The Glory of God 13

Acts 17:22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

If we desire to know the true and living God, we must know what He is and how He is. The first thing to know about God is that He exists in and of Himself. This is known as His Aseity or self-existence. God is simply life and has the power of life. He exists in and of Himself without any help or need of help or need of anyone. God is life and not only does He have no need of help, He cannot be helped. As one meditates on this, it can be seen that this is utterly beautiful and glorious. God is God and cannot be helped. Oh how this points to the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone and the Gospel of grace alone. He who is life Himself brings this life to human beings and apart from any help that they can give Him He saves them from sin and gives them life by grace alone. This is utterly beautiful and glorious. Words cannot describe the beauty of a God who exists in and of Himself and yet He gives life to sinners by Himself without any help from anyone.

How hard it is for the wicked heart of a human being who thinks that s/he is self-sufficient and able to obtain what s/he wants by working hard for it to come to grips that every breath is given to it by Him. How hard it is for human beings to come to grips with the fact that God has no need and there is no way of helping Him. The God that Paul proclaimed in Acts 17 in the very next verse where he told them that they worshipped in ignorance says this: “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.”

What a powerful shot at the people who thought that they could worship and serve the gods in their own strength and power. What a shot at those who thought that could actually feed God. It is also a shot at modern versions of professing Christianity as well. We do not service for God and our ornate buildings do not impress Him and do nothing for Him. Our good works add nothing to Him and our evangelism add nothing to Him. Regarding true believers, He has planned our good works and it is only when we are strengthened by grace can those good works be pleasing to Him. In other words, our good works do nothing for Him but when our good works are planned by Him and come from Him then we are able to behold His glory. It should also be said that it is not that our good works please Him because we have done them, but He is pleased when He beholds His own glory in and through us. We cannot please Him, but He pleases Himself through us.

Any human being that thinks s/he is helping God or doing something for God should seek the Lord immediately for repentance from such an awful pride. God exists in and of Himself and all things come from Him and He is self-sufficient, self-satisfied, and self-contained. The triune God lives in perfect love and has no need outside of Himself. This is basic, but hard for our hearts to bow to and submit to. This is impossible for our hearts to acquiesce to and see as beautiful and glorious unless by grace He works this in our hearts. We should seek the Lord to grant us a sight of the beauty of His self-existence and of how He has no need and cannot possibly be served by human hands. Our very breath is upheld by Him every moment and so how are we to do something for Him that He needs?

This breathtaking sight of God in His self-existence who upholds all things for Himself and His own glory at the mere pleasure of His own will is something that human language cannot describe. He alone is the living God who is life Himself. He alone is the living God from whom all that was created came and there is nothing that ever came into being that did not come into being by Him. All things were created through Him and for Him say the Scriptures about the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh what a Gospel we have to behold, admire, and worship the God of the Gospel of God in that He who is life Himself took upon human flesh in order that He may take the sins of sinners upon Himself and suffer for those sins that there may be satisfaction to Divine justice and life may be granted to those who deserve death. Behold the magnificence of God who has no need and yet saves sinners from grace alone. He had no need to save sinners, but He did so from His own beneficence.

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