The Lion And The Lamb
Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (Romans 11:22 ESV)
God’s kindness and severity. Some translations say kindness and sternness. A lot of people know that God is kind but they do not understand His sternness. We are advised to continue in His kindness. This means that we can actually discontinue in His kindness and reverse to begin walking in God’s sternness.
To really know someone and love someone you must appreciate everything about that person. I have always prayed for God’s kindness and tender-mercy to come upon me even as I remain unshaken that I have received His mercy as a redeemed Child. I am also aware of His sternness and judgement.
To know God as a kind and stern God is to know Him as the Lion and Lamb, deliverer and judge. I know a lot of people prefer unbalanced teachings that only talk about the kindness of God but pretend that we can’t offend God and attribute everything to the devil. It is man that is the problem not the devil.
We are the ones who have free wills and we are the ones who grieve God and sin. The devil remains constant and changeless in evil and God remains constant and changeless in good. But man is the one that has variations and varies or changes. Every time we change in the wrong direction towards evil, we mess up the world and create imbalance.
Additionally, we attract judgement. This judgement is the sternness of God. Every change is from man who is not constant and causes changes in the spiritual world and we feel those changes on earth as both negative and positive. We activate the changes, we are the cause. We attract curses or judgement by our actions and inactions. If every man on earth was constant in goodness and love, there will no sin, evil and judgement on this earth.
That is why Paul is telling us about the kindness and sternness of God. He is telling us so that we lean towards His kindness and refuse to provoke His sternness. Just as earthly fathers can be stern to their silly wayward children, God can be stern to His silly children and His haters. Yes, there are some people who hate God, it is sad but true.
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. Romans 1:20
You are no more intelligent than the others,” Jesus said to them. “Don’t you understand? Nothing that goes into you from the outside can really make you unclean. Mark 7:18
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV)
Anytime we fall short in understanding the word of God, we exhibit some level of spiritual silliness. When we refuse to fear God, that is a confirmation of silliness. Jesus was full of wisdom, understanding and truth and He demonstrated His wisdom by constantly having the fear of the Lord. It is the fear of the Lord that reminds us of the sternness of God even as we cling to His kindness in great love and appreciation.
Therefore, we must appreciate who God is and constantly seek to please Him.
Points to note.
1. God is always good and never bad
2. The devil is always bad and never good
3. Man is sometimes good and sometimes bad
4. The devil has no freewill
5, Man has a freewill
6. Man is the cause of evil when he partners with the devil. The devil needs mans cooperation.
7. God is always blameless in judgement
8. God disciplines his children
9. God permits tests and trials
10. God cannot temp anyone to commit sin
11. Temptation comes from the human nature and the devil is the tempter
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Hebrews 12:6
because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:12
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent (Revelation 3:19 NKJV)
I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. Isiah 45:7
Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. (Revelation 2:22 NKJV)
I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:23 NKJV)
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. (Revelation 3:3 NKJV)