The Glory of God 31

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.

It is not in accordance with worldly thinking to understand the purpose and intent of creation was and is the very glory of God. Since all things were created through Jesus Christ, who is the very shining forth of the glory of God, all things were created to glorify God through Jesus Christ. Since all creation is created through Jesus Christ for the glorification of God through and by Jesus Christ, we cannot but note the reason for the fall and as such for the Gospel. Apart from the fall the glory of grace would never have been as fully known. What we should grab and hold tightly that the ways of God are sufficient to glorify Him because He has created them for that purpose, though it is quite clear that when men stop trusting in the sufficiency of God that they will go to all kinds of crazy activities to help God out. This is when men trusting in their own sufficiency do not trust in His.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Instead of examining the text just above for all the doctrines it contains, let us be content to look for the attribute of God’s self-sufficiency that under girds this text and all of its doctrines. If we look at it as displaying God and the fullness of His self-sufficiency, we will see the doctrines in a much fuller light and a far more comforting way. Man has fallen and in his own strength he falls short of the glory of God in all that he does. Yet God justifies those sinners. So we have to ask, does God justify out of His self-sufficiency or does He need help in justifying sinners? If God justifies sinners flowing out of His self-sufficiency, then He is sufficient to justify sinners because of what Christ has done. In this we see God’s self-sufficiency in Christ and as such the work of Christ set forth the glory of the attributes of God and so we worship.

When we see that justification comes to sinners as a gift by His grace, which is to say that there is no cause within the sinner that moved God to save sinners, we see the glory of self-sufficiency. In Christ God was and is totally and fully sufficient to save sinners. In Christ there is nothing lacking and Christ is the sufficiency of God put on display. The grace of God is His saving sinners quite apart from any worth or merit on their part, but instead it is His saving sinners who deserve wrath and damnation. But again, God needs nothing from the sinners to save them. Oh the beauty of the self-sufficiency of God in saving sinners totally through Christ and on behalf of Christ.

Part of justification in this text is the redemption of sinners through Jesus Christ. Was and is Christ fully and completely sufficient to pay the full price for sinners? Was and is Christ fully and completely sufficient to buy and purchase the debts of sinners that they incurred because of their sin? Was and is the blood of Christ completely and totally sufficient to cleanse sinners from the guilt of their sin and so wash them that they may be the dwelling place of the Spirit? If so, then we are to behold the full self-sufficiency of God on display in the redemption and justification of sinners. If so, then we are to ask for grace to die to self and all trust in our own sufficiency and all looking to our own sufficiency and ask Him for grace to rest in His sufficiency in Christ alone. When we speak of Christ alone, what we are getting at (if we understand this in light of who God is) is the self-sufficiency of God who needs nothing from us to save us. We simply fall before Him in our complete helplessness and complete and utter insufficiency and ask Him to save us completely to His glory in Christ alone.

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