By the Command of God Our Savior
There are a couple of questions that I like to ask people because I’ve asked these questions of myself. 1. Why do you believe what you believe? 2. Who is God to you? Those questions push us to consider what we think and know about God and how He works in this universe. Sometimes the question is just too big and we run from spending the time necessary to come to our own conclusions. When we neglect the work of coming to our own conclusions we find ourselves living on the conclusions of another or worse yet, the conclusion of others who may not even agree. This situation brings us back to the life principle that where there is agreement there is authority. To live in authority, we need to come to conclusions that we own for our own lives.
So, let’s begin with “Who is God?” Who is God to you? Paul seems to be rather clear that there is a God who has a plan and a will for life and from that place He calls us to obey His command in life. Now, if you see God as loving, then that perspective isn’t so bad. But, if you see God as angry, unable to spend time or share space with sin and sinners, who is ready to judge harshly those who fail to live up to His expectations, then that perspective of God is scary.
Paul says that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ by the command of God. We’re beginning to get a picture of God from Paul’s perspective. God is in charge, working to reach the world with His love which He demonstrated through Jesus Christ and now has called Paul to the same mission in his lifetime. God cares! God has a plan or mission for this world and He has called Paul to work in the mission of bringing the world into agreement with God’s word, work and will. Paul has accepted the call of God on his life and now he is extending the calling to Timothy and through Timothy to us. God loves the world (men & all of creation). Man, however, is different than the rest of creation. Man is made in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27). There’s no doubt that man is more valuable to God than the rest of creation. God came for man through Jesus, living, dying, rising from the dead and coming back for man. But then, man is the one who sinned and because of man’s sin all of creation was made subject to this fallen situation (Romans 8:20-21).
So, who is God. God is love (1 John 4:8). There are a lot of people who struggle with that definition. Those people will argue that if God is good or is love, then why is there sin, shame and suffering in this life? There is sin, shame and suffering in this world because God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, choose in love, to create a world and a life where He could share His love with us. (We will talk more about the Trinity of Father, Son & Holy Spirit later but what you need to know that love cannot exist in one, it’s a community thing.) God is love and in His love, He choose to have you and me to share this love and life with Him (Ephesians 1:4). But, love only works through agreement and that agreement cannot by forced. Love gives us the choice to come into agreement with God. God then demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God choose to create this life, this universe, so that He could share this love and life with us but we (man) choose to disagree with God and agreed instead with a fallen angel named Lucifer. In this decision, man chose to no longer believe in God’s love and to disobey God’s will for man which left man in a state of sin and death. Because Adam sinned, we, who share his fallen DNA, are born with a propensity to sin (Romans 3:23) and the wages (result) of that sin is death (Rom 6:23). We can see that God created a life and a world where we could share His love and His life with Him if we choose that life (Joshua 24:14-15).
Here’s something else to think about. We believe that there is one God who created the heavens and the earth, man and everything that lives in the universe from a heart of love. God is infinite (Job 11:7-9; 37:23); we are finite and the only way we can know God is that He chooses to make Himself known to us. God is spirit (John 4:24). God, is light (1 John 1:5). God is Holy so He is always faithful and true to His Word and there is no fault or sin in Him (1 Peter 1:13-16). God is eternal (IS 40:28). God is immutable in that He never changes (Heb 1:12). God is independent, self-sufficient (John 1:1-3). God is omnipotent, all powerful (Matt 19:26). God is all-knowing or omniscient (Rom 11:33). God is omni sapient, possessing all wisdom (Rom 16:27). His is omnipresent (Jer 23:23-24) absolutely righteous and just (Dan 9:14) being full of mercy (Deut 4:31; Ps 103:8).
So why do you believe what you believe about God? Paul says that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God. Paul has placed his life under the command and will of God. We can’t place all our trust in someone or something that we don’t know. It’s that trust that birth the passion and purpose that burns in our hearts. So, here’s your assignment for this week. Who is God to you and why do you believe what you believe about God? And what has God called you to do in your lifetime for Him? Think about your giftings and relate them to the answer of this question. Write out your response and send it to me.
Have a great week