Summary: Without a knowledge of God you would have no concern at all about the great hereafter. So by learning who God is we discover that there is so much more beyond our reach more than we could ever hope to grasp.
Did you know that when Jesus walked upon the earth He had an identify problem?
Not that anyone had stolen His identity like people do today but Jesus knew that people very close to Him were unsure as to who He truly was. It came up for the Disciples in Matthew's Gospel and it is here that we will begin to examine God’s identity to see if we know God as well as we think we do.
Sometimes it can hard for us to explain God to other people especially non-Christians. They kind of look at us hoping for an easy answer but as you well know identifying God can be a complex undertaking.
Next week we are going to begin a Bible Study called “Believe” and the subject of God’s identity will be our first topic.
So this morning I want to give you a preview of what we will be looking into.
I have found that it is always best to start at the beginning when trying to explain something that can be difficult to grasp.
The famous poet Robert Browning wrote “One's reach should exceed one's grasp else what's heaven for?" - Robert Browning
In that short sentence Mr. Browning is challenging people to go beyond that which you can already reach – at this time we are on planet earth but our desire is to be citizens of Heaven. It could be that Mr. Browning is challenging us… "Heaven" is what religious people strive for, or are reaching for and in order get there, you have to be better than what you are, a human. By that I mean a human who sins. Without heaven, you wouldn't care about your sins.
Without a knowledge of God you would have no concern at all about the great hereafter. So by learning who God is we discover that there is so much more beyond our reach more than we could ever hope to grasp.
Explaining God is the most difficult thing for human beings to do but we do have a great reference tool to help us and that is God’s word the Bible. The Bible you see is unique in all the world of books because the Bible is self-revealing. That means that it explains itself all along the way in ways no other book on any other subject ever could.
When turning to the Bible for help it tells us this…
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
The word “Fear” here is a Hebrew word “yir ah” that means exceedingly reverent. The word reverent means worshipful.
So if we are going to begin to understand just who God is then we must approach the subject with a great sense of worship, reverently mindful of who God is and who we are.
Only when we approach learning about God with this kind of mind and heart can we hope to understand the holy.
So that’s a good place to start. If we were to answer someone’s question about who God is we would have to start with God is Holy.
Now that is a state of being that we cannot fully understand since we are not holy we are fallen or sinful. But we can grasp enough of that word from down here to know that there is much, much more to holiness than we can begin to explain.
This problem of explaining who God is was a problem that the Early Church Fathers also wrestled with.
Like us they came to the conclusion that God is Holy and that God is a Trinity. They got this by looking at the first book of the Bible Genesis.
There it tells us that God is a Trinity being as we see all 3 persons of God expressed.
Genesis 1:1-5 KJV
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
So in the beginning God was there. We see God the Father here
God did the creating of the heaven and the earth.
The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. We see God as Spirit here.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Here we see the word of God who is Jesus.