Thursday, October 19, 2017

God's "grace would not be grace without His [wrath]"

"the grace of God would not be grace if it were separated from the holiness in which God causes only His own and therefore His good will to prevail and be done, holding aloof from and opposing everything that is contrary to it, judging and excluding and destroying everything that resists it. And grace would not be free grace if it were bound to any single form of its appearance and manifestation, if God always had to show Himself monotonously as 'love,' or what we think of as love, if He were not permitted to negate that which has to be negated, if He could not conceal Himself when He is resisted, revealing His grace only in the alien form of unwillingness and wrath. Above all, grace would not be grace, the serious and effective address of God to man, the effective establishment of fellowship with him, if God did not oppose man's opposition to Himself, if He left man to go his own way unaccused and uncondemned and unpunished, if He ignored the miserable pride of man, if the man of sin had nothing to fear from Him, if it were not a fearful thing to fall into His hands (Heb. 1229). . . . His grace would not be grace without His judgment. . . ."

     Karl Barth, CD IV/1, 490 =KD IV/1, 545-546.  But of course, on the other hand,
That His grace would not be grace without His judgment is just as true as the supposed opposite with which it is indissolubly connected, that there is no holiness of God which can be separated from His grace, and therefore no wrath of Godthis is something which, unfortunately, A. Ritschl did not even remotely understandthat can be anything other than the redemptive fire of His love, which has its final and proper work in the fact that for our sake, for the sake of man fallen in sin and guilt, He did not spare His only Son.

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