Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Breaking the Cycle of Revenge

Recently while preaching from Exodus 1, I talked about the importance of an eternal perspective for the sake of breaking the cycle of revenge. That is an understanding that God will see that justice is done in eternity when it is not fully accomplished on the earth. But these words by John Piper fill out the thought with greater clarity. That is that all wrongs in the world will be punished justly either on the cross or in hell. This was loosely in my mind, but I should not have missed saying it.
Second, the gospel overcomes vengeance by promising that justice will be done. One of the emotional boosters behind our judicial sense is that justice must be done, especially when our rights are denied. And when it looks like justice will not be done to us, we feel the need to take matters into our hands and exact vengeance. 
To this impulse, the gospel comes with a double message. All wrongs in the world will be punished justly, either on the cross (for the wrongdoers who trust Christ) or in hell (for the wrongdoers who don’t). “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head’” (Rom. 12: 19– 20).
Piper, John (2011-09-08).
 
Bloodlines (Foreword by Tim Keller): Race, Cross, and the Christian (pp. 98-99). Crossway. Kindle Edition. 

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