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“I think I may say, without offence to God or man, that one reason why God made the world was that He might manifest Himself, not only by, but to the works which He made.”

~ John Bunyan, Works, 1:117

God is the first and best of beings.  And being the first and best means that His people not only proclaim to others how great our God is, but they themselves see, taste and experience His greatness.  God created so that we would bear His image AND encounter Him for His glory.

“And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of . . . Self righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace.”

Who do you think said that?  Sounds like many contemporary pastors and authors, but you may be surprised! It was John Newton writing a letter in the late 1700s… some things never change and some letters are always relevant.

[Excerpt from John Newton, “On Controversy,”The Works of John Newton, Vol. 1, p. 272]

“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…” (Psalm 97:1)

“The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble…” (Psalm 99:1)

The Lord is King of all creation.  Holiness is His character and righteousness defines His acts.  His people will both rejoice and tremble at His sovereignty and holiness.  It is not one or the other!  Joy and fear are constant companions in the lives of His saints.

“Oh! Rejoice in the richness of our salvation! When the Lord pardoned our sins, he did not pardon half of them, and leave some of them on the book— but with one stroke of the pen he gave a full receipt for all our debts.

When we went down into the fountain filled with blood, and washed, we did not come up half-clean, but there was no spot nor wrinkle upon us—we were white as snow.”

~ Charles Spurgeon, “The Joy of Salvation”