The Truth about God – and why it matters

As well as opinion articles, leadership tips, book reviews and sermon notes, over time on faithroots.net we’ve been looking  the big questions about God, Creation, Humanity and New Creation. We do this because what we believe affects how we live. This means that the big doctrinal questions are important.

We are now coming to the end of our series on “Who is God?”  So this is a good opportunity to stop and sum up the practical implications of what we believe about Him.

What we’ve learnt

We started looking at “Who is God?” by seeing that we can end up believing all sorts of lies about God. These include that God is not love or that he could not love me, that God is weak, he lacks the power to act, that God is distant, unapproachable and so we are left to our own devices.

Over the course of our study we’ve built up a picture of what God is really like. We’ve seen that he is both “Great” and “Good.”  God is sovereign. He is the one who knows all things, who is present everywhere, who is not dependent upon any outside source of power for life, purpose or authentication. He is unchanging. He cannot be manipulated or controlled by outside forces or circumstances. God is completely independent.

At the same time, we have seen that he is “good.” We started by saying that the first thing we wanted to say about him is that he is Love.  By this, we meant not just that he chooses to love specific things or creatures at any given time but that love is essential to his character. We saw that because God is Simple, love (and indeed all of his attributes) is not something that he can stop doing. If God stops being love (and wise, sovereign, eternal, all knowing etc) then he ceases to be God. We saw that goodness included things like wisdom and holiness.

We have seen how these things are worked out in the Doctrine of the Trinity. Because God is the Triune God it means that, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have eternally loved each other. This means that God did not need to create us in order to find something to love. This reminds us again of two important things. It reminds us that God does not change. There wasn’t a point when God started to love. There won’t be a point when he stops. It also reminds us that God did not create out of need. He did not make us because he lacked something. Again, this reminds us that God is independent and not subject to any outside force or power.

Why this is so important

These things are important because what we believe about God will affect how we live.  True belief about God will produce in us some important characteristics.  I want to suggest two important responses to the Doctrine of God as we close.

  1. Humility. We should be awestruck by the greatness and goodness of God. We should be amazed at how wonderful he is, that he is all powerful and yet that he chooses to love you and me.  We should never lose sight of the distinction between creator and creature.  This matters because too often, we seek after the things that belong to God alone. When we demand vengeance, when we get hung up on defending our own honour we are saying that we need things that belong to him.  When we obsess about position and status, we forget or true position as creatures. What do I mean by this? Well, I think that most of us at some time are tempted to try and work out and to improve our status by climbing some form of hierarchy. That might be our position in the workplace management structure or the church leadership. It may well be about where our church sits in the bigger hierarchy. Is it well known, is it large etc. Now here’s the thing. It does not matter how far up the hierarchy you climb. It does not matter how big your organisation is, how important you are, how famous, how significant compared to others. When it comes to our relationship as creatures to the Creator God, we are small. All of those things are insignificant. And yet, God chooses to love us and to have a relationship with us. He chooses to give us a role, status and dignity. He chooses to value us[1]  This should move us to humble worship.
  2. Trust. God is a good and loving God. He is also great and unchanging. This means as we have seen that he will not stop loving us. God is faithful. We have the promise that it is God’s will that none of us should be lost from Christ’s care and protection (John 6) and that nothing can separate us from God’s Love.  The Doctrine of God is the basis for assurance and eternal security. It means that we can depend on God and stick close to him through all the trials, temptations and troubles of life. It means that in the good times, we should continue to trust and thank him knowing that all good gifts are from Him.

Conclusion

Who is God? He is the eternal sovereign creator of the Universe. He is the Triune God. He is just and holy. He is the one who has loved me and saved me. He is my King and he is my friend.

 

[1] See Psalm 8 on this.

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