Who is God?

Who is God – This is the most frequently asked question. From a theology standpoint we discover that God has certain attributes.

 

 

  • God has always existed.
  • God manifests Himself as three persons, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • God is totally loving and infinitely just.
  • God is all knowing.
  • God is outside of time and space.
  • God cannot lie.
  • God cannot sin or be in the presence of sin.
  • God must deal with sin.
  • God has no form and he’s invisible.

God is all powerful. He spoke a universe thirty billion light-years across and transcends that energy level by infinity. God is ultra-dimensional and requires nothing for His existence.

The attributes above very important, but I’d like to look at God from a different viewpoint this morning. Instead of attributes alone I’d like to see the person of God by how He relates to individuals.

Now some religions say that God is an impersonal God, that he does not become involved with people. They say that God is somewhere out there in space but he never comes down to our level to visit with us. The God of the Bible is a personal God. I would like to take time and discuss the proof that God develops relationships with people. We can learn a lot about God by the way he has built relationships with people in the Bible.

First let’s look at King Saul in the book of first Samuel. God tried to establish a relationship with Saul. Saul refused to obey God. He refused to be accountable to Samuel. He refused to kill King Agag. He killed the priests of God and then he went so far as to consult a witch and finally God said he had had enough with Saul.

Now we see the personality of God come into play. We see it in the way that got dispenses justice. God disciplines Saul by taking away from him the things that were the most important to him. Saul wanted a kingdom and a legacy. God took both. God gave Saul many chances but Saul always refused to obey God out of selfish desires. God shows us Saul’s love for the kingship by how he tried to kill David because David was a threat to his kingship. So what Saul loved the most, God took away, but not without warnings and second chances.

Now let’s look at King David. God takes a little shepherd boy full of faith and helps him to slay a giant. He then makes David king over his people. We see that when David sins God deals with David differently than he did with Saul. When David brings the ark into Jerusalem the wrong way God disciplines David by killing Uzzah. When David kills Uriah the Hittite, God takes David’s son he had with Bathsheba. When David takes an illegal census of Israel, again God doesn’t take David’s life but the lives of people David loves. God could have taken the kingdom away from David or his life but God doesn’t. One reason of course is that David has a repentant heart and when confronted admits that he had sinned, unlike Saul. God deals with different people differently. We get to see a glimpse of God’s personality and the personality of the person God has the relationship with.

When Godly parents discipline their children they find that the most effective discipline is when they get the child’s attention by taking away what they love or enjoy the most. For instance; taking away a video game from a girl who is a social butterfly won’t impact her much. We have friends that had such a child. When she disobeyed they tried everything but taking away her social life. After analyzing her personality they decided to destroy her personal life by restricting time with neighborhood friends and grounding her to her room. Now they had her full attention and her obedience quotient went way up. She decided to obey rather than lose time with friends.

We see this in how God deals with individuals. I didn’t see this aspect of God’s personality until I made a chart of how God disciplined various people. This is why I’m big on charts and encourage you to think of chart building as you study God’s word.

You might get started by reading “Living by the Word” by Howard Hendricks.

Let’s look at one more viewpoint of God’s personality by how Jesus Christ as the second person of the Trinity loved Judas Iscariot.

Jesus knowing the future and that Judas would betray Him chooses him anyway and knowing that he was a thief hands over the job of treasurer. Let’s look at some verses to back up what I mean here.

(John 12:4-6 NKJV) Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, {5} “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” {6} This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

Knowing that Judas would sell him out for 30 pieces of silver again showed how much Judas loved money. This may be the seduction that Satan used to convince Judas to betray Jesus.

Lets look at some more verses;

(John 13:2 NKJV) And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him.

(John 13:3-5 NKJV) Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, {4} rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. {5} After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

(John 13:21 NKJV) When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

(John 13:26-27 NKJV) Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. {27} Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

Now how in the world would you and I be civil to Judas knowing what he was going to do? I don’t think I could wash the dirty feet of a man who was going to take three years of pouring my life into him and have a slap on the face for all my effort.

But here is where we see the personality and character of God. See I am thinking of me and how I would feel betrayed. I think while Jesus was washing Judas filthy feet; He was also hearing Judas’ anguished screams in the flames of hell. Knowing that in two days Judas would join the “Rich Man” in torment; Jesus was more concerned about the soul of Judas than of His arrest because of Judas’ betrayal. Let’s look at one more verse.

(John 13:1 NKJV) Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

Just think “that men are without excuse”. Judas in hell would remember the Redeemer of mankind washing his very feet and wanting lucre more than the Lord. Judas could never, never say Jesus didn’t show him the same love He showed to the other disciples! Judas would have no excuse for rejecting Christ except for his own selfishness. When unbelievers and skeptics meet Judas in hell, if they are allowed to meet, they will never hear Judas say that God is an impersonal God. Also Jesus loved Judas so much that he didn’t take away his free choice of receiving Christ or rejecting Him. But Judas has all eternity to think about one very important yet bad decision.

 

References (NLT)

  1. God is All-Knowing, Ever Present, and All-Powerful. The creator of the Universe knows every intimate detail of his creation
    (see Matthew 10:29-31).

  2. God is Holy. God’s incomparable holiness merits our worship (see Revelation 15:2-4).
  3. God is Loving and Just. God’s justice is tempered by his love (see 2 Peter 3:3-9).
  4. God is Personal. This characteristic of God sets him apart from the so-called “gods” of other religions (see Acts 17:22-31).

  5. God is in Control. It is important to remember that God is still in control, even if things around us seem to be in chaos (see Romans 11:33-36).

  6. The God of the Bible is the One True God. While some insist on the existence of many Gods, only the God of the Bible is the true, living God, worthy of our devotion (see 1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

 

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