We are now in the third post of our #GospelFoundations series, in which we have been studying the foundations of the Gospel.
So far we have seen that the Gospel is good news because our great Triune God is infinitely, perfectly happy. Because He is a Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, God is infinitely satisfied in Himself. Therefore, He is free, able, and willing to give us and do for us everything it takes to be happy in relationship with Him in Christ.
We also saw that God is not just happy, but our happy King and Lord: He is in control of and governs all things. Even and especially salvation and suffering.
Now we will see why rebellion against our happy, sovereign King is so deadly.
Cosmic Rebellion Against Our Happy, Holy, Sovereign King
We know that all have sinned and deserve God’s wrath (Rom. 3:23). But why exactly is that the case? Why are all people sinners and why do all sinners deserve and receive the wrath of a happy, holy God?
To answer this question, perhaps it would be helpful to look at what sin really is, to put it in its proper perspective.
Most people think that sin is simply “doing bad things” or “not doing the good things”—or in other words, sin is only external. While this is the case, sin is far more than just breaking rules: sin is rebellion against and dishonor toward our happy, triune King.
Sin is rebellion against and dishonor toward our happy, triune King.
Sin is the failure to be happy and satisfied in our happy Father, Son, and Spirit; and sin is failure to live in dependent relationship to our sovereign Lord and King.
God gives the definition of evil and sin in Jeremiah 2:13: “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
You see, evil and sin is two-fold as God defines it. First and foremost, evil is the forsaking of God as our Happy Father and Sovereign King. Sin begins when we start to lose our love of and submission to God. But not only that, sin is also the seeking of other sources of satisfaction and comfort, “hewing out…broken cisterns that can hold no water”.
Thinking other things can satisfy us, we pursue false gods and false satisfiers – which actually prove to be deadly (Rom. 6:23).
Sin happens when we start thinking other things like sexual immorality, money, pornography, fame, drugs, and a multitude of other things will satisfy us.
Why The Rebellion Must Be Punished
Sin is what we do when our hearts and desires are not happy and satisfied in God and when our lives and wills are not submitted to the rule of God.
This is why sin is particularly disgusting, angering, and saddening to God: sin tells God that He is not a Happy Father or a Sovereign King; sin tells God He is not holy, beautiful, satisfying, or in control.
But God isn’t some egomaniac or a “vain old woman seeking compliments” as C.S. Lewis put it.
God commands us to be satisfied in Him alone not only because He desires to be glorified, but because out hearts are only ever truly satisfied in Him, and our lives only truly flourish in submission to Him.
Our attempts to find satisfaction and comfort in anything but God “can’t hold water” – they don’t provide what they promise.
God is the only one that always provides what He promises; and God promises that at His right hand are “fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
For this reason, God must punish sinners; for they blaspheme His holy name.
Sin Will Not Have The Last Word
This humbling, terrifying truth that all have committed treason against an all-powerful, all-satisfying God makes the Gospel much more beautiful. If we weren’t in the situation we are all in, the Gospel wouldn’t be good news at all: it would be a self-help message for good people, not a rescue message for dead, condemned rebels.
It wouldn’t be the “gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4), it would be the gospel of the glory of men.
But, because we are in such a terrible estate as dead, condemned rebels, the good news of all God has done for us and is for us in Jesus is amazing!
As we will see in the coming posts, sin and treason against our happy, holy, King will not have the last word: although we were “dead in our trespasses” (Eph. 2:1), “God, being rich in mercy, with the great love with which he loved us, made us alive in Christ” (Eph. 2:4-5).
Our happy, holy, sovereign King set His love and grace on rebellious, treacherous, sinners like you and me (Rom. 5:6, 8) and did everything in His Son to save a people for Himself.
Sin will not have the last word.