Sunday, May 4, 2008

God is so...


  1. THERE is but one, and only one, living and true God. He is self-existent and infinite in His being and His perfections. None but He can comprehend or understand His essence. He is pure spirit, invisible, and without body, parts, or the changeable feelings of men. He alone possesses immortality, and dwells amid the light insufferably bright to mortal men. He never changes. He is great beyond all our conceptions, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty and infinite. He is most holy, wise, free and absolute. All that He does is the out-working of His changeless, righteous will, and for His own glory. He is most loving, gracious, merciful and compassionate. He abounds in goodness and truth. He forgives iniquity, transgression and sin. He rewards those who seek Him diligently. But He hates sin. He will not overlook guilt or spare the guilty, and He is perfectly just in executing judgment.

    Gen. 17:1; Exod. 3:14; 34:6,7; Deut. 4:15,16; 6:4; 1 Kings 8:27; Neh.9:32,33; Ps. 5:5,6; 90:2; 115:3; Prov. 16:4; Isa. 6:3; 46:10; 48:12; Jer. 10:10; 23:23,24; Nah. 1:2,3; Mal. 3:6; John 4:24; Rom.11:36; 1 Cor. 8:4,6; 1 Tim.1:17; Heb. 11:6.

  2. God is all-sufficient, and all life, glory, goodness and blessedness are found in Him and in Him alone. He does not stand in need of any of the creatures that He has made, nor does He derive any part of His glory from them. On the contrary, He manifests His own glory in and by them. He is the fountain-head of all being, and the origin, channel and end of all things. Over all His creatures He is sovereign. He uses them as He pleases, and does for them or to them all that He wills. His sight penetrates to the heart of all things. His knowledge is infinite and infallible. No single thing is to Him at risk or uncertain, for He is not dependent upon created things. In all His decisions, doings and demands He is most holy. Angels and men owe to Him as their creator all worship, service and obedience, and whatever else He may require at their hands.

    Job 22:2,3; Ps. 119:68; 145:17; 148:13; Ezek.11:5; Dan. 4:25,34,35; John 5:26; Acts 15:18; Rom. 11:34-36; Heb. 4:13; Rev. 5:12-14.

  3. Three divine Persons constitute the Godhead-the Father, the Son (or the Word), and the Holy Spirit. They are one in substance, in power, and in eternity. Each is fully God, and yet the Godhead is one and indivisible. The Father owes His being to none. He is Father to the Son who is eternally begotten of Him. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. These Persons, one infinite and eternal God not to be divided in being, are distinguished in Scripture by their personal nature or in relations within the Godhead, and by the variety of works which they undertake. Their tri-unity (that is, the doctrine of the Trinity) is the essential basis of all our fellowship with God, and of the comfort we derive from our dependence upon Him.

    Exod. 3:14; Matt. 28:19; John 1:14,18; 14:11; 15:26; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 4:6; 1 John 5:7.



If God is infinite in all his perfections then the finite is swallowed up in perfection. Moses, Moses what did you see? Only the hind parts, only a little?



As I write we are having a kind of storm that I have only known here in Wyoming. I call it snail with lightening and thunder but we also have slain storms with flashes and booms. Snail is snow and hail mixed while slain is snow, hail and rain. It is weird here, truly, and its not just the people. I've seen it rain across the street while basking in sun and have been rained on with a clear blue ski above. A few nights back there was not a cloud in the sky and it was snowing. Honestly. My boy and I were amazed to watch the snow flakes forming before our eyes. I have been in the Snowy Range in eighty degree weather, watched a cloud come over Long Lake and within an hour experienced every kind of precipitation imaginable, rain, hail, snow, Styrofoam snow (strange stuff; comes in all sizes), fog, sleet, with incredible lightening and wind and then watched the sun come back out to greet me with eighty degree temps again.

None of this wonder compares to the greatness of our God. Look at the description in the confession. Perfections, infinite perfections, that just bakes the noodle. We are used to thinking in terms of the finite; incapable as we are of comprehending infinity except as a vague mist of mind. Not so with God. God sees and knows infinity the way that we know finitude; a discrete package, all tidy and comprehensible. Is it any wonder that he is called light, unapproachable light. Paul writes of it like this: the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. That we can know this is unspeakable joy. It is a miracle. Why is it then that God is mindful of in man except that in him we have been created, blessed above all blessings; to know what otherwise remains hidden.

What I want you to take away from this is that even though the essence of all Truth is transcendent, abiding only in God, what God has done in his especial creation -man- is to create a perfect image of himself. Though finite, it was perfectly represented for us in Jesus Christ the image bearer into whose likeness we are being transformed, glory to glory. Being a perfect creation though, that image which we will be, remains a creation and unlike the creator does not contain the infinitudinal nature of God; unchanging in all his being, penetrating to every reach of conception of knowledge, space and time.

There is nowhere David said, that he is not. By that he cannot be moved. To the contrary he is the divine mover. By that also, he can make what is described in the 1689 known. Christ who said that the Father always hears his prayers, prayed that they would be in us, and we in them, unmovable. We are made to be like him who cannot be diminished or increased, rock solid. So much like him we have been made to be. Too wonderful is that knowledge that we have been given to know.

At the same time, man can be moved, as all created, finite things can. And that is where we will go next. For now let it suffice to say that man in some form or fashion is in the likeness of God in all his attributes. But, what is particular to God could not be, and cannot be divested and reinvested in another; his essence and being is unique and unmixable and irreducible. Such is his power, and the ability to make man most perfectly like his creator in his infinite perfectons.

Wayne Grudem says of the image that an extensive explanation is unnecessary:
...we realize that a full understanding of man's likeness to God would require a full understanding of who God is in his being and in his action and full understanding of who man is and what he does. The more we know about God and man the more similarities we will recognize...in the image of God. The expression refers to every way in which man is like God.
That image/likeness is as inexahaustible as the knowledge of God. As the confession states:
All that He does is the out-working of His changeless, righteous will, and for His own glory.
All those works prepared in God that we should walk in them, that is the image, and our assurance that when he appears we shall be like him.

5 comments:

kelly jack said...

Truly it is amazing that we have people in the church that could read this and still think that they are in control. Good stuff strong Tower.

theoldadam said...

Think that we are still in control is our default position.

No amount of trying to convince them otherewise will make them see the light.

Only the power of the gospel and the grace of God can do the job.

The Holy Spirit open eyes, ears, hearts and minds when and where He will.

Period.

That's my story (the bible's story)...and I'm stickin' to it.

- Steve Martin

Strong Tower said...

Boy my own responses disappeared, that's weird.

Thanks for stopping by guy. I know my posts tend to ramble on but I get all fired up.

The greatness of God is truly neglected. We are small like grasshoppers but immense in God favor to make himself know ultimately through us. It is truly prideful then to think there is anything outside him that we might accomplish on our own.

setting fires,

tt

Rev. said...

Carl Gustaf Boberg, the author of the hymn, wasn't a Baptist. That makes it suspect, don't you think?! ;)

Strong Tower said...

But even pagan's get some things right ;);)