The Glory of God 34

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.

God is completely and fully sufficient within Himself in and for all things He is pleased to do and apart from Him there is no sufficiency for anything to happen. It is in Christ that He created all things and it is in Christ that sinners are saved. It is in Christ the believers are enabled to do all that they do spiritually. Once a person comes to accept this, a person will never see the world (worldview) in the same way again. It is to see God in everything. When we view the Church, we must see that Christ is Lord of the Church or nothing spiritual will happen. While men give their best efforts at doing things for God, not only does He not need their help, all that they do in their own strength is not spiritual and is done apart from Christ. All worship that is apart from Christ in reality and does not come from Him (whether it uses His name or not) is false worship. Even if all worship is determined by some biblical principle, if it is not from Christ and energized by Christ it is strange fire. God alone is sufficient for true worship and He only gives true worship in and through Christ.

Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:… 16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

This is an amazing passage at any point, but especially so when it is seen in light of the self-sufficiency of God. Abraham is known as a man of faith and the Jews admired and even revered him. But is the point of faith to exalt the person with it or the God who gives faith as a gift and sustains it at His mere pleasure? But again we butt up against differing views of faith and see just how important it is to be relatively clear on the matter. Faith is either the work of man or the work of God. Faith either depends on man or on God. If faith depends on man, then faith depends on the sufficiency of man to maintain it. If faith depends on God, then faith depends on the sufficiency of God to maintain it. If God responds to man’s faith, then if faith is of man grace is not a free-grace and God responds to man according to how man works up his own faith. The text (Romans 4:1-2) tells us that Abraham has nothing to boast about before God. Therefore, faith depends on the sufficiency of God and not that of man.

Romans 4:16 is a good verse to help get a grip on what the text is actually teaching in 4:1-6. Why does God work through faith? This is a very important question. First, we see that it is so that it may be in accordance with grace.
Second, since it (the Gospel) is in accordance with grace, the promise is guaranteed to all the descendants. Another way of stating this, then, is that since faith depends upon the sufficiency of God and His grace, the promise is absolute to every single descendant of Abraham the man of faith. The promise of the Gospel can only be guaranteed if the promise of the Gospel relies on the sufficiency of God and not the sufficiency of man. Faith must rely upon the sufficiency of God and His grace since man is totally insufficient for such things. If this way of looking at things is at all correct, and I would argue that it is correct in light of who God is, then our salvation does not depend on our faith, but our faith and our salvation depends entirely on the sufficiency of God in Christ. Our faith, salvation, and our works do not depend on our sufficiency, but instead our faith, salvation, and our works depend on the sufficiency of God in Christ alone. We have utterly no reason to boast since all (faith too) is His gift.

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