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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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God in Relation to His people #1   T. Austin Sparks

Started Aug-6 by PAULFROMNYS; 249 views.
Len (AryehLeib613)

From: Len (AryehLeib613)


Judaism incorporates dependence on faith and God's grace as much as it relies on Law. Grace has many meanings and the sense I’m giving to it here is undeserved consideration, favor and love.  Ideally we should come to God with clean hands and a pure heart.  But, as stated in I Kings 8:46, and Ecclesiastes 7:20, and Psalms 14:3, there is no man who does not sin.  When we appeal for God's grace in pre-High-Holy-Day penitential services, we say,  “We are not so brazen-faced and stiff-necked to say to You, ‘We are righteous and have not sinned.’  But indeed, we and our fathers have sinned.  --- You have acted truthfully and we have acted wickedly.  --- How can we complain?  What can we say?  How can we justify ourselves?”

Whereas people all sin, angels are sinless.  A traditional parable tells how, when God decided to give man the Torah, the angels protested.  “Humans will never be as perfectly pure as we are.  Therefore let us have the Torah instead.”  But God rejected their appeal.  “The Torah says, ‘Be fruitful and multiply but you cannot do that.  The Torah says you shall eat and be satisfied, but you cannot eat, the Torah commands repentance but you have nothing for which to repent.  Therefore I will stick to my original plan”

We thank God for his grace often in our daily prayers.  A sample:  The priestly blessing, which requests grace, is recited daily:

“May The Lord shine His countenance upon you and be gracious to you.”  (Num. 6:25)

We also invoke the merit of our ancestors on our behalf.  “We are the children of Your covenant, children of Abraham, your beloved, to whom you swore on Mt. Moriah; the seed of Isaac, his only son, who was bound atop the alter ---.”  During the Amidah (Eighteen Benedictions), our most important prayer, we say three times daily; “Pardon us, our Father, for we have sinned; forgive us, our King, for we have transgressed; because You are Forgiver and Pardoner.  Blessed are You, The Lord, Gracious One, Who pardons abundantly.”

We do NOT consider grace and law to be incompatible; period.  They are independent entities and not in competition.  We try to observe the Law as if there were no grace, while we pray for grace as if our ability to observe the Law was nil.  We hold ourselves to The Lord’s revealed standard, knowing that we may fail again and again, but ever trying to improve.  We don’t consider that we’re cursed if we fail.  God has the attribute of mercy, based on grace, as well as justice, based on Law, and we pray His mercy will exceed His justice.  As God created humans imperfect, it would be unjust for Him to punish us for that imperfection.  As God is just, He more than balances His justice with mercy (see below, re Psalm 130).

“The Lord, The Lord is a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in kindness and truth.  He keeps kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and acquitting the penitent (Ex. 34:6,7).”

We welcome being judged by the Law. When we break it we repent. At the outset of every evening service we say:

“He, being merciful, forgives iniquity and does not destroy; He restrains His wrath time and again and does not give full vent to His fury.  The Lord save us; may the King answer us when we call (Ps. 78:38, 20:10).

During the Ten Days of Repentance we humbly read the following psalm out loud before every service.

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