Christian Beliefs and Creeds — God
You can watch this week’s sermon right here.
Today we started discussing some of the basic beliefs of Christianity by looking at who the Bible says God is.
Two of the most important questions I ever heard about God in seminary were repeated by Pastor Dan in his sermon: Who is God and what is He like?
If we ask these questions honestly and go to the Bible looking for the answer, we will come up with a full picture of God’s character, the things that are important to Him, and the things He asks of us. This will help is in creating a Christian worldview — a way we look at the world, answer the important questions of life, and then live out our beliefs in a consistent manner.
God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is important for a few reasons. First of all, it signifies that God is related to the people He chose in the Bible. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the one we read about in the Old and New Testaments. He chose the Israelites and worked through them to bring about a descendant of Abraham — His Son Jesus Christ. This means that the God we worship is not the God of Buddhism, Islam or any other religion. He is the God who first revealed Himself to the Jewish people and then invited the whole world to be adopted into that family when Jesus died for us on the cross.
Secondly, as Pastor Dan emphasized, the God of the Bible is a personal God. He identifies Himself with people, people who are not perfect. He invites each of us to know Him because He knows us. He knits us together in our mother’s womb, and He knows the hairs on our head. He is not a God who created and then left us to run on our own, as the worldview of deism promotes. God is personal and here and intimate.
God is the God who is revealed most fully and definitively in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is through the cross that we experience God’s great love and grace. Because of His great love for us, He sent Jesus to die for our sins. And it is His grace that was willing to accept the sacrifice of Jesus and apply it to anyone who called on Him to be saved. And through the resurrection of Jesus, we see the great power of God, displayed by raising Jesus from the dead. The crucifixion and resurrection show us so much about who God is and what He is like. We learn about His love, His justice, His grace, and His great power.
God is the Triune God. As Pastor Dan talked about, this is a hard concept to grasp. The idea of the Trinity is that from all eternity, God is one, but God is not alone. He exists as three persons, one God, with one purpose. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit all have different roles and expressions, but they are one in unity and purpose. (For more on the mystery of the Trinity, make sure to download the booklet that goes along with this series.) Ultimately, the Trinity shows us that God’s character involves relationship. And this shows us that we, created in His image, were made for relationship as well — with one another and with Him. I loved that picture we were given in the sermon of God inviting us to the table to fellowship with the Trinity.
Ultimately, God invites us to know Him. John 17 tells us that eternal life is knowing God. He knows us and invites us to know Him too. And to do this, we turn each truth we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise of God.
So this week, think on these things with me:
- Who is God and what is He like?
- Which attribute of God stands out to you the most?
- Are there relationships in your life you need to mend as you live out God’s image?
- What ways this week can you spend time growing your relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit?