And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Why Would We Expect God to Act Differently Today?

Why Would We Expect God to Act Differently Today.

Baptists are quick to say “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever”. That is true, His being God is such that He is complete. If He were to be getting better that would mean that He is not perfect and complete in the present. If it were said that He was diminishing that would say that He is not sustainable and that all His promises will one day be void. These could present serious problems. But the Gospel message of Good news is that God is as He has always been and will be. Therefore we have hope, that is assurance in He who is forever God.

That being said, why would we fathom the possibility that God would contradict something today He has lived by in the past? What I am referring to is the ideology that God acts because He loves us in the state that we are objects of His love due to our loveliness. Remember we are at enmity with God, sinners who’s best attempt at righteousness is but bloody putrid rags (No one ever wants to touch a used band aid) Put another way, many people operate out of a theology that Christ died for them thus they have an infinite value to behold. This leads to all sorts of false thinking such as treating God as a buddy who will let you get away with sin whereas the commandments apply to all others but His pals.

Yes, Christ did die for you, but not based on your merit. Christ died for sinners because of His nature. It is because of who He is. That gives infinite awe to the act of the cross.

The nature of God is to reveal His great name. He is not a secret. He is not simply hidden as a buried treasure, for God can not be contained. God chooses to reveal who He is because that is the nature of God. He is that Whom never sins. In His glory it would be sin to keep such awesome wonder hidden. He has to show His glory otherwise it would be sin. We too sin when we do not revel in joy and love of He through glorification of His holy name.

Returning to my thesis of “Why would we expect God to act differently today”. You see the theology of God loves you puts the emphasis on us. The emphasis of truth is God is love. Love can not be without God. If I go to the store and see a beautiful work of art. I am awestruck by it. It keeps me from thinking about any other priority. My heart races with joy at the object. I do not purchase the shelf it sat on, taking it home to say, look what once was near my object of joy. No I go after the object itself. When we exalt ourselves we are merely glorifying the shelf and attributing to it a false value. This is sin.

When we look in the Old Testament, time and time again God acts not on behalf of men, though they are a shelf to behold His glory, He acts because of His holy name. "I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD," declares the Lord GOD, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. (Ezekiel 36:23)

His name represents who He is. God saves men because He is holy. We need to return to this way of valuing the things revealed world. It represents cross centered thinking. God’s theology has not changed. Blessings and revelation are meant for us to glorify Him. We have no value in ourselves to receive or deserve such. The woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears and hair got it right. God acts in grace. Thusly all we think, say or do can be unto the glory of God. Solo de Gloria. To God be the glory.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Good post, Wes. I believe the greatest danger in the "I'm lovely" view is that it's patently clear that we're not lovely. When I began my spiritual journey a few years back, it didn't start with election, per se, but with the recognition that I'm wicked. If a Christian who holds to the "loveliness" view recognizes that he isn't really all that lovely, the only thing he's left with is despair...a feeling I had in spades. It was when I finally came to grips with the idea that I AM by nature a worm (as a wise pastor once phrased it) that I was able to rest in Christ. If my salvation is due even in small part to my goodness, there's no hope. It's all Christ.