To God Be the Glory (Jude 24-25)September 4, 2022 | Brandon Cooper
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Morning Cityview the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul and statutes of the Lord are trustworthy making wise the simple precepts. The Lord are right giving joy to the heart, the commands the Lord are radiant giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. And the decrees the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous, they are more precious than gold and much pure gold. They’re sweeter than honey than honey, and the honeycomb. That’s why we’re going to open God’s Word together. Now if you want to turn to Jude, 24 and 25. We will wrap up Jude this morning for kicking off our new series next week, appropriately enough at kickoff, Jude, 24 and 25. As you’re turning there, there is a story I cannot vouch for its accuracy. But there is a story that some time ago back in the days before trains and planes and automobiles, that a man walked some 700 miles in order to see Niagara Falls, he had heard of its beauty, and he wanted to see it for himself. So he made the long trek. And as he got nearer to where he was told it was supposed to be, he could hear a roar. And so he was passing by a farm at this point, he turned to the farmer that was out there working in his fields and said, Excuse me, you know, is that roar that I’m hearing? Is that the falls? And if so can you kind of direct me where I should go from here? So is that the falls and the farmer looked at him and said might be I have no idea and travelled a bit perplexed at this and kind of said, I’m sorry, are you from around here born and bred, you know, lived here my whole life. And at this the Traveler was just incredulous, right? How is it that you have lived here your whole life within just a few miles of the falls? And yet you’ve you don’t even know if that’s what you’re hearing? And the farmer said, I’ve never been, I’ve been too busy looking after my farm.
I share this story today because it is kind of true of us in some ways. Also, only we’re dealing with a far greater beauty and therefore a far more distressing apathy. If we haven’t actually gotten around to look at it, what am I talking about? I’m talking about the glory of God, the splendor of His Holiness and the beauty of His love. We hear the thunderous roar of God’s glory when we open His Word together here in this room and we read in private or as a family, but do we make the trek to actually go and check it out? We’re going to make the trek today. I hope as we look at Jude’s doxology. If you’re wondering where doxology comes from, by the way, the word doc some means glory. So this is the giving of Glory to God. It is the culmination and celebration of all the truths that Jude has unpacked for us so far. It is a celebration of the God who keeps us for Jesus. And so it is this brief burst of praise a little bit like a firework going off in the midnight sky. A brief burst of of praise about the salvation we share with Jude had said at the very beginning, he wanted to write about all along suddenly, he he gets there. And so I’m hoping that we will let it dazzle us. Now, our main idea is quite simple. In light of the salvation we share, there is only one fitting response. We’ll see it as we read Jude, 24 and 25. Together, I’m going to read it all upfront. And we’re going to ask a series of questions about the tax before we’re going to interrogate this doxology we’re gonna hike around it like we’re hiking around Niagara Falls. So here it is, do 24 and 25. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling, to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy, the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord before all ages now and forevermore. Amen. You can’t get up and leave. I know what you’re thinking. You’re all like, I heard this before. This is like Pavlovian. You’re just like, pack up my things. Now we’re just getting started. I will say it again at the end. Now y’all know where this came from. All right, so let’s ask some questions of this text. The first question is the who question although really the who question is the why question. We see it and 24 in the first part of 25. If you’re going to give someone glory, you probably should be pretty careful about whom, which is really asking why why would you give glory to this person and not another altar this object and not another? This is not a small question. By the way. I think I can make the case that this is the most important question. You need to answer. What gets our ultimate allegiance? Where do we look for ultimate significance or meaning? If you choose Paul orally choose an unworthy object and what really amounts to death. And as the novelist, not a Christian but novelist David Foster Wallace points out it’s not even just a single death but but death many times over. He writes this about why it’s so important we choose carefully. He says there’s no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships the only choice we get as a what to worship, and an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual type thing to worship. We can be a little more specific than that, but Okay, all right, I get what he’s at. An outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual type thing to worship is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive, the worship money and things if they are where you tap real meaning in life, and you will never feel you have enough to the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure, and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.
Is the being or object that you’re worshiping worthy of absolute devotion? And so who is it? Why would I worship? These are the questions we have to ask? Well, Jude helps us out here. So the first question he answers right to him who is able, let’s talk about the being we worship to Him who is able he begins with God’s power, God is able to deliver on his promises, which sets him in stark contrast to the wolves. We’ve been meeting throughout Jude, these false teachers who over promise and under deliver, they’re like clouds without rain. God sends the clouds and the rain. This is a different sort of being. So he is able to keep his promises. I’m reminded of Abraham, that man of faith had example of faith for us all who when he heard God’s promise that he’s gonna have a son in a year, like went face to face with reality. Like, I’m old, I’m 100 Sarah’s womb is close. She’s postmenopausal. nevermind the fact that she was barren prior to that, but we read in Romans four that despite all that he was strengthened in his faith, and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. What do you seek? What are you looking for? Immortality, justice, love. Are you fully persuaded that your God can deliver? Because there’s only one God who can deliver on those things? This is why it’s such an important question. Well, what is the promise here? To him who is able? I mean, that’s a familiar phrase that’s in Ephesians. Three also to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine that’s kind of a big category. Okay. Jude is very specific here to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling. This feels like it’s very narrowly tailored to Jude’s audience now, you’ve been tracking with us through Jude you know that there’s an important word there. What is it? So you haven’t been tracking in Jude? Okay. All right. Kyle said it. Alright, good. I’m glad otherwise you’re in trouble man. So keep it it’s there and subtitle right. Okay. Keep we keep coming across this word keep God is able to keep us as part of why we worship. Here’s the bad news. I just want full disclosure. Okay, that’s actually a different word than the one we keep coming across in June. So the word is guard, slightly different. But you know, it’s it’s a synonym, it’s on the same thing. It’s like when you switch from lamb to sheep, you’re not actually changing categories here. Are you the same thing. So he’s able to guard us, he’s able to keep us but he’s able to keep us from stumbling, which is then the reminder that we are on a perilous journey as spiritual pilgrims. It is a narrow winding mountain pass, and all it would take is a bit of a loose rock or a slick patch and we are in trouble. If you know me, well, you know, I’m not a fan of heights. And I am especially terrified about my children around heights. So when I took my daughter the Grand Canyon like I kid you not I had nightmares for weeks after about this kind of stuff. Okay, because that’s all would take. If I’d had a promise, they’re like a guardrail on all these pads going, Nope, no chance that she stumbles. Life would have been so much easier. What about us, spiritually speaking, do we have a promise like that? Absolutely. Psalm 121 verse three, he will not let your foot slip. He’s our hope. On this journey. He’s watching over us. He is the one who ensures that the calls are kept. And that’s important, especially as we we think back through But we’ve covered in Jude already like you appear over the edge of the cliff and there are bodies at the bottom. There’s Cain and balem, Cora, members of the wilderness generation those who stumbled into judgment
because they were not called, and therefore they were not kept. But this reminder instills humility in us, doesn’t it? Because it does not say, work really hard to make sure you don’t stumble. Because that will put it on us know, to him who is able he is able to keep us from stumbling. If we persevere to the end, it is only because he guards us. We would all be like Cain, otherwise, that humility then breeds dependent prayer. Humility always breeds prayer. And how did Jesus teach us to pray, Lead us not into temptation? Like I know what I would do on my own Lord, I’m walking right off that cliff with a smile on my face. Lead us not into temptation. Jesus taught us to pray that daily right give us today, our daily bread would later lead us not into an impatient we’re talking about this daily keep me from stumbling vard. And so as we pray this, we are praying the promise this is why we work so hard. By the way to draw out God’s promises from his word, we we hunt them out like a 49 or painting for gold, like where are they, we pray those knowing that he is able, we are fully persuaded that He has the power to keep his promises. What I love about this, though, is that it’s not just a promise that He will keep us from harm. Or this is not just the promise that He will keep us from messing up which is good, keep us from stumbling within that he will also present it to us before his glorious presents. That’s even better, right? Doesn’t just keep us from harm, but brings us into the good and great and glorious like this is a baseball game and the guy doesn’t just set up the nets, they don’t get hit by a foul ball. He gives you a tour of the clubhouse afterwards, you get to meet all of the superstars. Analogies never quite work. So of course, he is also the superstar that you’re meeting that’s, you know, but hey, I’m doing the best I can here. Now to present you before his glorious presence, glorious presence is shorthand for, you know, like God. And that’s the problem. We’re trying to describe the indescribable here. And so you just kind of say like glory is just shorthand for all that God is. I love when the biblical writers tried to describe God’s glory, especially when they have a vision of him, because they very quickly run out of things to say, here’s the Zico chapter one, verse 28. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of God. And when I saw it, I fell face down because that’s what you do when you see God. So but you see how far removed from reality where he’s not like, here’s God, let me describe them to you. He’s like, it appeared a little bit like that word that we use, and we don’t know what else to say. And the Lord was behind it. Somehow we like can’t even come close to describing the indescribable glory of God, we cannot see or or grasp as glory. It’s like trying to fit the ocean in a thimble Our minds are small. So it’s also why God gives us eternity to explore his glory. Now, when we get to glory, we will see God face to face. And that’s awesome, and we will know Him rightly and perfectly, then we will not know Him exhaustively, then you know why God gave us an infinite amount of time to explore him, because he’s an infinite being, we will never reach the bottom of God. Where we go, there we go. I got it. I figured him out. Like every day for eternity, we will go. I hadn’t seen that before. That’s, that sets God apart, by the way from other gods, doesn’t it? People have reached the bottom of money and sex and power. They plumbed the depths of those. And by the way, found it wanting still thirst at the end of it. This is why you can see and read and hear about the deep unhappiness of people who have it all. Why are they so deeply unhappy? Because they know there’s nothing more. There’s nothing we all can fool ourselves can we do we can still think I would be happier if I had $10,000 $100,000 more a year I’d be happier if I were a little bit better. Look, I’d be happy if I finally got my break and made it in my field. You talk to people who have all those things and they go up into the top and there’s nothing there. Nothing that will really truly satisfy. So to spend your life worshipping gods like that is to spend your life building like a house of cards on quicksand on a windy day. You can keep stacking them up and you have nothing to show for it in the end. And why CS Lewis tells us in his famous address the weight of glory, because they are not the thing itself, they’re only the scent of a flower, we have not found the echo of a tune, we have not heard news from a country we have never yet visited.
But God, God is able to present us before his glorious presence, which is the thing itself, the beauty, the joy, the peace, the love that we seek. We get to experience it at last. And then did you notice he presents us without fault? That’s even more shocking to my mind. Like, maybe we can’t grasp His beauty. But we certainly know our ugliness, don’t we? Don’t we know our faults as people if not just look to your family, they will help you out. Now without fault, that phrase, it’s a specific word, used of sacrifices, because sacrifices had to be perfect. They had to be without blemish, like Jesus, he was the lamb without spot or blemish. So here we are standing before God at a celebratory festival. We get to be living sacrifices. By the way, that’s pretty cool. We don’t have to die as sacrifices because Christ died in our place. But still, we got to ask the question, how is it that we’re standing here, considering how blemished we are, will talk more about this in a moment, but for now suffice to say, because God is able, God is able, we are woefully inadequate to the task to wash ourselves clean, but he is able to present us before himself without fault. Here again, we could talk about failure of other options. Because how do we eliminate fault, or the guilt and shame that result from our faults are no more successful at it than Lady Macbeth, trying to rub out the spot of her murder. Everywhere else you would turn to deal with the faults you have would be a matter of performance. And since we’ve all acknowledged we got faults, none of us is perfect. No one’s claiming to be perfect. That means all we’re really trying to do is tip the scales, which is not good if the standard is perfection. But tip the scales have been a little more good than bad in my life. And so you’re trying to minimize the guilt and mitigate the shame but it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. We know this, like just put yourself in a situation for a moment, let’s say your parents and in a fit of rage. You blow up at your child. You say the sorts of things that they are going to carry with them for the rest of their lives, the sorts of things they will talk to their counselor about when they’re older. You have cut them down and you know it and you see it on their face if they run away sobbing kind of thing. What do you do? Say you’re sorry? Buy them ice cream afterwards? Has that covered over the fault? Has that unspoken? Those words, not on the sites. Or if anything, you’re just highlighting the fault that you’ve got there. You’re going I needed to buy you ice cream because look how bad I am. It doesn’t work but not with God. With God, oh, that was yonder sacred from we at his feet, get to fall, get to fall with great joy because he’s welcomed us in. He’s kept us and he’s presented us before himself. We got one last who why before we turn the corner here. And that’s the start of verse 25. To the only God our Savior and I’m gonna hit on salvation little bit more in a moment. But let’s talk about to the only God because that’s a really shocking phrase. Also, we’re kind of accustomed to monotheism at this point, but would have been really shocking to ancient ears and frankly, the more polytheistic we become here in this culture, the more shocking it is to modern years also. Jesus is the only way is not PC today, not by any means in the marketplace of gods. You should get to choose which one you like. And that’s why the phrase God is one or there’s only one God the only God our Savior was so shocking let me put it to you in these terms. Hopefully it’ll make some sense. So if you haven’t caught on by now, I’m an Arsenal fan. They’re playing as we speak. That’s how much I love you okay. I’m an Arsenal fan. Now it is one thing to boast about Arsenal as a fan. That’s what we do as fans right so for me to say Arsenal are the best team is by the way, objectively true right now top of the table. I think you all should know that. Okay, but that’s one thing we all know. Right? Right. Okay, you know, typical hubris for the fans or whatnot. It’s something else entirely for me to say Arsenal are the only Football Club. We’re all like, hang on now even I’m like a baseball guy. I’ve heard of Manchester United. But for me to be like, no, no, no. What Manchester United Liverpool, Chelsea man, see, you take your pick with all those teams that’s not even football that they’re playing.
Arsenal is the only that’s ridiculous, right and the unmitigated gall of that kind of statement. Unless, of course, it’s actually true. Because there is only one God. There is only one God who is not dumb and deaf and blind. I’m not talking just about like the wooden statues, you know, pagans used to carve I’m talking about, like, you’re going to pray to your bank account. For that security you need when times get tough, absolutely not. But God, the only God our Savior, He sees. He hears and he acts, he saves us to the uttermost. He’s able to keep us from stumbling and to deliver us to himself. That’s who he is. And that’s why we will alright, what is it? We do? Exactly? Let’s talk about that. Next question the what and how? To him to that guy, the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority. Now, there’s not actually a verb there in the Greek language, Greek and a lot of languages do that, where they’re just like to him. glory, majesty, power and authority substitute your own verb as needed. There are two options, of course, one is what the NIV has for us here to him be the other one is to him are these things already belong to him just because of who he is. Both are true. I don’t care which one you pick, the idea is quite clear. God is owed glory, majesty, power and authority. And so we should ascribe worth to God because He is worthy. Our chief purpose is to glorify God, we say it here we are made to magnify Him to give him his rightful place in our lives. We glorify Him. That’s what we do. Now, right away, I need to clarify, the word glorify is not at all like the word Beautify. They sound like, don’t they? And so we could get them confused. When you beautify something, you take something that’s got issues, and try and make it look pretty, you put the plants in front of a hole in the wall, so that the apartment looks a little bit nicer than it would otherwise that is not what we mean, when we talk about glorifying God to glorify God is to recognize what is already there. His glory is perfect. We just don’t look at it that off. And that’s probably to make the trek to see the falls. Actually, the word magnify kind of helps us understand the difference between what I’m saying is are two different ways to magnify things aren’t there? I’ve used this before, it’s one of the illustrations that I hope you remember and take with you and use to explain to other people later on. There’s a difference between a microscope and a telescope. The microscope blows up something tiny and insignificant, and makes it look bigger and more important than it actually is. A telescope does exactly the opposite. With a telescope, you’re looking at something that is almost unimaginably large, but that to our eye appears puny and insignificant, or maybe doesn’t even appear to our eyes. You can’t see it without a telescope. You know, it’s like the old joke for the kid goes down how big is the sun and the dad pulls out the quarter and goes to about a quarter you know, like that’s, that’s how big it looks to me. So we got to blow it up for ourselves in a sense and go no, no, even here through the telescope, you’re just beginning to get a sense of how big it is. That’s God’s glory. The word glory means wait in Hebrew, as in the being with the most substance, who’s got the most stuff in him? Of course God has that he’s the most glorious being because he’s got infinite beauty and goodness and power and wisdom. It’s why we use a bunch of Omni words with him and with no one else. omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipresent. That’s who God is. He’s weighed here, and everything else combined, drop in the bucket compared to God. So because he is supremely valuable, we value him supremely. We treasure Christ. Above all, it’s what it means to worship Him authentically.
This will help loosen our grip on the world’s vanities. By the way. When we begin to understand him, right? We see that he is better. Like here’s real joy, real substance not like these God substitutes that I’ve been chasing after. Because we usually get this backwards. Don’t way most of us do, we take the magnifying glass to the puny, insignificant gods. And then we flip the telescope around when it comes to the only God our Savior. If you’ve had kids and you own binoculars, you know that at some point around the age four, they discover if you look through the binoculars the wrong way, dad gets puny. I have watched this five times in a row. Now I look forward to number six here in another year or two, right? Where it’s like, across the room, they’re like, Oh, Dad, I can’t even see you. And it’s so exciting. That’s what we do with God. So what do we need to do, we need to get the right sense of who he actually is. And we need to get the right sense of what the false gods we chase after our like, spend a moment and do this take a godlike control or security. Like you want to be in charge of your health, as if that’s entirely up to you. And so you work out religiously using the word advisedly, there your workout religiously, you eat perfectly, you’re the envy of your nutritionist, even she’s like I want to buy put you on a poster when people walk in my office, and then you turn 45 And your MD says, I need you to start taking these pills, he’s got high cholesterol, because it’s just in your genes. You did not have control, some control maybe but little bit of control. nevermind the fact that you walk out of the office getting run over by a bus anyway, where’s your health? Now there is a better choice isn’t there? Why not trust the one who has all power and authority, the one who conquered the grave? By the way, if you’re looking to live for a really long time, I can point you in the direction. We’ve got immortality when we trust in Jesus. That’s what it means then to ascribe worth to God get a great sense of him. To him be glory, majesty, power and authority. Did you notice those are all aspects of God’s reign is King of the universe. Glory, that’s his his character. The fact that we should want him to reign because I’m not trusting anybody else. With that kind of power. Of course, majesty, we use that of kingly status even today. You’re welcome, Your Majesty, that kind of language, power. That’s his his control and his ability to control and then authority, his right to rule. He is the rightful king. So part of glorifying God is recognizing his rule, and rejoicing in it, so that we submit ourselves willingly to his reign. Especially interesting. Here’s where we kind of draw together two strands that we’ve been talking about in this passage, sacrifice and worship. We got the sacrifice piece earlier, you’re being presented as these faultless sacrifices. But sacrifice is itself an act of worship, isn’t it? We think of sacrifice always as being an act of atonement, we cover our sin. Sometimes it was just a way to say, I love you, Lord. I love you, Lord, which is why our our offerings are our sacrifices. Even today, our worship is a is a sacrifice of praise. How does Paul draw these two together? I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. Our true and proper worship has to go. glory, majesty, power and authority that is yours. That’s not mine. So here I am holy, as a living sacrifice on the altar before you it is a sacrifice of praise. Because we can’t help but praise what we enjoy, and delight in. That’s why husbands, you know, give compliments to their beautiful brides. It’s why when you see a great movie, you instinctively tell your friend about it, or that new restaurant that opened up, you tell your neighbors, they have to go to this is all evangelism is right? is calling you want, like he’s all that food was good. You can’t live on bread alone, right? So when we point you to the bread of life, when we’ll actually satisfy that’s evangelism, we delight in Him, we enjoy him. We want others to enjoy him, too. So let’s get practical here for a moment. If it is so vital that we treasure God above all,
what will help us get better at that? What are some activities that we could engage in that would do this? The main one, of course, is just take the time to understand God rightly. Get out your telescope and look for a while at some aspect of who God is. I think we rest content far too early in the process. So you ever climbed a mountain before? And you reach a point where the trees thin for a moment? And so you can look up and you see this summit? You’ve been at it for like eight hours and you’re like, Ah, I’m all exhausted and stuff. But look, it’s right there. You’ve done this. What happens next? Six hours later, you’re like I need to reevaluate what right there means. Okay, it looked a lot closer than it was cuz I think that’s what we do with God where we’re like, look, I got here the summit’s right there. I’m so close, I’m gonna call this good no summit the peaks of His greatness, understand them to the extent that you are able to take a word like majesty because it’s not the first one we use of God necessarily. Kyle read this for us earlier Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name and all the earth. You have set your glory in the heavens, Psalm eight verse one and you keep reading in Psalm eight. And he goes on to say, when I consider the sun and the moon and the star so there’s something about majesty that is written in the cosmos. Well, let’s just consider this for a moment. So the moon is the first thing we see right? closest object to us. If you were to hop on like a commercial jet, Captain Dave Fox flying you there to the moon would take about two weeks for us to get there. That’s a long time to subsist on peanuts and ginger ale, but you could do it with as little pretzels snack packs, okay, but you could get there like I can get my mind around a two week journey. Certainly I do love the moon and the lunar the moon produces no light, of course just reflects the sun’s light. I think the Lord put the moon there to go. That’s you. Don’t ever get confused. You are not luminous, you are illuminated. That’s a different sort of thing. Okay, so there’s some lessons for us right there. But then you you look at the night sky, probably not around here because of light pollution. But you go you know, Northwoods or something like that. You look up the brightest star, you can see, I’m not an astronomer, I gotta be so clear about this. Don’t fact check me. Okay, fact check someone else. This is what I got anonymously was a British writer I’m getting this from. So these might be different, like over where he is. The brightest star is serious. It is two and a half times the size of our Sun. Now, light takes 1.3 seconds to get from the Earth to the Moon. To get to serious it takes eight years. Like that’s how long ago the light we’re seeing today. Like a long time ago, I was not your pastor at that time. And this is the neighbor that’s like two doors down the street from us. The guy who’s you know, he’s right there. Under Orion’s Belt is the Horsehead Nebula. I love this. Okay, so this is this really cool nebula. It’s only visible by telescope. Which means no one knew it was there until 1888. This is God’s glory that He can just like scatter beauty that no one even knows about for 1000s upon 1000s of years now the Horsehead Nebula is three and a half light years across. Which is crazy. And 1600 light years away. So that means light traveling at 5.8 8 trillion miles per year. The light from the Horsehead Nebula that’s reaching us now that we can’t see without a telescope was actually shining, when you know, the Roman Empire was a thing. Augustine was writing city of God when that light hit us, or when the light that’s hitting us now when it started out, then you get the Andromeda Galaxy, you know, the Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest astronomical, whatever visible by the naked eye. It’s like a smudge. If you you actually can only see it through your peripheral vision, interestingly, because that’s more sensitive to light than the front of your eye is. It is two and a half million light years away. Again, multiply two and a half million times 5.8 8 trillion. Y’all got that math done? Right, exactly. That’s the point 300 billion stars and is that just defies comprehension that is so far beyond what we can get our minds around. God didn’t just create all that. He created by just saying a word. And it was there. You’re starting to get What majesty means. You’re starting to feel a little bit more like okay, the summit is a little bit closer than when we started at least how majestic is his name in all the earth. And that’s just majesty. Now do eternity. Now do presence now do wisdom or goodness?
What else can we do parents but really all of us? Teach the character of God. Teach it to your children catechize your children in the character of God? Like what are the ABCs of God? In fact, a one of the Psalms I think is 145 Don’t quote me on that actually does this it’s an it’s an acrostic poem is kind of starts out like a is for B is for C is for do that for the character of God and teach those to your children. It’s okay to teach your kids big words and big concepts because we serve a big God help them understand who he is. And in the process, of course, you’ll probably have a better sense yourself as well. The best way to learn is to teach. Maybe consider writing a doc as an individual or as a family, like write your own to him who? What? What do you need to remember, make it specific, update it as needed, dwell on this. And then keep adding to your list to just keep going, okay? There’s something new about God, I hadn’t considered that before. I have a notebook in my office where I record nothing. But the character of God under headings that are basically the ABCs of God that I just said, so every time I come across a passage in scripture where I go, wow, that is the wisdom of God right there. I just write the passage down in there. Because I want to know more and more about this. I was challenged to do this one time when I heard somebody say it, somebody came up to you and said, Tell me about this God of yours. How long could you talk before you ran out of things to say? And I was like, oh, boy, a lot earlier than I should. Like, I just I don’t think I could go off on that he’s an infinite God, I should never run out of things to say about him. This is also why we meditate on Scripture. That’s maybe the most important what of what we do. Every time you’re in a passage of scripture. You don’t just read right? You meditate, you chew on it. One of the questions we ask is, what does this passage teach me about who God is for which I should give him praise? I’ll just give you one from this week. I’m in Romans four right now, I just finished Romans four, actually. But I came across this phrase, as Abraham believed in God who gives life to the dead, and calls into being things that were not. That’s really cool, right? I’m not even sure I know what that means. It gives life to the dead. I’ve got calls into being things that were not and I was like, are we talking about Isaac the child of the promise in a womb that wasn’t fertile? And now it is fertile? It is called that into being? Are we talking about the people of God like he calls the nation of Israel into being? Is he talking about my faith? Because that wasn’t there until he put it there? What are we even talking about? We meditate on it, because we have got to get a right conception of God. Aw, Tozer possibly thought more about this than anyone in the last century or so he writes this as a warning. To us. It is my opinion, that the Christian conception of God is so decadent, as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God, and actually to constitute for professed believers something amounting to a moral calamity. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of things about God that are unworthy of him. And that’s why we choose idols then, is because we got a bad conception of God. And so we, maybe this actually is better. We need to rectify this calamity. So that’s what we do. That’s why we focus on God’s character. But how exactly do we offer this praise is a key phrase here, right after majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord. That’s how we give God glory. Really, this brings us full circle in the dark south, he presents us without fault before his glorious presence, but we’re full of faults. And they’re obvious to everybody. So how is it that now we’re without faults? It’s because of Jesus, through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is Jesus who washes us and presents us to himself like a bride without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish. That’s from Ephesians five what a picture that is because by the way, as we’re walking down the aisle, like it’s clear that we’re hung over a little bit of vomit coming down the front of our bridal gown, because that’s our sin right there. And yet that’s what’s taken away from us the guilt the shame the taken away, the stains are covered. were washed, white as snow in Christ. Crimson flow,
there is a fountain filled with blood flowing from Emanuel’s veins and centers plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains. We cannot enter God’s presence as we are, because we’re blemished. And therefore we’re unfit to be offered as sacrifices to him. We do not come in ourselves. We come in Christ, we are clothed in his spotless robes. Do you remember Zachariah? Last week, Joshua, the high priest and he was wearing the holy robes of the holy priest except they were covered in excrement, the filth of our sin. Jesus took those ropes, all of our robes, put them onto himself made himself the most detestable thing in the universe, so that we can be clothed in his spotless righteousness. This is the glory of God by the way, that he who cannot abide sin, me eight away to abide with sinners, we get to know and declare the glory of God like that, standing right before his glorious presence through Jesus Christ alone through no merit of our own. Last question then as the when, by the way will be much shorter here, before all ages now and forevermore. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, as part of God’s glory. By the way, he’s immutable. There is no shadow of shifting with him. God is who He always is, who he was an eternity past. And that’s who he’ll be in eternity future as well. He has revealed His glory in human history, yes, but the glory itself is unchanged. He has never been, and never will be less than perfectly holy, good, wise, loving, all the omnis, et cetera. But this reminder does correct some misinterpretations that we might have that might cause us to dim God’s glory a little bit in our eyes, at least, like putting sunglasses on, you put sunglasses on, the sun is shining just as brightly as ever, isn’t it? But we can mess with our sight. And that’s what we do sometimes. So I’m gonna give you an example of one. There is a sense often repeated today that the God of the Old Testament is a little man seems a little vindictive, seems to fly off the handle a lot. And now thank God, we’ve got a God of love it in the New Testament, Jesus Christ, you kind of perfected some of that stuff that was icky in the Old Testament, not a chance. Not a chance, right? That’s a complete misreading of the Old Testament. Some of which, by the way, we’re gonna try and correct in our next series, which you still know nothing about. We’ll see you next week and bite your friends. It’s also why we preach the Old Testament as often as we do, because his glory is there. We know it’s there. The New Testament even tells us that it’s there. Here’s Paul and Titus 1123 is a fascinating passage. I can’t do it justice. But we’re gonna highlight one piece Paul, a servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s elect. And then knowledge of the truth leads to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now is appointed season is brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God, our Savior, the hope of eternal life was promised. Before time began. God already knew all this, his character has not changed, he knew we would be here. Now it’s true with Christ’s coming. Some new things have been brought to light about that plan, but the glory was always there. It’s just like the Horsehead Nebula the light just took a little time to reach us. If God had this glorious purpose, before time began, he was worthy of our glory, then we just weren’t around to give it He is worthy of our glory now, and he will be worthy of our glory. Later when we’ve been there. 10,000 years bright, shining as the sun We’ve no less, nevermind days with no less cause to sing God’s praise and when we first begun, it will be an eternal song offered to an eternal God, infinite praise for him who is infinitely praiseworthy. That close with a quote Tozer again, he writes, this God is looking for men and women in whose hands his glory is safe. With be those men and women in light of the salvation we share, there is only one fitting response to God be the glory. Let’s pray. Lord, we worship you now, in the splendor of Your Holiness, the beauty of Your glory. Words fail us. We cannot describe the indescribable beauty of your name.
But Lord, we can certainly fix our eyes on you still. And drink in as much of that beauty as we possibly can. And then sing forth your glory, praise you because of who you are, and keeping us and delivering us to yourself and washing us, making us fit for heaven, where we will sing your praise for all our days, never even coming close to running out of things to say, because your glory is infinite, and our praise will be as well. Amen.