(Article for publication week of 5-12-2010 AD)
The first question in the Baptist Catechism is, "Who is the first and best of beings?" And the answer is, "God is the First and Best Beings." (Yes, the Old Baptists had catechisms for instruction. Sadly most Baptists today are doctrinally challenged and a return to our old confessions and catechisms would help. Pastors and deacons, are you listening?)
Well, let us return to the subject. The Bible tells us that God is the First of Beings. Before there were any angels or men, God was. In the ninetieth Psalm, verse two, we read, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God." There was a time, if it could properly be called time, when there was no one else but God. "From everlasting to everlasting to everlasting" means that God is uncreated. He had no beginning and He will have no end. I Timothy 1:17 informs us that only God is immortal. Strictly speaking, immortality means without beginning or end. Man has a kind of immortality in that we have never dying souls, but in the strictest sense of the word, only God has immortality. God is the First of Beings, for He is eternal. And I might add that when there were no other beings but God, God was perfectly happy and at rest and content with Himself. The Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost was perfectly content with His Own Glorious company and had no need of any other beings. It pleased God to display His Godhead and glory and power and all of His attributes by creating angels and men and animals. But He had no need of any of them. Friend, do you realise the reason God made you was for His Own Glory? You will glorify God eternally either in salvation or damnation. Your first duty is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. You will never really have a happy and fulfilled life until you realise that and start living for God's glory rather than your own.
And God is the best of Beings. Psalm 100:5 says simply, "the Lord is Good". Isaiah 6:3 tells us that God is Thrice Holy. Everything about God is good and holy. When He created a universe He pronounced that it was good. He does good to all His creatures. He is doing good to you. He gives you your life and breath and it is in Him that you live and move and have your being. God treats everybody right, because he deals with everyone according to His holy and righteous law. Neighbour, do you realise how good God has been to you? If you are permitted to draw one breath out of hell, God is better to you than you deserve. God lets you live in His world. He gives you air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat. I wonder how many of you ever take the time to thank God for all His goodness to you. I know if you are a Christian you do. But how many plod their course through this world never mindful of the First and Best of Beings? Please consider what I have written this week and seek the Lord with all your heart.