Saturday, August 25

No One Is a Problem to God - A. W. Tozer

There is an overweening attitude throughout society and even among the so called "religious" toward the gospel of Jesus Christ. It would seem that many who claim to believe the "good news" nevertheless stake their hopes to their own goodness and abilities and in so doing deceive themselves while denigrating the magnitude of Jesus' atoning sacrifice. We mustn't take a few terms related to the gospel and think that using them IS the gospel. Words must go together with other words in the proper order if they are to be received as intended by their author. The God who made language knew quite well how to speak so that his words might have the most profound effect upon the hearts of the sin-dulled populace of earth. But even among the enlightened redeemed, distrust may emerge which fails to appreciate the awe-inspiring power of God to save even the most recalcitrant (Rom. 1:16). The following is but one example of how arrogant humankind (converted as well as lost) can distort the truth and so lose sight of God's glory. A. W. Tozer writes:
Let No man imagine that he is a problem to God.
For him to do so is to assume that he is very much greater than he is in fact and to claim for himself powers which he does not in reality possess.
It is a none too subtle form of egotism to picture ourselves as great sinners, letting our imagination mount till we see ourselves strong and dangerous rebels, after the likeness of the Satan of Milton’s Paradise Lost, actually threatening the security of the throne of God. We thus dramatize ourselves to hide our pitiful weakness.
That a man, by his sin, may ruin himself and greatly injure others is true. His sin, when seen in relation to himself and others, is great; but when set over against the boundless power and limitless resources of the Deity, it is as nothing at all.
Our theology is too much colored by our secret self-admiration. We picture God as draining the riches of heaven and consuming the last ounce of His strength to save us. This gives us a highly enjoyable feeling that we are capable of mighty world-shaking deeds so terrible that even God respects our power to do evil. The lurid overcoloring of pulpit rhetoric has worked to destroy the truth of God’s sovereignty and to greatly overstate man’s prowess as a sinning rebel.
A man may sin to the limit of his ability and still be no great problem to the Deity. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).
God is infinite and man is finite, which is to say that every man’s sin, however terrific it may seem to him, must have a limit, while God’s grace can have none. Always God must be out ahead, or He would not be God.
Let us put our pride under our feet and admit frankly that our sins are not big nor mighty nor noble. For my own part I will admit that my own sins have related me more nearly to the roach than to the rampant lion. There is nothing romantic about sin. It is a sordid and shameful thing practiced by moral cads so weak that they take advantage of God’s kindness to defy Him and so cowardly that they run whining to Him for help when trouble comes.
Tozer, A. W., & Snyder, J. L. (1997). The Early Tozer : A Word in Season : Selected Articles and Quotations (55–56). Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread.

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