I believe one of the greatest problems within the professing church today is an inadequate understanding of God. I have addressed this from several different angles in a few posts already, but I decided that it would be beneficial to do a focused series on this important topic. Over the next few weeks, I will be examining specific ways in which the church today has an inadequate understanding of God. Dr. John MacArthur has a new book coming out soon titled None Other that addresses this very problem. The following is a promotional video of Dr. MacArthur discussing the problems that are a direct out working of this lack of understanding. Please watch it before we go on, as it is a great way of getting a sense of how large of a problem this really is:
The central, driving issue behind an inadequate understanding of God is that sinful human beings have gotten the focus flipped around. We tend to make everything about “me” instead of “He”. One erroneous conclusion from this man-focused perspective is the idea that God created the world and all that is in it, for us. But what does the Bible have to say?
In Acts 17 we have Paul’s famous sermon on Mars Hill. “ The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;“ (v. 24-25, emphasis mine). Part of what makes God, God, is that He is totally sufficient in Himself. He needs nothing. If He was dependant on anything or anyone; if there were any deficiency found in Him, He would cease to be God.
Proverbs 16:4 says “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.” Gill’s exposition says of this verse:
All things are made by him, the heaven, earth, and sea; and all that are in them, angels, men, beasts, birds, fishes, and all creatures: and these are made for himself, and not another; but for God himself, besides whom there was no other before the creation, nor is there any other God but him, who is the first cause and last end of all things: nor were those all things made for him, through any want he had of them, being God all-sufficient and blessed for evermore, but to show his greatness, and communicate his goodness; they are made for his service, which all creatures are obliged unto, and whom all in their way obey, and for his honour and glory. *emphasis mine
God created to show His greatness, and communicate His goodness. It is all about Him, to bring Him glory. He is without sin, so unlike saying this of a human being, which would sound sinfully selfish and egotistical, God is without any sin and therefore does so for His glory in all perfectness. Glory is due Him, because He is who He is.
See the difference? The man-focused perspective says it was all made for us, for our pleasure and comfort, keeping the focus on self. Whereas the biblical perspective says it was all created to show God’s greatness and goodness, the focus being rightly on God. When we have a correct understanding of God as creator, the all-sufficient God of the universe who needs no one nor any thing, we then bring ourselves into proper perspective. We are no longer looking inward, but upward. We are no longer focused on self, but focused on God almighty, the Beginning and the End. We recognize our insignificance and unworthiness, which amplifies even more the magnitude and magnificence of His sovereign salvation; that unmerited grace and forgiveness! It always circles back to Him, bringing Him glory! Truly, He must become greater; [We] must become less (John 3:30).
Soli Deo Gloria!