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Communion Meditations (2017)

What Right?

Originally scheduled for February 5

But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?

(Psalms 50:16)


If you listen long enough, you will eventually hear most Christians complain of a common enough phenomenon: people that they consider wicked piously wrap themselves in Christian thought or even Scripture quotation. The most common form of this is fairly simple: the wicked compare themselves to those who are believers, but just barely. Every church has its members who are not quite 100% with the program. By comparing themselves to the worst of believers, the wicked attempt to justify themselves. It makes very little sense; they tell us “you’re bad. I’m worse. Therefore I am okay.” I don’t know how the minimal Christian feels about this, but the more serious Christian is quite irritated by this nonsense.

We have a solution, of course. It is the basic lightning bolt principal. We simply ask God why doesn’t he put a lightning bolt right between the eyes of that wicked sinner? It would solve many problems if God were willing to do this for us. It would get rid of one of the wicked, and provide a marvelous example for the rest of them. But consider well what this means: it says that for every person God hits with a lightning bolt right between the eyes, it was impossible for that person to repent and receive salvation. And nothing is impossible with God. To hit them with a lightning bolt says they can’t be saved.

God has already provided a solution for the problem; he has already done something about it. He paid the price of that wicked man sins on the cross on the hill of Calvary. He gave us no list of exceptions, he paid the price for all who will receive him. More than that, he has commanded his church — that’s us — to offer this salvation as a free gift to every human being on the planet. He has already told us what to do with the wicked: bring them the gift of salvation, make them into disciples and turn the wicked into the saved.

One more thing he has asked us to do: he has asked us to remember. We are to remember not only his sacrifice but the price of that sacrifice. The son of God, incarnate in a body like our own, lived and then died a horrible death so that we might become the children of God. Every time you take communion, every time you lift the cup to your lips and take the bread in your mouth, you are remembering the price he paid. He paid the price for you — and also for the wicked, so that each and every one of us might become a child of God.

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