The Glory of God 29

An attribute of God must be determined from what He is within Himself rather than judged by our own standards. God is the standard of Himself and of all things.

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. 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.

In the last BLOG (The Glory of God 28) we saw that the Old Testament worship (and New Testament by implication) is not what can come from the power and sufficiency of man by keeping external laws, but can only be kept when the heart of man is focused and intent on God. Man is not sufficient to worship God in his own strength and power, but instead true worship depends on the sufficiency of God. If God is not served by human hands and does not need anything from us, then we must understand worship as coming from His self-sufficiency rather than anything that comes from us in terms of origin. The worship of God must come from God before it can go to God. True worship is to join in the love God has for Himself as triune and it must come from Him.


1 Cor. 4:7 For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

It is so against the pride of man to accept the basic Christian teaching that man is utterly dependent upon God for all things. How man kicks against the goads and refuses to believe that he is anything but in control of himself and is sufficient to do as he pleases. Proud man tries to determine who God is by his deceived notions of himself. This is very deceptive and certainly a terrible way to do theology. This is basically a fallen creature trying to judge God by his fallen mind and deceived notions of himself. Man wants to think that all he has he has obtained by hard work, self-effort, or perhaps his own wisdom and contrivances.

The truth of the matter, however, is that God has created man and upholds man each moment. It is God who has created man and has given him certain talents and gifts so that man can do what God has ordained man to do. All those opportunities that man has to do anything have been ordained by God from all eternity. Man may ascribe those things to his own wisdom or simply luck, but both of those ideas are wrong. Man, who wants to think of himself as superior to other man, has received all he has. Man is dependent on God in ways that he cannot imagine unless he reads the Bible and is illumined by the Spirit. Apart from learning the truth about himself man will go on in the blindness and deception of his fallen understanding in both natural and spiritual things and most of the time a ray of light about his dependent state on God will be met with the suppression of the truth.

The truth of the matter is that man has nothing that has not been received, though he cannot or will not understand this. Some men work hard thinking that it all depends on them, though indeed work is a means of God giving men things. But man depends on himself and does not see God behind and in what man obtains and so man is proud of what he has earned and he uses that for himself. We see this clearly in the Old Testament as kings were proud of what they had done though indeed it was God who did it. Oh how men boasts in their own wisdom, abilities, and accomplishments as if God had nothing to do with it at all. Yet God has created men differently with different abilities and He has given them all their accomplishments in His decrees and in His sovereign power by which He upholds men and gives them their every breath and controls all things so that all happens according to Himself.

In the Gospel and in daily life we see the basic principle that no one can do anything for God and no one can bring Him into any form of obligation. God owes no one anything and only gives in accordance with His pleasure. This is chilling to self-focused and proud man, but it is true. God is self-sufficient in all things and has utterly no needs at all. This is part of the true glory of God and man must bow to this truth or remain in deception and darkness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: