Our God Is A Consuming Fire

This language (Heb. 12:29) is usually misread thus: "God out of Christ is a consuming fire." but it must not be supposed that the unchangeable God, he who is "the same, yesterday, to-day, and forever, " "without variableness or the shadow of turning," is modified for better or for worse, in any mode of his manifestation to man. What God is in Christ he is, and ever must be, out of Christ. He "is a consuming fire" always and everywhere. But this fact does not render God forbidding, repulsive, when we understand it. There is no relation sustained by our heavenly Father, no figure by which he may properly be represented, that can be understood, without inspiring impulses of gratitude and joy in the mind that comprehends the truth presented.

"God is Love," therefore is the consuming, unquenchable fire of infinite and divine love. He cannot, therefore, be anything else than love to his children, and what the fire of human love is in the heart of a human parent, the fire of God's love is in him, only multiplied by infinity.

Trace this sacred element from its lowest manifestatin in the heart of reptile or brute, up through its holy of holies in the breast of the human mother, and onward up to God himself, and it has but one purpose, and that is to cherish its object, and to destroy all that would harm that object. God is a consuming fire towards his children—but it is the fire of love and not of hate.

George MacDonald well says: "Nothing is inexorable but love. For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love's kind, must be destroyed. 'Our God is a consuming fire.' It is the nature of love, so terribly pure that it destroys all that is not pure. It is not that the fire will burn us if we do not worship God, but that the fire will burn us until we worship thus; yea, that will go on within us, after all that is foreign to us has yielded to its force, no longer with pain and consuming, but as the highest consciousness of life, the presence of God."

It is not because God hates us, but because he loves us, that he will burn towards us by all the disciplinary processes needful, until he has burned away that sin in us which is contrary to his nature and hurtful to us.

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