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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S August 2020

JOHN KINCHIN-SMITH

Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church

 

Last month we considered the question, “Why did the coronavirus pandemic happen?” We discovered that the Bible does help to explain why, and indeed, why other terrible things happen such as poverty, disease and war. The Bible teaches that misery, suffering, and pain are the natural and inevitable consequences of human selfishness – what the Bible calls “SIN”. What the Bible, especially the Old Testament, refers to as “God’s judgement upon human sin”, is never God’s will
 
Whenever bad things happen to the people of Israel in the Bible, God’s hope is that their self-inflicted suffering will bring them to their senses and bring them back to him. The Bible calls this “REPENTANCE”. And time and time again, the people of the Bible are given the choice: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life” (Deuteronomy chapter 30 verses 19-20)
 
Sadly, the people of Israel, the nation God had chosen to be in a unique and special relationship to himself, never succeeded in fulfilling their calling and destiny. God had chosen the people of Israel through their ancestor Abraham in about 1800 BC: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you
 
OPEN BIBLEThe Lord God could have written off Israel and, indeed, all the people of the earth. But the Bible reveals the perfect character of God, and his desire to bless and not curse, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible teaches that only Jesus, a child of Israel, perfectly fulfilled God’s purposes and the calling of the nation. As becomes clear throughout the New Testament, God was himself in Jesus “reconciling the world to himself...not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 19). And “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans chapter 5 verse 8)
 

also published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine

 


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Article printed from networkyarmouth.co.uk at 03:17 on 13 August 2020