Monday, September 7, 2009

What is God Like?


"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."
John 1:18 (NKJV)

"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"
John 14:9 (NKJV)


Scripture has progressively revealed the nature and attributes of God. There is a revelation of God's essence and His pesonality. God cannot be seen and heard in His essence but can be seen and heard in His person. In John 1:18 it says no one has ever seen God (His essence) but John 14:9 says that when the disciples saw Jesus they saw the Father (His Person hood). Another example of this is Moses speaking to God face to face (Exodus 33:11) and then being told he could not see God’s face (Exodus 33:20) - an explanation of this is that the first meeting was with the Angel of the Lord (pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, one of the persons of the Trinity) and the second was with the very essence of God.

The fact that God is revealed in personal terms means we can have a relationship with Him in His three persons.The revelation of His essence means that He is unlike any other personal being and is to be feared with reverential fear above all else.

God’s essence is that part of Himself that is unique to Him (He is self-existent, unchanging, all powerful, all knowing and all present) but His personality is seen in us as we are made in His image (the image of His person hood - man is tripartite, body, soul and spirit, as God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

We cannot display His attributes of essence (i.e. none of us is all powerful, all present or all knowing) but we can and should display these attributes of His person hood.

Holiness - What He IS - pure and separate. We are to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet 1:15-16).
Righteousness - What He DOES - right and just. We are righteous (Matt 5:20) only by the imputed and imparted righteousness of God in Jesus (Rom 3:22).
Sovereignty - His perfect REIGN and RULE. If we endure His will then we will reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12) both in this life (1 Tim 3:5;5:17) and in the age to come (Rev 5:10).
Wisdom - Correct application of knowledge. We, the Church, are to make known the manifold wisdom of the Lord to the world (Eph 3:9-10), meaning we partake in this attribute of God just as King Solomon was given God’s wisdom.
Love - Goodness, kindness, faithfulness, loyalty. We are to move in His agape (self-sacrificial) love (1 John 4:19-21).

Hence, we should worship God in His totality. We stand in awe and wonder before His essence but we enter into intimate relationship with Him in His three-fold personality, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


You are lion, You are lamb, fully God and fully man.
To be feared yet You embrace, cannot see yet You speak face to face.


"Lord, I stand in awe before You. You are all powerful, all knowing and all present. Yet, you are my father, my lover and my friend. What an amazing paradox and one that I worship You within. Amen!"

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