The Big Stuff About God
How Learning of His Attributes Feeds Our Souls With Rich Food
There’s been a theme developing the last week or so in our evening service on the Lord’s Day and in adult Sabbath School, that wasn’t intentional on my part. However, that’s how God in His providence works all the time. Sweetly complying things with one another in order to show forth His glory. We’ve been looking at Romans in the morning and our topical series on Sunday nights has explored the question “How God Works”. If you know anything about either of those then it makes sense why they make a good pair. One of Paul’s main concerns is how is it that our perfect and holy God was reconciled with fallen, sinful humanity if He is the all-powerful mighty one? As we have seen as we’ve spent time considering Jehovah’s attributes it is because He is the God of mercy and grace that this is the case. In today’s prayer and worship help we will speak a little bit on the topic of the practicality presented to a believer by the great truths offered in a better understanding of the nature of our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We’ll see how the Trinity especially is of great help to Christians everywhere, at all times.
In the passage we looked at this most recent Sabbath morning, Romans 9, we have these famous words. “…for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls.” In that discussion of Jacob and Esau the apostle makes clear that the establishment of Jacob as the son of promise, and not Esau, was grounded in nothing about them as individuals. But that’s too narrow in a sense. We need to understand something concerning the reality that election is neither about Jacob nor Esau. The former was the beneficiary of the sovereign love of God in a way the later was not for sure, but what should that then result in for those of us on Team Jacob rather than Team Esau?
Considering the truth that Jehovah through His great benevolence towards men as sinners has sent His Son to lay down His life for the ungodly, and how the Father and the Son send the Spirit to make effectual that which was decreed by the Triune God it should drive us not merely towards obedience, but something higher than that, pure worship and praise. Jacob’s glorification and Esau’s condemnation are all subsumed under the LORD’s greater purpose in the bringing forth of His greatest mercy and in the sending of His Son Jesus Christ to witness to His justice and His perfect love. As an aside there has always been a question concerning the fall of Adam in regards to if Adam had maintained His perfection would Immanuel still have been born in the flesh? Well, like most hypotheticals to even wonder at this is at best unhelpful, at worst brings us a little too close to doubting God’s wisdom. Sometimes we need to remember the insight of what Moses relates to us in Deuteronomy 29:29, peering too much behind the curtain of the Lord’s decree can leave a man blind to the wonderment of what really happened in actual history. Our first father did sin, he was banished from the Garden, and did die. For what purpose? In order as we have said above that we might gander at the magnificence of what has taken place in the virgin birth of our Savior. Pondering the truth gives us more than enough to consider in life.
We confess in this that all goodness, anything lovely, wonderful, majestic, peaceful, whatever other word you want to pull out of the synonym list in a thesaurus to describe something that’s classified as on the positive we can thank only God for that. All the stuff that is gross, pain-filled, etc... is squarely on the man side of the ledger. Our recognizing these two facts goes a long way to helping us to see once more why Jehovah’s way and plan is to be found right in comparison to anything the world could come up with. It is why God responds to Job in the way that He does in Job 38 and following. As the old line goes scientists can only build with what the Lord provides. Only He can act ex nihilo (out of nothing). We are responsive to the rules of physics that the Almighty has established in His plan. That is why even the most atheistic scientist cannot in theory deny the existence of God. The man far smarter than I is at a loss to explain the consistency of the universe, let alone its actuality. Here we see an aspect of why the eternal attributes of God are seen by faith and not by sight. Bertrand Russell, the infamous British anti-theist was reported to have said one time when asked what he would say to God if he died and found out he was wrong about what he believed about the Deity, “Not enough evidence!”. If one looks in the mirror and thinks that is the only being worth worshiping then it belies a blindness that no one could help, without first bringing the gospel to bear.
When we discuss faith and the impact of the eternality of God for example in this question we need to remember something simple about it. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It is not a blind leap of hope into darkness, but a very tangible realism. That’s one of the reasons why it is so vital for a believer to read the Bible, be conversant with its claims, for the more one does the more the evidence that Russell cried out for will inhabit your soul and give it peace and comfort. Many times in life we allow doubt to flourish because we don’t take the time to nourish faith with truth, truth about God, truth about forgiveness of sin, and many other aspects of our Christian religion. Take time today, this week, to eat at the table of plenty, especially as we prepare to come to the communion feast this coming Lord’s Day. Be ready. For Christ has much to give you, if your mouth is ready to receive it, in faith.
Here's a word to consider:
Blessings in Christ,
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
Pastor, Bethany ARP Church
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