W hat is God like? God gave this unique shape to man alone. God also created in man the gift of intellect —the ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions. This God-like attribute of mind and character was not given to any animal—only man. Why did God create man with His likeness and with unique intellect? The answer to that question is profound—and is plainly revealed in Scripture.
God: Jesus Reveals God
Our purpose in human life is to become like God! God embodies perfect, holy and righteous character! He lives the way of perfection—of outflowing love. That way of life is a code of conduct, a law. How does the Bible define the nature and character of God? What is the love of God? The spiritual law of God enables us to know what God is like because it describes His character and way of life—summed up by the word love!
It is further divided into 10 points by the Ten Commandments Exodus The first four tell us how to love God, and the last six tell us how to love our fellow human beings. Isaiah Matthew , The law is the basis of all Scripture. The character of both God the Father and Christ the Son is spiritual holiness, righteousness and absolute perfection.
It is the way devoid of coveting, lust, greed, vanity, selfishness, competition, strife, violence, destruction, envy, jealousy, resentment and bitterness. Will the character of God ever alter?
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Malachi ; Hebrews Therefore, is the law of God—including all His commandments—subject to change? Psalm God is eternal, and so is His law, because the law expresses the character and nature of God. It is the way of love. It is the way of giving, serving, helping. God has that character! He has an outgoing concern for all of humanity. He gave His only begotten Son to reconcile us to Him, thereby making the joys of His character and everlasting life possible for us. He showers on us every good and precious gift, including the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the key ingredient that enables human beings to begin to manifest some of the very character of God.
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It is the power by which God imparts His nature. Galatians ; 2 Timothy Righteous, holy, godly character is the possession and practice of love, joy, peace, patience, mercy, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, humility, temperance, self-restraint and right self-direction.
Character also involves knowledge, wisdom, purpose and ability—all properly controlled and developed through independent choice. How can we have it? Romans Jesus magnified the Ten Commandments by showing how their principles expand to cover virtually every possible human infraction. It is summed up in one single word—love. This is the way of disobedience to God.
One third of the angels failed to develop the godly character that would have guaranteed them everlasting peace and happiness. The NT tells us that He kept his promise and the Savior came. He is the fullest revelation of God that we will ever have here on earth. Do you not see why Satan has tried through the centuries to distort and deny who Jesus really is?
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But the controversy and the questions it has raised are not unimportant. The authors of a new book, Reinventing Jesus put it this way:. The vines of radical skepticism toward the biblical Christ have been creeping up the walls of the ivory tower for two centuries. But only in recent years has such intense cynicism sprouted at the grassroots. And it has spread quickly. In short, society has been conditioned to doubt. Do I believe the Bible is the inerrant, authoritative Word of God and totally true?
John calls the Son of God, the Word for good reason. Words reveal our invisible thoughts.
In the same way Jesus made the invisible God visible. How did He do it? The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth John , 18 NIV. When did the Word become flesh? When did God become a human being? God the Son left heaven for a few short years to become a man. When Jesus Christ was born years ago, God entered this physical world and lived among us. He said Himself, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
John The Son revealed that we have a heavenly Father. And what do we see when we see Jesus? The glory of a God who is full of grace and truth. Our God is not a cosmic ogre waiting to destroy us but a merciful, gracious Father who welcomes us into His family. This is the distinctive difference between the OT and the NT. The almighty, sovereign God of the OT is the personal heavenly Father of those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ.
If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught, everything that makes the New Testament new, and better than the Old, everything that is distinctively Christian as opposed to merely Jewish, is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God.
Father is the Christian name for God. This is hard for some of us. If you had a loving, caring earthly father , it is easy to transfer that image to a heavenly Father, just multiply it by a million. But if you had a distant, absent or abusive father, you will have a problem. You will have to disconnect everything you experienced with your ea r thly father and learn how wonderful your heavenly Father is and choose to believe it. That is why Jesus spoke so often of God as our heavenly Father. Then His life showed us what the Father is like. But why was Jesus Christ able to reveal the invisible God?
Because of who He is. We cannot disconnect Jesus from God.
The nature of God
He was not just a perfect man or an ideal example. He was God in a human body. Immanuel , God with us. You cannot separate the brilliance of the sun from the sun itself. And you can no t separate the glory of the Son from His deity. He is God. The disciples saw His glory when he was transfigured before them on the mountain.
It means a mark stamped on something, like an image on a coin. Scientists have never been able to discover the force that keeps the protons and electrons in the atom spinning in perfect order. What keeps the planets and stars in orbit? THINK : If He cares about the atom and the stars, how much more do you think He must care about sustaining our lives, of holding our lives together.
We are the ones for whom He came to die. The next statement brings us to that. How did the Son make it possible for us to be forgiven and cleansed from our sins? He himself took the penalty for the sins of his fallen creation, so that those who believe on Him might have eternal life and fellowship with God. Then He rose from the dead to prove that He was truly the Son of God and to prove that all the sins of everyone who has ever lived were paid for. This is a very important statement.
He sat down because the work of redemption was finished. Do you remember He said precisely that when He hung on the cross? There were no chairs in the OT tabernacle. The priests never finished their work because there were always sacrifices to be made for sins. Every animal slain on every altar in the OT just pointed to the future One who would be the one sacrifice for all sins forever, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. It is absolutely essential for your spiritual life that you understand that when you study the Bible it i s not for the purpose of just learning all kinds of facts about the Bible. You can go to seminary or any other kind of study and learn the facts and stories from the Bible. But if that is all you do you miss the point entirely.
He comes back and tells you about the wonderful window in his room. It had one large pane of glass, and 4 smaller panes on either side. It was 6 feet long and 4 feet high. Its framework was made of steel that resists corrosion. In fact, he even had the glass analyzed chemically. Would you not think he had missed the point? The window was there for him to see the ocean, not to study the window. The Bible is a window. We look through it to see Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And when we see Him we see God in His essential nature.
We see our heavenly Father. Have you realized before today that the One who died in your place on the cross is really God the Son, your Creator and Sustainer? Have you put your faith in Him alone to forgive your sins, give you eternal life and make you a child of God. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me. John , NIV. You may, with an act of your will, put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today, right where you are sitting. Just tell God:. I know I a m a sinner. I believe that your Son died for me and rose again. I put my faith in Him alone to forgive my sins, bring me to God and give me eternal life.
Our studies this fall will emphasize what Jesus revealed about our heavenly Father while He was here on earth, both in His words and His works. I want you to be constantly thinking that was his purpose as you do the questions at home and during our lessons here:. The loving, gracious, righteous, compassionate God Jesus Christ revealed is the same today.
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