The Glory of God 37

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.

The glory of the self-sufficiency of God shines in Christ and man as made in the image of God should glorify God in that. However, Satan deceived the woman regarding self-sufficiency and she wanted to be like God and so ate of the fruit and gave some to her husband. Man is now full of self and longs to be self-sufficient. Man thinks that he is sufficient in wisdom to determine who he is to live and then how to be saved. Man thinks that he is sufficient to do good and to do something that helps save himself. Man is full of pride and self and trusts in himself rather than look to Christ for grace alone. Man, in wanting to be like God, leans on himself and his own sufficiency rather than rely on God for all things. The Fall occurred when human beings were turned from trusting in the sufficiency of God alone to their own sufficiency.

Luke 12:15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Jesus warned against greed and of thinking that life consists of an abundance of possessions. The parable that He gave is really a warning against our own self-sufficiency. Greed is the desire to have many things, while resting in God is to be content with what God gives. The rich man wanted to store up a lot and then he would live as he wanted to live (v. 19), which is simply to say that he wanted to be self-sufficient and live according to his own wisdom and sinful heart. But God called the man a fool and told him that his would be required or him that very night. All that the man possessed would be given to others. This is what happens when men long and strive to build treasure for themselves which is an effort to be self-sufficient for both now and the future. Man’s possessions cannot make him sufficient to ward off death and there is no way man can be sufficient in spiritual things.

When we view the doctrine of sin in light of God’s self-sufficiency, what we see is that man is trying to be sufficient apart from God. Man wants to depend on himself rather than God and man wants to trust in himself rather than God. Man would rather trust in his own efforts and works rather than the sovereignty of God and His giving all things in accordance with grace. This is seen in the parable of the rich fool above. He thought that by building and storing enough for years that he was sufficient to live the good life. However, what he had could not deliver him from the hand of God in death. What he had was not enough to save his soul from hell. God alone can give man his life, every breath, and all things. It is God who sustains men, though He works through their work as means. However, it is God who sustains them. When men die, they will find out just how much God sustained them and of how their very work itself was out of pride and a wicked self-sufficiency. When men die they will find out that all that they did out of love for self was idolatry since it was not out of love for God. When men die they will see their utter and absolute need of Christ as their all-sufficient One. We live in a vale of tears and much sorrow, but we are so blind when we don’t see the sovereign hand of God working through second causes.

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