Bible Ballistics: Do You Know Who Your God Is? Vol. 4 #22
How can we serve God, unless we know who He is? Well, obviously the answer is: ‘We can’t’!! I’d like to take a simplistic approach to this question today and hopefully help some to perhaps identify for themselves, who God is and where they stand with Him. I have wonderful people in my life, as you do I’m sure, who are great, moral, kind people, who think they have a right to heaven and God’s approval because they are kind, nice, fair, honest, they don’t kick the dog or practice prejudice…. as they see it. But is that what God expects? Is that enough to gain entrance into heaven?
God makes Himself known throughout scripture. He revealed Himself in the past in a progression of revelation, and even now we can only come to know Him as we seek Him through His Word and His Son. But let’s take a look at a relatively familiar vehicle to search out who God is: the Ten Commandments that God delivered to Moses (Ex. 20). I don’t intend to do an exhaustive study of these but rather to peruse them and see what we can glean in our search to see who God is, and how we can come to know Him.
Basically the 10 commandments are divided into 3 parts: Our relationship to God, the relationship within the family, and our relationships with one another.
In the first segment consisting of commands 1-4, God tells us (summarily) to “not have any gods before Him” (gods with a small ‘g’, as God is the only true God, worthy of worship). We are not to make graven idols and bow down before them (or before any idol we may erect in our hearts). We are not to take His name in vain (meaning using His name in ways other than to address Him, honor Him, acknowledge Him or share the truth about HIM to others). He also tells us to honor the Sabbath (in regard to rest and worship, but we won’t enter the modern debate about that here today).
Without question, God declares that HE alone is God, and He alone is to be worshipped, obeyed and followed. That’s pretty simple—one God and one way to come to HIM. HIS WAY!! John 14:6 declares:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He’s not only God in reality but the way as well!!
This parallels what God says in the ‘commandments’, and it is essential that we understand the import of what Jesus is saying here. While Jesus declares in several places in the New Testament that HE IS GOD, here He tells us that not only is He God, but that He is the only way to the Father (remembering that there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—tri-unity). This is a watershed statement made by Jesus Christ: ONLY ONE WAY to ONLY ONE GOD!! While Muslims acknowledge Jesus as a ‘good prophet’, they deny His deity. This is impossible!! That Jesus is a ‘good prophet’, a ‘good man’, or a ‘good teacher’ and not God is impossible. A good man must speak truth! Jesus claimed that He Himself is God, and that as the ‘God-man’, His atoning death is the only way to God the Father, to eternal life!! He cannot be ‘good’ if He is not who He said He was. Either He is God, He is the only way OR he is a liar, a madman and/or a lunatic. HE can’t be both.
And while we’re on the subject. Many claim that God and Allah are the same!! NO, they are NOT!! God is the I AM, the God of Abraham who says, He is the only One, and Jesus also claimed to be “I AM” throughout the Gospel of John. Also Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” If ‘Allah’ denies that Jesus is God—He is NOT the same as Jehovah God Almighty acknowledged by Jews and Christians!! (See 1 Jn. 2:12+) For our God said “..this is my beloved Son…” on at least two different occasions, referring to JESUS!! (See Mt. 3:17, & 17:5)
Either Jesus always was God and still is, or He never was God and can’t be now? You must decide, there is no middle ground. Either God is God, and He is, so either obey HIM or go do something else with your time. That is, the time you have before you will stand before His exact presence and try to explain why you rejected Him, His truth and His Son. Hard truths, but truth nonetheless. The ‘commandments’ declare that God is God and it’s His way or, not the ‘highway’, but the ‘hell-way’. I didn’t say it, God did in His Word. (See Rev. 20:11-15)
The second segment of the commands deals with the family. ‘Honor thy father and thy mother.’ God created the family in Genesis, and He has never changed the design, regardless of the alterations that man has tried to make through the years. From polygamy, to adultery, to sexual deviance, to any form of ‘marriage’ other than that which God created.
Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” And Jesus confirms that ‘God’ said this in the New Testament.
Matthew 19:4-6, “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (See Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31 for more confirmation)
And man is still trying to ‘put asunder’.
So, we see that God calls us to acknowledge that HE is God, and we are to esteem the family also. The God- established form of the family unit–one man and one woman till death do them part. We could get far afield and discuss the many invasions of modern culture into the ‘family unit’, but suffice to say, our homes are to be God-honoring, God-like and respectful of the sanctity that God originally established for the unit that would produce and shape the future generations that would build-up or destroy society. Our record speaks for itself, and the results are grievous—to God Himself, and we who follow HIM and His Word.
The last, concluding segment is the 6th-10th commands, and they deal with our interactions with one another. When we violate these principles, culture will eventually collapse. Let’s look at the last 5 commands:
Don’t kill –take a life–murder
Don’t commit adultery—to be sexually impure in any way
(Sexually pure being sex only inside of marriage)
Don’t steal—to take what isn’t yours, no matter the reason
Don’t lie—depart from the truth, directly or by implication
Don’t covet—want what others have for your own—greed
(Or more simply put to be discontented–
See 1 Timothy 6:6 & Colossians 3:5)
Pretty simple commands, aren’t they? God says if we have broken even one of these commands we have sinned and that means we must pay the penalty for sin.
Scripture clearly reveals that we all have missed the mark and what the penalty is:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Ro. 6:23
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
So, what have we seen? God is God. Man is man, NOT God, and lost in his sin at that. Only when we recognize that God is God and we are not, will we have any hope of finding HIM.
Proverbs 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”
Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
The key? We must stop being satisfied with our “own deity”! The root of all sin is ‘self’, wanting my way not God’s!! May we see truth, and the dear ones that I love, that you love, that we pray for and care about daily, come to realize that just ‘being good’ isn’t what it’s all about. You must know the God of the universe personally!! And be known by HIM. And you can only do that through HIS Word, His Son, and His salvation. It’s not in yourself, nor in idols of stone, metal, or of your own making. It’s not in ‘Allah’!! Jesus declared that HE IS GOD!! Not simply a good man, a good prophet or a good teacher—HE IS GOD. Only in accepting that and believing that HE died for you, will or can change come to any life. I’ll leave you with 2 passages to ponder.
John 8:24, (Jesus speaking)
“I said therefore unto you, that
ye shall die in your sins:
for if ye believe not that I am he,
ye shall die in your sins.”
“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born,
not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man,
but of God.”
He is God!! Have you bowed before Him?