THEISM

The Greatest Person in the World

When you think of great people in the world, you may think about Old Testament personalities such as Abraham, Moses, and David. You might think about apostles, philosophers, conquerors, or literary giants. You might think in various categories about many great persons.

Whatever great personalities you may consider, in whatever categories, you must surely know that the greatest person in the world is God. According to the Bible, God is great in what he has done, in what he is doing, and in his promises about what he will do.

Notice what God has done. God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. God created a moral universe wherein people are expected to obey his commandments. When people disobey, God judges them, like he did Adam and Eve. When God judged the world because of its wickedness, he had Noah to build an ark to save the human race. God confounded human language and scattered humanity over the face of the earth.

God called Abram from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to a land he did not know. God caused the sons of Jacob to migrate to Egypt. God called Moses from the burning bush and commanded him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God dried up the Red Sea and led Israel across on dry ground. God gave them manna in the wilderness for forty years. God gave the Law and priesthood at Mt. Sinai. After God brought the Israelites across a raging Jordan River, he enabled the Israelites to conquer the Canaanite nations.

God raised up judges to rule over the Israelites. When the Israelites wanted a king, God first gave them Saul, then later gave them David. God promised that through King David the Messiah would come. When Godís people went astray, he sent prophets among them calling them back to himself. When the people became rebellious, he sent other nations to conquer them and bring them into captivity. God preserved his people in their captivity and brought them back to the land of Judah.

Before the world was created, God planned for the salvation of humanity (Ephesians 1:4). God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Messiah. When the time was right, God sent his only begotten son to be born to a virgin. Through Jesus, Godís messages of eternal salvation and of his kingdom were proclaimed on earth. God gave his son to die on a cross that the sins of believers might be forgiven. God raised Jesus from the dead. God brought the church into existence through the preaching of his word. God endowed apostles with power to perform miracles to confirm the word. God granted to sinful humanity the right to repent (Acts 5:31; Acts 11:18). God has appointed a day for judgment (Acts 17:31). God has done all these things and more. What God has done indicates his greatness.

Notice what God is doing. God continues an activity among humanity. God rules over the nations (Daniel 5:21; Romans 13:1). Godís activity is characterized as faithful, holy, loving. merciful, truthful, all-powerful, all wise, etc. God is active in that he now sustains what he previously created. God gives life abundantly. Godís grace is extended to sinners. God forgives. Through Christ, God gives all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Through the Holy Spirit, God sanctifies his people. God makes plain to people what can be known of him (Romans 1:19). When people sin, God gives them up (Romans 1:24, 26). God sends a strong delusion upon unbelievers that they may believe a lie and be condemned (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). God does not want any to perish. God wants everyone to repent.

God is a father to his people. Through the gospel, God brings people into his family. Through Christ, Godís people are adopted as Godís children. Christ is considered the elder brother. God loves his children. Through his commands, God gives guidance. God does not allow his children to be tempted above what they are able to bear. God gives his children a spirit of power and love and sober-mindedness (2 Timothy 1:7). Like a loving father, God chastises his children.

God is angry with sinners. God is not mocked, he causes people to reap what they have sown. Godís word is not bound, it is active in accomplishing his purposes. God hears and answers prayers. God makes his church grow. God guarantees our salvation. God equips his people with armor to withstand Satan. God works in his people. God does all these things and more. What God is now doing indicates his greatness.

Notice what God promises that he will do. Godís greatness can be observed not only in what he has done and in what he is now doing, but also in recognition of what he has promised he will do. God will destroy this earth with fire (2 Peter 3:10-12). God will raise the dead. God will judge the world through Christ. God will save the righteous and grant them eternal life in heaven. God will condemn the wicked and send them to hell. God will also send Satan and his angels to hell. God will receive the kingdom back from Christ. Because God is able to fulfill his promises, his promises of what he will do indicate his greatness.

How do you feel when you stand in the presence of a great person? Many stand speechless in the presence of some great person. Some have come into the presence of a physical manifestation of God. When Isaiah saw the Lord in the temple, he said, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). After God had appeared to Job in a whirlwind, Job said, ". . . I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:2-6). In scripture, when sinners are brought to justice they are characterized as saying to the mountains, "Cover us!" And to the hills, "Fall on us!" (Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30; Revelation 6:16). People often come before kings with fear and trembling, but Godís children can come before his throne with boldness (Acts 4:31, Ephesians 3:12).

What does it mean to be in the presence of this great God? When Isaiah saw the Lord, one of the seraphim cleansed him. Then the voice of the Lord asked, "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Isaiah responded, "Here am I! Send me" (Isaiah 6:6-8). To be in the presence of the greatest person in the world is to be in his service. Godís people are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). "We are God's fellow workers" (1 Corinthians 3:9).

To be in the presence of the greatest person in the world requires that his servants stand before him in holiness. As one must be properly clothed when in the presence of some great official, so one must also be properly clothed in the presence of God, just as those who attend a wedding must wear appropriate apparel (Matthew 22:11-13). Those who stand before God must be clothed in righteousness. Godís grace of salvation teaches us that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:11-14). "Therefore, . . . put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection." (Colossians 3:12-14).

To be in the presence of the greatest person in the world evokes worship toward him similar to that of the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders who said, "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created" (Revelation 4:6-11).

Is it not a great privilege and a great joy to be in the presence of the greatest person in the world, to be in his service, and to worship him?

© Copyright, January 2003 by Robert L. Waggoner. Permission is given to copy this document for non-profit distribution if reproduced in full without additions or deletions. Why not also distribute this material to others? For additional information regarding biblical theism, go to www.biblicaltheism.com