The Attributes of God Series
Part 1 – Knowing God
The name ‘God’ has come to mean many different things, in this mad world where terrorist acts are carried out, supposedly in the name of “God” and natural disasters such as earthquakes and terrible storms are called ‘acts of God’.
If we are going to make up our own minds concerning who God is and what He is like, all we are really doing is creating an idol in our heads. A made-up God; and that’s very sad, when we can know who God really is.
So how can we know God?
1. READ YOUR BIBLE
The most important way to get rid of our preconceived ideas of who God is and really get to know Him, is by reading His Word. The Bible isn’t just a book. It is ‘living and active’. (Hebrews 4:12)
It’s ‘God – breathed’. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
The Bible is absolutely filled with descriptions of God’s attributes (his character)
I remember, 40 years ago, when I first became a Christian, going to a Scripture Union meeting at school. A girl was giving her testimony in an interview style. The person interviewing her asked ‘how often do you read your Bible?’ And she said ‘every day’. I was shocked and horrified!! What!? Every day? Am I going to have to do that? I thought of the only Bible in our house, a dusty old King James Version that my teenage brain could barely take in and the thought of reading that every day did not fill me with excitement.
Now I look back on that day and laugh to myself. I find it difficult to get through a day if I haven’t spent time reading God’s Word.
If you struggle to read the Bible, find yourself a version that you understand. There are so many out there and good electronic versions too.
Its vital to read and study your Bible. “How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
Psalms 119:103-105 NLT
“But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
Psalms 1:2-3 NLT
2. LOOK AT THE LIFE OF JESUS
The Bible says that God is spirit (John 4:24). So getting to know God is very different from getting to know a fellow human being. God knew that and, in his love and mercy, had a radical solution: He became man – in Jesus Christ “the whole fullness of God dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
Jesus himself said it: John 10:30 “The Father and I are one.” – John 10:36-38 “why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”
I recommend that you read all of John chapter 17, however here are one or two telling verses from this powerful Prayer of Jesus’: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:3-5)
If we have questions about the character of God, we just have to look at the life of Jesus. When we know who Jesus is, we know who God is.
A good place to start, is to get one of those ‘red letter’ editions of The Bible, where everything Jesus said is in red font. Read through the gospels. Even if you have been a Christian for a long time this is a really good exercise to do. Become reacquainted with the person, Jesus. Read all the things he did and said. He was God with us – Immanuel. God in the flesh. (Isaiah 7:14)