THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD Lesson #24
The Blessedness of God 1 Timothy 6:13-16
If God is all-sufficient in himself, as we have seen, he must be and is happy and blessed. The gospel we preach and by which we are saved is called “the glorious gospel of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 11). And here, in 1 Timothy 6:13-16, Paul tells us that in his time Christ shall show all men the glory of the triune God “who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting." The Scriptures frequently ascribe blessedness to God. He is called “the blessed One,” and “the blessed God.” Christ is called “the Son of the Blessed.” He who is the Creator of all things is “God blessed forever” (Rom. 9:5). The blessedness of God is his infinite, eternal, unchangeable happiness and pleasure in himself. As I am using the word “blessed” in this study, and as it is commonly used in the Scriptures, it means “happy”. The blessedness of God is his happiness. The perfection of his Being is his happiness.
Why is God happy? What is the source of his blessedness? Paul seems to equate God’s blessedness with his sovereign, universal, and endless power and dominion, and with that incomparable light, glory, and majesty with which he is arrayed.
The Lord our God is “the Blessed and Only Potentate.” Such titles belong to God alone. To ascribe these titles to a man is as idolatrous as it would be to call a mere man God! God alone is the only Potentate. He has power over all, but is under the power of none. And his is no delegated power. He is higher than the highest, the most high God. And he sovereignly rules over angels, and men, and all things by right as the Creator and Owner of all. “Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world?” (Job 34:13). He is God! “He has the charge of the earth, and disposes of the whole world, and all persons and things in it; but has authority for it of himself…He has no rival, competitor, nor partner with him in his throne. He is not accountable to any, nor controlled by any” (Gill). He who is “the King of kings and Lord of lords” is the only blessed and happy Potentate. And he will always continue as such.
It is God “who only hath immortality.” He gives life and immortality to angels and men. But he only has it in and of himself. Mortality mars the happiness of the greatest, most powerful monarchs of the earth, but not the Monarch of all things (Psa. 82:6-8).
Next we are told that God is the Blessed One “dwelling in light.” He is clothed with such light and splendor, such dazzling and brilliant glory, that no man can approach him or gaze upon him. “God is Light” (1 John 1:5). His light, his glory, his blessedness is not the result of just one of his attributes, but the consummation of them all. The glory of God is the perfection of his Being. And the perfection of his Being is his blessedness.
GOD IS HIS OWN BLESSEDNESS. God’s blessedness is entirely within and of himself. He receives none from his creatures. Nothing can add to his blessedness. And nothing can diminish it. His blessedness is, like himself, unchangeable. He is “over all God blessed forever!” Though he is sometimes represented as being grieved, wearied, or provoked to anger, such expressions are only representations to us of God’s disapproval of man’s sin. They must never be understood of any change taking place in God (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17). Primarily, God’s blessedness consists of two things.
First, God’s blessedness lies in his freedom from all evil. There is nothing evil in God. And nothing evil touches him. He is entirely free from the evil of evils, sin. And he is entirely free from all the consequences of sin (Job 35:6-8). Sin is the source of all disorders, disasters, and calamities that befall God’s creatures. Sin has destroyed the blessedness of all the fallen angels and brought them into a state of misery. And sin has brought misery upon all our race. The universal proof of the fall and depravity of the human race is the universality of sorrow, pain, sickness, and death. Contrary to popular opinion, bad things do not happen to good people! Even God’s saints in this world have their happiness marred by sin. Though we are chosen of God the Father, redeemed by God the Son, called by God the Spirit and saved by grace, our blessedness in this world can never be complete. The sin which dwells in us mars our peace, disrupts our comfort, quenches our joy, and causes us to cry continually, “O wretched man that I am!” But God has no iniquity, no darkness, no sin to eclipse his blessedness (Deut. 32:4). God is so thoroughly blessed that he can never even be tempted with sin (James 1:13). God is out of the reach of all evil. This is his blessedness. He is not affected by sin. He cannot be tempted to sin. And the evil consequences of sin cannot reach him. It neither hurts him, nor damages his blessedness. God’s knowledge is so great that he cannot become unhappy by making a mistake. His wisdom is so great that he cannot be deceived, or drawn into anything that would be a detriment to his blessedness. And his power is so great that he cannot be subjected to anything that might interrupt his blessedness. God’s blessedness lies in his total freedom from all evil!
Second, his blessedness is his possession of all good. Our Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). That being true, God must be the most blessed, for he receives good from none and gives good to all. God has all good in himself. And he is the Fountain of good to his creatures. All good things come from him. Whatever it is that may be thought necessary to happiness is in God fully and perfectly. There is nothing that can be thought of that is essential to happiness that God does not possess in infinite measure. Is happiness grandeur and dominion? “His kingdom ruleth over all.” He is the most high God, blessed forever! Is happiness wealth and riches? God says, “The gold is mine, and the silver is mine” (Hag. 2:8). He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And all the treasures of the earth and sea are his. Is wisdom happiness? He is the all-wise God. His name is Wisdom. Is strength and power happiness? God is omnipotence. Is happiness found in pleasure? In God’s presence is the fullness of joy. At his right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psa. 16:11). Is happiness fame and renown? God is known in all the earth? All his works praise him. All his saints bless him. All his angels adore him. Everything that breathes or wiggles submits to his rule and honors him. Is knowledge happiness? God knows all things. Nothing can be hidden from him. Is freedom and independence happiness? Then truly God is blessed and happy, for he alone is totally free and independent.
“Add to all this, that his blessedness endures forever. He is God blessed forever, from everlasting to everlasting. Could his happiness cease, or be known that it would, it would detract from it, even for the present. But this can no more cease than his Being” (Gill). God is blessed forever!
GOD IS THE SOURCE AND CAUSE OF ALL BLESSEDNESS. Look up to heaven, and see the happy angels around his throne in their blessed habitation. God created them. He made them the happy creatures they are. And when one third of the heavenly hosts fell into misery, it was God who kept those heavenly creatures in their blessed estate, according to his own sovereign will and pleasure.
Though at any given time or place in this world God’s elect are few in number, they are the blessed ones of the earth. as the people of his choice. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).
All the temporal happiness of men in this world is the work of God (Psa. 68:18-19). All the gifts of happiness in this world are bestowed upon undeserving men and women by the goodness of God through the exalted God-man Mediator, Christ Jesus. We have our being and are preserved in life by the blessed God. All the necessities and comforts of life are but gifts of his goodness. All health, wealth, and increases of family, provision, and property are from God’s bountiful hand. It is God who fills our basket with good things. What brute beasts we must be when we receive so much good from the blessed God, and yet fail to offer thanks and praise to him.
All spiritual blessings have been bestowed upon God’s elect by him (Psa. 68:21). All men are blessed of God in measure in time. But God’s elect are blessed of him without measure, and that from eternity (Eph. 1:3). God our Father bestowed every blessing of grace upon us in the covenant of grace before the world began. And in time, he brings every blessing of grace to us by the working of his mighty power (2 Tim. 1:9-10). What a happy, blessed people we are! Grace has made us so (Rom. 4:6-8; 5:1, 11; 8:32; Deut. 7). God the Father is ours in all the fullness of his Being (Ps. 68:20; 115:3). Christ is ours; and all the blessings of grace and goodness is in him ( Eph. 1:4-13). The Holy Spirit is ours, and all the graces of life by him (Eph. 1:14; Gal. 5:22-23). God has given us his Word and the ordinances of worship, which are the means of our ever increasing blessedness. And hereafter, he will bless us with eternal happiness. What a
blessed hope we have! If all this blessedness comes from God, how blessed God himself must be!
The Lord God himself is our blessedness (Psa. 73:23-26). Our greatest blessedness and happiness is in possessing him and being conformed to him as he is revealed in Christ. The believer’s blessedness is begun in regeneration, when we are created new in the image of Christ, being made partakers of the divine nature. Our blessedness here consists of communion with God, obedience to him, and the growing knowledge of him. And our blessedness will be perfected in that day when we shall awake in his likeness (Psa. 17:15). O happy, happy blessed eternity! The blessedness of the New Jerusalem shall be this - The tabernacle of God shall be with men. The Lord God will dwell with us and we with him in perfect harmony. In eternity we will enjoy everlasting, uninterrupted communion with the Triune God! We will enjoy endless pleasures in the Divine presence! Soon, we shall see God, our Redeemer, face to face. We shall be with him. We shall be like him. We shall know him. This is our blessedness. And it is the gift of the blessed God.
WE OUGHT EVER TO ASCRIBE BLESSEDNESS TO THE LORD OUR GOD. We cannot add anything to God’s blessedness. But we can ascribe blessedness to him. And we ought to do so (Psa. 103:1-3; 104:1; Eph. 1:3). Here are four ways by whichwe can and should bless the Lord our God.
1. Believe Him. Faith is the highest form of praise.
2. Praise Him. To praise God is to congratulate him for his greatness and his blessedness.
3. Give Thanks To Him. To bless God is to give thanks to him for all that he has done and for all that he is.
4. Serve Him. Lip service is a mockery if it is not backed by life service. We bless God best when we live for his glory. Every deed done for God is to bless God. Every sacrifice made for Christ is to bless Christ.