God Is Love: Yesterday, Today and Forever

same yesterday today and forever

I hear many people say that the Bible paints two very different portraits of God. They say that the God of the Old Testament was a God of wrath, judgment and vengeance, a God of Hell, fire and brimstone; whereas, the God of the New Testament was a God of love, grace and mercy. I suspect this may be part of the reason that while some say they believe in love and grace, they make it very clear with their words and deeds, that they also believe in judgment and condemnation.

However, I believe God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and I believe God is love. Therefore, God will always be love, and God has always been love. Many point to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and talk about God punishing the first two humans by kicking them out of the garden; however, as I pointed out a couple of weeks ago in a sermon, the story is about the human consequences of knowing good and evil, and consequently, our shame. And it is a story about a God who deals with our shame by clothing us with grace, as God made garments of skin to cover Adam and Eve’s shame.

Furthermore, in the next chapter, when Cain, who deserves to die for killing his brother Abel, fears that his life is over, God emphatically says, “Not so!” God then reaches down and puts a mark of grace on Cain. Moreover, God’s grace followed Cain, even in that place east of Eden called Nod, even in that place that Cain believed was outside of God’s presence.

Thus, proving in the very beginning of all that is, that there is not, has never been, and will never be, anything in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God.

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3 thoughts on “God Is Love: Yesterday, Today and Forever

  1. My dear brother, as I was writing these comments I was invigorated by the opportunity to stretch my theological legs and flap my wings of knowledge, both of in which I take much more pride than they deserve! So please understand that it is not my intention to “kick sand in your face.” I’m even hesitant to post this, as it is mostly Gale stroking Gale’s ego. But the desire to complete the associated ego-stroking, I shall post it, hopefully providing some food for thought, not just knit picking.
    AND, sorry it;s so long. Sometimes brevity is not my strong suit.
    * * * * *
    You certainly have MUCH more experience in the pulpit than I, but I realized a long time ago that trying to reconcile Biblical contradictions is futile. In my teens and twenties I was pretty much a fundamaniac who swore by the “inerrancy of The Holy Bible.” Higher education and maturity, which developed in my growth of rational thinking, brought me to a conclusion that conclusion, that the Bible, indeed, DOES contradict itself, irreconcilably.

    Your point about God banishing Adam and Eve (A & E) from “The Garden” avoids the curses that God laid upon them. However, I DO, VERY MUCH like your declaration that, “God … deals with our shame by clothing us with grace.” AMEN to that!!!

    I admit that, honestly, I am not all that familiar with the story of A & E in the Garden, and I need to review it before I post this. So, BRB….

    OK. My memory ain’t so bad as I thunk it were. Initially, A & E clothed themselves because of their shame in the knowledge of their nakedness. I’m not familiar with the idea that, “‘ to cover Adam and Eve’s shame.” Can you give me a citation for that?

    I too, believe that God does not change. Period. But not “final answer.” As flawed, mortal, often stupid, mortal members of God’s Creation (BTW, that does NOT mean that I am a Creationist), it must be said that our “comprehension of God” falls far short of the true Character and Nature of the Almighty. As blatant evidence of this, simply consider the many, varied and conflicting “understandings” of God throughout our Planet! There are HUNDREDS of religions and denominations, each of which believes that their understanding of God id the correct one!!

    The fact of the matter that most of them are no less that partially correct. And throughout the advancement of each human being’s growth and maturity, out individual concepts of God change.
    BUT,
    God is the same, yesterday, today, yes, and forever. And indeed, in the Christian world, for the most part, God IS love! Yet even among Christians, this interpreted and applied differently.
    AND,
    God is the same, yesterday, today, yes, and forever.

    To quote my favorite broadcast-journalist, Linda Ellerbee,

    “And so it goes….”

    1. Thank you Gale. I interpret the Bible through the eyes of what I understand are the words and works of Jesus. Thus, when I read Genesis, I can see God’s grace in God clothing Adam and Eve who are ashamed in their nakedness. You may be interested in reading my full sermon on Genesis 3 entitled: “Clothing One Another in Grace.” http://wp.me/p3R4Q0-p8. In the sermon, I compare Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in the act of adultery with God’s clothing of Adam and Eve. Of course, the Old Testament often paints a portrait of a wrathful God. For me, this portrait contradicts the grace revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. Thus, I interpret those vengeful passages as a misunderstanding of God’s actions in the world. I love the way you think, Gale, and I am really looking forward to having coffee one day with you brother!

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