“To regard God as Lord is to see him as utterly unique,” writes John Frame in his new Systematic Theology. “He is unique both (1) in his radical differences from anything in creation and (2) in his equally radical differences from anything else that is called a god or that is falsely worshiped as a god. These two forms of uniqueness are connected. The false gods that people worship are always created beings. The very nature of idolatry is to worship a created thing as if it were God.”
So what makes God’s lordship unique? What sets him apart from all false gods? What makes Him worthy of exclusive worship? Frame lists five ways.
- The Lord Is Absolute. God is absolute in that his attributes possess the highest possible degree of perfection. “His power can never be surpassed or defeated (Job 23:13; Isa. 43:13). His understanding is without limit (Ps. 147:5), so that ‘no wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord’ (Prov. 21:30). His love is immeasurable (Eph. 3:19).
- The Lord Is Tripersonal. “The Lord is not an impersonal force or principle….Rather than taking him for granted, as we do with impersonal things and forces, we must always take his concerns into account, responding to him in repentance, love, thanksgiving, worship…..In Scripture, the personal is greater than the impersonal. The impersonal things and forces in this world are created and directed by a personal God.”
- The Lord Is Transcendent. “God is ‘exalted’ not mainly as someone living miles above the earth, but as One who is on a throne. The expressions of transcendence refer to God’s rule, his kingship, his lordship (Isa. 66:1).
- The Lord Is Immanent. “The deepest sense in which God is present is in Jesus, God incarnate. Jesus is Immanuel, the name given to him in Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23. To say that God is present or with us is not merely to describe his location but to describe his saving purpose. He comes among us, not just to be among us, but to deliver us from sin and its consequences.”
- The Lord Is Creator. “In Genesis 1, God calls light to appear out of darkness, when light was still nonexistent (v. 3). He is the God who ‘calls into existence the things that do not exist’ (Rom. 4:17). Nobody else can do this.”
What is the proper response to this God, the God of Scripture? It is nothing less than full surrender and humble, exuberant praise and exclusive worship.