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God’s Eternity by Charnock

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.    Ps. 90:2

The word eternity is easily pronounced but hardly understood. This is due in part to man’s frailty of nature, as a creature bound to time. Eternity, being in conflict with time, is an attribute of God that largely exceeds man’s mind. Eternity is perpetual duration having neither beginning nor end; time has both. Eternity and time differ in much the same way as the sea and rivers: the sea never changes place and is always one water, but the rivers glide along and are swallowed up by the sea. Such is time in relation to eternity.

This difficulty in understanding eternity is increased because the term is used to describe things that are only partially perpetual and not properly eternal. Eternity can be used of something having a long duration but possessing an end (Gen. 17:8; Lev. 6:20; Deut. 15:17) or of something having no end though having a beginning—such as angels and souls. Nonetheless, when eternity is used of God; it means something further; as the Scriptures attest “even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Ps. 90:2). Therefore eternity in this sense refers to the duration of God’s essence. When God is called eternal, all possibility of beginning and ending—any flux and change—is excluded. Consequently, the eternity of God is best understood negatively, as a denial that God has any measure of beginning, end or succession.

God is without beginning as the everlasting God (Gen. 21:33; Rom. 16:26; cf.Gen. 1:1; Dan.7:9). This is necessary according to God’s existence and status as Creator; for, if God does exist, and He has not received His being from another, then He must exist from eternity.

God is without end. This aspect refers to immortality, which is spoken of in Scripture more frequently than the other aspects of God’s eternity. He shall endure forever (Ps. 9:7; James 1:17; Rev. 4:9-10). His years are numberless (Job 36:26-27). This is evident by the name He gives Himself (Ex. 3:14) and the fact that He is life in His own essence (Dan 6:26; John 5:26; cf. Acts 17:28; 1 Tim. 6:16).

God is without succession. He is always the same (Ps.1 02:27; Heb. 1:10-12) and has no new progression of quantities or qualities in Himself. Of a creature, it may be said that “he was,” “he is, “or “he will be,” but of God it can only be said that “He is.” There is no increase in His knowledge (Acts 15:18) or fluctuation in His decrees (Eph. 1:4). There is no abrogation of any of His attributes. Furthermore, if God were not eternal, all His other attributes would be maimed beyond recognition. God would not be immutable (cf. Job 37:23; Mal. 3:6), infinitely perfect (cf. Job 11:7; Ps. 41:13) omnipotent (cf. Isa. 2:22; Rev. 1:8), or the first cause of all.

The eternity of God holds a word for both the unbeliever and the Christian. For the former, God’s eternity is a terror. What a folly and boldness there is in sin, since an eternal God is offended thereby! All sin is aggravated by God’s eternity. The blackness of the pagan idolatry was in exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for things contrary to His immortal nature (Rom 1:23). It is dreadful to lie under the stroke of this eternal God, who is the “living God, and an everlasting king…the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation” (Jer.10:10). God’s eternity makes His punishment more dreadful than His power alone; His power makes it sharp, but His eternity renders it perpetual—ever to endure is the sting at the end of every lash.

But for the Christian the reality that God “remains forever” (Lam 5:19-20) is the fountain of comfort. Peace is found in fellowship with the ever merciful, good, wise, and faithful God. His eternity governs His covenant with His people—thereby He swears by Himself (Heb 6:13,16,17; Rev. 14:6 cf. Rev 4:3), and so the believer may proclaim, “This God is our God for ever and ever” (Ps. 48:14) and “Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps.90:1; cf. Gen.49:26). Moreover, the eternity of God ensures that the enjoyment of God in heaven will be as fresh and glorious after many ages as it was at first.

Copied from The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible which they —adapted from Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse upon the Eternity of God”, in The Existence and Attributes of God

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A Reminder

Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.   Jeremiah 23:23-24

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Some Thoughts from Psalm 90

Psalm 90
A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. You turn man to destruction, and say, “Return, O children of men.” For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: in the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers.

For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance. For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.

NKJV

These notes  are from the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible on this Psalm. 

  1. Death is not a natural event to which we should resign ourselves but a sign of God’s anger upon mankind for our sins. Though we would rather not think about it, we gain much wisdom by meditating on the brevity of life, the certainty of death and the eternity of the God who rules both life and death. The reality of death strips away our pretenses of pride and independence and reminds us of God’s absolute power over us and wrath against sin. How should these truths humble us?
  2. The reality of death also moves us to find a dwelling place in God that will outlast this life. This world loses its charm when we see it as a temporary home, but God is eternal. This is the great wisdom given to us by the gospel to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life (2 Tim 3:15). Pray that God would have mercy upon you for your sins, give you eternal joy and satisfaction in His love, and work in you that your works will have lasting value.

 

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I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art

http://www.opc.org/hymn.html?hymn_id=309

From theTrinity Hymnal.

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All Welcome. No Exception. by R. Scott Clark

This is an exceptional and challenging read. I recommend it to all believers.

All Welcome. No Exceptions.

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Repentance by John Chrysostom

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments…which you commanded your servant Moses.    Nehemiah 1:7

We have not known thee as we ought, nor learned thy wisdom, grace and power;
the things of earth have filled our thought, and trifles of the passing hour.
Lord, give us light thy truth to see, and make us wise in knowing thee.

We have not feared thee as we ought, nor bowed beneath thine awful eye,
nor guarded deed and word and thought, remembering that God was nigh.
Lord, give us faith to know thee near, and grant the grace of holy fear.

We have not loved thee as we ought, nor cared that we are loved by thee; Thy presence we have coldly sought, and feebly longed thy face to see.
Lord, give a pure and loving heart to feel and own the love thou art.

We have not served thee as we ought, Alas! the duties left undone,
the work with little fervor wrought, the battles lost or scarcely won,
Lord, give me the zeal, and give the might for thee to toil, for thee to fight.

When shall we know thee as we ought, and fear, and love, and serve aright!
When shall we, out of trial brought, be perfect in the land of light.
Lord, may we day by day prepare to see thy face, and serve thee there.

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Hebrews 5:8 by D.E. Young

Hebrews 5:8

Although He were a Son
Yet learned He day by day
Through suff’rings that He bore
His Father to obey.

So what does my soul learn
Through troubles that surround
Except to plead for grace
And mercy to abound?

I need to be upheld.
I have no strength to stand
Unless He holds me up
By Sov’reign, Mighty Hand.

July 2016

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