1 Timothy 2:3-6 -3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time. NASB
The Sovereignty of God
For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. NASB
God’s highest purpose is NOT the salvation of Mankind
Many people have the mistaken idea that God’s highest purpose is the salvation of men. This is a false idea and foreign to the Bible’s teaching. They reason that since we are created in God’s image and are therefore the pinnacle of God’s creative works, that for mankind to fall into damnation is the worst conceivable idea. But consider that God has ordained the fall of mankind from eternity, for His own Immutable purpose and by His eternal Decree. It was always His purpose for mankind to fall, so that he could redeem some to eternal life and others would be damned. You say, how can you be so sure these are God’s purposes? Well that’s easy, this is “in fact what happens” or to put it another way, it is God’s Sovereign will. It is what unfolds in the course of history therefore it is the outworking of the Sovereign Decree of God. Not only is this reasonably inferred by common sense, but the Bible plainly states that God is responsible for the fall….and has planned redemption from before the world began…
Romans 11:32 – 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all. NASB
1 Peter 1:20-21 – 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you NASB
Many also claim that it is God’s will that all men be saved. In this they quote…..
Consider though that if it were God’s highest purpose to save all mankind, then that is exactly what God would do. Not only this, but God would not have shut all men up into disobedience if He desired to save them all but could have simply prevented the fall from happening. This He could have done in many ways, not the least of which would be that He could have just NOT created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or given a law not to eat from it. 1 Timothy 2:4 then, is just an expression of the moral will of God. God does not delight in the death of anyone(Eze 18:32), even hardened sinners. However, He will see to it that hardened sinners are judged and damned because this purpose displays the Excellency of His goodness, justice and wrath. So even though in His moral will He does not delight in the death of the wicked, in His Sovereign will He will make sure it happens. God allows what He hates to accomplish what he loves. Consider the following quote from John Piper…. “The misery and the suffering that judgment brings upon the impenitent, in and of itself, does not delight the heart of God. He is not malicious or bloodthirsty. That’s what Eze 18:32 is warning us NOT to believe about God. Rather, when He brings judgment on the impenitent and unbelieving and wicked, the delight that He takes in that act is delight in the vindication of His justice and His truth and righteousness, and the value of His name which has been profaned by unbelievers. God’s heart is capable of grieving over the misery and the sin, considered in and of itself, of any unbelieving lost person(Eze 18:32), while at the same time rejoicing and exulting exuberantly in the vindication of His righteousness and His name as He destroys them in hell(Deut 28:63). If that does not fit together in your own mind and heart, you are finite and God is infinite, do not shape God into your limited image, let the Holy Scriptures stand, and may God build His true character in your heart and in your eyes.”….from “The Pleasure of God in all He does” sermon Feb 1, 1987
God’s Glory displayed in all things
Consider then, how God displays His Glory in all things. In the bullets below are listed a few of the Divine Excellencies which are seen in the works of God.
· In the creation of the universe – Power, Wisdom, Beauty, Perfection
· In providence – Power, Wisdom, Grace, Mercy, Patience, Omnipresence
· In the salvation of His people – Love, Grace, Mercy, Goodness, Justice
· In the damnation of the wicked – Goodness, Justice, Wrath, Power
Dear reader, when you consider the Almighty power and Wisdom of God, the proper response is worship and awe! Surely we see then that the Scripture plainly teaches that “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” That God is indeed the beginning, the middle and the end of all that He has purposed to do.
Romans 11:33-36 – 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? 35 Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. NASB
There are actually numerous biblical texts which explicitly state that God seeks His own glory. In fact, there are so many, it would be exhausting just to list them all much less examine them. But here are a few…..
Isaiah 48:9-11 – “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. 10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another. NASB
Isaiah 43:7 – Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made. ” NASB
Jeremiah 13:11 – 11’For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the LORD,’ that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they did not listen. NASB
Psalm 106:7-8 – Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders; They did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses, But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. 8 Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known. NASB
Romans 9:17 – 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” NASB
John 7:18-19 – 18 “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. NASB
Matthew 5:16 – 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. NASB
John 12:27-29 – 27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 “Father, glorify Thy name.” There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” NASB
John 17:24 – 24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world. NASB
1 Peter 4:11 – 11 Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. NASB
Learn then, the Bible plainly declares that chief among the purposes of God is the pursuit of His own glory and the fame of His great name!
If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and enter into eternal life…..click here to find out how….. http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/2425
Or read more about the Christian Gospel here: http://www.ligonier.org/welcome_whatisthegospel.php
If you have comments or questions, please do respond to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to be added or add someone to this email list, just reply with “sign me up” and the address you want it sent to. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
Pastor Shaan Sloan
Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life