Thursday, May 27, 2010
Who is God?
First of all, God is sovereign. Sovereign means “supreme in rank or authority” so God is absolutely in control of this universe at any given second. We don’t always know why God does the things that He does, but we must trust that God is working. At the end of the word sovereign is the word reign, and that is exactly what God does. Consider Isaiah 45:5-7: I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
God is sovereign in creation—Genesis 1:1/John 1
God is sovereign in salvation—I John 4:19
God is sovereign in redemption—I Peter 2:24
God is sovereign in sanctification—James 4:8
Next, God is love. I John 4:16 says that “God is love.” This means that the words God (Elohim) and love (agape) and synonyms. God does not simply show love, He is love. His love is not a romantic love (eros); His love is not a lustful love (porneo); His love is not a brotherly love (phileo), but it is a special, godly, unconditional love (agape), and God loves the whole world.
What God’s love did—Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8)
What God’s love does—Jesus disciplines us (Hebrews 12:6)
When God’s love dies—Never (Jeremiah 31:3)
What God’s love doesn’t do—Save us (Proverbs 11:4)
Remember, it is not the ones that God loves that go to heaven, it is the ones that love God back. And who loves God? Jesus said that if we love Him then we would keep His commandments. Is that you?
Also, God is wrath. Most people ignore this topic in an effort to make God seem more appealing. Fortunately, God doesn’t need us to work on His PR; the idea of a Creator and Redeemer that loved us while we were sinners is an amazing thought, but if you think about it, so is the thought of God being a God of wrath.
God’s wrath is an extension of His love. Consider the words of Max Lucado: “God loves you just the way that you are, but He refuses to keep you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus (Just Like Jesus).” How does God make us just like Jesus? Through His wrath.
Anyone that has ever disciplined a child or trained a dog knows that the only way to make the student learn is through the rod of correction. Just smiling and saying I love you rarely does the trick. The Bible says “Whom the Lord loves he corrects, even as a father in the son of whom he delights (Proverbs 3:12)” and the oft misquoted “He that spareth his rod hateth his son (v.24).”
When we sin we are not acting like Jesus, so God graciously exercises His wrath in discipline to make us more like Jesus. The Bible demonstrates God’s wrath in three settings.
The wrath of God on the lost—John 3:36
The wrath of God on the saved—Romans 1:18
The wrath of God in the future—Revelation 15:1
For an example of how the Lord was provoked to exercise His wrath, which yielded a positive change in the people, read Psalm 78:31-35 (a psalm about Israel complaining about God’s goodness).
This blog will be continued next week…
*Who is God? books 1 and 2 are available at www.tommymannministries.com
(Read blogs about my other books All the Law and Asleep in Heaven's Nursery)