Our Awesome God
- Wednesday, September 06, 2006
An ill-prepared college student was struggling through his final exam in economics. He happened to be taking the test just before Christmas. In desperation he scrawled across the bottom of the paper, “Only God knows the answer to these questions. Merry Christmas!” When he got the paper back, the teacher marked it: “God gets 100. You get 0. Happy New Year!”
No one knows as much as God does, no one can explain God, and no one can be his counselor.
3. No One Can Accuse God of Unfairness
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” (35) This question comes from Job 41:11 where God asks Job, “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.” No one can ever say, “God, you owe me something,” because the Lord will be no man’s debtor. No one can say, “You cheated me,” because God cheats no one. No one can say, “I’ve earned your favor,” because everything this side of hell is mercy, and everything this side of heaven is grace. Consider what our God does:
1) He restores rebels by granting them his righteousness.
2) He redeems transgressors and takes away their rebel hearts.
3) He promotes his own glory by saving those who ought to go to hell.
Let us be very clear on this point. God saves those he is in under no obligation to save. He could have destroyed the human race and started over again with better raw material. But he didn't. What he did was quite literally unthinkable.
The Infinite became finite.
The Almighty became a tiny baby.
The Deity was wrapped in diapers.
Luther put it this way: "He whom the worlds could not enwrap, yonder lies in Mary's lap." No one but God himself would ever have dared to think of that. And then in the Father's wisdom, the Son died a miserable, humiliating, excruciating death on a Roman cross -- the just dying for the unjust, the Sinless One bearing the sins of the world. In order for Christ to be our Savior, three conditions must be met:
1) He must be a man. An angel could not die for our sins. He must truly share our humanity.
2) He must be an infinite man. A mere mortal could not bear the infinite price that must be paid for our sins.
3) He must be an innocent man. A sinner could not die for the sins of others.
God has done everything necessary for you to go to heaven. No one can accuse God of unfairness because his offer of salvation goes out to the entire world. No one who believes in Jesus will ever be turned away.
No one will end up in hell except those who truly deserve to be there.
No one will end up in heaven except those who have been saved by God's grace.
Everything this side of hell is mercy, and everything this side of heaven is grace.
Finally, this text gives us...
Three Reasons to Praise God
It is as if Paul can contain himself no longer. He means to show that God is all in all. Everything comes from him, everything exists by his power, and everything will ultimately answer to him. James Montgomery Boice calls this verse the secret of a “Christian worldview” because it dethrones man and puts God on the throne of the universe. He makes his point by asking a trivia question: What was the last song recorded by the Beatles before they broke up? Answer: “I, Me, Mine.” Dr. Boice comments that the Beatles’ last song is also the first song as well as the last song of the unregenerate heart. But the song of the redeemed is Romans 11:36!
1. He is the Source of All Things
“For from him” (36a) He is the source of all things, which mean that all things flow from Him. I saw a wonderful illustration of this truth when I spent a few days at Camp Nathanael in Emmalena, Kentucky. The camp itself is something of a miracle. A man named Garland Franklin was the first director. Back in the 1930s he was driving along the dirt road next to Troublesome Creek when the Lord spoke to him and said, "I want you to build a camp here." The land wasn't for sale right then, but Mr. Franklin began praying about it. Several years later the land came up for sale and the mission raised the money to buy it. This of course was in the heart of the Great Depression when money was scarce everywhere, but nowhere scarcer than in the coal-mining country of eastern Kentucky.
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