Charles Stanley - The Greatness of God
When you think of God, what comes to your mind? Is it a person, person with a body, a force, some kind of power? Maybe some kind of ethereal kind of energy, or maybe you just draw a blank. You don't have any idea what God is like. I think most people's idea of God is the kind of person somewhere sitting out yonder in space who is controlling some things or maybe most things but certainly not all things. People have all kinds of ideas about what God is like. But probably most people have an idea about God that best suits them. Somebody who overlooks sin, someone who wants to do the best for them, at least most of the time. Someone who is around part of the time. Someone who is more like an old grandfather, or maybe an emergency cord that you can pull in time of need. But what's He really like? And if you had to describe not just what your God does, but what is the being of your God like, what would you say? How would you describe God?
Now don't tell me what He does but how would you describe His being? Who is and what is this God? Well, one thing for certain all the way through the scriptures it's very clear. God's opinion of Himself, God's revelation of Himself and what He wants you and me to know about Him. I would not even begin to be so prideful as to tell you that I'm gonna tell you what God is like. Because I don't believe there's anybody on the face of this earth who can do that adequately.
I don't believe there are any words to convey adequately who God is and what He's like in the light of the way I would like to know all that, there is to know about Him. But one thing for certain, if you're gonna get a proper accurate view of God, you'll have to open this book and find out what it says about God because this is God's revelation. This is God's unveiling of His character, of His being, of His attributes. His attributes are those characteristics of God, those things that describe who He is in His being and what He is able and capable of doing and what He does. And so, when you look in the scriptures you'll find throughout the Bible that when we think in terms of God's greatness, the Bible speaks of the majesty of God, the greatness of God, His great majesty.
Now when you talk of somebody's majesty what you're doing is you, you are speaking and referring to their greatness. And you are certainly acknowledging reverently in a way, concerning them. For example, like the people in England would say, Her Majesty the Queen. When you turn to the Word of God, everywhere you find majesty, you're gonna find a relationship to God, you're gonna find a reference to Him because God is a great God and that's what majesty really means. It means greatness. And I want you to turn for example just for one verse or two there in Psalm ninety-three He says, "The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; God is clothed with greatness".
And then if you'll slip all the way over to Second Peter, for example, chapter one. And here is a reference to what Peter was more than likely referring to when He and James and John met the Lord Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. And the Lord Jesus was just transformed right in front of them with Moses and Elijah. And he says in verse sixteen of this first chapter of Second Peter, "For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. We witnessed His greatness as He spoke with Moses and Elijah".
Then go back two or three books here to Hebrews chapter one for a moment and notice how the writer of Hebrews begins this entire book, because it is all about Jesus and His atoning death at Calvary. Listen to how He begins, speaking of revelation, he says, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, referring to the Father and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He that is Jesus had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high".
Jesus recognized the majesty of the Father. All through the Old Testament, the New Testament when we recognize who God is we certainly say He is majestic. Indeed, God is a great God. And we sing "Majesty". We sing of His majesty. And we refer to His Majesty, the Lord Jesus Christ; His Majesty, God the Father. We think of His Majesty being His greatness. So, when you think about God, and somebody says to you, Well tell me, tell me about your God, what would you say? If you could not give them just simply verses of scripture, or if you could not say to them, Here's what God does. No, that's not the question. The question is not what does He do, but who, what is He like? Who is this God? I wonder how you would answer that.
And I want you to be able to be sure that you can define to someone. To the best of my knowledge, here is the God whom I serve. And if you let them tell you who their God is in comparison to who your God is, you're gonna want to pray for them because they'll want to know Christ as their Savior sooner or later once they understand they have no earthly idea concerning the God of the Bible. That's the God I'm gonna have to face in the judgment. This is the God who is our creator. This is the God with whom we live every day. This is the God to whom we have to give an account for our life. Who is this God? Well, I want you to turn if you will to Isaiah chapter forty. And what I'd like to do is to take just a portion of this chapter to give you an idea of His greatness.
And I want us to look at several verses and love to take this entire chapter but we'd be here till dinnertime tonight on this chapter. This is an absolutely fantastic chapter and I want you to notice just several verses in this fortieth chapter, because here's what he says. Isaiah's saying, God is greater than. This is this majestic God whom you and I serve. First of all, He's listen, he's greater than His own creation. Look what he says, verse twelve, "Who has who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or who is His counselor or who has informed Him"?
God is greater than the creation. He's greater than everything He's created. He says, listen, He says, Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand? Think about all the oceans, all the seas, all the lakes, all the streams, all the rivers, who's put them in His hand. He says not only is He greater than the creation, but He is greater than the nations. Verse fifteen, "Behold, look he says the nations of the world are like a drop of water from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales". How heavy is a speck of dust on the scales? It does not even move the scale.
God, listen, God is not impressed by our worlds, our nations. He says they're like a drop of a bucket in His might and power and His greatness. Look if you will in verse eighteen. All the idols that people worship. "To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, a goldsmith plates it with gold, and a silversmith fashions chains of silver. He who is too impoverished for such an offering selects a tree that does not rot; he seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman to prepare an idol that will not totter". An idol that is lifeless? An idol that cannot speak, an idol that cannot hear, cannot smell, cannot see, cannot answer your prayers, cannot empower you, cannot go with you. An idol that is absolutely worthless. He says, God is above and beyond all our idols.
Then if you'll notice he says He's above, listen, He is above and beyond all of this world. Verse twenty-two: "It is He who sits above the vault or the circle of the earth, its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in". Verse twenty-three, He's greater than the greatest of all men, "He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, who makes the judges of the earth meaningless". He is greater than all the heavens, all the galaxies, all the constellations, everything He's created in the heavens. Look if you will in verse twenty-six: "Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing". Not a one.
Then I want you to read a passage because I just want you to remember this for your own good. Look if you will. If you'll notice in verse twenty-eight: "Do you not know"? and "Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the creator of the ends of the earth He does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, to him who lacks might He increases power. Though the youths shall grow weary and tired, vigorous young men shall stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary". That is the great God whom you and I serve.
Now, He gives us a very clear warning in the scripture. I want you to go back to this twentieth chapter of Exodus, now. He is the person of the God, He is the person of the Godhead. Listen to what He says now. I'm gonna read these verses again for a very specific reason and then I want you to show you why, listen, I want to show you why idolatry is so heinous in the eyes of God. Why it's such blasphemy in the eyes of God. Why it is so horrible in the eyes of God. Listen to what He says. Verse one now, back to chapter twenty. "Then God spoke all these words saying, 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.'"
Now listen to this next verse. "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth". What is He saying? He says, You're not to, you're not to make any, you're not to take anything that is in existence and make a god out of it. Now, why? Why does that bring God such grief? Here's the reason: Because of who He is. Listen, He is, He is the majestic great awesome God of this universe. Above and beyond every single thing that there is. Holy above all things that are holy. Wiser, more omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all the characteristics, all the attributes of God. No human tongue can spell them all, no mind can conceive of them all.
And here He is the awesome God. And here's what idolaters do. They create something, four-footed living beast. Something that crawls, something that creeps, something that flies. And they bow down to worship that. Here's what they've done. They have taken this awesome God, listen, this eternal everlasting God and they have brought Him down out of His majesty and greatness and holiness and power and they have confined Him to an oxen or a calf. And they, in the Old Testament, made a golden calf so that they could worship this calf. What have they done? They have absolutely insulted God. They've made the God of the universe look like a calf. They've made the God of the universe look like an eagle or a reptile, or something that is creeping, sleething along in the earth. That is absolutely totally dishonoring to God. God hates idolatry.
Anything, listen, anything that takes preeminence in our life. Anything that controls us, anything that we bow down to, anything that we submit ourselves to above Almighty God. He says you're to worship Me and worship Me only. So, when you ask a friend, Well, tell me about your god. See if they say anything in the world about the fact that He is Spirit. See if they tell you anything in the world about the fact that He, because He's Spirit, that means He can be infinite. God is absolutely infinite. Take any one of His attributes. Justice, righteousness, judgment, love, kindness, whatever it is, here's what you'll find. In every single attribute, He is infinite in that area.
Think about this. God's love is infinite, immeasurable, indescribable. But listen, wonderful enough to know that when you and I are loved by Him, when you and I are loved by Him, there is this awesome sense of wonderful joy and peace and contentment and happiness knowing that the God of this universe has condescended to love people like you and me. Infinite in, listen, infinite in His righteousness. How right is God? In the absolute infinity of what right can be like. How merciful is God? More merciful than the whole human race could possibly be. So He's infinite. That means time and space cannot contain Him. As we said, being Spirit, being infinite, you can't say He's over yonder, back here, and over there. That He is everything that He is in His absolute total possibility. And only God knows how infinite He is.
So, if you and I for example, we say, Well, how much do you love somebody? We had a line on a sheet of paper, we'd say, Well, that far. But now I love them this much further and this much further. If you drew a line to explain the infinity of the love of God, listen, you couldn't see the end in either direction. Nor, listen, nor would there be an end in either direction because it is infinitude, indescribable, and immeasurable. The God of this universe. That's why He talked about the nations being like a drop of water in a bucket. Like one's, one speck of dust on the scales. What is He saying? How much does one speck of dust on the scales weigh? Doesn't weigh. How much do all the nations of the world and, listen, all of our power and our might and our nuclear energy and all of our arms and all the things we think about. We know what we're gonna do. We're gonna do this, that and the other. And God says, "Whew. That's the end of that". In fact, He doesn't even have to blow on it. All He has to do is think it, and it's absolutely annihilated.
When I think about lost people, and I'm not being critical, my friend, when I think about people who do not know God, talking about, Well, here's what I'm gonna do. When I get before the God of judgment, here's what I'm gonna tell Him. You're not gonna tell Him anything, absolutely nothing are you gonna tell Him. Remember who He is. He is the God of this universe who controls every single drop of water, every law, every principle. He is in absolute control of every single thing. There's not anything that's out of His control. He is infinite. Where is He? Go back to Psalm one thirty-nine for a moment. Psalm one thirty-nine and look at this wonderful passage of scripture.
Now if you're living in sin it's not a very good passage but it's a great passage if you're not. Look at this. The psalmist says in verse seven, Psalm one thirty-nine: "Where can I go from Thy Spirit"? He didn't say, Where can I go from Your body? He said, Where can I go from Your Spirit? Listen to this, "Where can I flee"? "Where can I flee from Thy presence"? Why do you want to get away from God? "If I ascend to heaven, you're there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,' Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to Thee".
Where are you gonna get away from God? I don't know about you but I'm glad, I'm grateful that He's a person with whom I can talk. And He is Spirit. That is, I can't get away, listen, even though sometimes I may have wanted to get away from Him, thank God I couldn't. Thank God you couldn't. The last thing you want to do is to be able to get away from God. You cannot. It doesn't make any difference what you do, where you go, how much you cover it up, He says the darkness and the sunshine are just the same with Him. He sees through it all, there is no escape from God who is this wondrous, great, mighty, awesome being person, who is Spirit, who is infinity.
And so what did He say to His disciples? He said, "As you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, He says, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them", He said, "to observe all the things that I've commanded you". And He says, "Lo, I'm with you all the way, even to the end of this age". Well how could He be with the Apostle Paul and Peter and James and John and other pastors and myself and you and everybody else? How can He be with us? Because He is a person and He is a spirit and He's unlimited by anything. That means that, listen, when every single one of us go home today and let's say that all of us got on our knees at the same time to pray tonight. Let's say at eleven o'clock tonight we're all in prayer.
Well, is God in your bedroom or your den? Yes, He is. In mine? Yes. Because you see He's Spirit. He cannot be contained by man. He is so awesome He can't even be contained in the mind of man, in the verbiage of man, in the presence of man, in the body of man. Absolutely totally infinity. He is unlimited in every aspect.
Now think about this. When I think about who He is, I can tell you personally this morning, when I got on my knees this morning before I came and I was just thinking over this message, I found myself weeping and weeping and weeping and weeping and weeping. Why? Just one reason. When I think about how great He is, and that He would save me as a twelve-year-old kid. And He wouldn't let me waste and wreck and ruin my life, and that He's answered thousands of prayers and been good and kind and gracious and loving and forgiving over and over and over again. Who makes His presence known, speaks to my heart, and lets me talk to Him and assures me He's heard me, and that He loves me unconditionally. How could I ever, how could I ever choose not to worship Him and praise Him and love Him and obey Him to the best of my God-given ability. How could I do otherwise? How could you do otherwise?
That's just a little glimpse of who God is. And I want to ask you my friend, if you've never trusted Jesus as your Savior, what do you have? You don't have anything. And He said, "He that comes to the Father must come by Me. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but my Me". If you're willing to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin, He will wipe your slate clean. He wipes of the blood of the Lamb, the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ who died at Calvary. He will change your life, listen. He won't change, but I guarantee you He will change your eternal destiny in a split second, faster than you can bat your eye. That's the offer of God, and if you're wise you'll take the offer.