Friday, August 31, 2012

God's All Goodness

Romans 11:33 "Oh the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways."

What do we mean when we say God is Infinite
When we speak of God being infinite, by what do we mean? It is a humbling thing to think of such a lofty idea, yet the scriptures bid us to consider the fact that the Triune God is infinite, while everything else is finite.  The word "finite" comes from the Latin finis meaning "having limits or an end".  Whenever you attach that Latin prefix "in" onto the front of that word, you have the meaning "without limits, without end".

When we speak of God being infinite, we are referring to how He fills all parts and wholes in the universe and outside of it, as well as everypart and whole of past, present and future.  Psalm 147:5 tells us: "Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite." Ephesians 1:23, from the original text, describes how Christ in His Divine nature "fully fills the full limit of all things in all things." 

A far more able mind and theologian by the name of Dr. Charles Hodge defines God's infinite nature in Volume One of His Systematic Theology: "As He is not more in one place than in another, but is everywhere equally present, so He does not exist during one period of duration more than another."  Some passages which speak of God being infinite or eternal are: 1 Kings 8:29; Psalm 90:2, Psalm 102:25-27; Isaiah 57:5, 64:6, 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8; Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 1:4

The Alls of God
With those descriptions, we can speak of God, being without limit nor end.  He is infinite.  Since God is infinite, all of His qualities, His characteristics are without limit.  To help the reader capture what were trying to communicate in this blog, I simply refer to God's qualities that point back to His inifinite nature as being "The Alls of God".   The Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the current doctrinal statement of the Southern Baptist Convention, states in its article on God: "God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things past, present and future, including the free decisions of His free creatures."

The Alls of God according to scripture
In a moment you will see why I am referring to the infinite attributes of God as the "Alls of God".  For today's blog I want to give you the scriptures which speak about the first major "All" of God: God's All Goodness (i.e omni-benevolence).  I pray you will find this study to be a boon to your Christian life, since all of us can always have a bigger view of God.

God is All-Good (Omni-Benevolent) When we begin to think about God as infinite, we need to have an all-encompasing description that ties together who He is.  The Bible seems to indicate that God's Goodness as infinite goodness is what fundamentally describes both His character and actions.  I gain this from God's discussion with Moses on Sinai in Exodus 33:17-18, wherein He causes all of His goodness to pass before Moses.  Stephen Charnock in Volume 2 of His work: "The Existence and Attributes of God", pages 210-11, states: "God is originally good, which leads us to acknowledge His infinite goodness, followed by Him being perfectly good and thus Him being immuteably good."

Moses had requested for God to show him His glory.  God in turn did that, revealing His "backparts", a Hebrew idiom no doubt referring to giving Moses a glimpse of the glory through the medium of the Pre-incarnate Christ of biblical revelation.  Psalm 145:9 tells us: "Jehovah is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all His works...thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing."(KJV) 

In Romans 11:25-33, God's All-Goodness or "omni-benevolence" is the launching point for consideration of God's infinite ability and purpose to orchestrate history, redemption and eternity.  It is God being the All-Good God that motivates Him to be redemptive toward fallen humanity.

Tomorrow we will consider further "Alls" of God, namely God being "All-powerful" (i.e omnipotent) and "All-Wise" (i.e omnisapient).

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