Edwards on the God Centeredness of God 14

THE END FOR WHICH GOD CREATED THE WORLD

That if God himself be, in any respect, properly capable of being his own end in the creation of the world, then it is reasonable to suppose that he had respect to himself, as his last and highest end, in this work; because he is worthy in himself to be so, being infinitely the greatest and best of beings. All things else, with regard to worthiness, importance, and excellence, are perfectly as nothing in comparison of him. And therefore, if God has respect to things according to their nature and proportions, he must necessarily have the greatest respect to himself. It would be against the perfection of his nature, his wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude, whereby he is disposed to do everything that is fit to be done, to suppose otherwise. (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World)

This subject is of such a vital nature that it cannot be overemphasized, though it could be put in such a way that it becomes less than interesting. When we think of how this subject teaches us of the essence of the nature of God in many ways, it is quite astounding. The teaching that flows from this is that if God created all things for Himself and His own glory, then all that happens is for Himself and His own glory. It would appear that if He created the world in order to glorify Himself, then certainly His creation of the world was in order to manifest Himself through Christ. The Lord Jesus, after all, is how God manifests Himself.

If God created the world for Himself and His own glory, then this is the standard of all holiness and all morality. If God created all things as a way to manifest Himself, then morality and holiness are nothing but a name if in fact they do not glorify Him and are intended to glorify Him. Men have come up with all sorts of moral standards and of standards for holiness, yet if the glory of God is not their end then they are nothing short of being immoral and unholy and even ungodly. Again, the study of why God created the world brings these things into a sharp focus. It also brings this focus to us in an unrelenting way and we cannot and should not escape the light of it.

One great test for religion is if it is for the glory of God or not. We have Christianity which is the only way for God to manifest His glory while other religions leave things in the hands of men. This should not escape our notice since this shows us that the purpose of creation is the same as Christianity. The truths of Christianity versus the false views of it set out the sovereign God of all creation and the sovereign God who does all for His own glory. The Gospel is all about the glory of God instead of the glory of man. In fact, the dark background of sin is the very background on which the Gospel is set and that shows us the very nature of sin is that men do what they do in a way and with the intent where it is not for the glory of God. The God saves sinners for His own glory and then restores them to a way where they will live for His glory.

A Christianity (in name) that does not do all for the glory of God and does not take care to teach that all is for His glory is not true Christianity. The Bible does not know of anything but this great God who has created all things out of love for Himself and does all things for His own glory. The Gospel sets out a Gospel of His glory and how He manifests His glory in saving sinners. The Gospel is in perfect accord with why God created the world and all things in it for Himself and His own glory. The purpose for which God created the world teaches us about why He created all human beings, the nature of sin, and of His purpose in the Gospel. A version of Christianity that makes man the center of all things and even the center of what God does and why He does it, that is a false version of Christianity and a false view of God.

What other reason could God create other than out of a love for Himself and a desire to manifest His glory? What other reason could God have to save sinners other than a love for Himself and His own glory? In the fall man fell from a God-centered view of things to a man-centered view of self and all things. Man wants to be the center and man wants to trust in himself and have the final choice. This is for man to want to be as God and have self be the ruler and arbiter of all things. It is nothing but the height and epitome of sin. Man longs to do all for his own glory when in fact he is to live for and love God and His glory. We can see this in God’s purpose in creation all over the Bible if we are made willing to have our eyes opened and to seek Him for that very thing.

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