EACH OF US come to our Christian faith with a preconceived view of who God is. He is kind, generous, in love with us, dotes over us, lavishes us with mercy and grace, is fair with everyone, and would never do anything to pain another.
|It’s All About the Glory of God!
This is not the biblical view of God. The reality is much richer and more complex. And until we are willing to move from this preconceived view of God to loving the real God, the God of the Bible, God as he really is, we will not grow, mature, or do much to glorify God.
Romans 9:22-23 is a good example of the richer, more complex God. Concluding a long discussion about God’s sovereignty, Paul asks, “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?”
This text is very clear. God has prepared some beforehand to be vessels of destruction. They will display the glory of his justice and his wrath. God has also prepared beforehand vessels of mercy. They will likewise display the glory of God’s mercy, grace, and love. In both cases God acts sovereignly, but he does so without violating human freedom. In both cases God is interested is something greater than human happiness. In both cases God is interested in manifesting something other than love, grace, and mercy. In both cases this is the not the God we expect when we come to Christianity.
I trust you are willing to “give up childish ways” and put on the “mind of Christ.” He is light years beyond us. In the words of the doxology, “Oh the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments. How inscrutable his ways!” (Rom. 11:33).