The Nature of God
Originally scheduled for March 5
Christian philosophers have long puzzled over
how to express the nature of God. One of the consistent ideas given
is that he is the sum of all perfections. That means that he is not
just righteous; He is righteousness. He is not just loving; He is
love. This nature of God runs up very quickly against the
difficulties found in the Scriptures, to wit:
God is a God of justice. He defends
the widow and the orphan; he has no tolerance for sin and his
actions are always just and right.
God is love; he is a merciful God. It
is his desire to be forgiving — but not without dealing with justice
We, one at all, are sinners. How does
the righteous and just God bring mercy to the sinners that he loves?
The solution to this problem is known to us;
anyone who becomes a Christian understands what God has done.
in the flesh. He could’ve descended an angelic form and left us
with a few notes, but that would not fully meet God’s requirements.
So he descended to earth in the form of a baby, born like the rest
of us and living the life of a poor child until he was grown.
He specifically came to be the
atonement — the sacrifice which would pay for our sins. Throughout
the Old Testament God taught the people of Israel that the atonement
sacrifice was necessary. He also taught them that the animal
sacrifice must be unblemished, perfect as a representation of
It beggars the imagination to say this. This is
not something human beings would dream up; we believe in the
possible. The author of the universe has a much greater imagination.
More than that: his mercy did not require us to
memorize and follow a complicated set of regulations; rather, he
told us to love one another — just as he loves us. It is
mind-boggling to think that he
gives us salvation, asking only that we trust him. This was
designed to produce not only obedient Christians but devoted ones.
Obedience may be commanded; devotion has to be inspired.
Before you now is a simple ritual. It is
designed to portray what Christ has done. The bread represents his
body, crucified for us. The cup represents his blood, shed for us.
He asked simply that you remember his sacrifice, his atonement, by
doing this. It is a reminder of the greatest set of facts on this
planet. Great love inspires great heights.