The Wonderful Works of God

The Wonderful Works of God

One of the books I have committed to reading this year is The Wonderful Works of God, by Herman Bavinck. The book is Bavinck’s own abridgment of a much more thorough exposition of systematic theology, his four volume Reformed Dogmatics. Bavinck’s desire is to put a full textbook of the Christian faith into the hands of ordinary believers. The title of the book comes from Acts 2:11, which summarizes the testimony of the early church as a proclamation of “the wonderful works of God.”

Allow me to share some timely and pertinent insights from Bavinck’s own forward to the book:

…the Christian religion does not exist merely in words, in a doctrine, but…it is a work of God, in word and fact, which was accomplished in the past, is being worked out in the present, and will be fulfilled in the future…The knowledge of the truth, which leads toward godliness, is steadily declining. Interest in the mysteries of the kingdom of God diminishes by the day, not only outside but inside Christian circles also. And the number of those who live from the truth with heart and soul, who feed on it day by day, gradually decreases. At most, those who still accept it see a set of doctrines that merit faith but that are irrelevant to life, having little or nothing to do with the present…Life has become so rich and broad on all sides that an overview of it cannot be obtained without great exertion. Political, social, and philanthropic interests require more of our time and energy by the day. The reading of daily and weekly newspapers, of magazines and brochures, devours every blink. There is a lack of desire and opportunity for the investigation of the Scripture and the study of old theological works…I do not imagine the readers of this work as those men of study who can inform themselves of the rich and deep thoughts of Scripture as have come to be formulated in Reformed theology…I have in view the ordinary members of the congregation who are preparing for admission to the Lord’s Supper…or who, after admission, remain interested in the knowledge of the truth…There are many…who still wholly want to believe, but because of the environment, and because of the oppositions and objections they have heard, it has become extremely difficult to do so…And yet these must return, and they will return, if the truth is rightly understood. If the works of God are viewed by their own light, they naturally compel admiration and worship.”

Dear child of God, I encourage you to take some time each day to set aside the many distractions of the noisy, politicized, polarized, and deluded age in which we live to contemplate the wonderful works of God in His Son Jesus Christ. To contemplate God’s works toward us in Christ is to contemplate God Himself. And the contemplation of God Himself will naturally compel us to give to Him the fruit of that contemplation, which is the admiration and worship and thankful obedience due alone to His glorious name.

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