The Glory of God 16

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.

In beholding the glory of God in the beauty and wonder of His self-existence, there is nothing that can replace the spiritual sight of this with any degree of accuracy. It is helpful to read academic works on the subject, but when the Lord gives a spiritual sight of this or a spiritual understanding of this it is simply beyond description. However, we are to plow ahead and try to point others in ways of looking.

The glory of self-existence, while beautiful and beyond human words in its (shall we say) raw form in creation, is even more beautiful as we behold the glory of it in Christ. In one sense, even a major sense, God has revealed Himself in Christ in a far greater way than in any other way. He has spoken to people in the past in may ways, but in the New Testament and then to those that follow He has spoken to us in Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3). The revelation of God, therefore, as has been said in John 1:14-18, is that God is displayed in the Son and the Son has put the Father on display. In reality, this is what the Gospel of John is all about.

In a very real sense the person of Christ and (as Stephen Charnock wrote) the cross of Christ is like a map in which the glories of God are set out and put on display. We tend to think so much of ourselves when we view doctrines of the Gospel that we miss the real point of God putting Himself on display. The Lord Jesus did not do miracles just to show off, but instead He was showing who He was and then pointing to the living and true God. We must learn to read Scripture and study Scripture humbled and in prayer that God would shine forth Himself in Christ and show us this indescribable beauty. If the Lord Jesus Christ is not self-existent, then He cannot shine forth the true God in this way and I would argue that the Gospel is compromised.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

The very beginning of John sets out the wonderful teaching that the Word already was when the world had a beginning. It then teaches us that this Word is with God and is God. It teaches us that everything that has ever come into being came into being through Him. Can it be that our Lord Jesus Christ needs human beings to serve Him since all things (including ourselves) have been brought into being through Him? Oh, how these verses must not only be intellectually grasped by us, but they must penetrate to the depths of our souls. The God that Isaiah spoke of in Isaiah 66 as bringing all things in being is the same God that Jesus Christ (the Word) is with and yet is also that very God.

We can immediately dismiss most of modern Christendom that seems to have a needy Jesus and seem to want to do things for Him. Oh no, we don’t do things for Christ. In fact, He even tells us that He did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). The Lord Jesus Christ cannot be served in the sense that there is nothing that we can do for Him that is not worked in us first. Apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:4-6). This is so vital to who God is, who Christ is, and who the Spirit is, which is to say who the one and only triune God is. Let us behold the God who cannot be served by human hands as though He needed anything and bow to Him to receive all through Christ and in the name of Christ. But again, how beautiful it is to behold the glory of self-existence in Christ!

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