Sunday, May 27, 2007

1 Timothy 1:17 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

It is here in this glorious doxology that the Apostle Paul breaks forth in a shout of jubilant praise and worship exalting the royal sovereignty of God. Pastor/Teacher David Guzik says, "Paul could not think of how bad he was, and how great the salvation of God was, and how great the love of God was, without simply breaking into spontaneous praise."

First of all, Paul notes that we serve the King. He is the reigning ruler. Everything is in subjection to Him. There is nothing that has ever escaped the reigning sovereignty of God. God is in control. He is the wise and omniscient Ruler.

The God we serve is eternal - that is, he endures through the ages. He rules and reigns in complete power and glory (Guzik).

God also is immortal - that is, that he cannot die. He is the ever-lasting Living God. He is the God who has existed from all eternity past and the same God who will exist for all eternity future. As we human beings have a starting point in past history, God Himself had no beginning. He has always been. That is the root Hebrew word for Yahweh, that is, that God is the "self-existing eternal One."

He is also the invisible God - that is, that God is the one who is "not able to be seen." God is not in corporeal form like we are. He is invisible. He is the God who is knowable to us, but only in part. We will never fully understand even one aspect about God. We can know about God and aspects about God. But, we will never fully exhaust even one subject about God in our finite knowledge on this earth.

Finally he is the only God - that is, there is no competitor with God. He is the sole Ruler. He is the only Sovereign King. There is no polytheism here. All other so-called gods are "idols."

Paul concludes by exclaiming that to this sole King be honor, and glory forever and ever! Keeping this phrase in the immediate context, Guzik notes well that, "This description of God gave Timothy still another reason to remain in Ephesus. He could and should stay there when he considered the greatness of the God who he served. This great God is worthy of His service and can empower his service in Ephesus."

May we remember - this Lord's day - the Sovereign Ruler that we serve.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post Geoff!

it's interesting that Paul closes 1 Timothy in 6:15b,16 with a passage which parallels 1:17-

Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ..."he who is the blessed and only Sovereign and King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality , who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen" (ESV)

Paul emphasizes the same points- King, immortal, invisible, uniqueness as God.

Dad

A.I. Editor said...

I asked some Jews...I was told that Yahweh is not the name.

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Geoffrey R. Kirkland said...

Yahweh is not the name used in the NT. However, the Old Testament name for "LORD" is the Hebrew "Yahweh." The Hebrew root has the idea of "self-existence" and "eternal-existence."

Geoff

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