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“Every act of sin has in it a hatred for God.” This is what my wife, Laurie, said at our little church gathering at McDonald’s Sunday morning. She was quoting Matthew Henry. I was stunned a little. It seemed to ring true, but we cannot just accept what a commentator says without finding biblical proof. Once we discussed it for a few minutes, we found that it is true. We knew for certain that sin is rebelling against God and His good and just law. We knew for certain that when we sin, we are telling Him that we do not want to obey His law. This led us to consider this passage:

“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality” (Romans 2:6–11).1

There is a lot here; too much to address in this post. But one thing we noticed was that those who don’t “obey the truth,” instead “obey unrighteousness.” That’s uncomfortable. I want to reject the notion that I’m obeying something that is so against God. But there it is, right in our faces in Romans 2.

When I sin, I am telling God that I don’t want to be a righteous man. I am rejecting the right standing He has given me, the right to be related to Him as a son, a saint, a forgiven and holy one, whose sin has been washed away in Jesus’ blood. I am rejecting all of that—the amazing gifts He has freely given me in His mercy. That word “rejecting” reminds me of Isaiah’s heartbreaking prophecy: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

So, I am enrolled in that deplorable company. As uncomfortable as it is, I hate God when I obey unrighteousness. I have hated Him without cause (John 15:24–25).

Oh, Lord God our Father. I don’t want to despise and reject You. I don’t want to be in that company, a company of fools and devils. Father, forgive me for hating You, for joining hands with your enemies. I truly am a fool.

Oh, Father. Lord Jesus. Thank you for your mercy. Thank You for this verse from Lamentations: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22–23).

And this gracious word from Paul in his letter to Timothy:

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24–26).

Lord, thank You for being merciful to me, a sinner.

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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