Summary: How great is our God? This four-sermon series is all about the greatness and glory of God. In part 2, this expository sermon shines a light on God's infinite, invisible and incomparable greatness!
HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD (PART 2)
Scott R. Bayles, preacher
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 4/15/2012
How great is our God!
When Chris Tomlin sat down to write that song, he began with those words—the chorus—how great is our God. And, at first, that’s all he was able to come up with. In an interview, he said he didn’t really know where to go from there. He prayed to God, “…this is all I have Lord, there’s no other words I can summon in the English language to describe how great you are.” For a long time, he just sat there with those words, like a question hanging over his head that he couldn’t find an answer for.
Who could blame him, really? How do you describe the greatness of God!?
Eventually, Chris did finish the song—borrowing a whole panoply of majestic and mysterious imagery from the pages of Scripture to try to capture God’s visage. The opening lines are among my favorite: “The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty.”
The Bible says, “The Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:3). Both Jesus and God the Father are called: “the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15 NIV).
But if our God is a King, he’s unlike any king the earth has ever known. History is freckled with the tales of kings—some tyrannical, some tolerable, some truly noble, but all of them flawed, all of them only human. Our King is different. Our God is a great God, a great King above all kings. There is one particular passage of Scripture—a single verse, actually—that, I think, encapsulates the greatest of our God and King.
Here it is: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17 NIV).
In a nineteen word parade of praise thrown in honor of the King of Kings, this verse highlights three unassailable attributes of God. In boldface, underlined italicized font, this power-packed passage reveals just how great our God is.
First, our God is a great God because he is an infinite God.
• AN INFINITE GOD
The first two words that Paul chose to describe how great our God is are eternal and immortal. In essence, Paul is saying that God is without beginning and without ending. The psalmist underscores the infinite nature of God when he wrote, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2 NIV).
Have you ever wondered, or maybe had someone ask you, if God made the universe and everything in it, then who made God? Where did God come from?
The answer, of course, is—no one, nowhere; rather, God is an infinite, eternal being. He is the uncaused First Cause from which everything else came into existence. It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around the notion of an infinite God, but the Bible, philosophy, and simple logic demand nothing less.
Think of it this way. If anything at all exists today, then something must have always existed. If there was ever a time when nothing existed, then nothing would still exist. As Julie Andrews once sang, “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could.”
We know that the universe itself isn’t eternal. Everything we know about astronomy and cosmology tells us that matter, energy, space, even time itself had a beginning in the Big Bang. Thus, the only philosophically plausible possibility is that the universe was made by an unmade, infinite Cause greater than itself—the King eternal, immortal.
Intellectually or logically accepting the idea of an infinite God and actually wrapping our heads around it are two very different things. But, regardless, the very best part of having an infinite, eternal God is that that he invites us to spend the rest of eternity with him: “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Romans 2:7 NIV). When we our faith in God is finally made sight, eternity won’t just be a loving notion—it will be a living reality. And when we’ve been there ten thousand years, we’ll have no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.
Our God is a great God because he is an infinite God. Furthermore, our God is a great King above all gods because he is an invisible God.
• AN INVISIBLE GOD
There’s a story about a little boy who just loved to draw pictures. One day his kindergarten teacher peaked over his shoulder during free time and asked what he was drawing. Without pausing to look up, he said, “A picture of God.” The teacher smiled and responded, “But nobody knows what God looks like.” The boy carefully put down his crayon, looked her squarely in the eye, and declared, “They will when I’m finished!”