Genesis: 17: 1. When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blamless.
I am sure we have all heard this lovely little story: A six-year old child looked into the crib of his brand new baby brother and said, “Quick, before you forget, tell me what God is like? I am starting to forget.” What the child was asking about has been the pursuit of scholars for many centuries Scholars call it “theology.” Theology seeks to answer the question, “What is God like?” I want to give you a very brief insight into the theology of the Bible. You may find it much more interesting and understandable than you think.
When we, as Christians, speak of God, we frequently refer to a “trinity” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is Biblical. If we compare Genesis 1:1-3 and John 1:1-14, we see that the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Word (Who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, the son) were all present before the creation of the universe. Ephesians 4:4-6 refers to the concept of “Trinity.” Jesus told His apostles to baptize in “the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
This is a difficult concept to grasp. However, man is also a trinity of body, soul, and spirit; “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thess. 5:23) We do not fully understand how the three are united and what their interrelationships are. And. if we can’t understand our own nature, how can we hope to fully understand God? Let us accept what God has revealed and seek to learn what we can of the things we can understand.
Here are three questions about God for this day:
The first question is the question of Moses: “Who is God?” Ex. 3: 13-14. …………. and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then, what shall I tell them? God said to Moses, ‘I am Who I am.’ We can learn something of His nature from His names:
He chose to answer Moses’ question by giving the name first “I am” then later “Jehovah,” the self- existent One. This means He was neither created nor born, nor does He depend on anyone for His existence. He had no beginning and will never have an end. He has always been the same and always will be. This provides certainty and stability every human spirit seeks.
This name was so sacred the Hebrews wouldn’t pronounce it for fear of taking the Lord’s Name in vain in violation of the commandment in Exod. 20:7. When this Name appeared in the Scriptures, the Jew would read another name. They might substitute the Hebrew name “el” “The Mighty One.”. This is the most common name for God and frequently used in the plural, “Elohim” to indicate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Exodus 23 uses the name “Adon” (Lord or Master). God is stressing His authority in ordering every Jewish male to report to Him 3 times a year.
When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, besieged Jerusalem and threatened to destroy it, Isaiah asked the question in II Kings 19:22: Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!
“Holy One” means one set aside. One separated from sin and corruption. Wholly apart from men and their misdeeds. Isaiah’s favorite name for God is “The Holy One of Israel.” He is the One venerated and exalted above all others by God’s people. When the priests abused their power and oppressed the people, Malachi asked the question, “Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God create us?” (Malachi 2:10) He is Father in the sense of founder and creator of the race. In the Old Testament, God’s relationship with His people was patriarchal. He ruled as a Father. In the New Testament, it is paternal. He adopts us as His children and loves us as a parent. A higher level of fatherhood. Jesus taught us to call God “Father.” He used the expression frequently, taught us to pray to “our father in heaven, and pictured him as father to a prodigal son.
God is spirit. When Paul spoke to the Greek philosophers in Athens, he said, since we are the offspring of God we cannot represent Him with gold, silver, or stone . Acts 17:29. He is not material. Jesus told the woman of Samaria “God is Spirit.” Spirit is real and living, although invisible. Not an impersonal power or “Force.” Spirit indicates personal, intelligent life. A personality Worship is contact between two spirits; the spirit of God and that of a man.
God is also represented by light. In I John 1:5: “God is light.” This relates to His character: Darkness is sin, ignorance, injustice, and unrighteousness. There is none of this in Him . God provides enlightenment for every aspect of our lives; physical and spiritual, temporal and eternal. To put it simply, He shows us how He wants us to live out our lives. Hence the warning of I John 1:6, If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live in the truth. His people are not permitted to participate in the “fruitless deeds of darkness.” Eph. 5:11
Next God is described as love: I John 4:8. This is His character and His main motivation for all He does.
Nature would not teach us this. The creation is cruel and unforgiving. The lion eats the Impala, the snake eats the mouse, disease ravages all species. There is suffering everywhere; we see it daily..: But God is love.
John 14:9. Jesus has revealed this aspect of God’s character. I Jn. 4:9. To know God is present in our lives and accept His love and redemption, we must show His love to others.
Heb. 12:29 “our God is a consuming fire.” We would be remiss if we do not warn people of the coming judgment of God. This describes His attitude and destructive power against sin and disobedience.
There is a judgment coming on those who do not know God and obey the Gospel. II Thess. 1:7-9. Fire is connected with this judgment. Jesus expressed God’s love when He came to earth the first time. The next time, He will express God’s wrath on the disobedient.
What does God do? Richland Center Wisconsin has a warehouse which is reported to the first work of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Just a brick warehouse. Near Somerset, PA. is the famous Kaufman mansion at Falling Waters, another Wright creation. They have little in common, but to an expert, the hand of Frank Lloyd Wright is obvious. Just so, we can see God in what He does, as well. Look out your window and you will see the Love.
Gn. 1:1, 2. There was a beginning. Things have not always been as they are. All science seems to agree on this. There was, therefore, an originating cause. No one doubts this. It is common sense. Faith takes over when we seek to know that originating cause. Heb. 11:3
Colossians 1:16, 17 names Christ as God’s agent in creation. It was by the power of His Word God created the world out of nothing. We see it in providence. His is the hand that holds all things together. Col. 1:17
When the sun rises and sets. When it rains and grass grows, when a baby is born or your body is healed of disease, God is at work. He rules and sustains the universe, yet, He has time to note the fall of a sparrow and number the hairs on your head. He cares for you. He makes the plans, all of them, and He makes things happen according to His will. He alone is able to work the work of redemption:
We have all been alienated from Him by sin and guilt. We are under sentence of death because the soul that sins dies. He paid the price of our redemption with the blood of His Son. I Cor. 6:20 Our redemption is God’s greatest work. It restores us to the fellowship with Him for which we were created. We belong with God. And we belong to Him, our Father, Elohim, Adon, Jehovah, only because of the Amazing Grace He has offered us. It is through grace you are saved, not through works. It is the GIFT from God. All you have to do is accept it.
Only God can make life worth living. That’s why it’s important to know Him. Accept Him as your Lord, today; accept the gift of grace He offers and then – Live for Him.