The Bible assures all human beings that they will someday meet God. That may be a sobering idea, even a scary one. But, to rightly know God also gives us a joy and eagerness to meet Him. Now, if we were left to our own understanding, we could only surmise certain things about God, things based on His creation –His eternal power, creativeness, divine nature, and wisdom; how He values orderliness and cooperative working in what He has created. Through creation, we get to know God only in a limited way, the same way that you might “know” an artist by studying their paintings or hearing their music.
A God Who Reveals Himself
Thankfully, God has revealed Himself to mankind in another way – by interacting directly with people at chosen times in history and by having certain chosen individuals write down His thoughts and words; that is the book we call the Bible. If we are to rightly know God, we must let Him tell us who He is and what He is like, even if we can’t fully understand or comprehend Him (It’s actually comforting to know that God transcends our human limitations).
God’s Unique Being
In some Bible passages, God tells us He is one God: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Jesus also quoted this verse in Mark 12:29-30.) And “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
In other passages, God speaks as though there is a “pluralness” to His being: God’s Spirit inspired King David, who had no earthly “Lord” over himself, to write these words: “The Lord says to my Lord.” (see also Matthew 22:41-45). In Genesis 1:1-3, we read: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” During the creation, “And God said” is repeated seven more times. Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 1:2 both tell us that all things were created through the Son of God. This is also stated in John 1:13 where the “Word” of God is described as a person. So in creation, we have a singular God being referred to along with His Word and His Spirit. When God made man and woman, the Bible records these words: And God (singular) said, “Let us (plural) make man.”
God’s Clearest Self-Revelation
As John chapter one elaborates on the person called the “Word” of God, it eventually says in verse 14, “the Word took on human flesh and dwelt among us.” This is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. Who He is, what He says, and what He does – are the Word of God: God’s clearest self-revelation. Jesus told us and showed us the truth of God’s nature that we would never grasp just by looking at creation – That God so loved all people, that He sent His only Son to give His life that anyone might trust in Him, receive from Him everlasting abundant life, forgiveness of sins, and a restored friendship and fellowship with the only awesome, holy God (see John 3:14-17).
God the Holy Spirit
How do we come to receive this wonderful work and promise of God? Not by our own human power or understanding, but by God’s work through His Spirit. The Bible explains that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, guides us into all truth by taking what belongs to Jesus and the Father and making it known to us (John 16:13-15). Jesus spoke of sending the Holy Spirit who “proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26). And in Romans 8:9, the Spirit is called both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.
Jesus made other statements of the intimate union that He and God the Father share: “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father…I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:7-11). “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Jesus taught that “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve” (Luke 4:8). At the same time, Jesus always accepted worship of Himself (Matthew 8:2, 14:33, 28:17, John 9:38, 20:28). People were worshipping the Lord their God in the person of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Is this a contradiction? No.
One Being, Three Persons
In the Bible, we come to know our God as both mysterious and wondrous. He exists as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet He is just one God – a single essence. Humanly speaking a person is a being with thoughts of their own, like you and I. Often times we think of essence like a fragrance, the “smell” or “taste” or “tone” of something. Here it means the very “stuff” of a thing – the wholeness of what makes something what it is. All three persons of the Holy Trinity share one essence. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together. This Holy Trinity, or Triune (three-in-one) God; this essence of the Three persons in One being cannot be divided. And having one essence, the three persons fulfill different roles but never act independently. They always act in perfect harmony and conjunction with one another. When Jesus began His ministry He was baptized, and all three Persons of the Trinity manifested themselves. Jesus was in the water. The Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon Him. And the Father spoke from heaven saying, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22).
Awesome God; Awesome Salvation
This Triune God -Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- is the God Who so loves us, Who gave His all to save us, Who through His saving acts and promises brings us to trust Him and know Him as the compassionate, gracious, and merciful God that He is. And because God is for us and not against us – because, through Jesus, He makes us His forgiven children – even when judgment day comes, we can eagerly look forward to meeting this awesome Triune God and spending eternity in His awesome presence.
At Christ Lutheran Church Montrose, we want you to get to know this awesome God. We are in Montrose, Colorado, and are always happy to meet new members, so come plan a visit and worship with us! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at any time.