This morning, we looked at the big question ‘Who Is God?’ It matters enormously who God is and what He is like, so we spent time exploring this issue, looking at:
1. God as Creator
God is the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Ps 121:2, Ps 134:3, Ps 146:6) The very first words of the Bible affirm this: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ (Gen 1:1) We see God speaking and things happening: light being separated from darkness, sky and land appearing, vegetation coming, sun and moon and stars being created, living creatures coming into being and finally man being created. (Gen 1:1-28) Elsewhere in the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit involved in creation (Gen 2:1) and Jesus (John 1:3, Col 1:16), and we also see that God is not only the creator but the sustainer of the universe. (Heb 1:3) The fact that God is Creator means He is powerful and also that He is personally involved with His creation.
2. God as Almighty (‘El-Shaddai’)
God revealed Himself to Abraham and to Jacob as ‘El-Shaddai’, the Almighty One (see Gen 17:1, Gen 35:11). Jeremiah reminds us that nothing is too hard for Him (Jer 32:17), and this power – so great that it raised Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:19-21) – is available to us too. We serve a mighty God, and, like the psalmists, we need to proclaim this regularly. He is our mighty rock (Ps 62:2) ‘Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.’ (Ps 89:8) Who is God? He is the all-powerful One.
3. God our Father
Jesus taught His disciples to pray using the words ‘our Father in heaven’ (Matt 6:9) and one of the most powerful stories He told looked at a father with two sons and how he dealt with each of them. (Luke 15:11-32) In that, we see how much God loves us and longs for us to return to Him. Even if we have not experienced the love and stability of an earthly father, God is able to be a ‘father to the fatherless’ (Ps 68:5), demonstrating a love and care for us that shows His kindness and grace. (Matt 7:9-11) Even God’s discipline of us is for our own good (Heb 12:10) and is a sign we are His children and heirs.
4. God is relational
One of the most amazing truths in the Bible is that we serve one God in Three Persons. The very essence of God is relational and He wants to be in a relationship with us. We see the Trinity perhaps most clearly at certain moments in Jesus’s life on earth, such as His baptism (Mark 1:10-11) Relationship is therefore at the heart of the Godhead, as is unity – which is why Jesus placed such emphasis on relationship and unity in the church, for we are meant to reflect who God is.
5. God is our Saviour
Because God wants to be in a relationship with us, He gave His only Son to die for us so that we can be rescued from sin and brought close to Him. (John 3:16, Col 1:13, Eph 2:1-6) We can be restored to fellowship with God and can be born again into His family. Knowing God is the key to eternal life (John 17:3) and so it matters enormously that we have a rescuer or Saviour in Jesus Christ.
6. God is love
Perhaps the most astounding truth in the Bible is that God is love. (1 John 4:8, 16) As A. W. Tozer put it, “Nothing God ever does, or ever did, or ever will do, is separate from the love of God.” God’s love is unfailing, unchanging and ever-constant.His display of love is the purest and truest there is. He loves perfectly, completely, with a love that never fails. (1 Cor 13:8) And because we are made in God’s image, we can love. Love isn’t something that is derived from within us. It is radical. It is supernatural. The kind of love that God calls us to–the love that loves our neighbour as much as we love ourselves– must come from Him. We love, John tells us, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)