The Glory of God 40

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 sufficiency of God as shining forth in Christ is seen at its highest points in the cross and in the Gospel of Christ crucified. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of God is the Gospel of grace alone because the Gospel of God is the Gospel of the self-sufficient God. This Gospel of the self-sufficient God is one that tells us that He needs no help from us and that in fact when we try to help Him that will be seen as not looking to His sufficiency alone. The Gospel of grace alone is the only Gospel that there is. When people fall away from grace alone, they have fallen away from the only real and true Gospel, which is to say that they have fallen away from the self-sufficiency of God to some aspect of their own sufficiency.

The Gospel of grace alone sets out that God’s salvation is sufficient apart from any works we can do and apart from anything we can become. The Gospel of the sufficiency of God is the Gospel of grace alone and it tells us that salvation is by grace alone apart from one or many works or merit of a human being or many human beings. God sees sinners as they are and they are dead in sins and trespasses and utterly obnoxious to His perfect holiness, which is to say that there is nothing in them to attract Him and there is nothing they can do but sin against Him and as such they have nothing to offer Him and nothing to move Him. If they are going to be saved it will be by His sufficiency alone (His grace alone). There is no other hope but in Him because there is nothing sufficient in saving sinners but the sufficient God alone.

Romans 3:24 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. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

What Romans 3 proclaims to us in the context of God and His self-sufficiency, is that sinners are justified by His grace and that grace alone. There is nothing in the sinner that could possibly move God to save the sinner, so this grace is a free-grace which is a sovereign grace that God gives because of who He is and not because of anything found in the sinner. Can the sinner pay any part of his own redemption price or does God pay the whole price? Is the payment of Christ sufficient payment or is something lacking on the part of the sinner? Was something lacking in the propitiatory sacrifice offered up by Christ or is it completely and totally sufficient? This is a huge dividing line between the biblical teaching of God and Arminianism (not to mention Pelagianism). What God has done is completely and totally sufficient and there is no need of anything for man to contribute to. However, men will still try to add to the completed and perfect work of God in Christ saying that they must contribute faith. This is still an effort to contribute something of the human flesh to the completed work of God.

God has demonstrated His righteousness in Christ and Christ is either completely sufficient or He lacked something. If He lacked something, then we have to make that up in order for God to be just in saving sinners. However, God only declares just those who have faith in Christ. If a person has faith in self, even just a little, then the person does not have faith in the self-sufficient God who has displayed His sufficiency in Christ. God declares guilty sinners just because of Christ alone as what Christ has done is fully sufficient. Who are sinners to boast in? Are they to boast in themselves or in Christ? All boasting in self and the work or works of self is done away with. Self has done nothing but sin and so self has nothing to boast about. The Gospel is about His self-sufficiency and His self-sufficiency alone. There is no room for us to add the slightest to the Gospel.

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