Friday, August 16, 2013

The Attributes of God

I love reading.  I feel like I’ve been quite social here in Jordan, but have found the time to consume a dozen books.  There’s just something so wonderful about being curled up with a good book.  I saw this little gem in the library and picked it up because I’ve heard good things about Arthur Pink.  Those who say such things are not wrong. :P

I hesitate to even post an abbreviated review of an already short book, but maybe it will inspire some of you to go ahead and read the whole thing (it would be well worth your time).  I loved how he used Scripture and quotes from old Puritans and the like along with his own thoughts to encourage me to have a high view of God.  As he manifests God’s character it proved to be simultaneously inspiring and convicting.  All quotes are Pink’s unless otherwise noted:

The Solitariness of God – God was under no constraint, no obligation, no necessity to create.  That He chose to do so was purely a sovereign act on His part, caused by nothing outside Himself, determined by nothing but His own mere good pleasure; for He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11). That He did create was simply for His manifestive glory.

The Knowledge of God – The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet, nevertheless, fixed His heart upon me.  Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him!

The Foreknowledge of God – What controversies have been engendered by this subject in the past!  But what truth of Holy Scripture is there which has not been made the occasion of theological and ecclesiastical battles? … Yet the controversies which have been waged over them did not close the mouths of God’s faithful servants; why, then should we avoid the vexed questions of God’s Foreknowledge, because, forsooth, there are some who will charge us with fomenting strife?  Let others contend if they will, our duty is to bear witness according to the light vouchsafed us.

The Supremacy of God – There is no other possible alternative between an absolutely  supreme God, and no God at all…. Were all the denizens of heaven and all the inhabitants of the earth to combine in revolt against Him, it would occasion Him no uneasiness.

The Sovereignty of God – There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s Sovereignty.  C.H. Spurgeon

The Immutability of God – Herein is solid comfort.  Human nature cannot be relied upon; but God can!

The Holiness of God – Power is God’s hand or arm, omniscience His eye, mercy His bowels, eternity His duration, but holiness is His beauty.    This is the prime way of honouring God. We do not so glorify God by elevated admirations, or eloquent expressions, or pompous services of Him, as when we aspire to a conversing with Him with unstained spirits, and live to Him in living like Him.  Stephen Charnock.

The Faithfulness of God – Blessed are all they that wait for Him!  Is. 30:18, Ps. 27:14. From a hymn written by William Cowper:
     Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace,
     Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
     Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, the clouds ye so much dread,
     Are rich with mercy, and shall break in blessing o’er your head.

The Goodness of God – [Gratitude] is often withheld from our great Benefactor simply because His goodness is so constant and so abundant.  It is lightly esteemed because it is exercised toward us in the common course of events.  It is not felt because we daily experience it.

The Patience of God – God is slow to anger because great in power. He has no less power over Himself than over His creatures.

The Grace of God – [Grace] is the favor of God shown to those who not only have no positive deserts of their own, but who are thoroughly ill-deserving and hell-deserving.  It is completely unmerited and unsought, and is altogether unattracted by anything in or from or by the objects upon which it is bestowed.  Grace can neither be bought, earned, nor won by the creature.  If it could be, it would cease to be grace. …  The Gospel addresses men as guilty, condemned, perishing criminals.  It declares that the chastest moralist is in the same terrible plight as is the most voluptuous profligate; and that the zealous professor, with all his religious performances, is no better off than the most profane infidel. … The grace which the Gospel publishes is his only hope.

The Love of God – It is not simply that God loves, but that He is Love itself.  Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature. …  How little real love there is for God.  One chief reason for this is because our hearts are so little occupied with His wondrous love for His people.  The better we are acquainted with His love – its character, fullness, blessedness – the more will our hearts be drawn out in love to Him. …  The love of God is gracious.

The Wrath of God – Faithfulness demands  that we speak as plainly about Hell as about Heaven.

The Contemplation of God – The incomprehensibility of the Divine nature is not a reason why we should desist from reverent inquiry and prayerful strivings to apprehend what He has so graciously revealed to Himself in His Word.  “Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued, investigation of the great subject of the Deity” C. H. Spurgeon.  True happiness consists only in the enjoyment of God.  His favor is life, and His lovingkindness is better than life.

Just a sneak peek at the whole of the book, but my beloved friends, be encouraged in the awesomeness of WHO GOD IS today! To end as Pink did, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen" (I Tim. 1:17).

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