What is God really like?

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“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Heb 1:1,2).

 

In the last article, we established that to get an accurate revelation of God, we must look at Jesus. We cannot truly know what God is really like by focusing alone on the writings of Moses and the other prophets. What the Old Testament does for us is point us to Christ.

See the words of Jesus in John 8:56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” The Jews were angry at this statement, but Jesus was undeterred. He told them in verse 58: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

In John 5:46, Jesus said:  “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” Furthermore, in Luke 26:27, Jesus spoke from the law and prophets the things written concerning himself. The Old Testament points you to Jesus. The teachings and nature of Jesus point you to an accurate understanding of who God is.

 

In Leviticus 15:19, based on Moses’ limited revelation, he declared that any woman who was on her period was unclean and should not be found in the company of others. But see Jesus’ response to the woman with the issue of blood (Matt 9:20-22). He called her daughter. He healed her. He spoke kindly to her. He never reprimanded her to stepping out into society. That is who God is. He is more interested in making you clean than in casting you out because of your uncleanliness.

 

In Luke 9:51-56, we see a clearer picture of who God is. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and wanted to go through a small Samaritan village, but they would not let him through. Peter wanted Jesus to call down fire to consume them, but Jesus sharply rebuked him. He said: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:55,56).

 

Of course, just like a father would discipline his own children in love, God disciplines us. But his kind of discipline is not the kind that is unbearable. It is true that there is a coming wrath for everyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus. But God is not sitting down in heaven with a long stick and frustrating those who desire him so much so that they choose destruction. No. The salvation plan was his idea. He came to the earth as a man to die for our sins. He rose again for our justification. His spirit lives in everyone who believes, preserving us until the end, empowering us to leave above sin, and beseeching the unsaved to himself. That is who God really is.

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