Knowing God and the Greatness of His Person: Intro:
The quest to reach the pinnacle…
“The most pleasurable journey you can take is through yourself…
That said, the words of the trustees of Harvard College, still ring loudly in our ears,
“Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well [that the ] Maine end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ… And therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of sound knowledge and learning.”
THERE IS A GOD WORTH KNOWING
WHY SHOULD WE KNOW GOD?
1. It represents the only avenue through which we can secure eternal life. (John 17:3).
2. It represents the only avenue through which we really understand ourselves. Is. 6:5; Luke 5:8
3. It represents the only avenue through which we can understand the world around us.
4. It represents the only real path to personal holiness. Whether this is the goal of natural man or not, the fact is that our problems are due to the truth that we are ignorant of God, but also that we are sinful. (Jer. 9:23-24)(Jer.31:34)
5. It represents the only real path for the church to become strong. (Daniel 11:32)
WHAT THEN SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT GOD?
1. The BIGNESS of His Person.
He both transcends the world around us and yet has found a place immanent in the very life of mankind.
As self-existent and self -sufficient, He owes his existence to no one and owes His allegiance to no one other than Himself.
As unchangeable, (1 Sam.15:29;Num. 23:19), we know that we can trust his promises, and that He is also inescapable.
As sovereign we owe him our worship… (Ex.3:14)
2. The Holiness of his nature:
Rev.15:4; Ex.15:11; Is.6:3; Rev.4:8; Ps.30:4.
The difference between His righteousness and ours. Rom.10:3
Holiness is the term that sets God apart from his creation :
1. Majesty: Dignity, authority of sovereign power, stateliness, or grandeur. Proper characteristics of monarchs, in fact the chief monarch over all.
2. Will, the will of a personality. Apart from it, the idea of holiness becomes abstract, impersonal, and static. Ex.20:5: his will set upon proclaiming himself as wholly other
3. Wrath:, not the essence of a human emotion.. Rather the necessary and proper stance of the holy God to all who oppose him.
4. Righteousness: the ethical application and what God wills to be right and moral. Holiness= one set apart by God.
3. The limitless range of his expression.
His omniscience: God’s knowledge of us and all that makes up his creation.
HIS GREAT INTEREST IN US:
Ps. 8// God is to be glorified,
I. For making known himself and his great name to us (v. 1).
II. For making us of the weakest of the children of men, by them to serve his own purposes (v. 2).
III. For making even the heavenly bodies useful to man (v. 3, 4).
IV. For making him to have dominion over the creatures in this lower world, and thereby placing him but little lower then the angels (v. 5–8).
This psalm is, in the New Testament, applied to Christ and the work of our redemption which he wrought out; the honor given by the children of men to him (v. 2, compared with Mt. 21:16)
What is man—(so mean a creature), that he should be thus honoured—(so sinful a creature), that he should be thus countenanced and favoured!’ ’
…We may be sure he takes precedence of all the inhabitants of this lower world, for he is made but a little lower than the angels (v. 5), lower indeed, because by his body he is allied to the earth and to the beasts that perish, and yet by his soul, which is spiritual and immortal, he is so near akin to the holy angels that he may be truly said to be but a little lower than they, and is, in order, next to them. He is but for a little while lower than the angels, while his great soul is cooped up in a house of clay, but the children of the resurrection shall be isangeloi—angels’ peers (Luke 20:36)
(2)He is endued with noble faculties and capacities: Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor. He that gave him his being has distinguished him, and qualified him for a dominion over the inferior creatures; for, having made him wiser than the beasts of the earth and the fowls of heaven (Job 35:11), he has made him fit to rule them and it is fit that they should be ruled by him. Man’s reason is his crown of glory; let him not profane that crown by disturbing the use of it nor forfeit that crown by acting contrary to its dictates.
(3.) He is invested with a sovereign dominion over the inferior creatures, under God, and is constituted their l
But this refers, in a particular manner, to Jesus Christ. Of him we are taught to expound it, Heb. 2:6–8, where the apostle, to prove the sovereign dominion of Christ both in heaven and in earth, shows that he is that man, that son of man, here spoken of, whom God has crowned with glory and honor and made to have dominion over the works of his hands.
LIMITING GOD IN AN IMAGE CRAZED WORLD.
As we focus our thoughts on the heavenly, we should never forget that the most colorful, the most intricate, the brightest, and the most majestic that we might create cannot correctly express the Majesty and brilliance of God.
And even as we think of Jesus, we must be careful even in the pictures we see.
J.I. Packer notes,
It is certain that if you habitually focus your thoughts on an image or picture of the One to whom you are going to pray, you will come to think of Him, and pray to him, as the image represents him. Thus you will in this sense,”bow down” and worship” your image; and to the extent to which the image fails to tell the truth about God, to the extent you will fail to worship God in truth. That is why God forbids you and me to make use of images and pictures in our worship.”