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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

God Is Good And Great

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God Is Good And Great! - By Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


We hear so much against God these days, the thought might suggest itself that he needs some of his stalwart followers to speak up for him against the sheer volume of heavy criticism. How do we respond to this - does God really need any defence? I shall find an answer for this as we consider how we might know whether God is both good and great, despite the vocal protests to the contrary.
· He rules
Ultimately, the God about whom I am writing is well able to assert his own sovereign right to do and say whatever he wishes! "Our God... does all that he pleases" (Psalm 115:3). That being the case, does he need followers (I use the term loosely) to defend him? Not at all, he is the Uncreated Lord who dwells in unapproachable glory, but I am finite and although flawed, I am still a significant person - and as such, I need HIS defence, forgiveness and care. I also need HIS view of himself, his values and what he says about me, in order to understand myself.
· Great in Power
I need to know that "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty" (Nahum 1:3). Here, God reveals his character; his great forbearance in the face of provocation, and his awesome power and ability, which ultimately will not be thwarted, nor his holy justice overturned. When he charges with moral guilt it is a perfectly just charge, and will God not turn a blind eye towards it. Sin must be dealt with, but in his amazing goodness, God is prepared to go to great lengths to forgive sin in a way that does not call his prior guilty verdict of it into question. Now that is extraordinary!
· Homespun religion
However, we must also accept that much evil and bloodshed have resulted from the bitter feuds that take place even today between rival religions and religious factions. So much so that now some of the New Atheists think this is their trump card; proof positive that religion has a perverse influence in the world. How does God's goodness square with this?
What New Atheists lack, however, is an explanation for why they don't like what they see because they reject the God-given account of creation and the terrible moral "Fall" given in the early pages of Genesis.
· Genesis: a true record
Now they wistfully hope that evolution will soon eradicate the plague of religion and bring a brighter future. What they miss is that the Genesis Fall has spawned deeply confused beliefs (including their own) and debased religions that have become flashpoints of conflict, because man by nature became both at odds with God and other men (see Romans 8:7, Titus 3:3-5). So on the basis of their own beliefs, atheists do not understand the nature of this deep conflict and why even they are not satisfied with what "evolution" has already given them. And if they see some of the consequences of the Big Bang as an aberration, such as the beliefs I am sharing with you, I must ask, "Against what ultimate standard are they raising their objections?"
Why assume your belief in naturalistic philosophy yields true science when it lacks an objective basis for an understandable cosmos, and where rational information just falls out of a meaningless explosion, have you not seen how you inadvertently borrow a coherent and understandable universe and the validity of reason from biblical theism?
· God is his own defence!
On the contrary, God's self-attesting claim to be the one true and eternally living God is his to make and his alone. He only, as the supreme source of personal reason, moral attributes and an eternal purpose for time and space, is authorised to issue his own accreditation. Only God is able to validate and vindicate himself by his own his marvellous creative acts that display his wisdom and power, and by his revealed words and then enlighten us to accept this witness. God has spoken and revealed his personal glory and love supremely in the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).
· God is wonderfully good
God has spoken all that needs to be said in a complete and final written revelation. We already know that "you O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you" (Psalm 86:5). We even know that the Son of his love, through whom God made all things, was born into our humanity as the Christ - the anointed King, who then willingly, as the loving Saviour of sinners "died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).
· No greater proof will ever be given
What more proof positive do people need that God is good - perfectly, supremely, astonishingly good, than to look at the cross of Christ and behold their Maker bleeding and dying for the sins of others! And you say "God is not good!" On that final great Day, do you think your verdict will stand as you bow your knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? You have no chance of success, so instead seek to get right with God. Don't you know "that God's goodness is meant to lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4).
· God even forgives sin!
Now God will justly forgive sin on account of the perfect sin offering of the Lord Jesus, who fully endured sin's penalty on behalf of those who had broken his own law. All who turn to him in faith may now justly be freed and forgiven seeing that Jesus has chosen to take their place, to secure their free acquittal. This rich and free forgiveness is received as a gift by faith - personally as you turn in repentance from you rebellion and seek to be reconciled to God as you loving Father.
Then you will be able to sing from the bottom of your heart:
"How good is the God we adore!
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,
Whose love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end".
(Joseph Hart, 1712-1768)

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' Take a look at my ebook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science. Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 My title, 'I Saw Him Die- Viewing Jesus' Death Today' takes a fresh look at the central New Testament message, against the setting of our postmodern culture, Try this link: http://www.amazon.com/saw-Him-die-Viewing-ebook/dp/B007TX696U/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 Use my books (both paperbacks and Kindle ebooks) and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith. Also find titles on other websites - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D.  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7249056

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