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Does God Feel Pain & Sadness Like We Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2024 4:30 am

Does God Feel Pain & Sadness Like We Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 19, 2024 4:30 am

Episode 1427 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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 CoreChristianity.com

   

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Does God feel pain and sadness like we do? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you, and you can call us at 833-THE-CORE. If you get our voicemail system, feel free to leave your message with your question there. You can also email us anytime at questions-at-core-christianity.com. First up today, let's go to Nathan, who's calling in from Missouri. Nathan, what's your question for Adriel?

Hi. I just want to say I really appreciate you all on this show. My question is about forgiveness. When somebody realizes they've done something wrong against you and they answer forgiveness, I understand we need to honor that and forgive that. But what happens when someone is obviously unrepentant, they know full well they have done something wrong and continue to do so, and are we obligated to forgive in those situations? And if we do, are we exceeding even what God does by forgiving someone that's totally unrepentant?

And obviously, a difficult one, I don't know in your own life specifically what the circumstances are, but may the Lord give you grace and strength and wisdom, and especially with forgiveness. That's one of the most difficult things for us, even as Christians. We're called to forgive. Jesus in Matthew chapter 6 exhorts us once again in the context of prayer and the Lord's Prayer. If we don't forgive, we won't be forgiven. In one sense, you think of the parable that Jesus tells a little bit later in Matthew's Gospel. Forgiveness flows out of the fact that we have been forgiven by the great King, by the Lord, and so we ought to forgive others.

But what about those situations that you bring up where someone is a repeat offender? They keep sinning against us in the same way. Well, again, you think of what Jesus says to Peter. Peter goes up to him and says, Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother who has sinned against me up to seven times? And what is Jesus' response?

Oh, 70 times seven. But I would distinguish, and I think you can too, I would distinguish between forgiving someone, between reconciliation with that person, and restoration. Forgiveness is something we're always called to, I would say, as Christians. We're called to, from the heart, forgive. That is, we're not trying to retaliate, we're not trying to hurt this other person.

That's a way in which we're bearing the weight of what's happened, and we're saying, okay, I'm not going to respond in kind. But for there to be true reconciliation in a relationship, and that's what I think God calls us to, especially within the body of Christ, that other person needs to, one, recognize what they've done, and confess it, and ask for forgiveness. There can't be any real reconciliation apart from that realization. And so if an individual, let's say it's someone within the church, they're doing the same thing over and over again, then I think you can question, okay, well, can there really be reconciliation here, and bring that up? This is where the process of church discipline that Jesus talked about in Matthew 18 can come in handy. Additionally, it may be that someone hurts you, and sins against you, and confesses their sin, and so they come to you and they're truly sorry and repentant, and there's reconciliation.

That doesn't always mean that the relationship is restored to what it once was. So the example that we sometimes give, Nathan, is an individual works behind a cash register, and they commit the sin of stealing money from the cash register. And their boss says, okay, you've been caught, and this is what happened, and the person who stole the money says, I'm so sorry, I know that that was wrong, I repent, here's the money.

Okay, there's been forgiveness, there's been reconciliation even in the relationship, okay, we're good now. But does that mean that that individual has to be restored to that position again, that they should be there doing the same thing? Or, for example, a pastor who sins in some grievous way, maybe there's an affair or embezzling. And there's genuine repentance. Does that mean that he should just be restored to the pastorate?

No. So I think having those categories of, okay, I'm called to forgive, but reconciliation can only happen if this other person is repentant and confessing their sin or agreement there, and restoration requires wisdom. We've got to think about, okay, is this relationship going to be restored?

I think having those other categories can be helpful. And with regard to the difficulty of forgiving another person, because it is hard, we always have to go back to, God, you have forgiven me so much, you've been so merciful to me through your son Jesus. Help me to extend that same grace and mercy that you've given to me towards this other person who has sinned against me. That doesn't mean that we're going to be reconciled if they don't confess and repent of their sins, but help me to have a posture of love, not trying to hurt them and retaliate or wish their harm.

Help me to have a posture of love towards them, even as you have loved me. And may God give you that, Nathan, as you deal with whatever it is you're going through. Thank you for reaching out to us, and God bless.

I appreciate Nathan's heart, and it's a great question and something that all of us struggles with at times when somebody's completely unrepentant. So thank you for that great explanation, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THECORE. Let's go to Steve calling in from Nashville. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, hey, I've got you on the speakerphone here in the car. Can you hear me? Hey, Steve, I can hear you. What's your question? Hey, good.

Hey, I have a quick question. I'm going to actually be teaching a class here on Sunday, and for the new year, it seems like there's always these resolutions that people make and then break. And I'm trying to think of starting the new year, setting our priorities. Mark 12, Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God, number one, and then love others as you love yourself. Is Christ here prioritizing the way we should order these three groups, God, others, and self? And what, in your professional opinion, is the way we should view ourselves in light of this passage? Because there's a lot of self-help books, and the new year seems to be very focused on self. Yeah.

Steve, thanks, and God bless you as you teach this class. It does seem like there are a couple of ditches to reckon here. One would be this sort of self-deprecation that's just, oh, I'm a worm, I'm nothing, and a low view of the fact that we are the objects of God's love created in His image. The other, I think, ditch to reckon is the one that probably a lot of people in our society reckon, and that's too high of a view of self. Self-love, self-care, to the extent that we don't love sacrificially others. And biblical love is that sacrificial love.

It means saying no to myself at times, and yes to the good of others. You think of what Paul says in Philippians chapter 2, Have this mind in you which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, even though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant. Boy, there's the love of God exhibited so clearly in the sacrificial giving of His Son.

I don't know that I would say, in that passage you brought up in Mark chapter 12, is that God first, then others, then me? That's one way of looking at it, but I think more specifically, Jesus is saying, Love others in the same way that you want to be loved. This is the law in the prophets. Do unto others what you would have them do to you.

And so that same charity, that same kindness, that same goodness that you want for yourself, and extend that to others. I also think of what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 5. He's talking about marriage and the relationship between Christ and the church. He talks about Jesus giving Himself, that He might sanctify His bride, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. Verse 27, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. And so in the same way that we nourish and cherish our own flesh, we take care of ourselves.

Why? Because we should. That's a good thing. We want to extend that to others. And here specifically, Paul is talking about the husband-wife relationship, but we can extend that out to the body of Christ and even towards those outside of the church as we think about what God has called us to. In exhibiting that kind of love and that sacrificial self-giving for the people around us. And so I would say as you're teaching through this, you can highlight, one of the things I would do is just highlight those two ditches that we can reckon. We can have too low of a view of ourselves as creatures made in the image of God, the objects of His redemptive love, so that we just are sort of full of self-deprecation and despair.

Or, and again, this is the one that I think a lot of people are struggling with, too high a view of ourselves, where we're unwilling to lay down our own rights for the good of others. And so may God bless you again as you teach through this and appreciate you giving us a call. By the way, I want to mention we have some great Bible studies for folks like Steve who are leading a Sunday school class or a small group. You can find those at our website, corechristianity.com.

Great studies from a variety of both Old Testament and New Testament books, would encourage you to browse around there when you have an opportunity, corechristianity.com. Let's go to Dave, who is calling in from Kentucky. Dave, what's your question for Adriel? I'm going to try not to be too long-winded with this question.

Hopefully, I can convey the question that I am wondering, but can you help me to understand who the elect are? I've been talking to some people that have a more Calvinistic view and they kind of feel that, you know, I realize that the Holy Spirit draws us and we can't come to God on our own. But I also know that it's not God's will that any of us should perish. So, can you help me to understand that, please?

I don't know that I will be able to untie the knot that is, you know, the relationship between God's sovereignty and human responsibility. I don't think that there's a contradiction there, but I think this is just something that we find in Scripture, the reality that God knows all things and in His providence upholds and sustains all things, and in salvation is the author of our salvation, even the one who gives faith. And yet, at the same time, as you say, God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to everlasting life, as Paul told Timothy. And we're all called to repentance, that free offer of the gospel that goes out promiscuously.

It's a real offer. It's a sincere offer to all people to turn to the Lord. God says, you know, through the prophet Isaiah, all day long, right, I've been stretching out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people. You know, this is Jesus, for example, also, you know, when he's weeping over Jerusalem, he says, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who stones the prophets and kills those who are sent to her.

How often I wanted to gather you together as a hen gathers her chicks, but you are not willing. And so you have this relationship, again, between the sovereignty of God and human responsibility. Now, is there a contradiction?

I already said no, I don't think that there's a contradiction there. God is, one, not obligated to save anyone. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God draws people to himself, such that, I think, he opens our hearts, he regenerates us so that we might believe and lay hold of the promises of the gospel. And there are others who, I would say, continue in their sinful unbelief. God passes over them, he allows them to have their own way. But God is sovereign over all of it.

And I would say, Dave, that makes us uncomfortable in one sense. You know, it can feel like, well, you know, well, how do I know if I'm elect? What if God just passes over me? But what I would say is the same thing that many people throughout the history of the church have said, and it's that election or God's choice. Peter says in 2 Peter 1, make your calling and election sure. It's tied to Jesus. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Have you trusted in him for the forgiveness of your sins? That faith that you have in Jesus, even that is the work of the Holy Spirit. So don't doubt that God is at work in your life.

Instead, lay hold of the glorious grace of God for you and say in praise, were it not for you, O Lord, I would have gone, you know, the way of darkness. I know that it wasn't me. It wasn't my intelligence. It wasn't my holiness.

It wasn't the fact that I'm better than other people. But for the grace of God, there go I too, as the saying is often made. And so I think we, again, we don't want to deny either. We don't want to deny human responsibility. And we also don't want to deny the fact that God is sovereign over all things, including salvation. And so you let the scripture speak clearly on both accounts and humble ourselves before the Lord. And I would just say, Dave, maybe prayerfully reading through, you hear the big passages that talk about this doctrine in particular, prayerfully reading through Ephesians chapter 1 and Romans chapters 9 through 11, because you have a lot of talk in both of those sections about election, about God's sovereignty and salvation, and also about human responsibility and the fact that God is calling all people to himself, Jews and Gentiles. And so rather prayerfully, you know, maybe this this weekend or in the days ahead, open up those chapters and read through them and say, Lord, grant me your grace and understanding. Thanks for reaching out to us.

Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. How should we think about marriage in 2024? You know, it seems like our culture views marriage completely differently than God views it.

And we have created an excellent resource for you on that very topic. The resource is called Why Would Anyone Get Married? And maybe that's a question you've asked yourself, hopefully not after already having been married or being married. But family is so important and marriage is so important. It's a gift that God gives not everybody. Not everyone is necessarily called to be married, but it is.

It is truly a gift. And so we want to help you grow in your understanding about God's purpose and design for marriage. Why God created marriage in the first place. And again, you can dive into that with this resource, Why Would Anyone Get Married, available at corechristianity.com. Such a great resource, especially if you are considering getting married. Maybe you have a son or daughter, grandson, granddaughter who's considering marriage.

This would be an awesome gift to give them. Or maybe you know somebody who discounts marriage and says, Hey, I'm just going to live together, you know, and it's no big deal. Why not get a copy of this book?

Again, Why Would Anyone Get Married? from corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the Core, and you can call us anytime, 24 hours a day. Leave your question on our voicemail system. The number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Here's a voicemail that came in from Susan. I'm a bit confused. I'm learning more about the Trinity and about the relationship between God and His Son, Jesus.

So, when He sacrifices His Son and His Son dies, does God feel pain? How does that work? Because His Son is actually part of Himself. And that confuses me. If you can explain that to me, I'd be really, really appreciative.

Thank you so much. Susan, thank you for that excellent question, and one that's been asked before in the history of the Church. There is what is a heresy called patripasianism. It's the idea that the Father, the first person of the Holy Trinity, suffered with Jesus on the cross.

Patripasianism from the Greek word passio, the idea of passions, not passions as in feelings, but pain. You think of the passion of the Christ, the suffering of the Christ. And so the answer to your question, just simply, I mean this is something again that the Church has debated, is within the Trinity, no, the Father does not suffer, the Holy Spirit does not suffer. The second person of the Holy Trinity, the Word, the eternal Son of the Father, assumed humanity for us and for our salvation.

And in that humanity, we might say suffered impassibly. That is, somehow, we could say that the Word, the second person of the Holy Trinity, suffered in that humanity that He assumed. So it's not that God is overwhelmed by or conquered by evil and suffering. No, it's that He took it upon Himself in that humanity so that He might redeem us. And here's, I mean, this is where we're talking about Trinitarian theology, about the suffering of the impassable God, the eternal Word of the Father.

And it is, I mean, there's a lot of mystery involved here, but the Church has, over 2,000 years, ironed out clear ways of speaking so as not to verge into heresy and false teaching about God and the nature of God. Even when we think about God suffering, that language, or God doing anything, we're talking about this being who we can't fully wrap our minds around. He's transcendent.

He's totally other. That distinction that exists between the Creator God and creatures. He is infinite. We're finite. So even as we talk like this, we're trying to wrap our minds around what God has revealed to us. And we can say, based on His revelation, based on His coming down to speak to us through His Word, through the created world around us, the ways in which God makes Himself known, that we can say true things, in fact, about God. But we can never fully exhaust who He is with our definitions and our attempts at defining Him as it were. We're talking about the uncreated one, the Lord, the triune God, and it's a wondrous mystery at the heart of our redemption that the eternal Word of the Father and Son came to earth, assumed humanity, and suffered for us and for our salvation.

The Father didn't suffer, no, the Holy Spirit didn't suffer, no, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Word, Jesus, suffered for us so that we might be united to Him and to the Father and to the Son, to whom belong glory forever and ever. Amen. Well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Tracy, who's calling in from Oklahoma. Tracy, we've just got about two minutes left.

What's your question for Adriel? Yeah, I'd like to go back to that show that you was talking about, the woman, that I really don't know what the context was for her not being able to take the Lord's Supper, but isn't the, I mean, the Lord's Supper, you answered the question right, but the Lord's Supper is just Christ dying for our sins on the third day. I mean, if Christ didn't die for our sins, I mean, there wouldn't be no point in taking the Lord's Supper, is that right? Well, yeah, I mean, so the Lord's Supper, this sign, sometimes referred to as a sacrament, I'm okay with that language as well, I think that's good language, is a sign of the Gospel. It's what God has done for us to redeem us, and we're talking about the body and blood of Jesus Christ for us, and so the one who participates in the Lord's Supper has to recognize that. And you're asking about, you know, we had a caller on another broadcast who, her church in particular, what they did was they said, look, if you're not a member of a church, you shouldn't be participating in the Lord's Supper. And so there was some debate, some question about, well, is that proper? You know, shouldn't we just let anybody partake of the Lord's Supper?

But you're totally right, Tracy, in saying that, no, there has to be some understanding. It's what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11, let the person who's eating and drinking not eat and drink judgment to themselves by approaching the Lord's table and partaking in an unworthy manner, but you have to examine yourself. And again, one of the things I said was, okay, if the Lord's Supper is this Gospel promise, this Gospel means of grace for us, that doesn't mean that examining ourselves has to be this sort of morbid introspection where it's like, okay, I haven't sinned in five days, I think I'm good enough to take the Lord's Supper.

First, you have sinned in five days. Every day we sin against God in thought, word, and indeed, it doesn't make it okay, but it's precisely four broken sinners, repentant sinners, who are trusting in Christ that the Lord's Supper is beneficial. And so we ought to come to the table hungry and thirsty, needing the grace of the Lord like a sick person needs to go to the doctor or someone who's injured needs to go to the hospital. It's four broken people who know that they need Jesus, but if someone rejects Jesus or wants nothing to do with the Church and doesn't understand the Gospel, well, then you're absolutely right. Should that person be taking the Lord's Supper, the person who rejects Jesus, the person who wants nothing to do with the Church, the person who doesn't understand that Jesus offered himself up to forgive our sins? No. That person would be eating and drinking judgment to themselves, and the Church that just says, yeah, whoever wants to come, let them come, is accountable, I think, for that.

They're going to be held responsible. And so we want to take God's worship and God's Gospel very seriously, and I appreciate your giving us a call and following up with that previous question. May the Lord bless you. And once again, brothers and sisters, God bless and thanks for listening. Join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-19 12:09:32 / 2024-02-19 12:19:30 / 10

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