“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”Proverbs 9:10
Do you love God? Why do you love him? There are countless reasons to love God, but sometimes our answers to these questions are shaped less by the true character of God and more by what we’ve self-determined him to be. What I mean is that sometimes we create a god in our minds that does not align with the God from Scripture. So do we really love God? If we do, then we know him truly, and we only know him truly by becoming diligent students of his Word and allowing what he says about himself to govern our understanding of him.
God is many things. He is good and just, loving and merciful. He is all of these things at once and that is a good thing! When we love a god that aligns with our personal desires, we miss out on the true God whose goodness we could not possibly replicate in our greatest imagination. The point is, he is so much better than what we may think he should be.
God is constant. This means that his nature and character are unchanging. From the beginning he has always been. He has always existed, but he has also always been the same in goodness, mercy, justice, etc. This may seem insignificant, but it really is a hinge point of Christianity. False claims would have monumental repercussions if they were to be true. For example, the belief that the God of the Old Testament was wrathful while the God of the New Testament is only loving would be a detrimental belief for Christians, as it allows us to believe that God is permissive of our sin because he is “too loving” to discipline, allowing us to live against his Law and never experience true repentance. Think about this: If God had changed, even to the smallest degree, he could change again. We would have no guarantee that the mercy he shows us would not at some point run out. We would have no assurance that Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf is sufficient and will continue to be sufficient for all of eternity. There are massive implications for the things we claim to be true. It is of the utmost importance that God is unchanging. I don’t know about you, but this makes me grateful for the promises of Scripture like Hebrews 6:17 which says, “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath.” Or consider Psalm 102:25-27, which says:
“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.”
These verses remind us of the greatness of God in that he is unchanging and eternal, but they also remind us of the necessity for us to know our Bibles. Knowing God’s Word helps us to worship him truly, but it also keeps us from falling into theological error in ways that have significant consequences.
Another common theological pitfall regarding the nature of God has to do with the Trinity. The Trinity is a word used to describe the three persons of God that are distinct, yet united as one. This pitfall happens when people claim the different persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are different in their will and essence. I’ve regularly heard others make the claim the Father is wrathful, the Son is gentle, and the Holy Spirit is hard to understand. While these claims may sound true, they neglect the fact that the three persons are not separate from one another. If we make a claim about the character of one person of the Trinity, we are claiming it for all three. They are one. If the Father is merciful, the Son and the Spirit are merciful as well. Their individual desires and will are nonexistent. They are completely united. This is repeated often and is especially evident in the many places where God is said to be one. In Isaiah 45:5-6 God says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.” This is also repeated in the New Testament in 1 Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” As you can see, we must allow the Word to guide what we believe about who God is.
Who we understand God to be shapes our willingness to trust him and be devoted to him. What we know about God affects all aspects of our Christian walk. Let’s vow to be people who allow God to speak for himself through the words of Scripture. Let’s be devoted to rightly handling the Word and seeing the magnificence of who God truly is.
Reflection & Application
- God has chosen to reveal himself to us through his Word—the Bible. What does this say about his Word and the importance for us to know what it says?
- When you consider the God you know from the Old Testament, you would you describe him? Is this different from your view of the God you know from the New Testament?
- In your own words, describe the role of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in salvation. If you’re not sure how to answer, consider studying these Scriptures:
- The Father’s role: John 3:16, John 5:30, John 6:37-40
- The Son’s role: Luke 2:1-7, Hebrews 2:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
- The Holy Spirit’s role: Romans 8:9-11, Titus 3:4-6
Editor’s Note: This article is just a taste of what is explored in the eight-week devotional, God of Forever, from Hosanna Revival. Join Haylee as she explores the greatness of our God and grow in a biblical understanding of the incredible Lord we serve.
Photo credit: Emilee Carpenter
Haylee is a wife, mother of two, and faithful church member. She is also pursuing an M.Div from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Haylee is most passionate about Bible literacy and biblical theology. She recently authored her first book, God of Forever, with Hosanna Revival. You can find more of Haylee on Instagram at @hayleejwilliams.