Saturday, March 9, 2024

Post #38 The Doctrine of God - God's Glory In His Being And Attributes: Links To All Previous Posts In Our Study Of The Doctrine Of God


    For the last 37 posts I've endeavored to give readers an introduction to the doctrine of God or theology proper. The links to the past 37 posts, along with topical headings, are given now for the reader to click upon who wants to review posts related to the doctrine of God in His existence, being, and attributes. The latter part of today's post will then detail the glory of God and how His glory ties together our study of God in His being, attributes, Triune identity, and actions in creation, providence, and redemption.

Posts #1-#7 God's existence, nature, and revelation of Himself.

Posts #8-#37 God's nature in His attributes.

Introduction to the attributes

Divine Aseity (God's self-existence)

Divine immutability or unchangeableness

Divine eternity

Divine omniscience

Divine spirituality (God's non-physicality, immateriality)

Divine truthfulness

Divine invisibility (God's unseeableness)

Divine Wisdom

Divine attribute of peace

Divine Wrath

Divine Love

Divine attribute of perfection

Divine omnipotence

Divine Mercy

Divine impassibility (God's constant emotional life)

Divine omnipresence and immensity

Divine Simplicity (God has no parts, He is all that He is, He is one God undivided, and all that is in God is God, thus we have His undivided attention).

    In our study, we've looked at "what God is" by nature and "how he is" in the attributes that fully express His nature. 

God's glory: what it is and how His glory ties together everything

    Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan writer and preacher of the 17th century, wrote an essay entitled "The end for which God created the world". The essay represents one of the most comprehensive discussions anywhere on the subject of the God's glory. Edwards gives the following definition of God's glory,

"The thing signified by that name, the glory of God, when spoken of as the supreme and ultimate end of all God’s works, is the emanation and true external expression of God’s internal glory and fullness."

    In this series so far, we've hardly touched what I feel to be "the hem of the garment" of God's glory. When I survey the various Hebrew words translated "glory" in the Old Testament, as well as the various Greek words rendered by the same word in the New Testament, such meanings as "weight" and "honor" and "brightness" and "effulgence" and "radiance" come to mind. 

    In this first part of our overall study, we've surveyed but a portion of the major attributes of God. We've explored God's existence, being, and attributes. God's glory of His otherwise invisible Divine essence is manifested gloriously in His perfections. This survey of the Divine essence and attributes is but the first part of our overall study, and but the beginning of our gaze at the glory of God. 

    When we consider God's glory, we do indeed understand it as He manifests His glory by way of His perfections. Moses requests God to show him His glory in Exodus 33:18-23

"Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

It is then in Exodus 34:6-7 that God sets forth His glory, expressing His attributes, before Moses

"The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord. 6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

    Paul reminds us of God's glory in 1 Timothy 6:16 "who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen"

    God's glory in His grace enables us by faith to apprehend Him who cannot be comprehended by the finite mind. This is why we have the mediation of the Second Person of the Trinity, the incarnate God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. We see God's glory in His attributes, and we also see His glory in the Persons of the Trinity. 

    The doctrine of God covers not only God as He is in His existence, being, and attributes, but also who He is in the three members of the Godhead. 

    God's glory manifests through His acts in creation, providence, miracles, the angels, and even the unwilling participation of Satan and the angels. We see God's glory in His ways of salvation, with all that is entailed from His decrees in eternity past to final judgment and glorification of sinners and saints in eternity future. 

Closing thoughts

    Truly, God's glory ties together theology proper and all other branches of theological inquiry. In forthcoming posts, I intend to continue this series by exploring God's glory in the Trinity. The Trinity answers for us "Who God is". Soli deo gloria (to God be the glory!)

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