Our Gloriously Self-Centered God

John MacArthur highlights a truth that’s initially difficult to wrestle with, but  ultimately is a source of great biblical encouragement and comfort:

…some one might say, “God is self-centered.” But, of course; God alone has the right to be self-centered. In contrast to all His creatures, He is entitled to demand worship and be jealous of His own glory. He is God, and there is no one else like Him (Isa. 46:9). He, and He alone, has absolute authority to judge those who rebel against His laws, refuse to give Him glory, ridicule His authority, or doubt His word. And He jealously guards His name against all who would diminish His glory. “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give my glory to another, nor praise to graven images” (Isa. 42:8). “ For My own sake, for my own sake I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another” (48:11). What would seem like unacceptable pride in any lesser being is the necessary expression of a holy God who refuses to have His holiness besmirched. God’s jealously is therefore a righteous jealous…God’s holy jealous is so descriptive of who he is that He even takes the names “Jealous” as His own. “You shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exod. 34:14)

-John F. MacArthur, The God Who Loves

Of course, it’s important to note that God isn’t sinfully self-centered as fallen humans are. The kind of self-love God has is a Trinitarian love. The Father cherishes and loves the Son. The Son glories in and delights in his Father. The Spirit is the Spirit of both the Father and the Son. It’s this very love demonstrated in God’s redemptive mission to restore his fallen creation. In seeking his own glory God is seeking our joy. If I can coin a term, it’s an other-centered-self-centeredness. Why? As John Piper says (anywhere and everywhere!), “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

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Posted on November 1, 2012, in Great Quotes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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