Many of us may remember being threatened with punishment for some act of disobedience as a child, and the fear that resulted from it. As adults, we may think the same way about God. This is because religion still teaches the Law of Moses, which is all about punishment and wrath. However, what was true under the law is now no longer true under grace.
Under the law, God punished the children, down to the third and fourth generations, for the sins of the father. This was a generational curse that Jesus took upon Himself when He went to the cross. Jesus took all the anger and punishment meant for us so that God can be merciful to our unrighteousness and remember our sins and iniquities no more. This is true for all believers.
God is no longer angry with us; He is no longer a judge, but is now our loving Father. In the Old Testament, God was distant and unapproachable; the people were warned that they would die if they came near Him. The New Testament actually began with Jesus’ death and resurrection; in it, we’re encouraged to come boldly before His throne of grace, to find mercy and grace to help us in times of need.
God loves us very much and wants a personal relationship with us; therefore, as His children, we don’t have to be timid or afraid of Him. He’s not intent on punishing us, and the idea that bad things happen to people because they’re being punished is wrong-thinking. If we do think that way, studying the Bible to rightly divide the Word of truth helps us renew our minds and think differently. We can be grateful that Christ brought radical change for the better to us.
Lord, as Your children, we don’t have to fear Your punishment. Jesus took all of that on our behalf, as the perfect and eternal sacrifice for our sins. We can now run toward You, not away from You. Thank You for this. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2 Timothy 2:15