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An Excerpt from "Our Great God and Saviour" - Magnifying the Lord Together

An excerpt from “Our Great God and Saviour" by Eric J. Alexander

What happens when we magnify something? We do not actually increase its size. When we magnify something we make its true nature clearer and more obvious to ourselves. That is what the psalmist means when he speaks of magnifying the name of God. He is saying that we are to make God more apparent to ourselves and others, and thus to develop a fuller awareness of the greatness and glory of his nature.

Psalm 145 issues a warning to all who would engage in this exercise: ‘Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom’ (verse 3). We will find, therefore that, even when we have contemplated the nature and character of God, we have only come to the edges of his ways. We are always going to be like little kindergarten children in the honours class of a university. Indeed, even when we see him face to face in glory, we will still never fully comprehend all the glory and greatness of God’s character.

There are two corollaries of this truth that we need constantly to have in mind.

First, we are absolutely dependent for all our knowledge of God on revelation. Unless God reveals himself to us, we can know nothing of him. But God does reveal himself. That is a glorious reality. God has made himself known in creation, in his Son and in Holy Scripture. Scripture tells us what to think about creation and how to understand the life and work of Jesus. So for our understanding of God, we are absolutely dependent upon, and need to be submitted to, Scripture. 

Second, we are equally dependent upon the illumination of the Holy Spirit. He must illumine the written revelation in our understanding so that with confidence, not in the wisdom of men but in God himself, we may discover something of his glory.


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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.