Who is this King of Glory?
1 Chronicles 29:11-13
11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. NIV
Dear friends what marvelous truths are revealed about God in just a few short verses! Here we have the foundation for all that is and the final word concerning the mysteries of our lives! Yeah, before there was a heaven or an earth, before time and space were even formed, “Thou art from everlasting!” Here God is described in terms as bright as the sun!
God is great! And how great He is! To say that God is great is to accurately describe every attribute about Him. The word great describes a measurement, one of large proportions, outstanding and superfluous! Indeed everything about God is infinitely massive and full, unending and inexhaustible! Yes, He is God! He transcends the physical capacities of everything that exists! His love is great, great to the heavens! His faithfulness stretches to the skies! His righteousness is like the mighty mountains, and His justice is like the great deep! The scripture declares that God measures the heavens with the span of His hand, and that He laid the foundation of the earth! Indeed God being creator of everything, is therefore greater than all that is! His is the greatness!
Isaiah 40:12 – 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? NIV
Job 11:7-9 – 7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are higher than the heavens–what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave-what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. NIV
Isaiah 48:13 – 13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together. NIV
Because God is essentially infinite by nature, His attributes cannot be added to or taken away from. He transcends the fullness of everything that is! The creation added nothing to God’s nature but everything was made out of nothing by the infinite power of God. God existed eternally in the heavens alone, forever happy and blessed in Himself. The Lord is not bound by the limits of time,He is eternal! God being Eternal is “before all things.” (Col 1:17) He has always existed. He has neither beginning of days nor end of life. (Heb 7:3) He always was, is now and always will be. Because of this truth, God stands alone like no other being in the universe! Ps 102:12,25-28, Deut 33:27, Isaiah 40:28
Ps 93:2 – 2 Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting. NAS
Job 36:26 – 26 “Behold, God is exalted, and we do not know Him; The number of His years is unsearchable. NAS
God is Omnipresent– God is not bound by the limits of space. He is in all places at all times. He is where we are at all times. Can the creator of the universe be confined to a single place? Can the One who stretches out the heavens like a tent be confined on the earth? Indeed He cannot, not even the highest heavens can contain Him for He transcends the limits of space. God is limitless, He is infinitely huge, and the span of His hand is larger than the vast expanse of the universes! He is in the highest heaven and in the great deep, He is in every place of the world, yet He is not limited by it! He literally fills the heavens and the earth!
Psalms 139:7-8-“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.“
1 Kings 8:27-27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Thee, how much less this house which I have built! NAS
Jer 23:23-24 – 23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places, So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD. NAS
Although He is everywhere present with all things, He is not all things. God is distinct from all things. Even though He is the sustainer of all things, He does this from without. Everything has its being in God, for He transcends them, sustaining and upholding them, indeed they exist by His pleasure and will.
Acts 17:27-28 – 27 that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, NAS
Ps 33:13-15 – 3 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; 14 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, 15 He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. NAS
Rom 11:36 – 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. NAS
God is all-powerful! Indeed He is omnipotent or possessesallpower! Any power that is in the creation is granted by God. God had the creative power to make the universe from nothing, and He sustains the same universe by His power. He has power over life and death and every other thing. He made all things with a very purposeful will, and He possesses the power to execute His divine will and bring His intentions to an expected end. His creation is just a small example of his mighty power. In the creation of the universe, God’s resources were not depleted in any way, there are infinitely vast! Since God therefore created all things, He also transcends them, and His power and dominion are infinitely greater than everything He created! Since God is actively sustaining everything in creation, He exercises His power in every moment of time, being sure to bring to pass “all His good pleasure.” He began alone, and created all things out of nothing, and by this great truth is known as “The Almighty.”
John 1:1-3 – :1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being NAS
Acts 17:24-26 – 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and
earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if
he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
Col 1:16-17 – 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. NAS
Heb 1:3 – 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. NIV
Rev 4:11 – 11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because ofThy will they existed, and were created.” NAS
God is Omniscient– He knows all things. Because God is the source of all things, making everything from nothing, He is therefore the source of all knowledge and wisdom. He knew in eternity past the entire record of history for all eternity! Predictive prophecy proves this again and again. There is nothing that escapes His notice, and nothing can be hidden from Him. He is aware of the events of the past, present, and future as if they were all laid out before Him. As His being is perfect, so is His knowledge. Being perfect in knowledge, He is therefore all-knowing and never confused, misled or surprised.
Hebrews 4:13-” Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
1 John 3:20 – 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our
hearts, and he knows everything. NIV
The beloved AW Tozer puts it this way: “God knows all that can be known. And this He knows instantly and with a fullness of perfection that includes every possible item of knowledge concerning everything that exists or could have existed anywhere in the universe at any time in the past or that may exist in the centuries or ages yet unborn.” God knows all of the data of every possible cause and effect, feeling and desire, creature, event, and every other thing that can be named. His knowledge is complete and eternal.
Acts 15:18 – 18 ” Known to God from eternity are all His works. NKJV
Isaiah 46:9-10 – 9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no
other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning
And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; NAS
Whatever comes to pass has been eternally decreed by God. Our dear brother and prophet Jonathon Edwards put it this way, “God decreed from all eternity all the evil that He ever does permit, because God’s permitting is God’s forebearing to act or to prevent. It can be made evident by reason that nothing can come to pass but what is the will and pleasure of God should come to pass.” (Job 12:13-22, Prov 8:14-16, Isaiah 40, Acts 2:23, 4:28)
Ephesians 1:9-12 – 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment-to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. NIV
God’s is the Glory! Majesty and splendor are His! Shall we call Him “Majesty?” Oh yes, He is the definition of the word! Should we speak of majesty, splendor, even awesome grandeur, and not mention the throne of the Living and True God?
Psalms 96:4-9 – 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. NIV
God is glorious and so the scripture declares that He is the King of Glory! What is this glory of God? Can words describe such a thing? Certainly they cannot, but for our sakes we will try. It is that God is so ultimately perfect and complete, He is the paragon of every good and perfect thing! He is what is supremely valuable and marvelously sublime in every way!God is so magnificently beautiful that we describe Him with a word such as glorious! Indeed the light which emanates from His divinely awesome person cannot be looked upon by the human eye, He is said to live in unapproachable light!
1 Timothy 6:14-16 – 15 which God will bring about in his own time-God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. NIV
Because God is essentially glorious by nature, His glory cannot be added to or taken away from. Nothing adds glory to God, but anything that is good simply reflects the goodness of God that is part of His essential nature. God was eternally and infinitely glorious forever and ever in the heavens before the universe was ever created!
God is therefore described as “the God of Glory!” His glory is the manifestation of His divine attributes and perfections, or the expression of God’s holy and excellent nature. Because He is so infinitely pure and perfect, there is an outshining of brilliance and beauty that shines from the divine being! This is so profound that God Himself is said to be the light of the soon coming new heaven and earth forever and ever!
Revelation 21:23-25 – 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. NIV
Psalms 24:10 – 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty — he is the King of glory. NIV
Exodus 15:11 – 11 “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? NIV
Since this glory is the radiance of His perfections, it is that which nourishes mankind who is made in the image of God, and has fallen short of His glory into sin (Rom 3:23). Since mankind is fundamentally deficient and fallen, bound in sin, the revelation of what is good, righteous, perfect and pure is to us that which heals, nourishes and grants us true freedom! It is therefore the most loving and benevolent act for God to reveal His glory to the creature He has made. God is therefore zealous to manifest His glory out of a perfect heart of benevolent love, wanting to give to the pitiful creature(mankind) what heals and nourishes his fallen soul. This is seen most clearly when God came to the earth, namely the Lord Jesus, and He went about healing the sick and teaching the people and nourishing their lives with His wisdom.
John 1:14 – 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. NIV
John 2:11 – 11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee .He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. NIV
Luke 7:21-22 – 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. NIV
God possesses all things! And so the scripture says, 1 Chronicles 29:11 “for everything in heaven and earth is yours.” Since He has the power to create everything out of nothing, does it not naturally follow that He is the rightful owner and proprietor of all things! Again and again the bible holds forth this truth.
Ex 9:29-30 – 29 Moses replied, “When I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands in prayer to the LORD. The thunder will stop and there will be no more hail, so you may know that the earth is the LORD’s. NIV
Ex 19:5-6 – 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,
Deut 10:14-15 – 14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.NIV
1 Chronicles 29:11 – 1 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. NIV
Job 41:11 – 1 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.NIV
Ps 24:1 – The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
Ps 89:11 – 1 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. NIV
God therefore does “as He pleases with the heavens and the earth.” He does all His good pleasure, and whatsoever please the counsel of His majesty, this He also does.
Psalms 135:6 – 6 The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. NIV
Daniel 4:35 – 5 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” NIV
God is Sovereign! And so the scripture says,
1 Chronicles 29:11-12 “Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.”
The bible says that God is Sovereign. He possesses absolute dominion and authority over all things. So He is said to sit on a “throne” in heaven! Just think how ridiculous it would be to say that God created the universe, but He is not in control of what takes place in it. Well the truth is God not only controls nature and history, but He literally sustains the entire universe by his power, and orders the events of his entire creation to accomplish his purposes and plans. Friends, we must understand that what is happening in the world is happening at the express purpose and will of God, who rules the world and all who are in it. He is “the Lord of Heaven and Earth” and whatsoever happens in the world, happens because God has permitted, indeed He has decreed it to happen. Although there is much evil in the world, which God hates, He is allowing these things to achieve His eternal purposes which will, without a doubt, comes to pass. God not only permits the events of human history, but has ordained them from eternity past, and is furthermore actively involved in seeing that they all come to pass, fulfilling all of His plans and purposes.
Prov 16:4 – The LORD works out everything for his own ends–even the wicked for a day of
Eph 1:11 – 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, NIV
Even Satan was created by God to achieve the very purpose for which God made him.
Isaiah 10:15 – 15 Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up, or a club brandish him who is not wood!
Isaiah 54:16 – 16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. KJV
He has in mind a very definite purpose for everything that happens under the sun. That the divine purpose could meet with frustration is unthinkable, for then it could not be the divine purpose! Failure of God’s purpose is failure of His sovereignty.To sum it up generally, whatsoever happens is all to the glory of God! If the righteous praise Him, He is glorified. If the wicked curse Him, He is glorified. He is glorified in the reward of the righteous, and eternal damnation of the wicked. Everything that God does ultimately reflects the Glory which He possesses.
Isaiah 43:7 – 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” NIV
Acts 17:24-27 – 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Man’s days are determined by God, He has set the limit and they cannot be exceeded. No one lives unless God decrees it and no one dies unless God decrees it.He is the Author, Giver, and the Sustainer of every living thing. He holds in His hand the lives of His beloved ones and that of His enemies also! Even Satan the father of lies, the destroyer, owes his next breathe to the Almighty!
Isaiah 42:5 – 5 This is what God the LORD says– he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: NIV
Job 34:14-15-“If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust.”
Job 14:5 – 5 Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. NIV
God arranges the circumstances of history according to his purpose and plan-God is very diligently governing this creation He has made. It is all coming to pass exactly like He planned it, He will be sure to see that it does. The rain falls on the good and the bad, both peace and calamity come from God. Every authority which is on the earth has been established by God. All the events of human history had the divine approval before one of them ever came to pass. God rules on the Throne in heaven!
Lam 3:37-40 – 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? 39 Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins? 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. NIV
Ephesians 1:11 – 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 – 13 Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. NIV
Isaiah 25:1 – O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. NIV
Isaiah 46:11 – 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.
Acts 4:27-28 – 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
God is Good! And so the scripture says,
1 Chronicles 29:12-13 ” 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.”13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. NIV
This is the very essence of God’s nature, He is Good! He has always been good, even from eternity past, so it is said, “For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Jer 33:11) God is originally good, and the source of goodness in the creation, so that when He created all things He pronounced, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” NAS (Gen 1:31) Everything that comes from God, His creation, His eternal plan, His laws and statutes, His sovereign rule cannot be anything but good! The longer we sit and ponder God’s goodness, the more clearly we see just how kind and gracious He is!
Psalm 106:1 – Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Nahum 1:7 – 7 The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. NAS
What is this goodness that God is? It has been defined as, “the benevolence, love, mercy and grace of God.” Indeed there are no words to describe the meaning of God’s goodness. It is certainly the opposite of evil, being that which is “good,” that which promotes happiness and prosperity, success and welfare. His benevolence is kind to all His works, His love delights in pleasure toward all He has made, His mercy is expressed in pity and compassion for the needy, gentleness and lovingkindness to His creation, and His gracegrants His goodness even to the unworthy. He is always giving, as it is His nature to give and give. Indeed every good thing comes down from the Father of lights. (Jam 1:17) God is continually kind and benevolent even to the wicked, His enemies, and those who oppose His goodness. What fullness and complete goodness is in the blessed Creator!
Psalms 145:9 – 9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. NAS
Psalms 36:6-8 – 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.
GOODNESS and CREATION
Think with what goodness God has made His creation. The birds and bees, and the flowers and the trees, with what beauty He has graced the earth! And what about our bodies? How perfectly suited for our creative minds has He given us hands by which we can do our good pleasure. Or how about the flavor of your favorite meal, and even vittles to fill a hungry belly. Or the tingling rush of a hot fire on a cold winter’s night, or the sweet butterfly kisses of precious young daughter! Oh the magnificence of the goodness of God! Volumes could not contain the expressions of the riches of His kindness to us! If we could spend a lifetime considering the loveliness of God’s creation, how much more lovely is the One from whom it all flows! How vast is the sum of His goodness? With what shall we respond to the goodness of God? With simple gratitude and a heart of thanksgiving shall we acknowledge His wonderful goodness to us!
1 Tim 4:4 – 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, NIV
Ps 50:14-15 – 4 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High; 15 And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me. ” NAS
GOODNESS and EVIL
Oh how we underestimate the goodness of God. God clothes and feeds us, and showers us with love and family, pleasure and happiness, and yet would we speak a word of complaint? Oh dear reader, count thy blessings! We frequently consider why God allows bad things to happen, yet we continually look upon our sin and the sins of others as just another part of life. Oh the goodness of God in passing over our sins! Although God is patient and forbearing, He will not allow this forever. Indeed because He is good, He must therefore punish evil. Would God be good if He just allowed the evil that goes on and never brought it to justice? Would He be good if child molesters and rapists, killers and liars, and yes even everyday sinners like you and me were allowed to just go on thru life, never having to give account for our actions? Indeed He must bring evil to account, and it will be the brightest day of all His goodness when death and hell are put away forever! Yes and Amen, there is coming a day when He will rid the earth of every form of evil that can be named, and it shall henceforth be called the “Home of Righteousness.”
Matt 5:45 – He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. NIV
Matt 13:49-50 – 49 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NAS
Rev 20:10 – 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. NAS
Rev 21:3-4 – 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. ” NAS
GOODNESS and SALVATION
The gracious mercy of God is expressed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God is so exceedingly good, that he would come to the earth and being innocent, pay the penalty so that the guilty can be acquitted. What marvelous love is this! Oh blessed Goodness! How have I been released from the prison of my sin? The guilt and shame of my sins is never to be remembered again. The salvation of God in Christ is exceedingly good! What’s more is that His goodness showers upon us not only eternal life, but He now grants to us all things whatsoever we need for now and forevermore. The blessings and bounty of God’s goodness include love and joy, peace and compassion, indeed His patience and kindness now run through our veins as a river of heavenly delights! More than this , His goodness has become our very nature. We now have the good nature of God residing in us 24X7. And if that were not enough, we have been given the eternal inheritance of God’s goodness to enjoy forever and ever, world without end! Blessed lord, “Thy lovingkindness is better than life!” (Ps 63:3)
2 Corinthians 5:17 –17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!vNIV
2 Corinthians 5:21 –21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. NAS
Ezek 36:26-27– 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decreesand be careful to keep my laws. NIV
Eph 2:4-7 – 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. NAS
GOODNESS and VIRTUE
God is therefore the highest expression of VIRTUE! He is the paragon of every good, positive and lovely thing! And because of this truth, God not only delights in the His own glorious goodness, but also delights in the communication of it. He therefore expresses His goodness eternally, to all who possess His favor. The favor of God is found in the repentance of sins and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. To those who possess this marvelous salvation, shall God continually pour out His blessing for the coming EONS of eternity! Oh the promises of God to those who have found His favor! And woe to those who stubbornly reject it! God therefore possess benevolent desires toward those who will freely receive His blessing and the communication of His eternal happiness!
Psalms 103:11-14 – 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. NIV
Romans 8:31-39 – 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.NIV
1 Corinthians 3:21-23 – 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. NIV
Isaiah 54:10 – 10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. NIV
Although God is exceedingly good and desires to communicate His goodness, He does so only to those who are said to “fear Him” or “obey His precepts.” Now that the salvation of God in Christ has come to earth, it is in Christ that the blessing of God is found. And more than that, it is in obedience to Christ that one finds themselves in the blessing of God. Eternal life and true blessing come to people based on their relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. To those who obey Christ, they will receive eternal life and eternal happiness, but to those who reject Christ and His offer of salvation, they will be eternally cursed and shut out from the presence of God. Who would knowingly reject such an offer of everlasting happiness and freedom from the hand of the Loving and Almighty God?
John 3:36 – 36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” NAS
Mark 16:15-16 – 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. NIV
John 3:16-18 – 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. NIV
GOODNESS and SANTIFICATION
The gracious mercy of God is expressed in our sanctification! We are being transformed into His goodness! We are taking on and participating in the divine nature. In the communication of His goodness, God not only explains and reveals what it is, but transforms us into it! In position we have been given the divine nature and been perfected forever, now He is in practice molding and shaping us into the same. Although we have been sanctified in position before God, the Lord is actively sanctifying us in our conduct and practice. God is continuing the good work of salvation now by transforming us into His image. In fact, this is the very ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to transform us so that we take on the very nature of God! What wondrous love is this? O my soul!
Hebrews 10:14 –14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. NIV
2 Peter 1:4 –Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. NIV
2 Corinthians 3:18 – 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. NIV
Romans 8:29 – 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. NIV
1 Corinthians 15:49 – 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. NIV
Phil 1:6 –6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. NIV
GOODNESS and GLORIFICATION
How God’s goodness is expressed in our glorification! The exceeding greatness of this statement cannot be measured, indeed it will take eternity for us to experience the glorious richest of His kindness. When we speak of “glorified or glory,” we speak of that quality of life and exceeding joy in the presence of God, which we God’s saints, will experience forevermore, world without end! It is the state to which we will be transformed, a state of immortality and holiness. It is that sure and firm promise of God, that He shall deliver us to His presence where we will be eternally fulfilled and made to be glad with everlasting happiness in his kingdom of peace and glory. It was promised to us before the beginning of time, the prophets cried out in hope of it, Christ Jesus purchased it for us, and we now eagerly await it. Even now our God is preparing us to enter into this blessedness, to this end He has called us, where we will be ultimately conformed into the perfect image and likeness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
1 Corinthians 2:7- 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. NIV
Romans 9:23-24 – 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory- 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? NIV
1 John 3:2 –2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. NIV
The Folly of Idolatry
Having come to know these high and Holy truths about God, how could we refuse to acknowledge His Lordship? What mischief would fill our hearts that would cause us to rebel or disobey God and His Holy Word? Let us be assured that there is none like Him! He is exalted, lifted up high above the heavens, He is Lord and His commands are to be fully obeyed.
Isaiah 44:6-8 – 6 “This is what the LORD says — Israel’s King and Redeemer , the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. 7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come — yes, let him foretell what will come. 8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
In the Ten Commandments, God lays out His Law in a summary. The first four deal with man’s relationship to God, the last six deal with man’s relationship to man. Thus the great commandment and the second, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Notice though the sequence and priority given. The first commandment states,
Exodus 20:2-3 – 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 ” You shall have no other gods before me. NIV
Here God speaks of the great priority of mankind, that He is to have the first and rightful place. Does this Great King of the Universe, Creator, Omnipotent, All-Knowing God, deserve any less? Should what has been formed say to Him who formed him, you are not important to me? Why should God give us another breath? Why should we not be consumed in the fiery wrath of judgment for our great transgressions against Him? Oh blessed Mercy! Oh sweet sound of pardon! Yet He would even make us kings and priests to reign with Him! What wondrous love is this?
Nevertheless, mankind rebels, curses, even profanes the glorious name of God with such audacity to form a detestable idol and bow down to it. God therefore addresses this matter of second and third importance saying,
Exodus 20:4-7 – 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. NIV
Consider what ignorance is in man that he would value and honor a worthless thing above the Great and Glorious Creator who made it all! With what blindness has man been stricken as to do such a deplorable thing? You become like what you worship. What profit would be gained to a man for bowing down to a block of wood? Indeed those who worship a dead lifeless thing will become like them, a dead lifeless thing! They will be cut of from the Author and Source of life!
Psalm 135:15-18 – 15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 17 they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. NIV
Justice demands that such a person be shut out from the good presence of God with fierce wrath and utter finality! Is there greater mutiny? Is there a greater sin of arrogance? What a poor pitiful creature man is, taken in his idolatry, to exchange the Glory of the Immortal God for a worthless, dead inanimate object! God’s judgment will be sure and final!
Isaiah 44:9-11 – 9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. 10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing? 11 He and his kind will be put to shame; craftsmen are nothing but men. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and infamy.
Consider the absolute folly of such a thing! Man takes wood from the forest to cook his meals and warm himself. He then makes it into a creation with his own hands and then bows down to worship it, even placing his trust in the same. All the while the God “who gives life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25) looks on with great patience, overlooking this great blasphemy and granting them the good things of life.
Isaiah 44:12-17 12 The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm. He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint. 13 The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, ofman in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine. 14 He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow. 15 It is man’s fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it. 16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.” 17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol ; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me; you are my god.“
What blindness has darkened man’s eyes? What great lie has deluded his pitiful heart? Where is his understanding? Consider how many people today just move through life without even stopping to give thanks to God? How many curse and blaspheme His name, never stopping to consider His great command to repent? Indeed mankind and his world are perishing, even wasting away and all the while he thinks he will live forever or somehow save himself. Stricken with blindness, he gropes about in futility refusing to simply bow His knee to the One who gives him breath! Oh what pity! Here is described the natural state of man! Here his ignorance is made crystal clear, his utter inability to help himself stated plainly!
Isaiah 44:18-20– 18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
Let us consider what it might be in our lives, which, may be taking first place? Is it God and His commandments? Or God forbid, something else. Could we be guilty of such treason? What is it that we truly value? What do we worship or ascribe worth to?
When we begin to value God above all other things in our lives, then we will begin to become like Him! When we see the great value of life that God has given us, we will then begin to live with great purpose and meaning. When we put God in the first and rightful place, then we will begin to glorify Him in proper measure.
Matthew 22:36-40 –36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Developing a high view of God
As we have seen God is supremely valuable. He is most worthy of Praise! In other words, he is the highest and most valuable thing in existence! This only naturally follows the understanding of Him as the Creator of all things. Since God is infinitely greater than everything He created, He is therefore infinitely more valuable and glorious than everything He created. This also gives tremendous value to mankind, seeing that we were the only thing or being created “in His image.” Since God is supremely valuable, it logically follows that if we esteem other things higher than Him, we are fools. We are then guilty of the highest form of treason, a failure to glorify the Glorious God, or in other words “idolatry.” This is because God is “most worthy” of praise.
Psalms 96:4-6 – 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Romans 1:21-25 – 21 For although they knew God , they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.
We must therefore value God above every other thing. He is worthy of exaltation and praise. This is the reason we were created. It is to glorify and exalt the majesty and glory of the Living God! This is the highest activity that can be performed and the most fulfilling thing that can be done. It is the only thing that fills the natural void in the heart of man. It is the first and great commandment and the great goal of God in history. It is for Him to be worshipped according to the splendor of His majesty, which is higher than any other thing. He must therefore be supreme in our affections, and the thing to which we ascribe value and worth. We are to worship God!
Psalms 96:7-9 – 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. NIV
God does everything He does for this end. That is for the sake of His Glory! Consider this quote from Pastor John Piper from his book “Let the Nations be Glad”;
“God is central and supreme in His own affections. There are no rivals for the supremacy of God’s glory in His own heart. God is not an idolater. He does not disobey the first and great commandment. With all His heart and soul and strength and mind He delights in the glory of His manifold perfections. The most passionate heart for God in all the universe is God’s heart.”
The bible is plastered with such statements which describe the passion of God for His own Glory. Here Isaiah makes it crystal clear.
Isaiah 48:9-11 – 9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. 10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
The Lord says He will not yield His glory to another. Indeed mankind has been commanded by God to “give Him glory” and worship His holy name. Indeed there is coming a day when the whole earth will be filled the knowledge of God’s Glory!
Habakkuk 2:14 – 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. NIV
More than this, every man and woman will give an account to God for either their worship of His Glory or the failure thereof.
Philippians 2:9-11 – 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NIV
Consider for a moment the just punishment of God in shutting out from His presence all who do evil by not worshipping His glory(2 Thess 1:9). For those who will not worship His glory, they will be “thrown into the lake of fire which is the second death”(Rev 20:10). Does this not express most clearly the infinite value of God’s glory! If the “just punishment” for idolatry is eternal punishment(Matt 25:46) in hell, than this corresponds to the infinite worth of the glory of God! How foolish we are to not see the great value and worth of God! Oh blessed mercy!
The Bethlehem Baptist church makes this statement which follows:
The reality of hell is God’s clear indictment of the infiniteness of our guilt. If our corruption were not deserving of an eternal punishment, God would be unjust to threaten us with a punishment so severe as eternal torment. But the Scriptures teach that God is just in condemning unbelievers to eternal hell (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Matthew 5:29f; 10:28; 13:49f; 18:8f; 25:46; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:10). Therefore, to the extent that hell is a total sentence of condemnation, to that extent must we think of ourselves as totally blameworthy apart from the saving grace of God.
It is therefore imperative that we as Christians learn to esteem and value God and His glory above all things! We must give our minds to the contemplation of God, our strength to the service of God, entrust our souls to the care of God, and give our hearts to the love of God!He is to be chief among our affections and first in order of importance. To do anything less is foolishness and self-destruction! Shall we seek life and its fulfillment in every place except from the place it comes, God? Shall we look for love in all the wrong places when all the while the scripture tells us that “God is Love.”
Indeed love and fulfillment can be found in God, and Oh how willing He is to grant it. But friends, He must become our passion, He must become the center of our lives, our marriages, our families and our churches! We must be God-centered! Listen friends, the universe revolves around God and His purposes, not ours.
1 Corinthians 10:31– 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. NIV
Six things we can do to develop a high view of God:
- Treasure and esteem God and His Word above any and every other thing in your life. Let it become a consuming passion in your life to come to know God and see His glory.
Psalms 119:47-48 -47 for I delight in your commands because I love them. 48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees. NIV
- Have a daily time of meditation and contemplation in the Word of God, undistracted. Allow the Word to judge and confront the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. Seek God’s face and His truth as for hidden treasure.
Psalms 1:1-2 – Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. NIV
- Do what the bible says. The revelation of truth comes through obedience to God’s Word.
Luke 11:28 – 28 He replied, ” Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.“
- As we ponder the Word we have two way communication with God. We speak to him and He speaks to us.
Philippians 4:5-7 – 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Fellowship regularly with people who have a high view of God and a passion for His Glory.
Acts 2:42 – 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. NIV
- Remember God’s Sovereignty! That He is in control of the circumstances of your life! Always remember to be thankful for everything you have and never take for granted that God has overlooked your sins and allowed you to live, and continues to pour out His blessing on you. You deserve much worse than you get! Do not grumble and complain about your circumstances because this attitude is equivalent to idolatry and blasphemes God’s Glory.
1 Thess 5:16-18 –16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. NIV