This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, September 9, 2007, and was taken from Jeremiah 6:16-30.
You are certain something is in the Book, but you just don’t know where it is. It has to be there, so you check a concordance. It’s not there, so you ask the pastor, and he’s no help. You finally realize that it is not in the Bible, but it is in the hymnal. More often than not our hymnody shapes our theology more than Scripture.
A good example is found in the question “Is God’s grace infinite?” A hymn may say that it is, but God’s word does not. The third stanza of “Grace Greater Than All Our Sins” (329 in the Baptist Hymnal) begins with “Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace…” God indeed suffers long, but not forever.That was Jeremiah’s message to Judah.
God’s offer of grace and mercy does not override his declaration of divine judgment on sin and unrighteousness. Yes, God is loving, but he is also full of wrath. In the end, God’s righteousness will not be overruled.
- God in grace continues to offer mercy and grace to a stubborn and prideful people. Verse 16 proclaims the Gospel, and it is our only hope. God gives the people both a promise and a pathway to peace. Even though he has announced his coming judgment in verse 15, he declares there is a path to peace and forgiveness in verse 16. What does it mean to walk in the “ancient paths”? It certainly doesn’t mean to return a pattern of former days. It means to go back and order ones live according to the will of God. We are called to walk in obedience to Jesus. It is the only hope for arrogant, prideful sinners. What happens if we neglect this offer?
- In verse 17-20 the rejection of Gods gracious offer invites the full force of God’s burning wrath. We haven’t preached the gospel until we proclaim both sides. God’s grace does not cancel out his fierce wrath. Our God is a consuming fire. What happens as a result of their rejection? What does the judgment of God look like when it comes in full force?
- Their rejection guaranteed their doom (vs. 17-19, 21-23).
- Their rejection corrupted their worship (v. 20).
- Their ultimate rejection unmistakably revealed the wickedness of their heart (v. 27).
Jesus hung on the cross to vindicate God’s wrath for us. There is hope and peace in Christ, but if we reject God’s salvation, there is no hope left. There is only God’s wrath.