Sunday, April 3, 2016

Treating God as God

Treating God as God  – “Therefore, …whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” -- 1 Cor. 10:31  (Rom. 1:1-4,5; Ps. 96:8-10)

If you truly believe in a Being/Person who is supremely/perfectly authoritative, and supremely/perfectly sovereign (in control) and supremely perfectly good, then you ought to live in complete submission and complete trust towards that Being/Person, to wisely rule you for your true good and to graciously bring you to perfect happiness (salvation) in the end.

'Luther’s definition of a “god” is helpful here: “A ‘god’ is the term for that to which we are to look for all good and in which we are to find refuge in all need. Therefore, to have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe in that one with your whole heart.... Anything on which your heart relies and depends, I say, that really is your God.”

This Person/Being would certainly deserve (your/every person’s) supreme devotion (love), and that is exactly what is expected/commanded (Deut. 6:4-5f.; Matt. 22:37; cp. Matt. 6:24; 10:37; Eph. 6:24; 1 Cor. 16:22; 2 Tim. 3:4; Rom. 1:30 {8:6-7})

Treating God as God means relating to God, as the Supreme Being/Person, supreme in authority (to submit to Him), saviorhood (to trust in Him for His justification/acceptance, that grants your identity and security) and sovereign control (Providence) (to trust in Him experientially, including in the midst of hardship and trials).

This way of living that is habitually submitting, trusting and depending towards God is what Paul calls “the obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5; 16:26; cp. 6:17ff.;  15:18; 16:19; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; Rom. 12:1-2;  Matt. 28:18ff.   It is allegiance/obedience that arises out of faith/belief in God.

So the way to strengthen your obedience is to strengthen your faith/belief and our faith/belief is strengthened through the Word of God – via preaching, authentic worship, personal study/devotions.  (Rom. 10:17; Col. 1:28; 2 Tim. 3:16-17;  1 Pet. 2:-23)

Realizing that God is the Supreme Authority also includes the truth that He will be the Judge of all people, reviewing, recompensing and rewarding people for everything they’ve said or done, vindicating and rewarding the godly, and condemning and punishing the ungodly.  (2 Cor. 5:10; Ps. 96:10; Rev. 22:12)

·       There is no way it can be right to love such a Supreme/Perfect Being partially.
·       There is no way it can be right to trust such a Supreme/Perfect Being partially.
·       There is no way it can be right to obey such a Supreme/Perfect Being partially.
·       There is no way it can be right to serve such a Supreme/Perfect Being partially.

Of course, as fallen sinners, with our weakness, folly and sin, we will do all these things partially and imperfectly, and that is why we need daily forgiveness (1 John 1:9).   But our aspiration and goal and desire will always be to love and trust and obey God – this Supremely Good and Perfect Being – perfectly.  (Matt. 22:37; 1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 1:9)

In practical (practiceable) terms, this all plays out in relation to God’s Word to us – knowing Him through His Word (and thus knowing the perfections of His character and ways and will) and then responding to glorify Him in accordance with His revealed will in His Word also.  Where is this all-important Word from God to be found?  In our Bibles.  We will live by every inscripturated (written-down) Word of God, in the power of the Spirit, in the fellowship of His people (the church, including its pastor-teachers).

“Corporate/gathered worship is designed to focus our wandering hearts on the gracious comforts and holy commands of our sovereign Savior-King.” – Paul David Tripp

Recommended reading: 
“Right Side Up (Life as God Meant It to Be)” – Paul Grimmond

“Easter Uncut – What Really Happened and Why It Really Matters”  -- Carl Laferton

No comments: