suffers, and sacrifices himself for you. In love, he takes all your condemnation upon his shoulders; he does so that you might never, ever, ever, ever be condemned for anything. He is the Peacemaking One who has made you, his enemy, his best friend. Following this, he proves to be the Victorious One as he rises from the grave for you. Today he is at God’s right hand, and you ought to rejoice in how the Sovereign One powerfully draws you to himself, declares you holy, calls you blameless, fills you with his Holy Spirit, and holds you in the palm of his hand. And here is the final hurrah — Jesus is the Immutable One who always remains the same. Though you certainly fluctuate in your affection, he never fluctuates in his love towards you.
Yes friends, the Gospel makes the difference. The Gospel is our greatest reason to give thanks this Thanksgiving season.