An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Proverbial Good News

(Proverbs 16:6 KJV)  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

The great problem in humanity is “iniquity” (5771).  This is sin and has a sense of the inner twisting of the human nature.  This verse could be confusing if read is isolation or used as a lone proof text.  Sin is “purged” (atoned for, NASB) (3722a) by blood. 
(Hebrews 9:22 KJV)  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
In the OT atonement is linked to the sacrifices on the altar of God.  This is understood as a “type” of Christ who would become the perfect sacrifice.  “Type” is a word used for actions or objects which have hidden or symbolic meaning.  Theologically forgiveness, or remission, comes from the blood of Christ, but there is plenty of evidence that it is available in the OT times.  The atonement of the OT sacrifice is made effective by the Cross.

The danger for us in using this verse in isolation is that we can be trapped into thinking that it is our efforts at “mercy” (lovingkindness, NASB) (2617a) [chesed] and “truth” (571) that bring the forgiveness.  No.  That is falling into the trap of earning our salvation.  It is God’s love and truth that bring forgiveness of sin.

So?  On one side this should bring a great sense of relief.  We don’t have to earn it.  Jesus died on the Cross.  He was the Perfect Lamb of God.  He atoned for our iniquity.  On the other side it should free us up to practice lovingkindness and proclaim truth, freed from a feeling of not being able to measure up.  We love because He loved us, not because we want Him to love us.  Live in freedom.

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