Sermon #1886 — Miscellaneous Sermons

 

      Title:                                                                     El Shaddai

God All-sufficient

 

      Text:                                 Genesis 17:1

      Subject:               The Sufficiency of God

      Date:                                Tuesday Evening — January 4, 2011

      Tape #                 AA-2

      Readings:           Allen Kibby and Bobbie Estes

      Introduction:

 

When the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Abram in, He said, “I am the Almighty God” (Genesis 17:1).

Š      Called out of Ur (Genesis 12)

Š      Separated from Lot (Genesis 13)

Š      Met by Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20) — Christ our King — Christ our Priest — Christ our Sacrifice — Christ our God

 

(Genesis 14:18-20) “18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

 

Š      Declared Just by Blood (Genesis 15) — A Heifer, a She Goat, a Ram, a Turtledove, and a Pigeon

Š      Promised a Son (Genesis 16)

Š      Established His Covenant (Genesis 17)

 

How could a fallen, sinful man, a man who had been all his life a pagan idolater, a man who came from a land of idolaters, — how could a man like Abram belief that all these things were so? How could he be expected to believe that they would all be performed? How could he reasonably believe that the Lord God would accomplish all that he promised? We find the answer to those questions in Genesis 17, in the name by which the Lord Jesus made Himself known to Abram.

 

(Genesis 17:1) “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

 

The Lord God said to Abram, “I am the Almighty God.” This is the first time in the Bible we read this name of our God, “The Almighty God.” The words translated “Almighty God” are “El Shaddai.” Without question, our translation is correct. El Shaddai is “The Almighty God.” The name identifies our God as One whose power is infinite and uncontrollable. But this name, by which the Lord God revealed Himself to Abram means much, much more. It suggests much more than the might, the power, the omnipotence of our great God and Savior.

 

Nourisher

 

This name, “El-Shaddai,” has the idea of one who is a nourisher. In fact, El-Shaddai is said to bless His people with “blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb” (Genesis 49:25). As a mother nourishes her children with the milk of her breast, so the Lord our God, El-Shaddai, tenderly nourishes His own elect with the fulness of His Being. In fact, the word “Shaddai” is derived from a word which means “breasts.” He who is God our Savior is God All-sufficient, or as Hawker describes him “God of many breasts of consolation for His faithful ones to suck at and draw from, in an endless supply.”

 

Pours Out

 

El-Shaddai also means, God who pours out.” He not only nourishes us, supplying everything we need to sustain us and keep us, but He also pours out upon us all the blessings of His grace. Our God is a fountain overflowing and gushing out with grace that flows to us with constant fulness, like a mighty river from the throne of God.

 

All-sufficient

 

El-Shaddai means, “God all-sufficient.” And that is the title of my message tonight: — El Shaddai God All-Sufficient. I want to show you something of the blessed, infinite sufficiency of our God. The Lord our God is so great and glorious that He has all sufficiency in Himself, for Himself, of Himself, so that He needs nothing to make Him happy and complete. And El-Shaddai is God All-Sufficient for His people. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as they made their pilgrimage through this world, needed nothing but God whose name is Sufficient!

 

Proposition: That man truly lives by faith who lives in the confidence that he needs nothing but God, whose name is El-Shaddai — God All-Sufficient.

 

Divisions: This attribute of God, His sufficiency, implies three things about his great and glorious Being.

1.    God needs nothing from anyone.

2.    God is able to supply all our needs.

3.    God is perfect.

 

Self-sufficient

 

All-sufficiency is self-sufficiency. God’s all-sufficiency is His self-sufficiency, and independence. So the first thing I want to remind you of tonight is this great fact: God needs nothing from anyone.

 

I know that preachers have for years portrayed God as a pathetic being who is in desperate need of man, as one who cannot be happy and satisfied without man, and one whose will, work, and glory greatly depends upon man. But from the beginning God revealed himself as El-Shaddai, God Almighty and All-Sufficient. God is so infinitely great that he stands in need of nothing and is in need of no one.The self-existent God is the self-subsistent God. He is perfect, complete, happy and satisfied in himself. We can add nothing to him. And we can take nothing from him. He is God (Romans 11:35-36).

 

(Romans 11:33-36) “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.”

 

John Gill wrote, — “God in His Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, have enough within Themselves, to give the utmost, yea, infinite complacency, delight, and satisfaction among Themselves and to one another.” From eternity, “the Father delighted in the Son, ‘the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person;’ the Son in the Father, before whom He was always rejoicing, when as yet no creature existed; and both in the blessed Spirit, proceeding from them (see Proverbs 8:30). For creation adds nothing at all to the perfection and happiness of God, nor makes the least alteration in him”

 

There is no vacuum in God, which we must fill. He lacks nothing that must be supplied by His creatures. We stand in need of God. He alone supplies our every need and supports us in life. By Him we consist. In Him we live, and move, and have our being. He upholds us by the word of His power. But God needs nothing from us. God All-Sufficient is God Self-Sufficient!

 

The services we perform for God in faith are not for His benefit, but for ours (Acts 17:24-25).

 

(Acts 17:24-25) “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”

 

In the Old Testament the ordinances of worship were for man’s benefit, not God’s (Psalm 50:7-15). All those sacrifices, ceremonies, rituals, priests, and holy days were for the instruction, comfort, peace, and edification of God’s people. But God received nothing by it.

 

(Psalms 50:7-15) “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I [am] God, [even] thy God. 8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, [to have been] continually before me. 9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, [nor] he goats out of thy folds. 10 For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field [are] mine. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world [is] mine, and the fulness thereof. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”

The ordinances of worship in the New Testament are for the same purpose. God gains nothing by what we are doing here tonight. Our worship, our service, and our obedience to God do not enrich Him. They enrich us and enrich one another, but not Him. By these things we are led into communion with the living God and brought into the enjoyment of His gracious presence.

Š      Our praise does not benefit God. — It benefits us.

Š      Our prayers do not benefit God. — They benefit us. The throne of grace was set up, not for God, but for us (Hebrews 4:16).

Š      Our sacrifices, services, and acts of obedience to God do not benefit Him — They benefit us (Job 22:2-3; 35:7-8; Psalm 16:2; Luke 17:10; Titus 3:8).

 

(Job 22:2-3) “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? 3 [Is it] any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or [is it] gain [to him], that thou makest thy ways perfect?”

 

(Job 35:7-8) “If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? 8 Thy wickedness [may hurt] a man as thou [art]; and thy righteousness [may profit] the son of man.”

 

(Psalms 16:2) “O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;”

 

(Luke 17:10) “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

 

(Titus 3:8) “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”

 

Even the righteousness, obedience, and sacrifice of Christ as our Substitute added nothing to the perfection of God’s glorious being, but was altogether for our benefit (Psalm 16:2-3).

Š      His obedience was for us (Romans 5:19).

Š      His death was for us (1 John 3:16).

Š      His resurrection was for us (Romans 4:25).

Š      His exaltation is for us (John 17:2).

Š      His intercession is for us (Romans 8:34).

Š      His second coming is for us (1 Thessalonians 14:13-18).

Š      Even His judgment in the last day is for us (Isaiah 14:1; Revelation 18:24; 19:1-6).

 

And the sinful deeds of His creatures do not in anyway diminish the happiness, perfection, and glory of God (Job 35:6-8).

 

(Job 35:6-8) “If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or [if] thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? 7 If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? 8 Thy wickedness [may hurt] a man as thou [art]; and thy righteousness [may profit] the son of man.”

 

God is so infinitely great, so thoroughly self-sufficient that no creature can add anything to Him, take anything from Him, hinder His work, impede His purpose, or in anyway alter Him. God needs nothing from anyone. His name is El-Shaddai — God All-Sufficient!

 

All-sufficiency for Us

 

Because He is all-sufficient, God our Savior is able to supply all the needs of His people. He is all-sufficient; and, second, He has in Himself all-sufficiency for us!

Š      God is able to do whatever He pleases.

Š      He is able to fulfil all His promises.

Š      He is able to accomplish all His decrees.

Š      And He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

Nothing is too hard for our God. He who sent manna from heaven every day to feed a hungry nation for forty years can feed you. He who caused water to gush out of a rock in the desert can refresh you. He who caused a pair of shoes to walk thousands of miles for forty years and remain new, and caused a coat to last all that time without the least wear, can clothe you. He who caused an ax to swim can keep you afloat. The name of our God is El-Shaddai, God All-Sufficient!

 

We see something of God’s infinite sufficiency in the physical world around us. In His good providence, God gives life and breath to all things (Acts 17:25). He breathed into Adam the breath of life and gives the breath of life to all the sons of Adam. He is called the God of our life (Psalm 42:8), because we get life from Him. And he supports, maintains, and preserves the life He has given from His own sufficiency as long as it pleases him (Job 10:11-12; 12:10; Psalm 66:9).

 

(Job 10:11-12) “Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. 12 Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.”

 

(Job 12:10) “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”

 

(Psalms 66:9) El Shaddai, the Almighty God is He “Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.”

 

God provides for all men all the necessities of life, and provides the needs of all his creatures daily (Psalm 104:27-28; 145:15; 147:9).

 

(Psalms 104:27-28) “These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give [them] their meat in due season. 28 [That] thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.”

 

(Psalms 145:15) “The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.”

 

(Psalms 147:9) “He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.”

 

God, out of His great, infinite sufficiency, in the exercise of His wisdom and power, totally rules the universe (Psalm 22:28; Proverbs 8:15-16; Matthew 10:29-30).

 

(Psalms 22:28) “For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.”

 

(Proverbs 8:15-16) “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, [even] all the judges of the earth.”

 

(Matthew 10:29-30) “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

 

So great is God’s infinite, incomprehensible sufficiency that though He made all things, sustains all things, provides for all things ,and rules all things, His sufficiency is never even diminished!

 

But, above all else, we know El-Shaddai to be God All-Sufficient because we have experienced His all sufficient grace. El- Shaddai is the God of all grace. He is able to cause all grace to abound toward us; and He does. He is able to supply all our needs; and He does, out of that rich and glorious plenitude and all-sufficiency that is in him, by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

 

(Philippians 4:19) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient Mediator (John 1:14, 16; Colossians 1:18-19; 2:9-10). — Christ is the Mediator of an all-sufficient covenant (Ephesians 1:3). — And El Shaddai, the Almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ bestows upon us all-sufficient grace upon His needy people (2 Corinthians 12:9).             He says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” His grace is sufficient…

Š      To justify you!

Š      To pardon you!

Š      To cleanse you!

Š      To keep you in life!

Š      To sustain you in death!

Š      To bring you up to heaven!

Š      To present you faultless before the presence of His glory in the last day!

 

The name of God our Savior is El-Shaddai — God All-Sufficient. He is able to supply all our needs. And he does!

 

Illustration: Abraham — “The Lord will provide.”

 

Perfection

 

Alright, here’s my third point. — All-sufficiency is perfection. God’s all-sufficiency tells us that He is perfect. He who lacks nothing, needs nothing, to whom nothing can be given, and from whom nothing can be taken away is perfect.

 

God is perfect in his nature (Matthew 5:48).

Š      His Immutability (James 1:17)

Š      His Knowledge (Job 37:16)

Š      His Wisdom (Romans 11:33)

Š      His Power (Isaiah 40:26-28; 59:1)

Š      His Holiness and Purity (1 John 1:5)

 

The Almighty God, El Shaddai is perfect in his work (Deuteronomy 32:3-4).

 

(Deuteronomy 32:1-4) “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4 [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.”

 

“As for God, his way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30).

Š      In Creation

Š      In Redemption

Š      In Providence

Š      In Grace

Š      (See Ecclesiastes 3:14).

 

And before He is finished with you, if you are His, God will make you perfect (1 Peter 5:10). What God requires He does. What He requires He performs. What He requires He gives.

 

(Genesis 17:1) “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

 

(1 Peter 5:10) “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

 

Š      We are perfect now positionally and representatively in Christ.

Š      We shall soon be perfect personally and experimentally with Christ.

 

Application

 

The name of our God is The Almighty God, El-Shaddai — God All-Sufficient.

1.    God needs nothing from anyone.

2.    God is able to supply all our needs.

3.    God is perfect.

4.    And, blessed be His name forever, He is able to make sinners like you and me perfect: — By Righteousness! — By Redemption! — By Regeneration! — By Resurrection!

 

(Ephesians 5:25-27) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

 

(Jude 1:24-25) “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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