Friday, November 29, 2013

from, through, and to

John Piper in Think:

Colossians 1:15–17: [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

So we learn that Christ made all things and holds all things together “for himself.” “All things were created through him and for him.” “For him” does not mean that Christ had deficiencies that he had to create the world to supply. It means that his complete self-sufficiency overflowed in the creation of the world so that the world would display the greatness of Christ.

... All things not only belong to Christ, but all things display Christ. Human beings exist to magnify his worth in the world. Our worth consists of our capacity to consciously make much of his worth. [Our goal] cannot be expressed with man as the end point. Christ is the end point. All things are “from him and through him and to him” (Rom. 11:36). “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Ps. 115:1).

... Jonathan Edwards not only sums up the ultimate purpose of God to glorify himself in creation but also shows how God accomplishes that self-exaltation in such a way that it becomes love and not megalomania. Here is how Edwards says it, and with this he opens the door for [us] to be unshakably joyful and radically God-exalting in the very same act: 

God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 1. By appearing to . . . their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself. . . . God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart. . . . He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.

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