This week I would like to take a step back and look at God in a little more of a general sense. What are the attributes of God that are shared by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Again these are just my ideas; please feel free to comment if you think of others. By no means is my list comprehensive.
“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ? Who is like you majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11)
To be holy is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts in Christianity today. If you look up holy on dictionary.com you get a definition that has eight parts to it. Most refer more to personal holiness but there are two that I think help us begin to understand holiness in reference to God. They are:
1. inspiring fear, awe, or grave distress
2. entitled to worship
This first part of the definition really captures what I believe the bible refers to as “the fear of the Lord.” The idea that God is so much more than you and me. He is completely holy (set apart) to the point that we should both fear greatly what He could do to us but also stand in incredible awe at what who He is and what He has done on our behalf. The bible speaks time and again to this incredibly important and foundation concept of who God is and how we are to relate to him.
He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD. – 2 Chronicles 19:9
And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’ ” – Job 28:28
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. – Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure. – Isaiah 33:6
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. – Acts 9:31
The second part of the definition states that to be holy means to be entitled to worship. Isaiah had a vision of the heavenly throne room which begins to speak to this idea.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:1-3)”
In this vision, we can see in Isaiah’s description that God is on a throne that is “high and exalted” again conveying the idea of being set apart from all other heavenly creatures. Again, we get a peek into the throne room of God from John’s vision in Revelation 4. We see God on his throne set apart from the rest with 4 creatures and the 24 elders all worshipping Him.
God is most definitely holy and deserving our utmost fear, respect, reverence and worship. He is set apart from all other living things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
“In the beginning God created… (Genesis 1:1)
Right from the opening pages of the bible, we begin to see that our God is a creative God. From the heavens and earth to the people and all the animals, there is no limit to God’s creative design. This is probably best seen in creation: Sunsets with colors and designs that are never the same, snowflakes that each have unique designs, and the incredible variation in us as humans retaining the “image and likeness” of God but yet being unique and special in giftedness and design.
We can return to the throne room scene in Revelation 4 and see that the 24 elders worshipped God in reference to His creativity, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being. – Revelation 4:11″
Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery. (2 Chronicles 19:7)”
God has rules and has issued commands for His creation and He expects that they will be followed. If they are not, then the payment of death needs to be taken care of (Romans 6:23). This is a part of who God is and it is what He requires.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)”
God is a God of Mercy. He loves us and wants to have a relationship with Him. It is this characteristic of mercy that demands forgiveness on those who have sinned against God. It is this mercy that gave King David a second chance after he failed miserably. The God of Mercy repeatedly gave the nation of Israel chance after chance throughout the Old Testament to come back to Him and worship Him alone.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We can see this aspect of Grace through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as payment for the wrongs we have committed against God. God’s Justice demanded payment and God’s mercy required forgiveness. His grace is the bridge that satisfies both requirements. A perfect lamb – Jesus, who lived a perfect life – would suffice as the payment once for all… Grace is being given what you do not deserve. God is most definitely a God of Grace.
I know that there are so many other aspects to who God is: Omnipotent, Omniscience, Omnipresent, Love, Glory, etc. I just do not have time to get into all of them. Please comment on other aspects that you feel are important to mention here as well.No tags for this post.