Friday, May 6, 2011
Osama Bin Laden - What He Teaches Us About The Gospel
I had been planning to blog about Chuck Norris today, who just returned from a brief vacation to Pakistan. But in the light of major breaking news, I thought it important to put all else on hold and discuss the recent death of Osama Bin Laden.
It is interesting to note how the word justice has been so readily thrown around (even by bleeding heart liberals) in the aftermath of the successful raid and execution of Osama Bin Laden in his hideout. It is a ready acknowledgement that time does not erase crimes and, also, that even the pagan world recognizes that there is a righteous aspect to the punishment of wrongdoers. I too draw some sense of satisfaction from Bin Laden finally receiving retribution for the atrocities he has instigated. But I also feel the danger of gazing too long in the direction of a world full of wickedness lest it obscures my own horrendous crimes against a Holy God.
I recently heard a sermon by CJ Mahaney where he said:
You will never see the cross as something done for you until you see it as something done by you.
It can be a dangerous and damning practice to spend more time gazing in the direction of a world full of sinners who far exceed your own "small and petty sins". Pause and consider the outrage you felt when Bin Laden's responsibility for the September 11 atrocities was revealed. Now go and multiply that outrage by infinity and load it into the cannon of God's wrath that is aimed straight at you (John 3:36) . . . unless you are clothed with the imputed righteousness of Christ. It is not just the magnitude and volume of our rebellion against a Holy God, but Who we have sinned against. If I lie to my daughter she can do nothing to me. If I lie to my wife I'll be sleeping on the sofa. If I lie to my boss he can fire me. And if I lie to the government they can throw me in jail. The higher the authority we sin against - the greater the consequences. What if God is an infinite authority??? Then His righteousness would deem our crimes against Him as infinite. A healthy grasp of this truth for the unbeliever will drive him to the Savior in desperate need of forgiveness for sin and the righteousness of Christ. For the believer it should grow and deepen our gratitude for Christ's wondrous redemptive work. The knowledge of our own wretchedness should also aid us in our willingness to love the pagans we witness to and instill a gracious humility into our tone of conversation. We can actually learn a lot about the Gospel in the death of a global terrorist . . .
But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?-as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:5-26)