Who is God?
The Bible tells us God created the world and everything in it and that He alone rules the heavens and the earth. He is in control of everything.
Who is this God? What is He like?
From the Bible, we learn that God is Holy (set apart) and other than His creation. He is not creation but He is here; He is there; He is everywhere.
God is perfect. He is self-sustaining and all-powerful. As a being He is relational. He is loving, righteous, trustworthy, and just. He is intentional and purposeful in all His ways.
The Bible says,
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my (God’s) ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God has volition, or a will, and His will trumps our will. Ultimately, God’s will, will be done.
Do you want to understand the mind and will of God?
Who is God? Where is He?
What’s God’s story?
God has chosen to reveal His will for humanity in the Bible. The Bible is the epic story of God’s purposeful relationship and plan for humanity.
It tells of how God created the universe; how the first humans became separated from God; and how God provided a way for humanity to once again have a relationship with Him.
In the beginning, God created the first man and woman as the pinnacle of His created order.
He made humans with both a body and a soul.
He created humans in His own image.
Although God is the Supreme Being, He made us like Him in certain ways, but to a lesser degree. Similar to God, humans have intellectual power, moral freedom, and spiritual immortality.
The physical body dies, but the human soul lives forever in a resurrected body.
God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, to live in harmony with Him, to worship Him and enjoy Him forever. He created men and women to be in a right relationship with Him, with one another, and with the rest of creation.
God loved His creation. He did not demand allegiance, nor did He coerce Adam and Eve to obey. God gave the first man and woman the choice to love and obey Him.
God did this so that Adam and Eve would choose to be in a right relationship with Him.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve were able to walk and talk with God. They chose to obey God and stay in a right relationship with Him, at least for a time.
Can you imagine having face time with God and hanging out with Him?
God gave the first humans freedom of choice. He created humans as moral free agents with the ability to obey or disobey His guidelines.
In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve only one divine directive—He told them not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. This fruit would make them wise in their own eyes and would ultimately destroy the right relationship they had with God.
Eating this forbidden fruit would lead to physical and spiritual death.
You may know the rest of this tragic story.
The first humans chose to disobey God. Instead of trusting God and obeying His divine directive, Adam and Eve challenged God’s authority.
Adam and Eve wanted to be wise; they wanted to be like God and so they chose to usurp God’s authority. The result of their poor choice (what the Bible calls the “original sin”) was separation from God. The relational harmony between God and humanity was broken, and God banished humans from His presence.
Instead of love and fellowship with their Creator God, humanity now experienced shame, guilt, separation, and a profound sense of loneliness.
Sin entered God’s good creation and with it came destruction and death. Humans were no longer at peace with God, with one another, or with the world around them. Separation from God makes the world a dangerous place to live.
Do you ever feel like life, relationships, and living is risky and dangerous?
Do you ever feel helpless, unsafe, or unsure of your future?
Do you ever wish life could be more simple and peaceful?
When the first humans chose to not trust and obey God, they sinned. This original sin had consequences for all of humanity. Men and women became permanently separated from God. No longer could humans choose not to sin. A “sin nature” was now part of humanity’s DNA.
A sin nature is now part of your DNA. So, although you still have a free will (you make choices), your freedom is limited. You are not able to choose to never sin. You have inherited a sinful nature, passed down from your first parents. You are born with a propensity toward rebellion, disobedience, and sin. You are born separated from God.
Do you doubt this is true? Hang out with a two year old and see if “NO” is not his or her (and your!) most common word. All humans are by nature selfish, sinful beings. More often than not, sin seems to surface, and when it takes hold and is actualized it wreaks havoc in our lives, especially in our relationships.
The Bible says,
“Our hearts are deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”
Sin destroys relationships and alienates us from one another and from God. We are born separated from God by our sin.
That may seem unfair, at least until you recognize the severity of sin.
Why Does a Good God Allow Evil?
What is Sin?
According to the Bible, sin is real. It is missing the mark. Sin is deviation from God’s character and the righteous moral law that flows from it. Anything inconsistent with God’s perfect character is sin.
Sin is being deficient, imperfect, and flawed.
Sin is the refusal to obey God and follow Him. Sin is lawlessness. Sin is seeking to live your life your way rather than submitting to God’s way.
“ We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us to his own way.”
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”
Sin can be an attitude (I will be my own god!) as well as an action. Sin flows from our impure hearts and, if left unchecked, it leads to destruction and death. (see James 1:14)
We need only to look around us, read the local headlines, or watch the new to know that sin is alive and well. And if we turn the focus inward, we see that our thoughts and actions are impure. We do and say things we don’t want to do and say. We hurt people we love, and they hurt us.
The Bible describes our struggle this way,
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree the law (God’s decree) is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.”
If you leave your sin nature unchecked, if you do not acknowledge your depravity, if you do not expose your dark side, and if you do not admit your bent toward rebellion, you will remain a lost sheep separated from God forever.
You must admit a sin problem exists in order to embrace its solution. Knowing God is the solution.