Who is God?

         “In The Beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth (Gen 1:1).”

          The Bible tells us that God is the creator of all there is in the universe.

          “It is I who made the Earth and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with my hands and I ordained all their host (Isaiah 45:12).”

        There are many misconceptions about God, so how can we know who God really is? Is He a kindly grandfather who wouldn’t hurt a fly? Or is He an angry tyrant just waiting to punish all who look the wrong way? Or is He somewhere in between? To find these answers we must look to the Bible. God has revealed Himself to us through his word.

God describes himself in this way:

         “The LORD, The LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty… (Exodus 34:6-7)”

         So, as we see from these verses The LORD is merciful, gracious, faithful, and showing steadfast love, He is forgiving, but He must also punish sin because God is holy and just. He calls us to:

         “Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones (Psalm 37:27-29).”

         To those who are right with God, His children, there is forgiveness, mercy, and abounding love but:

         “Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish. The righteous (those who are right with God) will inherit the land and dwell in it forever (Psalm 37:27-29).”

         God is a loving Father, for those who choose to become his children, He protects, provides for, teaches, and guides. But like any loving Father, his wrath is reserved for those who seek to hurt his children, rebel against Him, and do notaccept the gift of His forgiveness.

         “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him (Isaiah 30:18)!”

         Although God’s wrath rests on those who reject His gift of salvation offered through the death of Jesus on the cross, he longs for all to come to Him to receive His forgiveness.

Why do we need God’s forgiveness?

         As we saw in the previous section when sin entered the world, we all became sinful, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” Every one of us has sinned against a Holy God, whether we intended to or not and the world around us encourages and even celebrates this sin nature that we inherited.

         Without the forgiveness that comes from the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, we cannot have fellowship with God, who loves us  “God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth. There is only one God, and there is only one way that people can reach God. That way is through Christ Jesus, who as a man gave himself to pay for everyone to be free.”

         “God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people (1 Timothy 2:4-6).”


How do we receive His forgiveness?

         The Bible says “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).”

         Even though we were in a hopeless situation brought on by the sinful nature we inherited:

         “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”

          Because of God’s love for us, He sent His Son Jesus to pay the penalty, remember when God told Adam that he would surely die if he sinned? We are all due spiritual and physical death because of our sins, but God sent Jesus to die in our place so that we could be restored to a close relationship with Him. 

          Let’s take another look at our police officer and the bank robber, in order for them to be together the debt the bank robber owes must be settled without compromising the integrity of the police officer, the only way to do that would be for the police officer to write to the governor and get a pardon for the bank robber, then the crimes of the bank robber can be forgiven and the police officer still upholds his vow to uphold the law.

         God is Holy and just he cannot overlook our crimes or he himself would then be corrupt, so he placed our crimes onto Jesus and placed the righteousness of Jesus on us. “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19).” We are made right with God by believing in the obedience of Jesus.

         Looking back at our football analogy, when one player scores a touchdown the whole team gets the points, the score counts for them all.

         So just as the sin of Adam was counted against us all, The obedience of Christ is counted for us all when we join his team by placing our faith in Him.  

         “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (found not guilty) by his grace as a gift, through the redemption (to be released from blame or debt) that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation (satisfying God’s wrath against sin) by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance (patience) he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:23-26).”

         So, the sacrifice of Jesus accomplished the same thing for us as the pardon did for the bank robber, it satisfied our debt to God making it so that we can be in a right relationship with Him and still satisfies His holiness and justice. In this way, God saved us from our sinful nature.