The Glory of God 41

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 did not create anything out of sense of lack, but more of a sense of fullness. Out of love for Himself and His own glory He created all things to manifest His own glory to Himself for His own pleasure. Creation was for the glory of God and He beholds Himself in it to some degree, but far more than His glory in creation He made mankind who is made in His image. The purpose for man is to glorify God as well. But the highest point of all the beauties and glories is the Lord Jesus Christ. The earth and mankind have a purpose by which God displayed His glory in and through Christ in His conception, birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection. Oh how Christ is the very glory of God shining forth and how God beholds Himself in Christ and all whom Christ dwells in. God alone was and is sufficient for all of that and humanity should bow in utter humility before Him.

Romans 4:16 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,

The Gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ is by grace alone and the promise of God is guaranteed to all the descendants of Abraham, that is, all those who are in Christ. As Galatians 3:29 sets out so beautifully, “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” Only those who belong to Christ are the descendants of Abraham and heirs according to promise. The promise God made to Abraham was to him and his seed, which we are told (Gal 3:16) is Christ. “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.” The Gospel is all of grace because God saves to the glory of His grace (Eph 1:5-6). While people argue about faith, what Romans 4:16 shows us is that faith cannot be a work because God uses faith in such a way that the promise is in accordance with grace. This destroys all hope that man can contribute anything to His salvation and sets out the full sufficiency of God in Christ. Men can argue as they please about faith, but faith is a gift of God and that is in full accordance with free-grace and anything that makes faith out to be a work of man is an attack on grace and an attack on the sufficiency of God in Christ.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

We can see how Romans 4:16 works in accordance with Romans 11:6. Whatever is a work makes grace no longer to be grace. We must always keep in mind that grace is always linked with the full and complete sufficiency of God and is always opposed to the works of man for salvation or anything else that depends on man doing the works in his own strength or so-called free-will. Once again, any work makes grace no longer to be grace. We can say with confidence that for grace to be grace it must be 100% grace or it is not the grace of God. In the same way, God is either completely self-sufficient or He needs somebody to add some little something. If something is added, regardless of how small it is, then self-sufficiency is completely overthrown. So if God sets out the Gospel to be by faith so that it is in accordance with grace and grace to be grace must not have the slightest work added to it, then we can see with clarity that faith is not a work and cannot add anything to grace. God alone is self-sufficient and the Gospel is of grace from beginning to end and that includes faith which comes from Him as a free gift. His self-sufficiency shines in the Gospel of grace alone but it falls when someone tries to add some little something (like faith) to it. We must not do that or we will be preaching another Gospel and a different god than the true God.

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