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Sin can’t separate Christians from God’s love. As a Christian, your relationship with God protects you from the condemnation of sin (Romans 8:1, 37-39).
For you bless the godly, O LORD; you surround them with your shield of love.Psalm 5:12 NLT
What is your position in relation to God? Are you standing in front of Him arguing your point or are you standing behind Him, allowing Him to represent you in all matters? The first position stands in conflict with God while the second stands in agreement.
God’s Love Helps Interpret the Bible
The Bible contains good news about God’s love for believers. The experiences and personal characteristics you bring to a Bible passage can influence how you interpret it. Two people can read the same Bible verse and draw two different conclusions. This is why we also need the Holy Spirit to help us know the truth.
When you read about David moving the Ark of God, how do you relate to the story?
David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.
And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.2 Samuel 6:1-7 ESV
If you read this passage believing your salvation is not secure, you could feel anger, condemnation, fear, and anxiety. You could wonder if you’ve done something wrong (or you’re about to) and God is going to punish you severely, or worse that you’ve lost your salvation.
However, if you read it as a Christian who is secure in their salvation, you’ll be able to recognize that you have God’s favor as His child. You won’t worry about God’s response because you’ll know that His response is the best for you. God disciplines those he loves (Hebrews 12:6) so I’m not suggesting that God is easy on sin. I am suggesting that God is working for your good and you don’t need to live in fear. God’s love drives away fear (1 John 4:18).
What Uzzah a Christian? If he wasn’t, you don’t have to worry if you are a Christian. If he was, then he will still be with God in heaven. For whatever reason, God’s disciple of Uzzah’s sin meant physical death. Sin does not determine whether a person goes to heaven or hell. Only a person’s standing with Jesus can do that.
God’s Love Creates a Privileged Relationship
When you become a child of God, you have a privileged relationship. You shouldn’t read the Bible as if you’re just like every character in the Bible. If you’re a Christian and you read it as if you’re Uzzah or King Saul instead of David or the apostle Paul, you’re going to feel fear instead of peace. David sinned greatly and God still considered him a man after His heart. God disciplined him, but he also blessed him. How can this be? The Holy Spirit of God was with David in ways that He wasn’t with Saul.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.Romans 8: 1-2 ESV
Don’t let anything separate you from God’s love. Make sure you interpret Bible passages based on your new identity and standing, as a totally accepted person because you’re “in Christ Jesus.”
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.