Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Who is God?

A recent contention in the USA has highlighted the need to revisit the question ‘Who is God?’ Some ask what is He like? Others ask what is our concept of God?

Our world is full of gods, created by human imagination. In this review, I shall be referring to the God presented in the Bible.

The God of the Bible
The Bible begins with God creating. His design, His wisdom, His intelligence and His power are all very evident in the world around us. I love the science of discovery. Not just the big and powerful, like an exploding star, but also the fine detail in things like DNA (Described by one prominent scientist as the ‘Language of God’)

The continuing storyline of the Bible shows God’s intention to connect with His created beings. Initially with Adam and Eve, and then in a special way with Abraham. Abraham believed God, and found God to be ‘the Almighty’, but also a relational God with whom he could communicate.

Moses became acquainted with the same God, but under a different name. Jehovah was the covenant name that linked the Israelites to God. Moses glimpsed the glory, the holiness and mercy of the Lord Almighty. The 10 commandments unveiled more detail of a God in His justice, does not clear the guilty, but loves to forgive the repentant.
‘Singing to God’ has been and still is unique to the God of the Bible. King David connected with God in this way both personally and collectively. The many Psalms inspire greater intimacy with a God of unfailing loving kindness. Psalm 23 is classic in that it pictures himself as a sheep in God’s fold.
If we were to ask the prophet Isaiah ‘who is God?’, he would quote God as saying – “There is no other God besides me, a righteous God and a Saviour.” ( Isaiah 45.21) This is a very important response – God is just, righteous, holy and yet He is also a Saviour. This distinguishes Him from the many gods of our present world.

What about the idea of God having a Son?
In Genesis 1, God is presented as a spirit moving in creation. It must have been rather mystifying why the word for God was plural (not singular or dual) even though the law given to Moses insisted that God was one God, one Lord. Perhaps the curtain was drawn back a little when David wrote Psalm 2  – “You are My Son, today I have begotten you.” This refers to the promised Messiah who would bring blessing to all who trust Him. Again Psalm 110 has an important statement ( quoted by the Lord Jesus) – God is quoted as saying “ The LORD said unto my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make you enemies your footstool” Who is the LORD talking to?

It is no surprise then that the New Testament draws back the curtain, to reveal God in the person of His Son ( not His child as having been born). Jesus as the SON was the one who proceeded from the Father to reveal the Father (only begotten). We should listen to the angel “He shall be called the Son of God”. We should heed His own words- “I am the bread which came down from heaven”. We would do well to read the many important details written by His commissioned Apostles, but perhaps more important than all is the voice of God from  heaven – “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, hear Him”. (Matthew 17.5)

What can we say of the Holy Spirit? 
Throughout the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is active communicating and enabling. The Lord Jesus Christ insisted that He was a person like Himself, able to communicate, comfort and convict. The Lord promised that He would abide in the believers as the great revealer of who Jesus really was. As the Apostles recorded the detail of Jesus Christ, they referred to the Holy Spirit along with God as Father and Jesus as Son. eg Matthew 28.19. 1 Peter 1.2

This can be summed up with these words:
‘One God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit’

It is our privilege to know about Him, but better still to know Him, to trust Him, to love Him.

John McKee

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