All Glory to God (11-22-14)
Grab your bible and let’s go deeper into Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
This amazing passage gives us great insight into who God is. Let’s use it to answer the question: WHO IS GOD?
Let’s start at the end in verse 36.
- All things are from him and through him.
- Paul says: “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)
- Ezra says: “You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you” ( 9:6)
- David says: “Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” ( 135:6)
- Solomon says: “The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the Lord” ( 16:33)
- Job says: “makes nations great, and he destroys them: he enlarges nations, and leads them away” (Job 12:23)
- Daniel says: “he removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21)
All things are from him and through him! He is GOD! He is worthy.
It gets better
Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!”
- The riches and wisdom and knowledge of God are REALLY DEEP!
That is what the OH means! Ohhhhh = really Deep!
How deep is God? How vast? How rich? In the first century, they would say, “The cattle on a thousand hills belongs to God.” Quoting Psalm 50:10. I am from Orange County CA. I’m a city guy. So, I don’t know a lot about farming and agriculture, but here’s what I do know:
In this context, he who owns the cows drives the community. You can’t plow up your land without them, you can’t fertilize stuff without them. So in this agricultural society, to say, “A thousand hills and all the cattle on them belong to the Lord” is a way that communicates “this is the expanse of the riches of God.”
I could go on and on about “How deep is God? How vast? How rich is God?”, but we must move on.
Romans 11:35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
- Because he owns it all, no one can give a gift to God so that you are to be repaid by him and therefore put God in your debt. You can’t give God something he doesn’t already own. You can not put God in your debt.
If everything is his, you and I have nothing to give him that he doesn’t already own. Which means, in the end, God owes no man anything. He owes us nothing. Your very existence has been gifted to you by his grace. Every bit of laughter, every great morsel of food, every smile on your face is his grace, and he owes us nothing.
Romans 11:34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
- No one can counsel God and give him insight he doesn’t already have.
Let me ask you, what is the thing you tend to offer to God more than anything else? More than worship, more than obedience, more than respect, more than trust, more than honor? We offer him counsel! “God I think…you should…how could you… God, why would you…”
This is like when a four year old in the car seat is asking His dad if he knows where he’s going. Or worse… tells him which way he should go.
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
Nobody gets to counsel God. Nobody gets to give God advice. Nobody gets to straighten God’s path, no one. He is God and we are not!
Romans 11:33 “How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”
- His judgments are often unsearchable and his ways often inscrutable, unfathomable. Meaning they are understood by the mind of God and not the mind of man.
This doesn’t mean we cannot understand him. It just means we understand what he wants us to. He will remain to be God and we will remain his subjects.
Read Romans 9:13-23
In this passage that we read earlier this week we see Paul reminding us of these very truths. Who are we (the clay) to say to the potter what he should do with us? He is sovereign and holy in his choice and rule over all things.
Who are we to scrutinize God? You and I can’t even comprehend and figure out our own shortcomings, our own failures! And yet, we’ll scrutinize God? He is God and we are not! This is truly Good News when we see it clearly!
There is so much to say about who God is, I could go on for days. The Bible sure does! But we must move on and answer:
What is God alone due? The Answer is: GLORY! We use the phrase “glory of God “ so often that it can begin to lose its deserved awe.
God’s glory is like the sun in the sense that it is no less blazing and no less beneficial, just because people ignore it or go indoors to hide from it or put on sunglasses.
So, what is the glory of God? The glory of God is the holiness of God put on display. Ii is the infinite worth of God made manifest. His importance above all else.
Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
When the holiness of God fills the earth for people to see, it is called glory. Holy means “set apart from what is common.” In speaking of God’s glory, God’s infinite value shines. God’s glory is the radiance of His holiness, the out-streaming of His infinite value.
“The glory of God” is a way to say that there is an objective, absolute reality to which all human wonder, awe, veneration, praise, honor, acclaim, and worship is pointing. God alone is truly worthy of our worship and wonder forever!
This brings us back to Romans 11:36. To it’s perfect climax.
Romans 11:36 “For to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
- To him are all things. To him be glory forever!
The Glory of God is the ultimate purpose of everything that Exists!
What is included in “all things”?
- God is ultimately for God’s Glory
God is God-centered! It is important that we see scripture teaches that the primary reason that God acts and saves is “ultimately” for His sake and His glory and not ours.
Read: Colossians 1:15-20
Everything that exists, including our lives, exists ultimately for the Glory of God. Not only do we exist for God’s glory but we are “ultimately” saved for the Glory of God.
Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins”.
Ezekiel 20:44 “And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.”
It is vital that we acknowledge that God is ultimately for God. His eternal glory is the highest purpose in “ALL” that he does.
- The universe and everything in it is ultimately for God’s Glory
The glory of God is the goal of all things. Psalm 96:1-3 “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
What this helps us to understand is that the things of life…the everyday things we have come to enjoy…. these things he has created and entrusted to us are to be enjoyed so that we will see him as central to it all and give him praise.
So when I say, God is Good …it isn’t just because he gave it to me …it is because that thing he gave me all points me back in satisfaction TO HIM!
How do we, practice daily, Glorifying God alone? You Treasure Him above all else!
Glory to God alone means: God is the ultimate prize! So when we are looking for the best way TO GIVE GOD unceasing GLORY and PRAISE we don’t accomplish this by trying real hard to be a good Christian. We accomplish this by feasting deeply in HIM and as a result we will overflow with praise and GLORY that will terminate not on us and our temporary pleasures but on HIM and his ETERNAL SUPREMACY!
The Apostle Paul got this when he said, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:8)
How does Paul glorify God above all else? By treasuring Christ above all else so that everything else in his life is as nothing by comparison. I count everything – money, as loss; food, as loss; beauty, as loss; friends, as loss; family, as loss; job and success, as loss; graduation, as loss in comparison with the treasure that Christ has become for me.
What does this practically look like in everyday life?
- You steward the money entrusted to you in such a way that shows money is not your treasure, Christ is!
- You steward the food entrusted to you in such a way that it shows food is not your pleasure, Christ is!
- You steward the friends and family entrusted to you in such a way that it shows they are not your treasure, Christ is!
- You steward the computers, houses, motorcycles and patches entrusted to you in such a way that it shows these are not your treasure, Christ is!
The way we display the supreme worth of Jesus is by treasuring him above all things and then making choices which make the joy we have in his supreme worth clearly evident to the world around us.
I will conclude with this: In the words of a great hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
By His grace and for His glory,
-Shepherd / Soldiers for Jesus MC / Bakersfield CA