Because GOD’s attributes are so important to our understanding and outworking of hope, I’m reworking a series I did on this very topic a few years ago.
- Who is He?
- What is He like?
- What difference does it make?
The grid through which we look at life, relationships and particularly GOD was horribly marred and broken at the Fall!
Have you ever been in this situation with a friend or your spouse, where you both were involved in a conversation or life situation? Afterward, as you discussed it, what you heard/saw and what the other person heard/saw were totally different…totally!
Yes, there may be a few reasons for this, but the bottom line reason? You were listening and hearing through a different grid than the other person.
When we are talking about GOD, we must realize the grid through which we are looking, hearing, feeling, thinking…is totally broken and marred from the one that was created in Genesis. Genesis 1 (the first book of the Bible) talks about the fact that we humans were created in the image of God. That is what sets us apart from all other parts of creation. We are volitional. We can worship.
But along with the Fall came something that affected that image. God’s image is still present, but in a marred way. And we are now naturally spiritually dead. This brokenness didn’t just affect humans, it affected all of Creation!
You might even say it is a deformed image of who we were created to be.
That is the grid through which we look at GOD! The fact that we have this marred image that is described in places in the Bible as being spiritually dead, gives insight into why our views of God are usually warped. Apart from GOD’s Word, we won’t know the truth of who GOD is. Yes, we can learn some general things about Him from nature, but not the details.
We love remembering His love, mercy and grace to the degree we are comfortable…
but if any of them puts us in a position to be uncomfortable with this new image of God, we may not love them nearly as much!
- How do we respond when we realize we can’t earn our salvation?
- That it is all of grace?
- That none of the good things we do, put us in any better standing with GOD?
- Does that make you comfortable? There are times when it makes me very uncomfortable!
- When you think about grace and not deserving salvation because you really don’t deserve it nor can you do anything to make yourself more deserving, doesn’t that make you uncomfortable? Well, we’ve only just begun!
We love His justice…sometimes.
Unless that justice makes us uncomfortable regarding our own need for justice. We definitely want justice for others! But often, we want God to smile, pat us on the head and say, “There, there dearie. Girls will girls. I know you meant the very best for that person. I’ll give you a pass this time, but next time…!” Too bad that isn’t justice. Well, I could go on but I think you get my point.
As we come to Christ and trust Him for our salvation, becoming new creatures in Christ, He makes us spiritually alive. Sometimes, it is described as opening our blind eyes. It is only as GOD gives us insight that we can understand and apply truth or know anything about Him! The process of sanctification (growth as a Christian) begins to heal the marred, broken image of GOD in us, but on this earth, we will never know complete “recovery”. It is the “already…not yet” as we wait for our final redemption when Christ comes or we go to heaven.
Yes, we are being changed by His grace through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. But the full redemption experientially will not happen until we are with Christ.
During these next weeks, as we look at God’s character, my desire is not for you to learn a lot of new facts. This will not be an exhaustive study at all. A new list of factoids in your head won’t do anyone any good!
My hope is that this will make all of us a bit uncomfortable…maybe a LOT uncomfortable! As we get to know God as revealed in the Bible. But my main purpose isn’t to make us uncomfortable. My main purpose is to help us worship God…and be more aware of His resources that are at our disposal if we are “in Christ”. We want to know the glory of GOD…and the glory of the Gospel!
It is amazing to me that a GOD this big would become a baby on earth…so that we could be redeemed.
He didn’t have to. He didn’t need us. He wasn’t lacking in anything. But He did it…and His plan was in place before creation!
I can’t imagine the difficulty of being human for Him! UGH! It must have been awful at times to have to stay within the boundaries of His humanness, to say nothing of the limits of space and time!
We will get to know GOD better as we are introduced to Him through words of Scripture. Hearing from others who have known Him for a long time will help reinforce what the Bible tells us. In so doing, we will know the incredible resource we have in Christ that we haven’t even begun to tap into for victory over sin, fruit of the Spirit, growth in grace, prayer, and hope for the demands of our daily lives.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,
to be received by faith.
This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
It was to show his righteousness at the present time,
so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-25 ESV