Often we think of being passed over as insulting and unfair, even to the point of nurturing a grudge. However, there are times when being passed over is a blessing. Even a blessing leading to life.
Such time as when God passes over sin giving further opportunity toward repentance. This, too, we call God’s Grace. The many times he passed over my sin I was increasingly humbled to the point of self-shame. In the end it was God’s goodness that lead me to repentance. I could no longer take of his goodness and walk away one more time. He captivated my will by continuously passing over my sin, and delivering me from one more rock slide I had gotten myself buried under. Is this fair? For some people believe that only the good deserves God’s attentive goodness.
When God doesn’t fit within the mold of our theology we should look toward the rest of God. That part of God we are always saying we don’t understand–because we don’t. This is only common sense(not very common these days)for He says His ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and ways.
What does it mean to rest in God with the rest of God? In Genesis it says on the seventh day God rested. In Exodus, within the Ten Commandments, God tells us to rest on the seventh day by remembering the Sabbath to keep it holy. In so doing we were to refrain from doing any common work, thereby setting aside one day per week for rest. But in the New Testament book of Hebrews we are told that the Savior has completed the Law of the Old, and we find our rest in Him. Now, Christ is our Sabbath rest. As we rest in Him, we rest in God. However we still go on the principle of a Sabbath rest by taking vacations. We know the mind and body needs rest, that’s just common sense. So the Rest of God has a spiritual meaning as well as a practical.
However, there is a twist on the phrase The Rest of God I would like to look at. And that is, all that’s left over of God that tumbles outside the packaged box of our, otherwise very useful, studied Christian theologies.
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy we find this small but very impactful verse: “The secret things belong to God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever…” Deut. 29:29. In other words, don’t be so haughty in what we think we know about God in our humongous knowledge of Theology, ‘cause we don’t know spit. When it comes to human ability to understand everything there is to know of Almighty, Eternal God we are sorely lacking. Christ revealed a huge cornucopia of information to us to be used and sifted for our benefit concerning life and relationship with Him; all we need to know. Information we will still be gleaning on into eternity. But compared to all there is to know about God? Not so much.
These “secret things” belong under the heading of God’s Grace. That alone is what allows us to know anything about, and have relationship with Him. Grace is all about God’s unfathomable love. And it’s Grace that sets God’s love apart from, and higher than, human love. Where humans can’t, God can. Where humans can’t understand, God sets in motion His perfect plan, whatever it may be. Grace, as love, covers a multitude of sins. However, perfect love is not perfect love without perfect justice. But that’s for another discussion.
I have my theology, as many do, and I study it and consult with it, and I think it’s a good theology – however, where my theology is lacking there is the rest of God. The portion/s of God that is well beyond my pay grade this side of eternity.
1 Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin.
2 Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
what can avail to wash it away!
Look! there is flowing a crimson tide;
whiter than snow you may be today. [Refrain]
3 Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe;
you that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive? [Refrain]
Romans 3:22-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [Jew or Gentile] who believe [and trust in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son]. There is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] [a]grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] [b]sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion]. 26 It was to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus [and rely confidently on Him as Savior].
- Romans 3:24 I.e. His favor and mercy, extended to man who can do nothing to be worthy of it. It is God’s amazing gift. (His Grace means to have our sins passed over until our surrendered faith in Christ alone is sealed by the Holy Spirit-God’s gift to those who surrender their complete allegience to Christ alone in complete trust -my words.)
- Romans 3:25 By laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice the person offering the sacrifice identified himself with it and through its death it became an atonement or covering for his sin. Because the unblemished sacrifice “covered” his sin it placed the person offering the sacrifice in a right relationship with God. Later under the new covenant the perfection and sacrifice of Christ would cover (atone for) the imperfection and sin of those who identified with Him and accepted Him as Savior.