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Do you believe in God? Many people would respond with a confident, “Yes!” However, when asked to define the god in which they believe, the answers often vary. Although this may be understandable when comparing different faith traditions (i.e. Islam, Hindu, Judaism, etc.), the answers also vary among many professing Christians! Read the following Bible verse carefully: “These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you” (Psalm 50:21).1 Sinful humans naturally drift toward making a god in their own image. Some people worship a god who is nothing but love. Others worship a god who is cold and distant. Still others worship a god who promises health and wealth. If we are to believe rightly, the question that demands an answer is: What does God’s Word say about who God really is? Here is a sampling of how the Bible describes Him:
God is ABSOLUTELY PURE
“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Revelation 15:4)
God Knows EVERYTHING
“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:2-4)
God Rules Over EVERYTHING
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all” (1 Chronicles 29:11)
God Does All That HE PLEASES
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:35)
God Does Not CHANGE
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17)
God Has UNLIMITED POWER
“Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?” (Job 26:14)
God is Mercifully PATIENT
“They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them” (Nehemiah 9:17)
God Shows Love Because HE IS LOVE
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8)
God Claims Exclusivity and HATES SIN
“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, As I live forever, if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold on judgment, I will take vengeance on my adversaries and will repay those who hate me” (Deuteronomy 32:39-41)
Do you believe in God? Perhaps the biblical representation of God is different from what you have always believed. Keep in mind that God is perfect in his character; he does not have to choose between conflicting emotions. For fickle humans, this is difficult to imagine. When confronted with a biblical view of God, we also begin to see a problem: We are far from perfect! Unlike God, all humans “have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:12; 23). Our sin separates us from God and incurs God’s holy anger.
At this point, you may begin to lose hope, but please read on: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, satisfied God’s perfect hatred of sin and revealed God’s love for sinners when he hung on the cross. The cross is where “steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10). Although he was always with his Father in eternity, Jesus came to earth at the appointed time to reveal God to us and to make a way for sinners to know, love, worship, and enjoy God forever: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation [a wrath-satisfying sacrifice] for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Are you trusting in Christ Jesus? We cannot save ourselves. The debt that our sin has accumulated can only be satisfied by the sinless sacrifice of the Son of God. All of our efforts to be moral, religious, or simply good people can never erase the stain of our sin in the eyes of a holy God. This is the scandal of grace. For those who turn from their sin and trust in Jesus Christ, Paul says that they “are justified [pardoned] by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). The cross of Jesus Christ displays God’s perfect justice and perfect love. May God grant you eyes to see the glory of his Son, Jesus Christ!
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version (Good News Publishers, Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2007).