The Glory of God 46

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.

When the pride of sinners is shown to them and they see how arrogant and proud that they have been toward God when in fact all that they have is given to them by Him, they should be drained of all pride and simply fall in utter helplessness before God and His self-sufficiency. There is nothing they can do unless they are upheld by Him and there is nothing spiritual or good that they can do unless they receive that from Him first. This should promote great humility in people, but instead we are seeing the promotion of self and pride within the professing churches. It is thought that God enables people or helps them a little or perhaps helps them some rather than people being utterly dependent upon His self-sufficiency. It is a high form of pride when men think that God will help them rather than themselves being utterly dependent upon God for all things.

In light of who God really is, which is to say that He is supreme in His sovereignty and self-sufficiency, sinners (converted and unconverted) should see that God has no need of them or of their help. When a person realizes that intellectually as true and as reality, a person will have an inward fight with accepting this as ultimate reality and as bowing to God and loving this about Him. This is not an easy time for the soul in moving from an intellectual acceptance to bowing in a vivid realization of the reality of it. The next step is for the soul to be moved by grace (though it was grace in all the previous steps too) to love God for who He is and to love being at His disposal.

1 Cor 1:26-29 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

The passage of Scripture above is hated by the proud when they really understand it. The supremacy of God shines out and is seen in that He chooses people to be saved and He saves the foolish things of the world and the weak things of the world. He chooses the based things and even those who are despised. He does this so that no man may boast before God. There is no boasting before God and as such men have nothing to boast about. Instead of men boasting in their own wisdom, God has set forth Christ Jesus to be their wisdom from God. Instead of men boasting in their own righteousness, God has set forth Jesus Christ to be their righteousness. Instead of man boasting in their own sanctification, God has set forth Jesus Christ to be their sanctification. Instead of men boasting in their redemption, God has set forth Jesus Christ to be their redemption. God is fully sufficient in Christ and man adds nothing at all. Men should sink into nothingness in themselves and burst forth in admiration in the full sufficiency of God coming to sinners by free-grace.

Matthew 11:25-27 Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

In the Matthew 11 passage just above, if we look with spiritual eyes we see the blazing beauty of the sovereignty of God, the freeness of His grace, and the total sufficiency of God. Jesus praises the Father hiding spiritual things from the wise and intelligent, but also in revealing them to infants. This way was and is well-pleasing in His sight. How our mouths should be shut when we see that no one can know the Father except the Son and other than the Son only those to whom the Son wills to reveal Him know Him. We are utterly dependent upon His sovereign hand which comes to sinners by free-grace and that is fully sufficient. It takes grace to humble our hearts to where we bow in admiration and loving adoration that these things are true. Only those that Christ has humbled will love these things and admire the beauty of God in them. The self-sufficiency of God demands that only the humble will see and love these things, but also that He alone is sufficient to humble our proud hearts.

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