Who is God?
Our church recently began a study examining what Christians believe. The first study discussed the question, “Who Is God?” To find answers, we searched the Bible and considered what Christians have believed about the character and nature of God for two millennium.
Rarely do people question the existence of God since his existence is self-evident. However, many oppose the Christian’s declaration that the God of the Bible is the only true God and that He is a “personal God.”
Most, in our politically correct generation, prefer generic references to God that allow the listener to fill in God’s identity, characteristics and attributes to their own liking. Verses speaking of God’s authority and power will then make us uncomfortable, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2) or that “In [Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
An honest examination of the Bible shows God describing himself to be something far greater than the power or force that people today speak of him as being. Encountering the God of scripture will cause most to squirm in their seats because if the Lord is a personal God, then that means He expects us to have a relationship with Him.
As long as God is an impersonal force, we have no need to change. As an agnostic reasoned, “If any gods do exist, even the gods that allegedly communicated to people in the past, then they can't care very much about us humans today. So, why should we humans care very much about them?” This seems to be a fair question, but one based in the faulty assumptions that God has not communicated his love and that He does not care about us.
If we are willing to consider the Bible’s claims, we find that God has shown His love for us! “God showed (proves, demonstrates) his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8) This defines the cost of the love God shows us in John 3:16, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
How has God shown that he cares for us? Reading on in John 3:17 we find, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” While we may want to argue our guilt as sinners, before a holy God we’ll be hard pressed to find any evidence to support our supposition.
One single verse from James will bring us to our knees, “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” (2:10) It was because of our guilt that God sent his son not to judge us but to die for us so that we might be saved. What father watching his child drown in a lake would watch idly thinking, “He got himself into this mess, let him get himself out!” Why then do we believe the heresy of the deist that says that God, like a watchmaker, simply wound up the world and watches it unwind.
It is only because God is a personal God that we are able to enter into a personal relationship with him. Personal, not distant or unknowing. God is not like our Facebook friends who are hardly acquaintances. God is personal like your best friend with whom you talk late into the night about your worries and concerns and rise early in the morning to enjoy the new day together.
Because God is personal, we can speak with him in natural words as with a friend rather than with formal religious jargon. Because God is personal, we can come to him without fear. Because of what Christ has done, we can become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
It begins today; not tomorrow, or next week or when we die. Paul’s says, “For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Christ has opened the door for you to enter and have a right relationship with God today! What is keeping you?