The other day i received an email, bemoaning the fact that my theology was wrong, and i had no understanding of God. This came about because i stated that God was in the business of Judgement as well as grace. For those of you who want to turn off now and read the paper or watch tv.
I stand by what i said and heres why. God when he applies his grace to our lives and when we accept it, we accept there is a reason behind it. Normally the grace we receive is when we have sinned or done wrong, but this is not exclusive. So lets put this into ways we can understand it, and look at Judgement, grace and restoration.
We do wrong and a judgement has to take place, i know i have spent a lot of time in courts, being guilty of one thing or another. Then Grace gets applied to the situation, a loving hand, a helpful word, but somewhere along the line grace gets applied. Then we have restoration, the reason for judgement is that restoration can take place, this is a biblical precedent. Any time Judgement is meted out, it's to restore the person back to where they were, but with a better understanding of their mistakes. The Prodigal son, the thief on the cross. Discipline brings restoration, Judgement brings restoration it has to do so.
I'm a parent i think i'm pretty good at it, if you ask Jacob he will have a different take on what i'm like. But we have an odd relationship, we are best mates first and foremost, I'm his dad i embarrass him, because i'm meant to do so.
When i left his mother and he was growing up i was awful as a father, i let him down regularly, and our relationship was non existent for a long time. But over time i have learnt some valuable lessons, some of those things i wad doing had to be bought to account (Judgement) i had to clean up my act, leave the peruvian marching powder behind, and straighten out. After that initial period of straightening out, grace was put into action and the discipline i had undertaking started to pay dividends to me as an individual. Restoration followed. Firstly to my God whom i still let down, but also more importantly to my son, as a friend and a father. My family who had disowned me are now back in my life.
That process that i went through, the judgement, the grace, the restoration of my body and soul was needed.
Yes God is a God of grace, but he is also a God of judgement, he does it to restore us back to himself. It's never for any other reason. If you remove judgement, you remove grace they are intertwined. As the song by the great Frank Sinatra says "love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage". We may not like it, but these things go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other.