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Pastor Shane Ham : How Sin Requires an Angry God

What's Inside · 40:01 · Recorded August 21, 2022

Why Sin Requires An Angry God

Isaiah 64:1–9, 65:17–18 (NIV84) Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people. … “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people to be a joy.“

God’s anger in the Bible is not like our anger.

God’s anger: It’s a settled, fixed, implacable, irrevocable, incorruptible, opposition to injustice and evil.

1. You need an angry God, or you won’t have true peace in an unjust world.

2. You need an angry God if you’re going to live in humility.

Isaiah 64:1–3 (NIV84) Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.

Isaiah 64:4-6 (NIV84) Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

3. You need an angry God if you’re really going to understand how loved you are.

Isaiah 64:8 (NIV84) Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

God’s love is the cause of his anger.

Isaiah 64:9 (NIV84) Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people.

God’s love is NOT JUST the cause of his anger. God’s love is ALSO the satisfaction of his anger.

Isaiah 65:17 (NIV84) “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”

Luke 16:19-31 (NIV) “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Fear cannot awaken love in you. Only love can awaken love in you.

Talk It Over
  • What do you think of Shane’s premise that we “need” an angry God? Talk this through with your small group or a friend.

  • Was there a time when all your righteous acts became as dry leaves or filthy rags because you lacked humility or did not call on God’s name? What did that do to you? What hope do you have that God will still relate to you with mercy and grace (see Romans 3:21-26)?

  • Spend time in contemplation before the Lord. . . Where do love and justice come together? Where do you see that God is both/and? Where do you find his furious love and his loving fury?

  • In this last week of the message series, ask the question again, “How big is my God?” Am I looking for a permissive parent? Do I view him in all of his sovereignty and righteousness, with a right to be angry toward sin? Could he be all that is needed in a Lord and Savior if he hadn’t loved me so much that he put all of my sins on his son on the cross? If he hadn’t delivered justice? Am I fully surrendered to this big God who loves me even to his own death? Is my God big enough for me?

  • Parents: Talk with your kids this week about their intentions – the reasons they do things. Help them begin to identify their motivations. When we act nicely just so something good will happen or something bad won’t happen, our motivation isn’t right. When we love Jesus, he helps us make good choices because of love – not because of the reward or benefit. Pray together that Jesus will help them speak and act from love, because that’s what he did for us.

Talk It Over
  • What do you think of Shane’s premise that we “need” an angry God? Talk this through with your small group or a friend.

  • Was there a time when all your righteous acts became as dry leaves or filthy rags because you lacked humility or did not call on God’s name? What did that do to you? What hope do you have that God will still relate to you with mercy and grace (see Romans 3:21-26)?

  • Spend time in contemplation before the Lord. . . Where do love and justice come together? Where do you see that God is both/and? Where do you find his furious love and his loving fury?

  • In this last week of the message series, ask the question again, “How big is my God?” Am I looking for a permissive parent? Do I view him in all of his sovereignty and righteousness, with a right to be angry toward sin? Could he be all that is needed in a Lord and Savior if he hadn’t loved me so much that he put all of my sins on his son on the cross? If he hadn’t delivered justice? Am I fully surrendered to this big God who loves me even to his own death? Is my God big enough for me?

  • Parents: Talk with your kids this week about their intentions – the reasons they do things. Help them begin to identify their motivations. When we act nicely just so something good will happen or something bad won’t happen, our motivation isn’t right. When we love Jesus, he helps us make good choices because of love – not because of the reward or benefit. Pray together that Jesus will help them speak and act from love, because that’s what he did for us.

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