Old Testament God = Wrath. New Testament God = Love. Please Explain.

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Q: Old Testament God = Wrath. New Testament God = Love. Please Explain.

A: Catholics have always understood that God’s apparent attitude towards humanity was and is primarily a function of grace … which is a share in God’s very own divine life.

Grace comes in two varieties:

Actual grace … which empowers both saints and sinners to do God’s will.

Sanctifying grace … which transforms, makes one holy,
and which is typically required for admittance to heaven.

After Adam’s fall, and prior to Christ, the world was totally devoid of God’s sanctifying grace, dominated by Satan, and in open rebellion against God.

A technical state of war existed, and earth was a virtual hell … with mankind fighting on the side of Satan … in a form of forced slavery … under pain of death.

While we were still grevious sinners, and out of infinite love, God acted to redeem us. And by the power of actual grace, he raised up generations of priests, prophets, and kings, in order for his divine and perfect son … in the fullness of time … made of woman … under the law … to come into the world, as a man.

Before we could be redeemed, and before sanctifying grace and forgiveness could be offered to all, it was first necessary to destroy Satan’s evil dominion.

Jesus brought about the destruction of Satan’s earthly “reign of terror” by permitting himself to be put to death by Satan “The Prince of this World” … and his more than willing minions.

And since under God’s most fundamental law … no one … not even the devil … had the power or the authority to take the life of a sinless man … let alone the only begotten Son of God … the moment Jesus died, Satan was through!  

Once the dominion of evil had been destroyed, Jesus was raised up, and appointed the new and sinless head of all mankind.

The “New Adam”.

Under these new “terms” and under this new and divine leadership … God was more than willing to grant forgiveness, sanctifying grace, and peace to anyone willing to swear faithful allegiance to his son, Jesus … typically through the sacrament of baptism … which (among other things) also makes one an official member of the Church … “The People of God”.

The Catholic Church is God’s primary dispenser of grace in the world today. It does this freely … and it does this primarily by means of the seven sacraments … which were all personally instituted by Jesus … for that express purpose. 

Now .. thanks to God .. and through the work of Christ … we live in an era of grace … freely available to all … abundantly dispensed by and through the Catholic Church … the ONLY Church  that Jesus ever founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, … for the purpose of our salvation.

This divinely appointed era of peace between God and man was precisely what the angels foretold, on the first Christmas:

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock.
Luke 2:9 And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them and the brightness of God shone round about them: and they feared with a great fear.
Luke 2:10 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people:
Luke 2:11 For, this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.
Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying:
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.

Peace be to you!

Jesus was God sent by God so he could sacrifice Himself to God?

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Q: Jesus was God sent by God so he could sacrifice Himself to God?

A: It’s called “God’s total self-giving for our salvation.”

And Jesus didn’t necessarliy sacrifice himself TO God.

Jesus sacrificed himself FOR us, at his Father’s request, since that was pretty much the ONLY way mankind could be redeemed.

Jesus’ heroic and selfless act of perfect obedience and charity … AS A MAN … IN THE FLESH … resulted in the destruction of Satan’s evil dominion … freeing mankind from eternal slavery to Satan, sin, and death.

And since that’s precisely why Jesus was sent … it certainly pleased God the Father … so He subsequently made grace, forgiveness, and peace available to all of humanity … through his divine Son, of course.

Don’t knock it.

Was Jesus a Human Sacrifice or a God-sacrifice?

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Q: If Jesus is a human sacrifice, that probably goes against Judaism, but if Jesus is a God sacrifice it seems to make more sense … since Jews probably never even imagined God killing himself for God.

A: More importantly … Satan never imagined it … and that’s why it worked.

Also, God didn’t “kill himself”.

Jesus permitted the forces of evil to take his life, knowing full well that it would lead to the total destruction of Satan’s evil dominion, since under God’s most fundamental law, nobody (not even the devil) had the authority to take the life of a sinless man, let alone the only begotten son of God.

And since Satan was in control of things on earth at the time, and it was his minions, the Jews and Romans, who did the dirty work, the moment Jesus died, Satan was through!

Jesus permitted himself to be unjustly put to death so that Satan’s power over the entire human race could be destroyed, all of mankind could be redeemed, and sins could subsequently be forgiven.

Call it what you will, but there was no other way.

How Does Jesus’ Death, at the hands of men, pay a debt men owe to God?

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The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross at Calvary forms the basis for what I like to call “The Peculiar Theology of Redemption”.

And there’s no doubt that the theology behind our redemption IS peculiar, because it had to be … in order to give Satan the devil just enough “rope” to hang himself. 

Here’s how it works:

The first sin had to be a very serious matter, Adam also had to fully understand that it was indeed very serious, and the sin also had to be committed with the full consent of Adam’s will.

Finally, the consequences of that first sin had to be such that a simple apology, a pledge of repentance, and God’s subsequent forgiveness, would still not be sufficient to make all things whole again.

Based on all of the above, we know that the first sin resulted in Adam’s total rejection of God, and his “throwing in” with Satan, against God.

Adam even went so far as to transfer dominion of the whole earth, which God had earlier given him, over to Satan.

And since Adam enjoyed free will, God permitted him to make these choices, and to suffer the eternal consequences.

Once all this was done, Satan turned on Adam, and made a slave of him and his descendents, because, as everyone knows, all the offspring of a slave automatically belong to the master.

This presented a serious problem, because man had no ability to overcome the supernatural dominion that Satan now exercised over him.

Furthermore, God was under no obligation to provide his supernatural graces to his enemies.

Deprived of God’s grace, Eden soon disappeared, Adam and Eve began to age, suffer, and die, and the world became an increasingly more hostile and forbidding place.

Mankind lived under constant threat from Satan, who was given the power of death over them, according to their free will choice, and according to God’s perfect justice.

But this is not what God had in mind when he created man, so God promised to eventually send a redeemer to destroy Satan’s evil dominion, forgive sins, defeat death, and restore all things.

That is exactly what Jesus did.

And the only reason Jesus could do it, when no other human ever could, was because Jesus was never “stained” by sin … and Satan had no power at all, over one without sin.

Under God’s most basic law, one without sin is not liable to die. (This was the flip-side of the same law that Adam broke, when he sinned.)

Jesus permitted Satan and his minions, the Jews and the Romans, to unjustly put him to death, knowing full well that this was the only way Satan’s evil dominion could be legally destroyed, as no one, not even the devil, had the authority to take the life of a sinless man, let alone the only son of God.

Once Jesus died, Satan was judged for his great sin, stripped of all that he had earlier gained from Adam’s fall, and left destitute.

Jesus was raised from the dead and appointed the new head of all mankind. God was now more than willing to forgive man’s sins, and our redemption was truly at hand.

Now, anyone who rejects Satan and swears faithful allegiance to Jesus (typically through baptism) is able to have their sins forgiven, become a living temple of the Holy Spirit, and among other things, also become a member of God’s own family.

The Church carries on Christ’s great work of redemption in the world today, and it will continue to do so, until the end of time.

We have Christ’s word on it.