wimpy god?

How wimpy is your god?

Does he need your decision for him in order to act?

Does he need to have this guy touch that guy, and that guy touch this guy,  and this guy touch you… in order that you be saved?

Does he need to have perfect documents written by entranced individuals acting as automotons putting down everything  ‘just so’ with no possibility of error or human interaction, in order for him to act?

Does he need you ‘to do anything’ , anything at all…in order for him to act on your behalf?

If so…you have a wimpy god.

If God is actually free to act on His own without being hampered by any conditions , or prerequisites…then you have a real God.

God is free. He needs nothing in order to speak things into and out of existence. He needs nothing from us sinful creatures that do not desire Him in the first place.

He has told us who He is, what and who we are, what He expects from us, and what He has done for us…in the Bible.   We either trust that Word…or not.  If we trust it, it is because He has made us trust it (given us faith).  If we don’t, it is beacuse we are still dead in our sins and trespasses.

We don’t need to trust in our “free will”, and we don’t need to trust in perfect holy people, and we don’t need to trust in a perfect book.

We need to trust in a Perfect God who has given us His Perfect Son expressed in His Perfect Word (which includes preaching and teaching and sacraments).

When you believe this, you no longer have a wimpy god.

Is your god a mendicant at your door pleading with you to make a decision for him?  Pleading with you to believe in a book?  Pleading with you to be more obedient? Pleading with you to believe in a pope?

Or is your God the God of the Bible, who acts freely, in His Word, to save sinners who need only what He can give?

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26 Responses

  1. My God is an awesome God. I am to fear and love Him above all else. Or else.

  2. God does not *need* me to do anything in order for him to act on my behalf or on anyone else’s.

    He does invite us to participate in his work, by sharing the gospel, helping our neighbors, or praying for each other, and I think he enjoys hearing us sing his praises and seeing us take care of each other, as long as we are doing in the right spirit and not to curry his favor. But does he need us to do any of it? Nope.

  3. I believe it is a blessing to be apart of of God’s great and awesome work.

    It is true that He needs no one.

    Though, I believe He desires for His children to proclaim and praise His glorious, and majestic name through out this hurt world.

    He desires our love

    He desires our lives

    He desires this world!

    ‘ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations ‘, that is what it is all about , preaching the Gospel of hope, peace, truth and love!

  4. Last evaluation …it turned out I’m the wimp! When I am weak…He is strong…When I’m strong… it’s because He gave me the strength to stand…When I praise Him…it’s because He put a song in my heart! In Him I live and move and have my being…He is the vine I’m just a branch…without Him…I can do nothing…

  5. Jim,

    Oe else what?

  6. Many evangelical preachers teach people that God is standing at their heart door ,(with no handle on the outside), just waiting for them to open the door. First of all….that verse in Revelation is talking about the door of the Church. If Christ wants to knock that door down……He will!

  7. “If Christ wants to knock that door down……He will!”

    Amen, Ike!

  8. “…He is the vine I’m just a branch…without Him…I can do nothing…”

    Right on, Nancy! Amen!

  9. Jules,

    He indeed does desire those things (if we are to believe the Bible).

    He wants them so much that He makes them happen…in spite of our best efforts!

  10. Teresa,

    “…as long as we are doing in the right spirit and not to curry his favor. But does he need us to do any of it? Nope.”

    Right! The Christian life of ‘doing’ ought be lived outward, and not upward.

    And although God wants us to participate in His kingdom, the place won’t fall apart if we are derelict.
    Truth be told…we are all derelict to some extent or another.

  11. “He wants them so much that he makes them happen…in spite of our best efforts!”

    Amen Steve!

  12. The issue of God WANTING (not NEEDING) us to participate in His kingdom work through such things as prayer raises some interesting questions. For example: is God’s good purpose in peoples’ lives defeated to a degree because of lack of prayer?

    The end of James 4:2 in comparison with Matthew 7:7-8 seems to point in that direction. This is not a question of wimpiness then but a deliberate self-restraint on God’s part.

    I’m not saying that it all depends now on us in the end to what degree God can and will work or not, He always remains sovereign and can break through even the greatest opposition and rebelliousness of men. And He also uses even our evil actions to accomplish His ultimate purposes. But I think we also need to take into account those scriptures that talk about Him giving us a certain leeway that provide a variety of outcomes depending on our reaction.

    I wouldn’t call this kind of leeway “free will” but nevertheless a responsibility given to us to use the means God has given to us based on our dependence on Him.

  13. “He desires our love

    He desires our lives

    He desires this world”

    The question is – why
    What is it that is being produced, especially in a realm so tainted by evil – why does God (who indeed is free) use such a theater?

    The answer must lye in what He truly is seeking – what He desires to convey about Himself. It is no mistake that at the heart of that revelation is the wonder and mystery of redemption – that all things are working towards one key purpose: an order in which all things are underpinned by the tangible ‘weight’ of His redemptive love, making all the pain and suffering significant – related to that eternally profound and glorious revelation. It means, finally, that the mystery of those harder, darker aspects of life will finally show something deep and precious, for God often used such to knit together the most astonishing aspects of His will.

    The marvel of the union and fellowship of Father, Son and Spirit – the amazing glory of the fellowship between them – will one day permeate the heavens and earth, made anew by the ‘solidity’ of the conveying of that love in every fiber of all that He has made. That is, I think, the hope that is coming.

  14. Amen Howard!

    Faultless Hope in a flawless God!

  15. “Faultless Hope in a flawless God!”

    I’m so glad God never says “Oops!”

  16. Steve,

    Precisely, or else what? Luther said that “fear of punishment or hope of reward” is at the end of the day NOT true conversion nor Christian. What is, Luther laid the foundation of conversion in the “for you/me”.

    L

  17. Josh,

    Prayer is more about God teaching us that He is God and we are not. For example in the Lord’s Prayer God gives daily bread to all whether we ask or not, but the point of the prayer is to show us the first Commandment, not that He needs our request first (paganism). Same thing in James. You/we do not receive because we do not ask God as God, pure and simple as creatures. We are our own problem. You do not receive because you do not ask doesn’t mean God doesn’t answer without our asking but that we “put the blinders on ourselves” as is where. Kind of as CS Lewis describing Hell as a place in which the door is locked from the inside first. Or better the elder brother in the parable of the prodigle son…you don’t want to party the glorious reality, well then I guess to hell with you. That is to say, “Welcome to the hell you want anyway.

    L

  18. Sometimes, if I want to make a person think about it for a minute, I’ll ask them if when they made their “decision for Jesus” if they were sure they were absolutely sincere about that decision…or if they just trying to keep themselves out of hell.

  19. Nancy,

    God might have said “Oops!” when He made me.

  20. My God is Master of Salvation. He choses His own. He calls out people, based on His mercy not our worth, a group of people by His pleasure and purpose. I did not chose my God , He chose me.
    My heart was as hard as a rock, wicked and evil, full of deception, yet for His purposes He gave me a new heart of flesh, and the very Mind of Christ. I was powerless to resist, as all resistance fled at the touch of the Holy Spirit.
    I became a Christian at the back of a 67 chevy on a beautiful day in Dec. of 1978. I had no desire for Christ, I did not believe in God, I had not been to a church in over 5 years. I was a sinner and Good at it. He touched me and became my Master. My Master had a fool for a servant for years, but with His rod, and His love and His Spirit, He has molded me into an image, a poor one, but an image or shadow, of His Son, Jesus, the Risen Savior. It has not been easy and is not now, but I most value pleasing my Master, I seek to avoid sin with His guidance, and when I fail, and I do, He is quick and strong to forgive.
    My God is mighty, strong to save, needing no help nor cooperation to do His will.

  21. So…TOA, you actually believe God made you and He didn’t just look down and say…”Awwe, Man…they made another one! Now what do we do?”

  22. Luke 13:24 “Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

  23. Calvinist and Baptist A.W. Pink once rightly identified that the broad road leading to hell has two sides, a dirty side and a clean side, and that MOST follow along the “clean side” of the broad road that leads to hell.

    That narrow door would be John 14, “I am the way, the truth and the life” as Luther reads the clear words of Christ and notes that Christ did NOT say “I SHOW you the way, the truth and the life”, but that He IS the way, truth and life Himself. Also Christ said explicitly, “I am the door”.

    This Christ for you is the narrow door that all theologies of glory in or outside of that that names the name Christian deny in some form or another. The Cross is laid upon one thus, unconditional justification, he who does not take up this Cross but cries with the first thief, “If you are indeed the son of God get us down off of these crosses, cannot be saved because he/she does not fear God at all (the second thief’s rebuke to the first thief).

  24. the finite cannot grasp the infinite eh?

    not to cause a fuss but to be honest i think christianity is schizophrenic sometimes. to step back and take a serious view of the beliefs many christians have is to realize that we have a dissociative deity who changed somewhere in the 400 years between his first and second book.

    and depending on who you ask the preference may favor one or the other. some chasing after the stomping mad version of the ot while others dig the love guru of the nt.

    so i wonder – what if god is really both? what if hes an angry wrathful vengeful jealous god who is love and killed himself to make himself happy?

    no sacrilege – just pondering aloud..

  25. GC,

    God is God throughout the OT and NT. Theologies of glory simply cannot see Him while He is revealed in the Cross (theology of Cross). Isa. 45 I believe shows this when the prophet says, “truly you are a God Who hides Himself, oh salvation of Israel”, just after they are defeated.

    In a nut shell God both hides himself to prevent us theologians of glory, man’s natural fallen religion to see God in naked majesty, our ascent trying to storm heaven (e.g. the fall, tower of Babylon, most worship now days, etc…) or find God in places where he hides himself in wrath. He hides himself so that we WON’T find Him anywhere His Word has not been given, so as to be found where His Word is FOR US savingly (Christ crucified in Word, water, bread and wine). Theologies of glory always seek God in some other way, works, changed life, emotional experience, nature, election/predestination outside of Christ, “sanctification”, “holiness of life”, good blessings or the reverse cursing as signs of martyrdom, ect… But in these God cannot be found except in wrath for here, in these, the Word IS NOT – God is there in naked awful majesty but in abandonment and wrath. One cannot be reconciled to God through these or in no way no so.

    However, He is savingly where He promised He’d be in the incarnate Word, in the waters of baptism which are a baptism due to the name and Word of God in it (e.g. baptized in the name of…God the Son = Jesus = Yaweh SAVES = Emmanuel = God is WITH US = Hosanna = SAVE US NOW, etc…) Here you have the name, Word and promise of God FOR YOU. The same with bread/body and wine/blood, here you are handed salvation itself. In these Words of God for salvation TO YOU despite ALL evil about and within you you HAVE God savingly, that is YOU HAVE HIS WORD. So that it doesn’t matter one damn bit what is going on all around you good or bad, within you good or bad, about you good or bad, to the church, world or otherwise good or bad, works, changed life good or bad, emotional experience good or bad, nature good or bad, election/predestination outside of Christ good or bad, “sanctification” good or bad, “holiness of life good or bad, ”feelings good or bad, etc good or bad – you have His Word in Word, water, bread and wine and that’s EVERYTHING to cling to even sans EVERYTHING else.

    Now ToG dissuade us from this Word, especially in the sacraments, but that’s a good thing for when God gives you His Word and the devil says in essence, “hath God really said…”, well he’s attacking for a reason just like in the beginning, you have God’s word and this is how he tempts us away from His word. And it will come from even those with “good intentions”.

    Thus, God hides Himself to NOT be found where His Word is NOT and TO be found where it is. But like the Cross, where God IS, it will not look like much, just a pastor preaching/servicing the Word, and water, bread and wine…no fire works…no mountains trembling, no great miracles as man desires them – just the signs He gave us that appear rather mundane, APPEAR that is. One day this will change and the glory they’ve been proclaiming, Word, baptism, Lord’s Supper will reveal itself in a glory the creation has never seen before. But for now, nothing to see here to the eyes of fallen men, theologies of Glory…just like Christ on the Cross doesn’t look like God but an impotent, helpless man being crucified, no angels to aid Him – so to His sacraments don’t look like much and so many disdain and think them a thing of indifference (which is in fact to disdain them worse, neither hot nor cold). But to the eyes of the theologian of the Cross it is the very power of God Himself, for HERE is His Word and Name for us.

    Yours,

    Larry

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