Sermon #1 Series; Who is God?
Title: “The Solitariness of God”
Text: Exodus 15:11, Micah 7:18-20
Subject: That Which Distinguishes God From All His Creatures
Date: Tuesday Evening - November 22, 1989
Author Pink’s excellent book, Gleanings In The Godhead, begins with a chapter titled The Solitariness of God. And I have borrowed that title from Mr. Pink for my message this evening. As I begin the series of messages on the attributes of God, I want to show you from the Scriptures something of that which separates and distinguishes God from all his creatures: His solitariness.
Moses declares it in his song of redemption in Exodus 15:11 - “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
Micah 7:18-20 is another declaration of God’s solitariness. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage. He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”
We all know that God is great in wisdom, wondrous in power, and abundant in mercy. But in these degenerate days of religious perversion, most people know nothing of God’s Being, his nature, and his attributes. There are very few who understand that God is infinite, majestic, great beyond imagination, and glorious. I want to do what I can to inspire your hearts and my own to trust, adore, and reverently worship the Lord our God, by showing you that God is solitary in his excellence and glory. There is no one and nothing in all the universe like our God. He is infinitely higher and greater than all his creation.
Proposition: It is the solitary excellence of God that inspires reverence for him, faith in him, and obedience to him--Our God is incomprehensibly great!
“Can creatures to perfection find
The eternal, uncreated mind?
Or can the largest stretch of thought
Measure and search his nature out?
‘Tis high as heaven, ‘tis deep as hell;
And what can mortals know or tell?
His glory spreads beyond the sky,
And all the shining worlds on high.”
Divisions: Tonight I want to show you six things about God which show his solitariness, six things which distinguish him from and set him apart from all his creatures, infinitely.
1. There Is One God.
2. God Is Eternal.
3. God Is Spirit.
4. God Is A Tri-Unity.
5. God Is Independent And Self-Sufficient.
6. God Can Only Be Known By Revelation.
I. There Is One God.
· Deuteronomy 6:4
· I Corinthians 8:6
· I Timothy 2:5
· Ephesians 4:4-6
God alone is solitary in his Being. There are many angels, many men, and many of all other creatures. But God is One. He “only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen” (I Timothy 6:16). Because There Is One God....
· --Our allegiance is due to him alone.
· --Our affections are to be directed to him alone.
· --And all who know, trust, and worship him are one body.
II. God Is Eternal.
Angels are not eternal. Men are not eternal. And matter is not eternal. But God is eternal. In Genesis 1:1 we read, ”In the beginning God.” In the beginning there was nothing and no one but God. There was a “time” before time began, when God dwelt alone in the ineffable glory of his own great Being.
· --There was no heaven in which he set his throne and manifested his glory.
· There was no earth to be his footstool, which engaged his care.
· There were no angels to sing his praise.
· There was no universe to be upheld by the word of his power.
· There were no men created in his image and after his likeness.
· There were no hours, days, months, years, or ages.
· From everlasting , in old eternity, God was alone in his glory.
He is the great “I Am,” “the eternal God,” who says, “I live forever!” The psalmist says of him, “Thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting” (Psalm 93:2). He is the first and the last, “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15).
This great God who is alone Eternal is and must be...
· The Creator of All Things.
· The Possessor of All Things.
· The Ruler of All Things.
· The Disposer of All Things.
III. God Is Spirit.
Our Lord Jesus Christ declares, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
The Bible often ascribes to God terms such as “the hand of the Lord,” “the mouth of the Lord,” “the eyes of the Lord, the arm of the Lord, ”and “the ear of the Lord.” But these terms are mere accommodations of language to help our puny brains understand the works of God. They are anthropomorphic terms, human terms to describe the works of the Lord. But they do not, in any way, represent the nature and being of God.
As you read the Bible you cannot fail to notice that never once were men given any kind of physical, visible, tangible representation of God’s Being. Even under the types and shadows of the Old Testament age of ceremonial worship, nothing was given as a representation of God’s Being. All the types and shadows of the law represented his work of redemption through Christ. But nothing represented God himself. Why? Because God is Spirit. He is the infinite, incomprehensible, invisible, omnipresent Spirit.
A. Because God is Spirit, He Expressly Forbids Every Form Of Idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6)
This commandment forbids....
1. The Acceptance Of Any Other god.
2. The Worship of God through Any Image.
3. The Representation of God by Anything Visible.
4. The Use of Religious Images, Symbols or Pictures.
· --Pictures of Christ.
· --Crosses, Crucifixes, Religious Relics.
· --Angelic Forms.
B. All True Worship And Service Rendered To God Must Be Spiritual, Heart Worship.
It is not sufficient to come before God on bended knee, with prostrate body, or with words of praise. We must worship God with our spiritual nature, our souls, our hearts, our minds, and our wills.
1. We must worship God alone.
2. We must worship God spiritually.
3. We must worship God sincerely.
4. We must worship God in truth, in accordance with revealed truth.
IV. God Is A Tri-Unity (I John 5:7)
We worship One God in the Trinity or Tri-Unity, of His Sacred Persons. We do not have three Gods. But we have One God, who subsists in Three Distinct Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And these three Persons are equal in all things.
A. From the very beginning God revealed that there are three Persons in the Godhead.
1. God the Father created all things through his Son, the Word (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3).
2. God the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).
3. God said, ”Let us make man in our image and often our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
4. And God promised to send his Son, the Seed of the woman, to redeem fallen man (Genesis 3:15).
B. In the New Testament the doctrine of the Trinity is expressly declared (I John 5:7), and frequently represented to us.
1. In The Baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:16-17)
Here the Father speaks from heaven. The Son is being baptized in the Jordan river. And the Spirit descends in the form of a dove.
2. In the Baptismal Formula (Matthew 28:19)
“Go ye therefore (into all the world), and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
3. In the Apostolic Benediction (II Corinthians 13:14)
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
4. And Christ himself plainly declares the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead (John 14:16).
He said, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth.”
The Word of God sets forth One God in Three Persons. The Father is God (Romans 1:7). The Son is God (Hebrews 1:8). And the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). “And these three are One.”
Note: Though the Son is voluntarily subject to the Father, and the Spirit is voluntarily subject to the Son and the Father in the covenant of redemption and grace, for the salvation of God’s elect, there is no subordination of Persons in the Godhead.
V. God Is Independent And Self-Sufficient.
God is solitary in his Being, in his Eternality, in his Spirituality, and in his Tri-Unity. And God is solitary in his Independence and Self-Sufficiency. God alone needs nothing! God does not need you and me. God needs nothing but himself!
In old eternity, when God dwelt alone in the glory of his Triune Persons, he was self-contained and self-sufficient, in need of nothing. He needed nothing to make him happy, glorious, and complete. And he is still independent, self-sufficient, in need of nothing. The creation of the world added nothing to God. He is immutable. He changes not (Malachi 3:6). His essential glory could never be increased or diminished.
A. God Was Under No Constraint, Obligation, or Necessity To Create the World.
God who “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11), freely chose to create the world simply because it was his sovereign pleasure to do so. He created the world, not to get glory to himself, but to display and manifest his glory in it.
1. God gains nothing from his creatures.
Even the praises of redeemed sinners add nothing to the glory of his Being. Hear the words of Nehemiah 9:5-- “Stand up and bless the Lord, your God, forever and ever; and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”
God predestinated his elect to eternal salvation to the praise of the glory of his grace, “according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:5). He chose to save us, to show forth his glory in us, but not that he might increase his glory (Psa. 16:2-3). We add nothing to him!
Again I say, God gains nothing from his creatures (Rom. 11:34-36). And if God gains nothing from man, then it is impossible for man to bring God into any obligation to him (Read Job 35:7-8).
2. And God loses nothing by the wickedness of his creatures (Job 35:6).
As man can add nothing to God’s glory, so man can never diminish God’s glory. God made all things to show forth is glory, and all things shall serve their end (Rev. 4:11).
1. The glory of his wisdom and power shall be seen in all creation and providence.
2. The glory of his love and justice is seen in redemption.
3. The glory of his mercy and grace is seen in the salvation of his elect.
4. The glory of his truth and righteousness is seen in the eternal ruin of his enemies.
B. I am declaring the solitariness of God!
The God of the Bible is so great that he is self-sufficient in the glory of his own holy Being. There was no vacuum in God’s heart that had to be filled by man. Had it pleased him to do so, he might have dwelt alone in his solitary glory forever, without making his glory known to any.
1. All that we experience of his grace and goodness we experience because of his sovereign good pleasure alone (Psa. 115:3; 135:6). It pleased God...
a. To make you who believe his people (I Sam. 12:22).
b. To put all the fullness of the Godhead’s grace and glory in Christ (Col. 1:19).
c. To bruise his Son in the place of his people (Isa. 53:10).
d. To reveal Christ in us (Gal. 1:5).
e. To save sinners by the foolishness of preaching (I Cor. 1:21).
We thank and praise and adore God for the good pleasure of his grace toward us! We know that we owe everything to the sovereign purpose of his grace.
2. But we also know that God is totally independent of his creatures and self-sufficient without us (Isa. 40:15-23; I Tim. 6:15-16).
This is the God of the Bible. he is still, in this reprobate religious age, “the unknown God” (Acts 17:23). Because he is unknown in this religious world, we seek to make him known. This is a God to be reverenced, worshipped, and adored. “He is solitary in his majesty, unique in his excellency, peerless in his perfections. He sustains all, but is himself independent of all. He gives to all, and is enriched by none” (A. W. Pink).
VI. This great, solitary God can only be known by revelation.
I have offered no arguments to prove the existence of God, but that is not because arguments cannot be produced. God’s being is a self-evident truth of creation and providence, so that all men and women are without excuse before him (Rom. 1:20). But no man will ever come to know the living God by the light of nature (Job 11:7-8; 26:14).
Illustration: A savage might find a watch in the sand and conclude that there was a watchmaker. But he would never be able to know the watchmaker by the watch. Even so, a man may know that there is a God by the light of nature. But he can never come to know God by the light of nature.
God cannot be known by man, except as God is pleased to reveal himself to man (John 3:3; I Cor. 2:14).
A. God has revealed himself to men in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:18; Heb. 1:1-3).
B. God has revealed himself to men in the inspired volume of Holy Scripture (II Tim. 3:15-17).
C. God reveals himself to men through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).
D. Yet, no sinner will ever see and know the living God until God reveals himself in the sinner’s heart by the irresistible grace and power of the Holy Spirit (II Cor. 4:6).
· Everything depends upon God!
· And even when we have been made to see and know the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, our spiritual knowledge, at best, is a fragmentary knowledge. We need ever to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope that you now see something of the solitariness of God. There is one God. He is eternal. He is spiritual. He is a Tri-unity. He is independent and self-sufficient. And he can only be known by divine revelation.
This is my prayer for you and me. “That (we) might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10).