The Glory of God 15

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.

Isaiah 66:1 Thus says the LORD, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? 2 “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.

Unless we worship God as the self-existent God we are worshiping an unknown God and worship in ignorance. This is something we must realize and know about God if we are going to adore and worship in spirit and truth. This God we worship is not one that we can serve or do anything for, but instead we must seek Him for all that we have and know that all comes from Him. This true and living God does not need us for anything at all, but we need Him for everything.

Even the Old Testament Israelites, the ones who had the inspired revelation of creation, seem to fall into the trap of believing that they could do something for God. If we would take but a moment of reflection, we could see that the God who created the heavens and the earth as He pleased and sustains them as He pleases is not a God that we can do anything for. He did not create us because He needed us, but He created us as instruments of His glory. He did not create us because of something He lacked, but He created us out of a fullness of Himself or an overflowing of Himself and His Divine glory.

Oh how we should wake up and realize who we are and who this great and glorious God is. In the fall we have fallen into spiritual death and as such we are blind to who this great God is. But how in the world could the Israelites really think that if they built a temple for God that they were doing something for Him as if He needed a place He could rest? Whatever they were going to build the temple with, they were going to build them with things that God had brought into being. This seems to have never entered their minds. Imagine the darkness and blindness of a group that thinks that they can build something that will help God when in fact God fills the heavens and the earth. Imagine thinking that the God who brought all things into being that are in being can actually have a need that they could meet.

What kind of a person does the living God look at (with favor)? He looks upon humble, the contrite, and those who tremble at His word. This is to say that He looks with favor on those who know that they can do nothing for Him and they know that they can do nothing in their own strength and power that pleases Him, but they bow before Him and want Him to use them as He pleases. These are those people who see the arrogance and pride of their own hearts in living their own lives and in thinking that their religious life actually pleased God, but now they are contrite and sorrowful over such wicked thinking. No longer do these people ignore or laugh at the words of God, but now they tremble when they read them because they see the greatness of God and His promises of wrath upon all who do not bow to Him.

The truth of the self-existent God should crash our little religious parties and destroy all of our self-righteousness and especially our religious righteousness. The truth of the self-existent God should teach us how utterly dependent we are upon Him and how we exist and have our every breath at His mere pleasure. We must learn that religion is not a way of doing things for God that He will reward us back, but true Christianity is really about Christ alone and grace alone. True believers are to live by grace that they cannot possibly earn the slightest part of but receive it freely. True believers must learn humility and nothingness before God. True Christianity is in some ways a declaration of the self-existent God who has no needs but is willing to show grace as He pleases to those He brings to the point of giving up all hope in doing for God but instead they receive all from Him. In this the glory of God shines through Christ and then through His people. In this we behold His self-existence, bow, and worship.

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