Knowing and Loving God: Part 4a
by Jonathan Hamilton
Thursday, June 19 (previous post here)
We’ve finally reached the next-to-last-day in our series. I must have gotten my second wind by this point during the class because my notes from Thursday and Friday are much more copious than the previous three days. That means that day 4 and 5 might end up being three or four posts each…..we’ll see. It depends on how long the posts are and how much time I have to write. As a reminder (the fuller explanation can be accessed at the link above), italics in this series means class notes, with non-italicized font indicating clarifications and thoughts I am adding as I write these recaps. Also, you will get far more out of this if you click the Scripture links referenced and read the passages. With all this in mind, let’s jump in!
The primary motive of evangelism ought not be our concern for the lost, though that is a concern. It ought to be that we look out at the world and it drives us nuts that there are all these people created in the image of God who are not giving Him the glory He deserves.
- Verses 1-6: God’s glory revealed in nature
- Vv. 7-10: God’s glory revealed in Scripture
- Vv. 11-14: God’s glory revealed in His servants (people) – We are the ultimate expression of God’s glory! The lost can argue against what He has made (nature); they can argue against what He has said (Scripture); but they cannot argue with the life He has changed.
Isn’t it vain or conceited for God to want glory? (After all, if we did it we would be arrogant: 1 Cor. 4:6-7 <– If any admiration is due, it goes not to the recipient of the gift, but the Giver.)
No. No one ever gave God anything that He didn’t already possess. They are already His and He has the right to receive them. They are Who He is. Furthermore, placing His glory on display is the most altruistic (generous, kind) thing He can do. (At this point Dr. Bauder gave an illustration of altruism using the story of a lobster fisherman from the east coast who found a rare blue lobster, a roughly 1 in 2,000,000 catch. Rather than selling or eating it, he donated it to a marine museum so others could enjoy it as well).
Remember, we praise what we enjoy. It is hard-wired into us. We can’t help it, and we love it. The most generous thing God can do is allow us to enjoy Him by praising Him, sacrificing to Him (O.T.), “giving” to Him. Not because He needs any of it (or anything, for that matter), but because we do!
If God either controls or allows everything, why the Fall of Man?
The answer has to be that God knew He could somehow gain more glory with fallen men than with unfallen. The final chandelier He is piecing together with the shards of the Fall will more brilliantly reflect God’s glory than the unshattered pre-Fall mirror from whence they came.
Why doesn’t God save everyone?
- It cannot be that He is not able (Arminian view).
- It cannot be because He is not willing (the Bible tells us He is not willing for all to perish; He is willing for all to come to the knowledge of the truth).
- Bottom Line: I DON’T KNOW! Trust. Job 38-42: I lay my hand on my mouth and trust that He knows what He is doing.