Edwards on the God Centeredness of God 18


At least, a great part of the moral rectitude of God, whereby he is disposed to every thing that is fit, suitable, and amiable in itself, consists in his having the highest regard to that which is in itself highest and best. The moral rectitude of God must consist in a due respect to things that are objects of moral respect; that is, to intelligent beings capable of moral actions and relations. And therefore it must chiefly consist in giving due respect to that Being to whom most is due; for God is infinitely the most worthy of regard. The worthiness of others is as nothing to his; so that to him belongs all possible respect. To him belongs the whole of the respect that any intelligent being is capable of. To him belongs ALL the heart. Therefore, if moral rectitude of heart consists in paying the respect of the heart which is due, or which fitness and suitableness requires, fitness requires infinitely the greatest regard to be paid to God, and the denying of supreme regard here would be a conduct infinitely the most unfit. Hence it will follow, that the moral rectitude of the disposition, inclination, or affection of God CHIEFLY consists in a regard to HIMSELF, infinitely above his regard to all other beings; in other words, his holiness consists in this. (Jonathan Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World)

This paragraph, in the context of the book, but most of all in the context of Scripture and reality, sets out with power the God-centeredness of God. This is something like a worldview change or a totally different way of looking at things. It is not just another teaching that we can put in the corner and think we have it, this is one of the central teachings of Scripture and the only reason people do not see it is because of the depravity of man being full of pride and self. This is light and it is truth, not to mention that it is as important a doctrine that one can find in Scripture as it gets to the heart of the nature of God, the heart of God, and the nature of holiness for God and man.

In some ways the idea that God is God-centered is simply the basic idea of the true God. The true God cannot be man-centered or He would be exchanging love for Himself for the love of man. He would also be changing from what is right, true, and holy to what is not right, untrue, and unholiness. There must be a moral rectitude with God that flows from His inner being as well as men who must serve God from the heart as well. Men want to think of themselves as good if their outward actions are good and they try to apply that to God as well. Men want to think of themselves as loving if they do good things to others and if they don’t do harm to others. They also try to judge God by those attitudes as well. But again, those are nothing but the fallen man’s way of trying to make God like himself. It is nothing but the heart of the fall repeated when man wants to be like God but what man tries to do is to make God like himself.

Deuteronomy 4:35 “To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. 39 “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.

Isaiah 45:21 “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

Any Being that is truly God and the only true God from whom all things came and come is the only true and living God. The only God worthy of worship is a God that is truly self-centered in His holiness and in His love and in all He does. If He alone is worthy of worship, then He alone is truly worthy of living in perfect love within the Trinity and doing all He does out of love for Himself and His own glory. If He alone is truly worthy of worship as the only Savior of human beings for the love and glory of God, then human sinners are saved for the glory of God and He saves them out of love for Himself as triune. If God is not self-existent and self-moved, then we can throw a true and free-grace out and be sure that there is a system of works after all. No, but instead the Gospel is the Gospel of the glory of God and it is the Gospel of free-grace alone. He saves for the sake of His own name and as such sinners are saved quite apart from all worth, merit, and works of their own.

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