The Glory of God 22

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.

Acts 17:24 “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.

While the Gospel of God benefits man, it is a declaration and manifestation of the glory of God. We will never understand the Gospel by looking at men, but instead we understand the Gospel by seeking and beholding the glory of God. As we cannot understand eternal life without some understanding of Him as the self-existent God, so we cannot understand the glory of the Gospel of God without understanding the God who shines forth in and by the Gospel. Men are so given to self-love and pride that they think of themselves first and foremost, but what men must understand is that they do that because they are sinners and that is what they do a fallen men. God alone can think of His own glory first and foremost and that is His holiness, but when men focus on themselves they demonstrate that they are fallen. When men take the Gospel and think of themselves first, they are abusing the Gospel in incredible pride as they play God because the Gospel is all about God Himself.

The promises of the Gospel depend completely on the self-existence of God who needs nothing from man to fulfill His promises and needs nothing from man or any other to fulfill His Word. Human beings try to help God out, but once again they are in terrible sin of pride and self when they do so. We cannot obtain life by any other way than my looking to Him who is self-existent life. We cannot obtain or fulfill any of the promises of the Scriptures and the Gospel comes to us by promise alone. There is nothing we can do to keep ourselves in existence and there is nothing we can do to obtain the slightest part of eternal life. We are completely and utterly dependent upon God for our physical existence each moment and for our spiritual life each moment as well.

It is so hard for man to think of receiving a salvation that depends on God alone. This is excruciatingly painful for proud man who hates to depend on anyone for anything, but especially to be totally and utterly dependent upon God for salvation. Man must repent from his own works, but man will try to repent of his own works by depending on himself to repent of his own works. God must work grace in the soul of man and show man what it means to depend totally on His grace and Christ for salvation alone. God must show men the utter vileness of the sin of looking to self rather than Christ alone for salvation and sanctification. It is vital to set out that it contradicts the very nature of God in His self-existence for man to try to help God save man. It contradicts the self-existence of God for God to save men while waiting on or depending on man to do one thing to help God. Eternal life can only come from the self-existent God and it can only come from Him by grace alone or it will contradict His very nature. Oh how hard this is for proud man to swallow and how men should strive for broken and humbled hearts before God in order that they may receive this great truth.

The Gospel of God comes to people who are dead in sin and excluded from the life of God. What kind of promise does the Gospel make to dead people? It is that God must make them alive by His grace alone and that they will rise from the spiritual dead and have eternal life. How can it be that any man can contribute to his own salvation in this light? How can it be that a dead man can help God give himself life? How can it be that a man who is dead in sins and trespasses can move God to show grace to him? How can it be that anyone could think that a dead man can come up with an act of faith and that will move the self-existent God to save that man? How can it be that the God who exists of Himself and supports all other beings in existence needs help or assistance from man to save a man? Behold the glory of God and repent from thinking that salvation is anything but by grace alone.

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