The Glory of God
God is Great and Perfect
The Bible teaches us that God is great and perfect. “For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.”1
God alone is great. It is true that men have done great and amazing things, but any greatness in the creature ultimately points to the greatness of the Creator and Sustainer. No man has inherent greatness.
No one is perfect like God is perfect. Even the perfection of sinless angels does not compare to the perfections of God2. Since God is an absolutely perfect being, all that He is and all that He does is perfect3. In the end, all of creation will bow before God and confess His perfections4. Depending upon your standing before God (being either in Christ, and thus justified, or without Him, and thus condemned), you will see, either with unspeakable dread, or unimaginable delight, how perfectly all things throughout human history were brought together to display God’s glory. You and I will prove to be examples of God’s perfection, either glorifying the perfection of His grace as vessels of honor in heaven5, or glorifying the perfection of His justice as vessels of dishonor in Hell6. God is absolutely perfect in all that He is, says, and does.
The Bad News
Since God is perfect, we should honor Him by fully trusting and obeying Him, knowing that His will, as reveled in the Bible, is as perfect as He is7. Despite God’s greatness and perfection, our nature is to reject His will and fulfill our own desires instead. This is sinful since in doing so we deny His perfection, and the perfection of His will, and insist upon the absurd notion that we know what is best for ourselves. Our sin is no less than a rejection of the lordship of God; an attempt to seat ourselves upon His throne, in His place. This is not only unspeakably unwise, since our perfect Lord’s will for us is perfect8, but it is also unspeakably evil, since our great God, seated upon His throne in heaven, deserves to have His place upon the thrones of our hearts as well. God – the only being in existence who is truly worthy to be called great, and worthy to be bowed down to and obeyed, is in effect told to subject Himself to our desires every time we sin. Since God is our great Lord, there is no such thing as a “small” sin because there is no such thing as a small God to sin against.
If there is one truth most people will agree upon, it is that no one is perfect. Perhaps one in ten thousand would be so far removed from reality as to try and say that they have lived a perfect life. The Bible gives us the standard of “goodness” when it says: “the LORD is good”9. If God is the standard of goodness, and God is perfect, then a good person is someone who has been absolutely, sinlessly perfect in thought word and deed from the time of their birth to the moment of their death. While most would agree that they are not perfect, very few realize that our imperfection is a dreadfully serious problem10! God is perfect, and as such He rightly demands perfection from each of us11. On the day that you and I are judged, if you would be justified outside of Christ, you must have lived the absolutely perfect life that God demands12. Do you measure up to God’s standard? Have you lived a perfect life, or have you lied, blasphemed, and worshiped the god of pleasure? Are you a goodperson, or are you living in sin even as you read this? The Bible says that if you have not lived a perfect life, God cannot even bear to look at you13! Outside of Christ, our perfect Creator’s eyes are too holy to even look at your sinfulness, much less share the intimacy of His favorable presence with you, in this life or in heaven for eternity! Even if we were able to stop sinning at this very moment, and never sin again, justice would still demand the eternal destruction of our souls for our past sins.
“They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; But are a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deuteronomy 32:5)
The Good News
Our situation is truly hopeless on our own, but there is hope for any who will humble themselves before God, and come to Christ by faith14. By God’s standard, Jesus is perfect – He is the only good person that has ever walked this earth15. Also, since God the Son is equal in every respect with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit16, Jesus is great – He is of infinitely greater value than any other person. Our Lord left His glorious throne in Heaven17, and was born of a virgin18 into this fallen, hateful world, being fully God, yet fully man19. Jesus’s greatness and perfection uniquely qualified Him to be the only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of His people. Our Lord, being the infinitely valuable Son of God, is great, and being sinless, is perfect, just like God the Father.
Under the Old Testament ceremonial law, the Jews observed certain feasts, designed by God to help them to remember past events, and to illustrate things for them that had not yet happen. One such feast was established after God, through a series of plagues, brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt, where they were held as slaves for four hundred years. Though God sent many severe plagues, Pharaoh would not let the nation of Israel go. After the final plague, the death of every firstborn person and animal in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh was finally persuaded to let the people go20. Four days before that final plague, God instructed the nation of Israel to take a one year old, unblemished lamb from their flocks and keep it in each of their houses until twilight on the fourth day, when each family was to kill their lamb, put his blood on the doorposts of their houses, roast him, and eat him21. As the death angel went through the land of Egypt, he would pass over any home that had the blood of a lamb applied to its doorposts22.
After God brought the nation of Israel out of their captivity through that final plague, God commanded that the people continue to observe the passover feast to commemorate the children of Israel’s miraculous Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Though it certainly did a good job of reminding the Jews about God’s work on their behalf in Egypt, the feast also had another meaning; an even greater significance – to point the Jews to their coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was to be the “…Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”23.
Taking their lambs into their homes for four days means that the family develops emotional ties with their lamb – they’re making a valuable sacrifice when they kill their lamb. This pointed the Jews to the future reality of God’s sacrificing of His own, infinitely great, infinitely valuable, infinitely loved Son. Another requirement for the Passover lamb is that he be unblemished. This clearly pictures the sinless perfection of the Lord Jesus that no one has ever (or ever will) come even close to. As the feast illustrated – if the judgment of God was to pass over anyone, the only sacrifice that God would accept is a sinless one – a condition that only the Son of God met. The Passover lamb is killed, picturing the spilling of the Lord Jesus’s blood that God’s justice required, and the lamb is then roasted, picturing the pouring out of the wrath of God for the sins of His people upon Jesus in their place. The application of the lamb’s blood to the doorposts, which originally resulted in the Jews being protected from God’s plague upon the Egyptians, points us to our desperate need to have the blood of Christ applied to us.
Jesus, the church’s Passover Lamb24, made the only sacrifice God will accept on behalf of sinners. God, being perfect, demanded a perfectly spotless sacrifice – a demand that only Jesus could meet25. And God, being infinitely great, and thus infinitely offended by sin, demanded an infinitely valuable sacrifice – A demand that only Jesus, being God in the flesh, could meet. If you will turn from your sin and trust Christ alone to save you, His blood will be applied to you, and the second death, which is the final judgment of God – eternal destruction in hell, will not touch you26. Moreover, the perfect God who cannot even bear to set His holy eyes upon you, will look upon you with unending love, because instead of seeing the wickedness of your past, He will see His Son’s perfections when He looks at you27. Forsake all sin today and come to Jesus, showing your faith in Him by your changed, obedient life. He is the only true passover Lamb! If you ignore such a wonderful free gift of salvation, like the hardened Egyptians, you will certainly face the judgment of God.
“Jesus Christ … there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10, 12)
“For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:2-3a)
1 Dt. 32:3-4; 2 Job 4:18; 3 Dt. 32:3-4; 4 Is. 45:23; Rom. 4:11; Phil. 2:9-11; 5 Eph. 1:5-6; Rom. 9:22-23; 6 Rom. 9:22-23; 7 Ps. 12:6, 19:7-9; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 8 Rom. 12:2; 9 Ps. 100:5; 10 Dt. 32:5; 11 Lv. 19:2; Mt. 5:48; 12 Rom. 10:5; 13 Hab. 1:13; 14 Rom. 5:6-11; 15 Heb. 4:15; 16Jn. 10:30; 17 Jn. 17:5; 18 Is. 7:14; 19 Col. 2:9 ; 20 Ex. 1-11; 21 Ex. 12:5-8; 22 Ex. 12:13; 23 Jn. 1:29; 24 1 Pt. 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; 25Rom. 3:10, 23; 26 1 Thess. 1:10; 27 1 Cor. 1:30