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 #2 :"OT God of hate while NT God of love"

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Age : 24
Registration date : 2009-09-22

PostSubject: #2 :"OT God of hate while NT God of love"   Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:21 am

Imagine you are settling down for your nightly devotions. You've got your cup of coffee, your Bible, and your ready to go.You begin reading in the Old Testament. As you read you read how only eight people survived in a huge flood which killed all of mankind. How an entire city, save for a prostitute and her family are crushed by their own walls. You ready how a man was stoned to death for gathering wood on the sabbath. Whoa! This is not the relaxing peaceful devotion you were looking for! The Old Old Testament is filled with occurrences of God’s judgment upon sinners – the plagues of Egypt, Sodom and Gomorrah, King Nebuchadnezzar, David’s adultery with Bathsheba, and the list goes on. In fact if you start reading through the first five books of the Bible, you might get the impression that the Author of the book is very strict, impatient, angry and wrathful. Then as you read on into the NT you come across Jesus who hugged children and blessed the babies......... HE filled empty stomachs with food, raised a dead man to his feet, and befriended a despised tax collector. You make think that the New Testamen is a God of love and grace. The Q arises then, Is OT God a God of hate, while the GOD of NT is a God of love ? This the Q that I have been asked to analyse and respond to. To analyze this statement, it is often helpful to understand the history behind the statement. I will also explain to you the three reasons why this statement is untrue. And lastly we will go over some verses from the bible which show God's love and wrath both in the OT and NT.

In the 4th century there was a man by the name of Marcion who also came to this conclusion that there must be two Gods. He said that the God of the OT was a different and lesser entity than God of NT. The god of OT was the Creator God, who he believed was harsh and cruel. On the other hand Marcion saw the God of the NT as a “higher unknown” God of whom Paul spole about on Mars Hill. According to Marcion this God remained hidden until he revealed himself as “Jesus”, a God of love and compassion. Marcion was considered to be one of the greatest heretics in church history. Polycarp, a second century bishop of Smyrna, went so far as to call Marcion the “first born of Satan.” When faced with the same question today, it is important to look in the Bible for answers. Careful study of the scriptures reveal that God is not different from one testament to another and that God’s wrath and His love are revealed in both testaments.

There are 3 main reasons why this statement is untrue.
The first reason is the Bible says that our God is ONE god. There are numerous verses in the Bible that explicitly speak of the God's singularity.
In NT , Eph 4: 6 says that “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” In the OT, Deut 6:4 says “Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
The second reason why the statement is untrue is that the God of the Bible is an unchanging God. The Bible is very clear that God does not change, neither His mind, nor His will, nor His nature. Take for example the verse from Hebrews 13:8 that says, “Jesus Christ, is the same, today and forever.” God by His very nature is immutable (unchanging). While we might see one aspect of His nature revealed in certain passages of Scripture more than other aspects, God Himself does not change. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I do not change.”
The third and last reason I will be discussing today is found in understanding the context in which OT and NT were written. Throughout the Old Testament, we also see God dealing with Israel the same way a loving father deals with a child. When they willfully sinned against Him and began to worship idols, God would punish them. Yet, each time He would deliver them once they had repented of their idolatry. This is much the same way God deals with Christians in the New Testament. For example, Hebrews 12:6 tells us that “the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Lastly lets go over some verses where both testaments describe a God of wrath and a God of love. For example, the God of the Old Testament is the God who lovingly provided water and manna and quail to a nation that did not deserve it. God’s grace was constant in the face of human unfaithfulness. Take for example these verses from the Old Testament which shows God's loving nature.
Exodus 34:6 The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness.
Numbers 14:18The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. On many occasions through the Old Testament the mercy of God is praised.
Conversely, the God of the New Testament is also the same Lord who said in (Mark 16:16)“whoever does not believe will be condemned.” And in Romans 1:18, it says God's wrath “being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness”

As we study the Bible, it becomes clear that God is the same in the Old and New Testaments. Even though the Bible has 66 individual books written on two (or possibly three) continents, in three different languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years by more than 40 authors, it remains one unified book from beginning to end without contradiction. Throughout the Bible, both OT ans NT, we see God lovingly and mercifully calling people into a special relationship with Himself, not because they deserve it, but because He is a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness.
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