Devotions - Read Online
Friday | 24 March 2017
The second kind of suffering that we observe in the world is the consequence of our own misguided, ignorant, and wilful actions. The fruit of sin itself is suffering and death. Solomon, the wise man, said, ‘They shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them and the complacency of fools will destroy them.’
The third kind of suffering is the consequence of somebody else’s sin upon us. This kind of suffering will be evident in many situations and relational interactions. It is particularly evident in the impact that the behaviour and decisions of parents have on their children. We could trace this principle all the way back to the beginning. The fall of Adam has impacted all generations.
The cross of Christ was the place where all these different elements of suffering were manifested. In the first case, when we look at the cross of Christ, it was the place of the full manifestation of God’s judgement on sin. Further to this, it was the place where the consequence of every person’s individual sin was seen and remedied, as well as the consequence of every person’s sin on others.
When we are baptised into Christ’s death, we join the fellowship of His sufferings. His sufferings are unique. We know that all suffering in the world is the fruit of man’s disobedience, sin and rebellion. Suffering in the world, outside of Christ, has no virtue and only produces death. In contrast to this, Christ’s sufferings were the fruit of His obedience to the Father’s will, and are the means by which our propensity to sin is removed from us and His life is shared with us by offering.
1 Peter 4
"So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. (32) For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them."
"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me."
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? (4) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.