About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Is God Divided?
I think many of us tend to think that the Old Testament is all Law while the New Testament is all about Grace. We seem to see God’s anger in the Old Testament, and only His love in the New Testament.
Has God changed from Old Testament times? Does He no longer get angry? Has He stopped judging people, leaving it to a future final judgment?
We know that God doesn’t change. This means that sin disturbs Him now just as much as it did in Noah’s day. The history of the life of God is not divided into two parts, His law and anger period being one part, and His grace and love period being another part. Basic to the teaching of the Oneness of God is that God cannot be divided in who He is. God is perfect in love and holy in anger throughout His existence.
God has not changed. The Law of God as seen in the Old Testament has taken on new meaning in the New Testament, but the nature of God has not changed. He is still just and loving at the same time. The cross made a way for us to escape His anger, yet there is a day coming when those who refuse His grace will experience His anger.
Reformed theologians have often said that we cannot really know God’s love and mercy until we understand to a degree His justice. We cannot know grace until we see that His Law has utterly condemned us.
God is still as just today as He ever was. He was loving in Noah’s day, just as He is today. We all know the New Testament scriptures that tell us He loves us, but look at this scripture. You may think it was written in Old Testament times, but it wasn’t. They are one of the last recorded words of our Lord in the Canon of Scripture. "I have this against you. You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants … I have given her time to repent … but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering … I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds". (Rev. 2:20-24)
I don’t mean to scare you but these words are not Old Testament words. They are New Testament words of our Lord found in the Bible. These are New Testament words. The history of God is not divided into two. Although the Law of God has taken on new meaning for us today, his justice remains the same. He still wants us to live according to His will and ways, and according to this verse, all judgment is not put off into the future. Some judgment takes place now. Thanks be to Jesus who delivers us from present and future judgment as we trust Him for each day of our lives. In light of knowing who God really is I am greatly thankful for Jesus and His sacrifice of love.