Monday, July 22, 2013

P2 - God's Greatness in Psalms and Romans

Psalm 96:1-4 "Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods."

Yesterday we began reflecting on God's Greatness from Psalm 90-106 and Romans 11-16.  Today we continue our reflections as we aim to get our focus more on the greatness of our God. 

God's Purposes point to God's Greatness in Psalm 96,97 and 98
The three main events or Divine Purposes that mark true Biblical faith are: Creation, Redemption and The Lord's return to earth.  Old Testament saints affirmed the first and understood Redemption to be the Promise of God to them.  The Lord's return was recognized as God's final defeat of evil and judgment at the end of history, where the saints for God would see their Redeemer with their own eyes in resurrected bodies. (Job 19:25-28; Daniel 12:1-3)  

New Testament believers affirm the same truths, but from the perspective of accomplished Redemption at Christ's cross and empty tomb.  For the New Testament saints, God the creator is affirmed, Redemption centers around the Person of Jesus Christ the Redeemer, Who is coming back. (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:7; Titus 2:13)  In Psalms 96, 97 and 98 you see reference to all three sets of fundamental truths of creation, redemption and second coming.  All three themes constitute true Biblical faith and all three are used by the Psalmist to point to God's greatness.  

The Power of God's Holiness displays the greatness of God in Psalm 99-100
Psalm 99 presents to you the greatness of God's Holiness.  The Psalmist presents the holiness of God in the following fashion: the greatness of God in 99:1-3, the goodness of God in 99:4-5 and God's self-revelation in 99:6-9.   Whenever you consider God's Holiness, it is Who He is.  Holiness means He is in a class by Himself, Perfect and Unique.  The greatness of His holiness in Psalm 99 turns into the praise of His greatness in Psalm 100.  God's greatness of holiness is not only to be marveled at, but enjoyed by all those who by grace through faith believe on Him.  

The pleasure of God's goodness in Jesus Christ demonstrates the magnitude of God's greatness in Psalm 101-102
Psalm 101 then unfolds for you the Goodness of God, with Psalm 102 having the Psalmist, in a desperate situation crying out and finding hope in the greatness of God.  What makes Psalm 102 significant is the fact that Hebrews 1:10-11 quotes Psalm 102:25-26 as a way of pointing the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Practically living a life based on God's Greatness in Romans 12-13
Romans 12 meanwhile begins the practical section of the Book of Romans.  With the doctrinal foundation of Romans 1-11, there would be no motivation nor understanding behind living out the practical realities of Romans 12-16.  There are over 70 or so different "tender mercies" mentioned throughout Romans 1-11 that God gives to live out Romans 12-16. 

Romans 12 describes a church composed of Christ's people who are exercising their gifts according to His tender mercies.  The gifts of the Spirit listed in Romans twelve could be translated "the gracings of the Spirit".  Truly and significantly the Christian life begins by Grace, is sustained by Grace and will continue into eternity by Grace.  

Whenever you turn to Romans 13, you see Paul unfolding the relationship between God's Sovereign authority (13:1) and delegated authorities (13:3-4).  How you and I treat delegated authorities (such as government, law enforcement or spiritual) tells a lot about how we deem God's authority.  Romans 13:5-10 spells out the duty Christians have to authority and details how we are to live under such authority in 13:11-14.  By putting on the Lord Jesus Christ as instructed in Romans 13:14, we are setting our minds and life under the authority of God's Word.  In so doing, we acknowledge to Jesus Christ that He indeed reigns (Psalm 99), worthy of our praise (Psalm 100), All-good (Psalm 101) who will come back, reign on earth and transform the heavens and earth into a new heavens and earth. (Psalm 102:25-26; Hebrews 1:10-11; Revelation 21-22)  

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