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Understanding and Knowing God - Part 5
Focus on Glorious Things
by Alex M. Lindsay
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Reference: Jeremiah 9:23-24

If we dwell only on Jeremiah 9:23, we might get the impression that God doesn't want us to have any glorious experiences in this life. This would make humility and self-denial an empty vacuum. But God did not make us in His image to be degraded and aimless people. Sin marred the original condition of man. Man was made to know God in an innocent state of love and trust. We were put here to oversee and manage the other things that God created. Sin did not just displease God; sin destroyed our innocence - the unspotted simplicity that we were first given. "For as in Adam all dieā€¦" (I Corinthians 15:22). We all universally lost our purity and simplicity when Adam sinned. He did not just commit a sin. He put all his family in the condition of being sinners. As soon as we were conceived, we were sinners. Therefore, we sin. Committing sin does not make us a sinner. Being a sinner makes us sin.

When Christ died for us, He did more than pay for the sins we have committed and will commit (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; I John 2:12). He also paid the price to deliver us from what we are - fallen sinners. That's why any discussion of our salvation must include the new birth - the changing of our heart and soul (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-6,10; I Peter 1:22-23). "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22). This last statement does not teach that all humans universally will be born again. Only those in Christ, by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) will experience the new birth. By nature, we are all in Adam and are therefore sinners who naturally sin and fall short of God's glory (Romans 5:12,15; 3:20-24). Justification changes the problem of what we've done. The new birth changes the problem of who we are. See both aspects of salvation in Colossians 2:13-14.

So, our first consideration of Jeremiah 9:24 is that the Christian life is to be filled with glory. We are not to wallow in the shame of our past. We have something very good happening within us. We need to focus on our glorious God and the glory that God has given us and will be giving us.

See Romans 5:1-2; 8:18; I Corinthians 2:7; II Corinthians 3:18; 4:6,15-18; 12:7-10; Galatians 6:14; Ephesians 1:12, 15-18; 3:14-19; Philippians 1:11; Colossians 1:25-28; 3:4; II Thessalonians 1:3-4; 2:13-14; II Timothy 2:10; I Peter 1:7-8; 4:12-14; 5:10-11.

Focus on Glorious Things
Next, in Jeremiah 9:24, we will be considering the things that God delights in and how we should join Him in celebrating and glorying in these great things:

  • Lovingkindness / Steadfast Unfailing Love

  • Judgement / Justice

  • Righteousness.

Please note that God not only delights in them; He practices them. If we glory in the Lord, we must not only celebrate these great things, but we also need to be involved with them. What God loves, we should love. What God hates, we should hate. What things God is doing in the world, we should be dedicated to them and participating in them, as we are allowed.

The apostle Paul was doubtless thinking of Jeremiah's words when he was writing his first letter to the Corinthians. Let's look at the parallels between Jeremiah 9:23-24 and I Corinthians 1:26-31. God calls men from their vain glory to His glory - the glory of His Son.

Jeremiah 9:23
I Corinthians 1:26
I Corinthians 1:27
Not many wise are called.
God chose foolish things to shame the wise.
Not many mighty are called.
God chose weak things to shame the mighty.
Not many noble are called.
God chose base, despised "nobodies" to nullify the "somebodies."

The call of God involves uniting us with the Father in a relationship through His Son, Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:30; John 14:6). It is "of Him" (i.e. God's choice, God's call, God's work - II Timothy 1:9). God has opened the eyes of our minds and hearts to the glories of His Son and drawn us to Him (John 6:35-45,63; Acts 16:14; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:3-14; I Peter 1:1-5). The Father has established His Son to be everything that we need. Everything that God delights in has become everything for us to delight in.

Jeremiah 9:24
I Corinthians 1:30
Lovingkindness / Steadfast Love
Sanctification - God has lovingly separated us for Himself
(Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:31-39).
Judgement / Justice
Redemption - In order to separate us for Himself, a just and
holy God had to make us just holy. He had to purchase us
and cleanse us with the blood of His righteous Son (Romans 3:19-24;
Galatians 3:13; 4-6; Titus 2:13-14; I Peter 1:15-19; I John 2:1-2;
Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9).
The death of Christ gives us a righteous standing with God.
The death and resurrection of Christ gives us a new birth,
in which we can live righteously through the indwelling of
Christ's Spirit
(II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:1-11,21; 8:1-11;
Titus 2:11-12; 3:3-8).
Exercises (practices) & Delights
What God loves; God does. We compare this to wisdom
for redeemed man. Godly wisdom and understanding are
evidenced by action (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 3:5-7; 16:6,17;
1:7,20-33; 8:1-36 cp. I Corinthians 1:18-24; Colossians 2:3).
Originally delivered October 11, 2020
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