Doctrine of God: Wisdom and Holiness
October 25, 2020 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith
Introduction & Review
Last week in our continued discussion of the Doctrine of God, we spent some time discussing 1 Kings 19 exploring a little bit more on the Providence of God.
Do you remember that, like Elijah, that this journey is too great for you?
- He sees and knows your condition, your state, your suffering, your sorrows.
- He knows what is best for you. In all things.
- We are to remember, that God is
- Perhaps your travail is to cure you from pride or worldliness.
- Perhaps your travail is to remind you that He is in charge and know the best path for all things.
- Perhaps, your travail is teaching you and preparing you for the next stage in your journey.
- Perhaps your travail is making you rich in faith.
Two weeks ago we looked at the communicable attributes of God, at His Wisdom as demonstrated through Creation, Providence, and Redemption.
The Providence of God is an incredibly comforting doctrine that we, as His people, must understand.
This doctrine will certainly bring assurance and relieve you of worries in ways the world never will be able to…in ways you will never be able to.
Do you remember the definition of Providence from the Larger Catechism?
Question #18 of the Larger Catechism provides a good definition of providence.
Q. 18 What are God’s works of providence?
God’s work of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, to his own glory.
We see how broad this definition is…
Notice how all Glory is given to God for all things that happen – including death and suffering, and happiness and success. All things are for His own glory.
And with that, God is glorified by and through His people and His faithfulness is demonstrated in thew ay that he cares and provides for them.
Wisdom – Making Use of this Knowledge
As we conclude the study of the wisdom of God, let’s keep in mind the following:
We should adore the wisdom of God.
- It is an infinite deep; the angels cannot search into it.
"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!" Romans 11:33.
- As we adore the wisdom of God — so also should we rest in the Wisdom of God. God sees and knows and brings about that condition which is best for us
- If we believe the wisdom of God, it would keep us from murmuring.
- It would keep us focused on Him at all times – even when we are tired.
- Rest, then, in God's wisdom.
We should adore the wisdom of God – especially in lack of spiritual comforts.
- God is wise; he sometimes sees that it is good that we should be without comfort.
- Perhaps we would be lifted up in pride if we had spiritual enlargements; as Paul might have been at risk, with his revelations.
"Especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself." 2 Corinthians 12:7.
- It is hard to have the heart low and humble and contrite—when comfort is high.
- God sees humility to be better for us than joy.
- It is better to lack comfort, and be humble—than to have it, and be proud!
We should adore the wisdom of God. in lack of bodily strength and in ailments.
- Rest in God's wisdom. He sees what is best.
- Perhaps the less health—the more grace.
- Perhaps the weaker in body—the stronger in faith.
"Though our outward man is perishing—yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
"No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11.
- Sickness is God's lance—to let out the poison of sin.
"The Lord did this to purge away Israels' sin." Isaiah 27:9.
- Do not forsake God for your creature comforts! Come to Him, worship Him!
Communicable Attributes: Goodness
The next attribute is the attribute of Goodness.
Goodness is that perfection of God which prompts him to deal bounteously and kindly with all his creatures.
It is often referred to as common grace.
- It is a mistake, in my opinion, to call grace common.
- God is good to all men.
- He does not, though, extend his Grace to all men.
- God sets forth his goodness even to the non-elect.
- This is God's goodness in action which reveals itself doing well toward his creatures.
Psalm 36:6 – The goodness of God manifested in creation and God preserves man and beast.
Psalm 145:8, 16 – The good actions of God concerning his relationship to His creation.
Matthew 5:45 –The goodness of God is seen in how He acts toward his creation.
Oh! The Lord is good. How is he good, one might ask?
- Because he allows the sun to rise on the evil and on the good.
- Because He sends the rain on the just and on the unjust
- Because He restrains evil.
- Because He saves His elect even when they were enemies of Him.
How can we choose our own comforts and take the advice of culture over Him?
Communicable Attributes: Holiness
The holiness of God is that quality of God that
- Sets Him utterly apart from his world, especially in terms of his purity and sanctity.
It is that perfection of God in virtue. through which he eternally wills and maintains:
- His own moral excellence
- An abhorrence of sin
- His demand of purity to his moral creatures
His holiness distinguishes Him from his creatures and exalts His infinite majesty.
The holiness of God speaks about the very essence and nature of God.
- A God who abhors sin.
- A God who demands purity.
In other words, when we consider the Holiness of God, we are to understand and think of His complete moral uprightness.
Isaiah 6:3 – Scripture speaks of the holiness of God.
- It is probably the most central attribute in the communicable attributes.
Do you remember when we spoke about God being infinite and how it applied to Him being infinite in His being, glory, and perfection?
The Lord our God is infinitely and perfectly holy
- He judges with a holy judgement.
- He loves with a holy love
- A righteous, just, and perfect love
- A righteous, just, and perfect love
Communicable Attributes: Holiness/Righteousness
Therefore, we have a responsibility to fear God
- When we sin, we know that God will correct us
- We know that He also hates the wicked as well
The next attribute we’ll look today is the Righteousness of God
- It is closely related to holiness
The Righteousness of God is that perfection of God by which he maintains Himself over against every violation of his holiness.
There are three Aspects of God's righteousness:
- Rectoral (or Ruling, Legislative) Justice
- Remunerative Justice
- Retributive Justice.
Communicable Attributes: Righteousness
- From the Latin word meaning one who rules.
- A rector was someone who was the supreme ruler and officer of a particular region.
- It was adopted into the church and its schools as one in charge of a particular geographical area or institution.
- It is used here in its most basic meaning one who rules
- God reveals himself as ruler of both the good and the evil.
- God imposes a just a law upon all men.
- Isaiah 33 – the Lord is Judge and a law giver.
- Romans 1:32a –. God will judge sinners.
- God manifests himself in the distribution of rewards for obedience.
- Psalm 58:11 – There is a reward for righteousness
- God will inflict penalties for disobedience and is an expression of divine wrath.
- Romans 2:9 – tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that does evil.
He rewards all those who are obedient and punishes the wicked
Communicable Attributes: Veracity of God
Finally, the final attribute we’ll look at today is the Veracity of God.
- It is that perfection in virtue of which he is true, whereby
- He is sincere and faithful
- He is free from all falsehood and concealment and trickery
He is the source from which of all truth flows.
- In his intervening
- In his revelation
- In his relation to his people.
- It is that God is faithful.
- To what He practices.
- To what He promises
Applications and Implication to Man (AIM)
- We are required to be faithful.
- We are to be obedient to our God in sincerity and truthfulness
- We can truly know this that God is faithful to all
- We can truly know what He has promised us according to scripture shall come to pass
- We can truly know he will not deny himself.
- We can truly know that this has a direct relationship to
- the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.
- to the eternal security of the creature.