Sermon Illustrations


We make our first mistake in attempting to define God or describe God if we think of "God" as a common noun rather than a personal noun. "God" is a name, the way of addressing a person.

Names are important. One of the first things we want to discover when we meet a person is what his/her name is. We all have several names or titles to which we respond. How people address us reveal something about the nature of their connection to us.

At church I’m called "Pastor Bruce or Pastor Montgomery." Sometimes when I’m being introduced, it is as "Dr. Montgomery." Among friends and peers I am called "Bruce." My wife calls me "Honey." My children call me "Dad." My granddaughter calls me "Gompa." If my dog could talk, she’d call me "Master." If someone calls my home phone and asks, "Is Robert there?" I know they’re either calling from the dentist or doctor or selling something (Robert is my first name, used on legal and official documents.

A primary means of self-revelation is a person’s name. Our names tell people something fundamental about us. Throughout Scripture, God reveals himself through various names or titles - both those he used to identify and describe himself and those others ascribed to him.

MANY names, titles, descriptions of God are in the Bible. All OT names for God are built around two core names: "El," (the more general and universal term) and "Yahweh" (the more personal and covenantal term). The particular name or title that appears in a particular text is not accidental on the part of the author. It depends on who is using it, the context in which it is spoken, and the purpose for which it is used.

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