Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s article “Idolatry and God’s Punishment” follows closely with last month’s article on idolatry. 1 It is the third article on this important subject. It will not be the last. While there will be additional articles forthcoming, next month will be a presentation by Dr. Martin.
Idolatry is a willful act. It requires positive action on the part of human beings, overt positive action at that. In this month’s article I focus on the punishment that God metes out to the gods of the nations, the Sons of God, spoken about in Genesis 6:1–4, Psalm 89, Job chapters 1 and 2, and particularly Psalm 82. This small Psalm of 8 verses is packed with information that you will find interesting, and frightening.
Last month’s article reminded one reader, John, that exile is frequently a chosen means of punishment that God uses against sinners. This is certainly true. He sent me this list:
Thank goodness God has conciliated Himself to us first so we can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18–21). Therefore Reconciliation & Safety (Salvation) came out of Banishment & Exile by what Christ did for men, angels, and the sons of God. We know that all will be reconciled to God within God’s own good time (Colossians 1:20–21, Philippians 2:10–11).
The questions are naturally asked, if the Sons of God themselves can go astray (and sin horribly), then what hope is there for us? And further, if the great and powerful Sons of God can sin, will I be capable of sinning after the resurrection? These are good questions. The answers are, yes, there is hope for us, and no, you will not be capable of sinning after the resurrection.
Our hope of salvation is based on Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians chapter 15). It is not based on actions of any other creature of God — Christ alone is our Savior. The Sons of God from the Old Testament have no part in your reconciliation to God. In fact, it is as if they do not exist. Your relationship with God the Father is through Christ Jesus, the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). There is no other mediator. Our salvation comes through the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ:
“[God] who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death, and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
2 Timothy 1:9–10
Once we are born of God through the Spirit of God, our salvation is complete in Christ. We can no longer sin, according to the apostle John:
“Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and HE CANNOT SIN, because he is born of God.”
1 John 3:9
We partake in Christ’s nature through the Spirit of God, so that at this moment we are the Children of God. Earlier in the same epistle John has this to say:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called [now!] the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now[!] are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:1–2
Note that “we shall be like him.” That means we shall be like Him who “shall appear.” We shall be like Christ, who was tempted yet did not succumb, and He remains “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). As partakers of His nature, we are as He is — without sin.
One of the themes of this month’s article is God’s sovereignty over His creation. Everything and everybody belongs to God. God is in control. Everything is God’s and subject to Him, so too:
“Yours, O YHWH, is
the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O YHWH, and
You are exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honor come of You, and
You reign over all; and
in your hand is power and might; and
in your hand it is to make great, and
[in your hand] to give strength unto all.”
1 Chronicles 29:11–12
We should keep constantly in mind that God is the owner of everything, and that anything we have is given to us by God for us to administer properly, whether small or large (as clearly point out in the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14–30). Each of us are responsible to do our best with what we have been given. We at ASK are grateful for the service you provide to us by sustaining our accomplishments.
This month’s snail mail Newsletter and Article are somewhat late due to illness. Please be grateful for what you receive, as I am grateful to complete this month’s publications with as little delay as possible. (Consider for a moment how you would feel if there were no Newsletter and Article at all!) We are grateful that you help us continue to publish and promote Dr. Martin’s biblical studies (and yes, I occasionally take the privilege to stand on Dr. Martin’s shoulders to do additional research). You make it possible for all this to continue. Thank you and God bless you all.
David W. Sielaff
1 See “Idolatry and the Sons of God” at http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d070201.htm.
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