Brothers we are not professionals - Part 3

Why is it important to be stunned by the God-centeredness of

God? Because many people are willing to be God-centered as long

as they feel that God is man-centered. It is a subtle danger. We may

think we are centering our lives on God when we are really making

Him a means to self-esteem. Over against this danger I urge you to

ponder the implications, brothers, that God loves His glory more than

He loves us and that this is the foundation of His love for us.

“Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what

account is he?” (Isa. 2:22). “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of

man, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps. 146:3). “Cursed is the man

JOHN PIPER 7

who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength” (Jer. 17:5). “Behold,

the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the

dust on the scales. . . . All the nations are as nothing before him,

they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isa.

40:15, 17).

God’s ultimate commitment is to Himself and not to us. And

therein lies our security. God loves His glory above all. “For my

name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for

you, that I may not cut you off. . . . For my own sake, for my own

sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will

not give to another” (Isa. 48: 9, 11).

God performs salvation for His own sake. He justifies the people

called by His name in order that He may be glorified.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel [and to all the churches],

Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that

I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have

profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate

the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the

nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations

will know that I am the Lord. . . . It is not for your sake that I will

act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and

confounded for your ways, O house of Israel’” (Ezek. 36:22–23, 32).

This is no isolated note in the symphony of redemptive history.

It is the ever-recurring motif of the all-sufficient Composer. Why did

God predestine us in love to be His sons? That the glory of His grace

might be praised (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14). Why did God create a people for Himself? “I created [them] for my glory” (Isa. 43:7). Why did He

make from one lump vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor? That

He might show His wrath and make known His power and reveal the

riches of His glory for the vessels of mercy (Rom. 9:22–23). Why did

God raise up Pharaoh and harden his heart and deliver Israel with

a mighty arm? That His wonders might be multiplied over Pharaoh

(Exod. 14:4) and that His name might be declared in all the earth

(Exod. 9:16).