Today I want to talk about Gods view of himself and his view of us which is totally different than the worlds view. And… I want to look at this view through the analogy of a marriage… A marriage made in Heaven… which is actually more than an analogy. Let me start out with reading a couple verses.
Hosea 2:16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ …19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
Its important that we reset our views to Gods view of himself and us because the world is always trying to spin its own view of God; and just as we’re transformed to the likeness of God as we see his glory with unveiled face (2nd Corinthians 3:18) I believe if we don’t veil out the world it transforms how we think of God and ourselves. Our view of God under-girds how we live our life at home, work… it supports our goals and purpose in everything we do. And so this morning I want to talk about Gods perspective on himself and how that relates to us.
First, a brief view of how the world perceives God:
Now Brad Pitt and I actually have a few things in common: We were both born in Shawnee Oklahoma… We were both raised Southern Baptist. we both play guitar, we’re both around 5”11, we’re both male… He was also named most sexy man alive by Peoples magazine twice! … but I did not make that list.
One thing about Brad I want to highlight though is… He turned away from his boyhood faith because it bothered him that God says, “You have to say that I’m the best…”
That's a common objection the world has for Christianity. They don’t like it that God says he’s the best. It’s the same thing that got satan all riled up in heaven… he didn’t like it that God said he was the best and he wanted his own glory… also the same temptation he presented to Eve in the Garden that she could be like God and the same he poses to us every day in seeking our own glory.
Lets jump into some scriptures of Gods view of himself and how that relates to us.
I want us to look at this truth with an analogy of a Marriage made in Heaven which will develop as we go.
#1 - God chooses us for his glory
Choosing us means it was resolved beforehand. Growing up when we played war ball at school in Texas I was usually the 2nd to last person picked by the team leader. I didnt like war ball. It left big welps on my legs… and my face. The point is: all of the team was chosen before we ever played the game. Its the same for us; we were chose beforehand.
In some cultures parents still choose who their children will marry in advance. Consider how the Father chose us to be in his family beforehand, He picked us out as a bride for his Son. He chose us for the glory of his Son.
Speaking of the Father: Ephesians 1:4 …he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. …
Gods word settles it right there. It will happen because God did it and does it. Philippians 1:6 says: And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
So it’s settled! We will a part of the family of God because he chose us and brings us and completes us.
Being chosen may set uneasy with you...
As a kid I hated the smell of pizza. It set uneasy with me. I remember holding my head out the car window when my parents brought a pizza home. I didn't want to breathe the same air. However; I had hardly or maybe never tasted pizza myself. I had my own questions about what they put on pizzas that I never really vocalized. My preconceptions and fears of the unknown caused me to even despise the smell of pizza. However the time came when I learned the ingredients, I tasted and chewed and savored... And now that I have... I love pizza!... and the smell is awesome!!!
In the same way the doctrine of election used to cause me to cringe... until I sought out the truth and tasted it. Now its awesomeness cannot even be compared to pizza... Gods love and grace is so much better!
But yes, there is stll a tension, because its true we are 100% responsible to turn to Christ and believe and have affections for him; but even as he chooses us he also quickens our will. Philippians 2:13 says: for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. God chose us and works in us for his own delight.
Ephesians 1 goes on to say how we are made holy and blameless through Jesus and then Ephesians 1:6 says:
6 to the praise of His glorious grace,
Paul repeats this in verse 12 … to the praise of his glory… again in verse 14, to the praise of his glory.
And so, ultimately and foundationally in keeping with today's subject; at the core, as Ephesians 1 says, it was the Father who chose us ahead of time to the praise of his glory.
#2 - The Father gives us to the Son
Then somewhat similar to how an earthly father gives away his daughter to the groom our heavenly Father gives us (his church who he chose) to Jesus as his bride… and the Father does this, ultimately because he loves the Son. He is the primary focus.
John 17 is Jesus prayer to the Father the day before he went to the Cross.
Jesus speaks about how we were already the Fathers… and we are given to the Son…
Verse 6 “…Yours they were, and you gave them to me,…” Verse 11 “…which you have given me”
and 12 “…which you have given me…”.
John 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
You see that word “because” that comes right before the objective subject of this sentence: because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
This indicates that the foundational reason for us to be loved and blessed in and beautified for Christ is that he is the ultimate object of who is being loved.
This corresponds with our focus today about Gods view of himself. All things are for his glory.
#3 - Jesus lays down his life for his bride -
Ok, now there is a big problem because we, the bride of Christ are sinners; we have turned away from God; we are repulsive to look at, not a good bride for Jesus. We have pimples and wrinkles all kinds of blemishes. We are ugly in sin. How can we bring glory in keeping to the case I am making today?
And so the next day after Jesus prayed in John 17 he went to the Cross to make us his bride holy and beautiful with his righteousness and to give her access to his fellowship; which is what every good marriage must have.
I think Ephesians 5 brings this analogy which is actually a true analogy into the light.
Ephesians 5:25 Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, …27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Jesus removes our spots and blemishes and takes away our wrinkles. What bride would not love for that to happen. Then she is beautiful for her husband. Its all for the one who is the best… our groom, our husband, our Lord, Jesus.
Speaking of Jesus Romans 11:36 says: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
And next what we will see is how God lavishes all kinds of blessing on his Bride. Ephesians 3:8 talks about the unsearchable riches of Christ. That's what we get for being the bride of the King of Kings.
Unsearchable doesn’t mean we cant find them no matter how we search; it means we can’t exhaust them! right? There will always be more riches for us in Christ. And it will all ultimately be for his glory.
#4 - Unsearchable Riches for His glory
A - Forgiveness:
1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
Gods name’s sake points us to who God is in all his glory.
Psalm 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
Asaph points us to the Cross in asking for atonement for the Lord’s sake. Jesus death on the Cross was not just for us but ultimately for Gods glory!
God himself says this about himself in: Isaiah 43:25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,…
B - Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness (at this point we might start thinking its all about us… being led to green pastures, not being in want for anything. But then it says:) for his name’s sake. Its ultimately for his glory.
C - Psalm 143:11 For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
Another great passage that points to the Cross. We are made right with God by Christs righteousness not ours… and its for his name’s sake.
Quick Review: For time I skipped a lot of verses that show us a multitude of things God dose for us for his name. Here’s some: He chooses us, gives mercy in atonement and salvation, he rescues us with his righteousness, he keeps us, he secures and protects and leads and delivers, restores, he disciplines and sanctifies us all for his glory.
If we had time we could look at examples of each in application for our life.
D - In closing notice how God forms and makes us for his glory.
Isaiah 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
One day soon God will gather together we who he chose before the foundation of the world from across the span of time and from every people group across the globe… to be with him forever for his glory. Here again we see the connection to his namesake… 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
When a bride marries her husband she takes his name. So we too are called by the name of Christ and we will be one in unity.
And by the way, this is not just an analogy; but there is really going to be a marriage.
Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
You know, Brad Pitt was right: God says he is the best. When we agree with him and see him as our greatest treasure then his goodness becomes good news for our sin and we have peace with God.
Colossians… 1:16 …all things were created through him and for him. Lord please continually reset our perspective and our hearts to your word. Every day… to the praise of your glorious grace.