Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The Maximal Greatness of God
Jeremiah 9:23-24 "Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord whoexercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord."
What kind of Being is God? When we think about God, we are in the words of the 11th century theologian Anslem of Canterbury conceiving of "a being than which no greater can be conceived". To speak of God means to talk about a being that is maximally great. This quality of God's "maximal greatness" categorizes God in a unique category unto His own. Today's post aims to briefly explore what is meant by saying God is "Maximally Great".
The Westminister Confession of Faith states: "There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or
passions; immutable,immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory."
The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 begins its discussion of God as the Maximally Great Being by noting: "There is one and only one living and true God." This first statement is not meant to stutter. To say God is "One" is to say there is no other Being that is the category of Maximal Being. To then say "and only one living and true God" is to state how this God is His own reality, separate from the reality of this physical universe. In giving further explanation the BFM 2000 notes: "God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures."
God's maximal greatness as The only Maximally Great being renders Him worthy of our worship. The BFM 2000 notes: "To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience." God as the Maximally Great Being is not just a static, abstact idea - but He is Personal, Living, Active. God's essence or Being is revealed through the Triune Persons. The BFM 2000 notes: "The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being."
As one writer has noted: God is One God, revealed in Three Persons, with each Person being truly God. As the Maximally Great Being, God is self-contained in His own self-sufficiency - a self-sufficiency that entails an eternal relationship apart from and without need of a creation. God as Triune chose to create all things to express the overflow of His presence - however He did not have to create.
The point of today's post aimed to simply reflect and mediate a little bit on the Maximal Being of God. Such reflections can never comprehend God, but by such reflections we aim can know this God through Jesus Christ. May our thoughts be directed more towards this maximally Great God.