Saturday, March 2, 2019

Our Awesome God!

Recently, at the recommendation of one of our pastors, I began reading Stephen Charnock's The Existence and Attributes of God. I can assure you that, although it is not light reading, it is indeed quite inspiring and thought provoking. (Puritans were not known for their succinctness. As one of my dear brothers in the faith commented once, they were known for adhering to the philosophy that "why use 10 words, when 100 will do"!). Certainly, Charnock goes about explaining his thesis in a quite verbose way. But what he has to say should be something that every Christian ponders in thinking and meditating on the greatness of the God we serve.

How can our little puny minds comprehend what Charnock describes as the “most simple being”—God, who has no parts, but is One in Three? Can we begin to grasp what it means that God is infinite, no beginning, no end, no in between? And what of His omnipotence? Is it possible to begin to understand how it is possible for God to be able to, just with a single word, bring about a universe so vast that scientists, mistakenly, think it took billions of years to evolve? Truly, our God is beyond comprehension.

And yet...that same God came to man in the incarnation and showed us by partaking of our own fleshly humanity, what God is like. You remember Philip's request in John chapter 14: "Show us the Father and it suffices us." The answer, although it should have been obvious to someone who had walked with Him for three years, took Phillip by surprise. "Have I been with you so long and yet you have not known me? He that has seen me has seen the Father?" Imagine, the God of the universe was literally standing, in the flesh, in front of Phillip. Therein lies the genius of the true plan of redemption. No other religion can make such an astounding claim. 

To be sure, the mythologies of the ancients speak of half-gods, half-men who ran around on earth creating mayhem and destruction. To the ancients, their gods were little more than an ancient version of what Mormon doctrine teaches are exalted men. Even the supreme god, Zeus, was as capricious as the rest and his power was constantly thwarted and successfully opposed by lesser gods. But in the incarnation of Christ, we see the purity, sinlesness and beauty of the God who truly inhabits eternity. A God who is the creator, the sustainer and the judge of all that live and of all that exists. Because God inhabits eternity, we are always in his presence. As David puts it in the Psalm, "where can I go to flee from your Spirit?" The answer is left to the reader to formulate, but it is obvious, nowhere.

Thus, although our God is certainly inscrutable, he has not left us in the dark. He has provided us revelation, not only in an inspired written word, but in a living Word of flesh. We should truly stand in awe in the presence of the God that has created us. It is truly incomprehensible how anyone could live without the knowledge of that God filling their hearts. All around us we see dead men walking. But we can bring light into that cold darkness. But only if our bosoms are alive with the flame of God's love and life. Then, and only then, will we be able to shine that light into every corner of the world and bring the life-giving clarity that the world needs. May He use us in that way and may He be pleased to lead us in our way all to the praise of His glorious grace.

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