Hi John,

These are difficult questions to answer in the short space that I have here so to some extent you may be dissatisfied with the answer. However I will endeavour to give an answer that points you in the right direction and you can come back with other questions if needs be. I would also encourage you to read the bible. Pehaps start by looking at Mark’s gospel and seeing what Jesus said and did.

Now in looking at your questions we need to remember who we are talking about and what he has done.

The bible reveals God as the one who, not only made and sustains everything we see, but also made us and sustains us. Because of this he has certain rights. He expects us to honour him and treat him as God, give thanks to him, listen to him and live as he wants us to live.

But we don’t. Humanity, on the whole, ignores God most of the time. We want to live our lives our own way without reference to him. We rebel against him and don’t want him to tell us what to do. This is what we call sin.

This rebellion makes God angry and leads to a breakdown in our relationship with him. God will punish us and there is nothing we can do about this. So God does something for us instead.

Because of his love for us God sent his Son - Jesus - to show us how to live and ultimately to die for us, in our place, taking the punishment for our rebellion so that we may be forgiven. Those who put their trust (or faith) in Jesus and what he has done are forgiven by God and reconcilled to him.

Just stop and think about that. The God, who we ignore, was prepared to die for us so that we would not be punished. And all this because he loves us.

This is the heart of Christianity - a renewed relationship with God through faith in Jesus’ death and resurection.

So why did he do it this way? Well there is no clear cut answer to this but I can make some observations:

1. God did not do it for us but for his Son Jesus. In Hebrews 1:1-4, Jesus is seen as the one who inherits everything God has created.

2. God did this so we would know how much he loves us. (read 1 John 3:11-24 towards the end of the bible) How much does God love you? Enough to let his Son die for you! Those who follow God look forward to heaven and a God they know loves them dearly.

3. God as our Creator has the right to do whatever he likes with us. This is not something that we like to hear because we have an inate sense of our great worth. But God created us and can do as he wants - after al he is God!! This is the problem the apostle Paul grappled with in his letter to the Romans (Rom 9:1-29) and in the end he concludes that we do not have the right to tell God what to do. It is a matter of him choosing or not choosing.

This needs to be balanced with God’s love for us demonstrated in the death of Jesus. God is not a capricious, vindictive, fickle God but a God of love who is also sovereign. So the only way to respond to God’s sovereignty is to beg him to choose you and show mercy!!

God’s sovereignty also helps us to have confidence since if God choose us then nothing can come between God and us. See Rom 8:28-39.

I hope this goes some way to helping you with your questions. God wants you to come to him but it is only on his terms. So thnk about this and get back to me if you have any other questions.

cheers
David

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