Wondering about God?

 Question: "Who is God?"

Answer:
Who is God? What is God? What is God like? How can we know God?

Who is God? - The Fact
The fact of God’s existence is so conspicuous, through creation and through man’s conscience, that the Bible calls the atheist a “fool” (Psalm 14:1). Accordingly, the Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God; rather, it assumes His existence from the very beginning (Genesis 1:1). What the Bible does is reveal the nature, character, and work of God.

Who is God? - The Definition
Thinking correctly about God is of upmost importance because a false idea about God is tantamount to idolatry. In Psalm 50, God reproves the wicked man with this accusation: “you thought I was altogether like you” (verse 21). To start with, a good, summary definition of God is “the Supreme Being; the Creator and Ruler of all that is; the Self-existent One who is perfect in power, goodness, and wisdom.”

Who is God? - His Nature
We know certain things to be true of God for one reason: in His mercy He has condescended to reveal some of His qualities to us. God is spirit, by nature intangible (John 4:24). God is One, but He exists as Three Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17). God is infinite (1 Timothy 1:17), incomparable (2 Samuel 7:22), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6). God exists everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12), knows everything (Matthew 11:21), and has all power and authority (Ephesians 1; Revelation 19:6).

Who is God? - His Character
Here is some of what the Bible reveals: God is just (Acts 17:31), loving (Ephesians 2:4-5), truthful (John 14:6), and holy (1 John 1:5). God shows compassion (2 Corinthians 1:3), mercy (Romans 9:15), and grace (Romans 5:17). God judges sin (Psalm 5:5) but also offers forgiveness (Psalm 130:4).

Who is God? - His Work
We cannot understand God apart from His works, because what God does flows from who He is. Here is an abbreviated list of God’s works, past, present, and future: God created the world (Isaiah 42:5), He actively sustains the world (Colossians 1:17), He is executing His eternal plan (Ephesians 1:11) which involves the redemption of man from the curse of sin and death (Galatians 3:13-14), He draws people to Christ (John 6:44), He disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:6), and He will judge the world (Revelation 20:11-15).

Who is God? - A Relationship with Him
In the Person of the Son, God became incarnate (John 1:14). The Son of God became the Son of Man and is therefore the “bridge” between God and man (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). It is only through the Son that we can have forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), reconciliation with God (John 15:15; Romans 5:10), and eternal salvation (2 Timothy 2:10) . In Jesus Christ “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9). So, to really know who God is, all we have to do is look at Jesus.
 
Question: "Who is Jesus Christ?"

Answer:
Who is Jesus Christ? Unlike the question, "Does God exist?", very few people have questioned whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel almost 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus' full identity is discussed. Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet, or a good teacher, or a godly man. The problem is, the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.

So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He was? First, let's look at Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement, “We are not stoning you for any of these, replied the Jews, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus’ statement to be a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, “I did not claim to be God.” That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example. Jesus proclaimed, “I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!” Again, in response, the Jews take up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus announcing His identity as “I am” is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He hadn’t said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?

John 1:1 says that “the Word was God.” John 1:14 says that “the Word became flesh.” This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The Apostle Paul describes Him as, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The Apostle Peter says the same, “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus’ full identity as well, “But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.” Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

So, as C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain the words of Jesus away, modern “scholars” claim the “true historical Jesus” did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God’s Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a “scholar” two-thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself (John 14:26)?

Why is the question over Jesus’ true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! Jesus’ deity is why He is the only way of salvaion. Jesus’ deity is why He proclaimed, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
 
 
Question: "What is the plan of salvation / way of salvation?"

Answer:
Are you hungry? Not physically hungry, but do you have a hunger for something more in life? Is there something deep inside you that never seems to be satisfied? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty" (John 6:35).

Are you confused? Can you never seem to find a path or purpose in life? Does it seem like someone has turned out the lights and you cannot find the switch? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus proclaimed, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).

Do you ever feel like you are locked out of life? Have you tried so many doors, only to find that what is behind them is empty and meaningless? Are you looking for an entrance into a fulfilling life? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus declared, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture" (John 10:9).

Do other people always let you down? Have your relationships been shallow and empty? Does it seem like everyone is trying to take advantage of you? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep...I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me" (John 10:11, 14).

Do you wonder what happens after this life? Are you tired of living your life for things that only rot or rust? Do you sometimes doubt whether life has any meaning? Do you want to live after you die? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus declared, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26).

What is the way? What is the truth? What is the life? Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

The hunger that you feel is a spiritual hunger, and can only be filled by Jesus. Jesus is the only one who can lift the darkness. Jesus is the gate to a satisfying life. Jesus is the friend and shepherd that you have been looking for. Jesus is the life - in this world and the next. Jesus is the way of salvation!

The reason you feel hungry, the reason you seem to be lost in darkness, the reason you can't find meaning in life, is that you are separated from God. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned, and are therefore separated from God (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). The void you feel in your heart is God missing from your life. We were created to have a relationship with God. Because of our sin, we are separated from that relationship. Even worse, our sin will cause us to be separated from God for all of eternity, this life and the next (Romans 6:23; John 3:36).

How can this problem be solved? Jesus is the way! Jesus took our sin upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place (Romans 5:8), taking the punishment that we deserve. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death (Romans 6:4-5). Why did He do it? Jesus answered that question Himself, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Jesus died so that we could live. If we place our faith in Jesus, trusting His death as the payment for our sins - all of our sins are forgiven and washed away. We will then have our spiritual hunger satisfied. The lights will be turned on. We will have access to a fulfilling life. We will know our true best friend and good shepherd. We will know that we will have life after we die - a resurrected life in heaven for eternity with Jesus!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please let us know by emailing us at firstchristian@bvunet.net.