Friday, May 27, 2016

God "can be so much in earnest against sinful man that He is for him."

"God would not be God if there could be any altering the universality and logic and completeness of what is necessarily done here, if there could be any escaping this sequence of sin and destruction.  It means eternal perdition to have God against us.  But if we will what God does not will, we do have God against us, and therefore we hurry and run and stumble and fall [(läuft, rennt, stürzt und fällt)] into eternal perdition.
     "But again God would not be God if His reaction to wrong-doers could be compared to a mechanism which functions, as it were, independently of His free ruling and disposing. . . .  How God will fulfil the sentence to which man has fallen inescapably victim is a matter for Him to decide.  He can fulfil it—in all its strictness—in such a way that in fulfilling it there is attained that which man in his perversity tried and never could secure for himself—his pardon.  Without relaxing or mitigating the sentence, let alone as a judge who is unjust by reason of his laxity, He can exercise grace even with His judgment and in execution of it.  He can be so much in earnest against sinful man that He is for him [(Er kann allen Ernstes so gegen den sündigen Menschen sein, daß er eben damit für ihn ist)].  He can bring on him all that must come on him as a wrong-doer at the left hand of God and under his No, in order to set him at His right hand, in order finally to say Yes to him, in order to address and treat him as one who does right and not wrong."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1 (1956), 221 =KD IV/1 (1953), 242-243 (§59.2, "The Judge Judged in Our Place").

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