Only Wondrous Things
“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” (Psalms 72:18)
The One of whom the psalmists speaks is our Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who is “the Lord God.” He declares, “I am the Lord, and there is none else.”All who know him in the sweet experience of his grace delight to ascribe all blessedness to him.
He is distinctly “the Lord God of Israel,” the God of his chosen, covenant people, the people chosen in his everlasting love, redeemed by his sin-atoning blood and saved by his omnipotent grace, the Israel of God, his covenant people.
He who is God our Savior is the only one of whom it can be said, “who only doeth wondrous things.” All the works of our great God in creation, providence, redemption and grace are wondrous things, wonders that cannot be explained by human reason, wondrous things to be beheld, believed, rejoiced in and declared; but never explained. Every attempt of men to explain these wondrous things performed by our great God and Savior diminishes the wondrous work itself and diminishes the great glory of God in performing the wonder.
Creation is a wonder that no one can either comprehend or explain. The Scriptures make no attempt to prove it, or to explain it. Rather, in the Book of God, creation is simply revealed and admired. Everything I have read in which men have attempted to explain how the work was performed has been more confusing than enlightening. Nothing begins to show the wonder of the work like the plain statements of Inspiration, — “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. — All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.”
Many volumes of books have been written in which men have attempted to explain the mystery of God’s providence, good books. Countless sermons have been preached on the subject. Much more can and should be written and preached. Yet, the best that has been written and preached really makes no attempt to explain the mystery, but only to illustrate it and apply it to the lives of God’s people, for their comfort and edification. When we start trying to explain the wondrous mystery of divine providence, we only darken counsel by words without knowledge. No improvement can be made upon the revelation God has given. — “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. — For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
Theologians have tried to explain the mystery of the incarnation throughout church history. In 431 the Council of Ephesus was called to settle the disputes of various theologians over the union of the divine and human nature of Christ. In the end, they came up with the term “Hypostatic Union.” To this day, theologians use that term to “explain” the wondrous work of God, as stated in these simple, wondrous words: — “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. — God was manifest in the flesh.” “Hypostatic Union,” it seems to me, falls short of the mystery of God in our flesh!
When the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cursed tree and made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, God the Holy Spirit chose these profoundly simple words to describe the wondrous work of our God: — “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Those are the words by which God the Holy Spirit reveals the most wondrous and glorious work of our God our Savior.
Yet, there are some who imagine that those words dishonor him whom God has honored by them. Rather than admire and rejoice in the revelation of God’s matchless, free grace in the sacrifice of his darling Son as the sinner’s Substitute, they attempt to explain how Christ was made sin, without being made sin. — Rather than adoring and worshipping Christ as a real Substitute, who was made sin that he might make real sinners the very righteousness of God, they tell us that Christ was not really made sin, and that he does not really make his people righteous. How sad! Here is the wondrous work of our God, stated as clearly and as wondrously as it can be stated: — “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. — Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.”
In the new birth the Word of God tells us plainly that the regenerate person is “a new creature, — partaker of the divine nature, — a new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” This is truly a wonder of grace, a mystery that cannot be explained in human terms, by human reason. But that does not mean that we cannot believe it, rejoice in it and declare it.
Here’s the blessedness of all this: — If you believe on the Son of God, God created, rules and disposes of the universe for you. If you trust Christ, he came into this world in human flesh to lay down his life for you. If you believe on the Lord Jesus, he was made sin for you and died under the unmitigated fury of God’s holy wrath for you, that you might be made the very righteousness of God in him. If you trust God my Savior, “who only doeth wondrous things,” it is because he has performed the wondrous work of his grace in you, making you a “partaker of the divine nature,” a new creature, born again in righteousness and true holiness.
How often we hear, “That is the way God sees things.” Be sure you understand this: — The way God sees things is the way they really are.
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