Sunday, August 28, 2016

God alone our highest good

"God, and God alone, is man's highest good.

"In a general sense we can say that God is the highest good of all His creatures.  For God is the Creator and sustainer of all things, the source of all being and of all life, and the abundant fountain of all goods.  All creatures owe their existence from moment to moment solely to Him who is the one, eternal, and omnipresent Being.

"In all his thinking and in all his work, in the whole life and activity of man, it becomes apparent that he is a creature who cannot be satisfied with what the whole corporeal world has to offer.  He is indeed a citizen of a physical order of affairs, but he also rises above this order to a supernatural one.  With his feet planted firmly on the ground, he raises his head aloft and casts his eye up in a vertical look.  He has knowledge of things that are visible and temporal, but he is also aware of things that are invisible and eternal...

"The pleasant and the useful, although they have their value in their place and at their time, do not satisfy him; he requires and seeks a good which does not become good because of circumstances, but which is good in and through and for itself, an unchanging, spiritual, eternal good.  And his will, again, can find its rest only in such a highest, absolute, Divine goodness. 

"This desiderium aeternitatis, this yearning for an eternal order, which God has planted in the heart of man, in the inmost recesses of his being, in the core of his personality, is the cause of the indisputable fact that everything which belongs to the temporal order cannot satisfy man.  He is a sensuous, earthly, limited, and mortal being, and yet he is attracted to the eternal and is destined for it.  It is of no profit to a man that he should gain wife and children, houses and fields, treasures and property, or, indeed, the whole world , if in the gaining, his soul should suffer loss (Matt. 16:26).  For the whole world cannot balance the scale against the worth of a man.  There is no one so rich that he can by any means redeem the soul of his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; the redemption of the soul is too precious for any creature to achieve (Psalm 49:7-9)."

~ Herman Bavinck, "Man's Highest Good" in Our Reasonable Faith (1909), pp 17-19. 

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