God's concern for His good name
My last post was long. It was a compilation of an hour's worth of teaching, illustration, and discussion. This one will be shorter. It is essentially a reflection on a statement in my last post. Toward the end, in response to the priority of God's rescuing work in 2 Peter 2:9, I wrote,
Just as much as God cares about preserving His good name, God cares about rescuing you from the deadly influence of false teachers.
Today I resolved this statement in my head by realizing that by rescuing us not just from the deadly influence of false teaching, but in ultimately rescuing us from Satan, sin, and death, God is in fact preserving His good name.
In other words, simply silencing the ignorant talk of foolish men (His words, not mine) is not how God preserves His reputation. He doesn't merely combat misinformation and silence the false witness of those whose words and deeds cause the way of truth to be blasphemed. Rather, because God presents Himself as a deliverer of people oppressed by sin and sinful men, His deliverance of us from evil is what upholds the integrity of His name. By continuing to rescue His people, God is proving Himself faithful. His actions speak louder than false words against Him.
There's a lesson here for us as well, and I alluded to it in my earlier reference to 1 Peter 2:15,
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
When false teachers downplay the reality or heinousness of sin or disparage the Lord's saving work, God responds by saving and proving them wrong. When people revile you, persecute you, and utter evil against you falsely on account of Jesus (cf. Mt. 5:11), you can respond by doing good in return while entrusting yourself to God and His deliverance (cf. 1 Pt. 2:23). Let your actions speak louder than false words against you.
These thoughts are unrefined but the truths are glorious. Feel free to help me refine my understanding and presentation of these ideas in a comment.