||2014-03-05 13:05:59, 조회 : 1,812, 추천 : 309
| Chapter 9 – The Riches of His Glory |
Hello to another wonderful day to learn about God. Today we will be coming from Chapter 9, The Riches of His Glory, which is the last chapter of our book. As per usual, the author starts off this chapter from Romans 9:22-24.
“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, had
endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make
known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for
glory – even to us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also the Gentiles?”
The question which I asked in the earlier chapters will tried to be answered now, “Why doesn’t God save everybody?” The answer which is most commonly given to people is that God probably does have the power to save all, BUT if he does use such powers, it would contradict His respect for freedom for He must in no way compel our wills. So that is why the Bible teaches that unless a person is regenerated, born again and from above, he or she cannot see the kingdom of God. Once a person has been born again, he will respond to Christ in a free act of faith, that’s how he can save us.
Now, we will begin to look into the Calvinistic view to such question. First we start by looking at the question why God created the universe. Christian doctrine says that God is eternally perfect and complete. He requires nothing outside of Himself. And definitely not, we are not able to say that God created the world just because he was lonely. So we must say then that the reason for God to create the universe must be an inclination inherent from Himself. In creating, He was acting to please Himself, not any of us; He created the world out of a desire to express Himself. The creation is the result of His desire for an external sphere in which to express these perfections. Of course this wasn’t a necessary thing to do, but it pleased Him to create.
When we look at Genesis 1:10, as soon as he finished making the world it said, “And God saw that it was good.” We can say that we were made to know Him and enjoy Him forever, and we find the meaning of our lives and the fulfillment of our deepest desires only as we learn to glorify Him in all things. The Bible clearly shows God’s works whether in creation, providence, or redemption, as ultimately intended to display the glory of the Creator.
But before we are able to move on, there are quite a few people, maybe even the listener, who might think God is some kind of whacked out psycho. People who have characterization like these, reminds us of overly conceited people or dictators who thought they were above God. But although this behavior would be a bad characterization to have in human, it is righteous in God.
God, first of all, is no human being or even a creature at that matter of fact. He is God; He is the Creator, the source of all goodness, beauty, and excellence. It is only right for us to make His glory the greatest concern of our lives. God deserves all honor, glory, praise, and love because He is God. We’re not the center of the universe, but He literally is. And after viewing this, we must say that it is right and proper for God to love Himself above all things.
If God loved some part of the created order more than He loved Himself, then we would have to consider Him as an idolater. God does not need to be humble, and more important, He MUST not be humble, if being humble means to acknowledge the superior greatness of another being. There is no such being that can ever be superior to God. For God, as for us, holiness means loving God above all else, and so it is proper for God to seek His own glory in all of his acts.
To move on, Hell has the same reasoning to it, it exists to bring glory to His name. God primarily glorifies himself through the redeemed, but also in the punishment of the lost. God could save all people, but He does not choose to. Instead, He chooses to leave some people to their punishment their deeds deserve, in order that He may more completely express the fullness of His character. It is so that not only God’s kindness may be revealed, but also His severity. And we can also rightfully infer that that a universe which sin had never been allowed, or one in which no sinners were justly punished for their sins, would be a poorer universe. It would be one in which God’s character was less fully shown.
So when we involve all stuff into the salvation of all, we can see that salvation is fully determined by God. Salvation doesn’t depend on human will or exertion but on God who has mercy. The apostle Paul illustrates God’s sovereignty in salvation by pointing to Pharoah, whom God raised up for the express purpose of revealing His power in Pharoah’s defeat and destruction. And there is also the clear example of The Potter and the clay. Apostle Paul is insisting through such imagery that God had the right, as the potter, to do as He wishes with His creatures. He has the right to save some and leave others to their just punishment. Those who are lost are condemned to the punishment their deeds have deserved. Those who are saved observe the punishment of the lost and from it they learn of God’s holiness and find their own joy increased as they see the fate from which they have been graciously saved.
Although, this may be “hard to swallow,” we mustn’t forget that sinners do deserve punishment. We have no grounds for shifting the blame for our own sins to God, and our conscience should tell us that He is rightly angry with us for those sins. Also, we must never forget that because sin deserves punishment, salvation is not something owed to someone. No one deserves it, but salvation is a gift and God may properly give it to whom He will. No person will ever have grounds to accuse God of any injustice. When we read Psalms 33:4-5, it says, “For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.”
Another topic which is quite sensitive is of the young. We assume that all human beings who die without reaching the age where they can properly be held accountable for their moral acts are ELECT, and upon death they are regenerated and are cared for as they grow to maturity by God. I would like to emphasize on the word ELECT of my last statement, for I do not wish to confuse people with the thought that the young go to heaven because they're innocent in any way. Let it also be reminded that even if we could be certain of this doctrine, it would never give us the least excuse to condone such acts of abortion. We are never justified in doing evil that good may come out of it. We are under orders to defend life.
Another is the issue of when people, who are mature enough, die without ever hearing about God. This is also something hard to believe because we all want for it to be the other way around, another alternative to come to God. But salvation in large portions consist of the conscious knowledge of God and of what He has done in Christ. What, however, should trigger our concern for those who are lost like this is to put more commitment into evangelism and world missions. It should stir us up to give, sacrifice, preach, suffer, and die so that the gospel may be taken to every corner of the world and persuasively offered to people of every culture.
And to end this chapter as well as the book, I will say to that we should remember that the universe is NOT about us, not even about our freedom. It is about God and that means that our joy is to be found only in Him. I hope that you were able to understand the depth of my last statement and to be able to have all concepts said in this summary, as well as book, to assist in your knowledge of God and to further that knowledge. And I would also like to thank everyone who has been following my chapter summaries for these nine long weeks. Thank you and have a great day!
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