The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Another Doctrine 101 consideration, and a particularly vital one).
God's goodness refers to His character. His greatness involves His capability.
"The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty" (I Chronicles 29:11).
Character always precedes capability in our Lord's nature and His doings. "Thou art good and doest good" (Psalm 119:68). Rightly received and pondered, no truth should more thrill and assure our hearts. However, what if the reverse were true? What if God's ability guided His actions rather than His heart of perfect love, holiness, righteousness, integrity, grace, and mercy? We know the terrible repercussions of such a contingency. Every cruel dictator in human history has governed by power rather than by propriety. Moreover, the Satan who empowers tyrants uses the capability God presently allows him to have for performing overt manifestations of what he can do. Consider the devil's boast as he tempted the Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness.
"And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it" (Luke 4:6).
Misuse of ability always proceeds from lust for power, and pride in having it. We will never see this in God, and we do well to praise Him accordingly. "His work is perfect" because He is "a God of truth and without iniquity" (Deuteronomy 32:4). This is why the Apostle Paul declared "God cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). Our Lord eternally abides in faithfulness to His character and nature. He can do nothing that violates His perfectly pristine holiness. This explains His mercy. This also explains His wrath. According to who He is, God must work to redeem sinners from their sin. According to who He is, God must also work to judge those who will not respond to His overtures of grace in the Lord Jesus. Both His power to save and His power to condemn flow from the same fount of goodness. "Thy mercy is good… Thy judgments are good" (Psalm 109:21; 119:39).
We must know this truth about our God. We cannot rightly relate to Him apart from the realization that His character ever and forever governs His capability. This comprises the very essence of holiness, that is, of God's sanctification to His own nature and character. He cannot be other than who He is. He cannot do other than that which flows from who He is. Nothing can cause Him to deviate from this perfection of being that empowers His perfection of doing. No truth of Scripture more establishes and maintains our proper understanding of who God is, and of how we must think about Him and relate to Him. His character governs His capability. Yesterday. Today. Forever.
"The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works."
Weekly Memory Verse
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
Weekly Memory Verse
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."
(I John 3:2).