The Messenger - July/August 09


What is God Like?


Many artists have used their talent to try to depict God. Some have sought to capture His likeness on canvas, others on the plaster of walls or ceilings of various buildings. All this has been futile since the Bible declares in two places that “No man hath seen God at any time” John 1.18; 1 John 4.12. We have no idea of the physical details of God. This is not surprising since “God is a spirit” John 4.24, and we cannot define a spirit in physical terms.


However the Bible does allow us to know what God is like in His character. This can be appreciated by tracing, in the Bible, the expression, “God is …”


The first expression we wish to consider is in 1 John 1.5, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all”. This is most startling when we read what the Bible says about us: “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” John 3.19. This teaches that mankind, including you and I, are in the dark morally and have no fitness to be in the presence of God. In fact, since light and darkness cannot dwell together and are in opposition to each other, God and man are totally opposed. This was so true that when the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God came into the world, we read, “the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”.


In light of the above it is surprising to read that “God is love” 1 John 4.8. Many will deny this truth and point to natural disasters, the many tears shed and the multiplicity of diseases and say if there is a God of love why? The love of God is seen in that He has not left us to go on to eternal darkness but has intervened in providing a Saviour. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3.16. He did not only give Him to this earth but He gave Him to be crucified at the place called Calvary, outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. There God’s Son died for our sins and in order that we who were at such a distance, could be reconciled. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” 1 John 4.9,10. From these Scriptures we learn that by believing on Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, we will not perish, that is we will not experience eternal judgment, but we will have eternal life, which is the life of God and enjoy eternal bliss.


Perhaps a doubt arises in someone’s mind and they wonder if God can be really relied upon to fulfil this promise. 1 Corinthians 1.9 says, “God is faithful”. We need not fear to trust Him. He will not forsake us or let us down. The Bible says that our Saviour is eternally the same and will never forsake His own. “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” Hebrews 13.5. This is a wonderful promise that even gives a blessing if read backwards! Listen to the words of Isaiah, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness” Isaiah 41.10.


What happens if we refuse God’s love and His offer of salvation? Hebrews 12.29 records, “For our God is a consuming fire”. If we meet Him without the Saviour of His providing, it will mean eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the Lake of Fire” Revelation 20.15.


It would be wisdom on the part of every reader to ensure that you meet Him in life as a loving Saviour God rather than in eternity as One who is a consuming fire.


Reproduced from "Assembly Testimony" obtainable from W. Neill,
109 Lurgan Road, Banbridge, BT32 4NG, N. Ireland


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