The Glory of God 43

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 Gospel is the demonstration of the sufficiency of God in saving sinners apart from anything in them to move Him to save Him. This sufficiency is the grace of God. Man constantly wants to add something or contribute a little to a lot, but the Gospel of God will have none of that. Not only is salvation by grace alone, sanctification is by Christ alone and His grace alone as well. God does not save sinners by His grace alone and then leave them to their own devices and strength for sanctification, but only He is sufficient in Christ for that as well. Oh how sinners are stripped of their pride and self and humbled in the dust in order that they can see and understand that Christ alone is sufficient to save to the glory of God alone.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Where do we see anything in the text just above that makes the slightest room for men to add to their own salvation? It is God our Savior who appeared and He saved us because of His kindness and love. He did not save sinners based on their deeds or their righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy. He does not save sinners based upon their good hearts, but by His sovereign work of grace in regenerating sinners and renewing them by the Holy Spirit. He does not give the Holy Spirit to sinners because of what they have done, but He gives the Spirit through Jesus Christ who is the full and sufficient Savior. In all of this sinners are justified completely and totally by His grace and there is utterly nothing that they have contributed, will contribute, or can contribute. Grace does not need, want, or condone any attempts to help. To the degree that sinners try to help, they show that they don’t rest in the sufficiency and grace of God alone.

The Gospel of God tells us that God alone is sufficient for anything and all things regarding salvation and sanctification. The Gospel tells us that we have nothing to do with our own salvation though man is always wanting to do one little thing. The Gospel of God puts His sufficiency on display and yet it tells man that he is sufficient for nothing in this context. Man has nothing he can do but receive. Man has nothing that he can boast about but the cross of Christ. Man has nothing to contribute to his own salvation but the sin from which He is saved from. Man has no ability and no sufficiency and so God is not anxiously waiting on us to contribute out part in the matter, but instead it all rests upon His sufficiency.

Are sinners able to contribute to the wisdom of God in Christ? Are sinners able to help God justify themselves? Are sinners able to contribute to the price Christ paid for their redemption? Are sinners able to contribute even the slightest to the propitiatory work of Christ on the cross? Where, then, is the sufficiency of human beings in salvation? They have none. God alone is sufficient for all things and man can do nothing and can add nothing to the sufficiency of God. The glory of God in Christ shines forth and it is as if the heavens are declaring that God is sufficient in Christ to save sinners.

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