God certainly showed himself to be holy and willing to punish sin and disobedience in the Old Testament. At the same time, he also desired the salvation of all, even those in the Old Testament. Consider Jonah, the prophet of the Lord, who was sent to the Assyrian city of Nineveh to call its people to repentance.
God does not change
James 1:17 tells us that God does not change like shifting shadows. He is consistent. His nature and truth do not change. 1 Peter 1:16 quotes Leviticus 19:2, saying, “Be holy, because I am holy.” God’s standards have not changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament!
For what reasons do people believe or want to believe the falsehood that God has grown softer on sin?
The silence of God is not indifference
While God remains opposed to all sin, he is patient with us. However, we ought never confuse his patience with tolerance. Continuing in a sin when you know it is wrong is soul destroying! The writer to the Hebrews does not mince words when he says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left” (10:26).
Read 2 Peter 3:8-13. What would you say to people who think that God will not punish sin and they can continue to do what is wrong?
God’s answer to sin
Thank the Lord that he is the same yesterday, today, and always! Ever since the fall into sin, God made his plan known to send a Savior from sin. With consistent love, God protected the descendants of the Savior until the angel made that wonderful, world-changing announcement: “A Savior has been born to you!” This has always been who God is.
Read Exodus 34:6,7: This is God’s explanation of who he is. Pick out one attribute of God from the Exodus passage and cite one example of that attribute from the Old Testament and one example from the New Testament.
God’s attribute: ______________________________________________________________________
Example from the Old Testament: ________________________________________________________
Example from the New Testament: _______________________________________________________
What does that attribute mean to you today? ________________________________________________
Author: David Scharf
Volume 107, Number 03
Issue: March 2020
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible? - 2021/07/27
- Bible study: Interpretation practice - 2021/07/27
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us? - 2021/06/29