articlesqa May 18, 2015 made good by doing bad
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of

God doesn’t wait till we start do­ing good things be­fore He saves us. In fact, He does the ex­act op­po­site. He uses the evil we do to ex­pose us and save us. The first of these is the mur­der of Je­sus Christ which He calls a sac­ri­fice.

Not A Typo

It would seem that such a thing is im­pos­si­ble. I mean real­ly, its one thing to say that some­one who used to do evil leaves the evil be­hind and starts do­ing good. That is more ac­cept­able, be­liev­able. It is the truth that some­one who does bad things must stop do­ing those things when he be­comes good. But that’s like skip­ping ahead in the sto­ry. How did he even get start­ed? How does she make her turn around from do­ing bad to be­ing good? That’s what real­ly mat­ters. Which is why it sounds ridicu­lous to say that it is through evil that an evil per­son is made good!! That makes no sense at all. So lets clar­i­fy then and maybe get even more scan­dalous. No one can can make him­self good by do­ing evil.

(Ah you see. You be­gin to sit a lit­tle more com­fort­ably. But it’s a false se­cu­ri­ty.) Here is the scan­dalous part: it is God that makes you good us­ing the evil you have done.

God Uses Your Sin

Every­one knows and maybe has heard about how God is a just and fair God. He kills those who do bad things and re­wards those who do good things. I say ‘kills’ be­cause He is God. He is not your lo­cal judge or of­fi­cial. Those guys can only pun­ish. Matthew 10:28 God is able to see how even the “small­est” sin de­stroys every­thing. So He knows that even the “lit­tlest” sin is pun­ish­able by death.

Look deep into your own life at the places where you’ve messed things up a lot. You may be able to see that it all be­gan with a very lit­tle tee­ny wee­ny lie you told some­one else or chose to be­lieve about your­self. Who is it that de­serves His re­ward then? Every­one on earth has done some­thing bad at least once. In fact, God has judged the whole earth be­fore Gen­e­sis 7:4. So now you see why what I am say­ing sounds so ridicu­lous. How can a God who kills those who do bad things now turn around to use those same bad things they did to save them?

To Win You Over

Per­haps you had not heard till to­day that God is a God of Jus­tice. But you are more like­ly to have heard that God is a God of Love. So what is an all lov­ing God to do when He also knows just how bad you and I screwed up? He has to be able to show us just how bad we’ve screwed up and also save us at the same time. You see, He can’t just ig­nore what we’ve done. That would not win us over into do­ing good and it would not be love. That would be like if I caught my child do­ing some­thing bad and only told him its okay. It’s not okay and I’ve prob­a­bly just guar­an­teed that he’s go­ing to re­peat the same bad thing again.

How then do you win some­one over and for­give them at the same time? Ro­mans 5:20, James 4:6 Well, you do what God did. He laid His Life down. He nev­er left me. He stood there while I stabbed Him over and over till I be­gan to see the hor­ror of my crimes. Then af­ter I had killed Him, my hands bloody, still hold­ing the knife, He tells me that I was only able to kill Him be­cause He al­lowed me do it. I com­mit­ted mur­der but He calls it His sac­ri­fice.

Through love, He trans­forms my act of mur­der into sac­ri­fice. By His death, He has swal­lowed up my sin in love. He did all this so that I could see just how bad my sins are and also just how much He loves me. This is what dri­ves men and women to tru­ly take that first step away from evil and start do­ing good. They have to see their evil deeds as evil but they also have to know there are lov­ing arms wait­ing to em­brace them when they turn around. This al­ways, al­ways means that the Lover has to let Him­self suf­fer mis­er­ably and then die.

It’s In The Book

So is this what the Bible says? Joseph spoke in prophe­cy to his broth­ers when he told his broth­ers that God had used their evil deeds to do good Gen­e­sis 50:20. Je­sus called Him­self the good shep­herd and goes on to say re­peat­ed­ly that He lays down His life John 10:11, 15, 17-18. Paul says the same thing in Ro­mans and it sound­ed so crazy that he had ask and an­swer the fol­low­ing ques­tion Ro­mans 6:1-4. This was the first ser­mon that Pe­ter preached Acts 2:22-24, 36-38. Even David says that every­thing he did wrong was against God Psalms 51:1-4.

If I say that, “I did not kill Je­sus,” then I should re­mem­ber that the even in the old tes­ta­ment, the sac­ri­fice could only cov­er the sins of the one who of­fered it. That is, if I say I did not par­tic­i­pate in the mur­der of Je­sus Christ, then I can­not par­take in the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion that comes through His sac­ri­fice. So that to­day when I go to God and in prayer con­fess to Him my mur­der, He replies by say­ing, “Are you talk­ing about my sac­ri­fice?” And when I be­lieve Him, these words break my heart every time.

is the day Ja­cob died and Is­rael took his first breath. There are many, many things to say about this pas­sage. We could for ex­am­ple ask our­selves as we read, “Have I wres­tled with God and won?” Or we could talk about how Is­rael is an al­tar, a wrestling and plead­ing with The Holy God. Are you an al­tar? We could talk about the jar­ring sud­den­ness of verse 24. How does Ja­cob, across the bridge of a mild semi­colon, go from be­ing alone to wrestling with God into death and res­ur­rec­tion? How does Ja­cob know to ask for a bless­ing in verse 26? Could it be that we can only know God’s Na­ture through striv­ing with Him? Could i...
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