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Topic: Harmony and Diversity

The Bible's Picture of God

by Darrel Cline

If we were to turn to the Bible to discover what God is like, what would we find?

First, we would find that He is powerful beyond our imagination. The opening statement of the Bible is that God created all that exists, both of what we know and what we don't know. To do that required power which even an atomic bomb doesn't compare with in an adequate way.

Second, we would find that He is demanding beyond any of our feeble efforts to comply. The first real story of the Bible is about God requiring obedience from the first man and woman. At that point, His demandingness wasn't too great: only one demand and not a hard one at that. But, from there it has been all down hill. The demands have grown and multiplied.

Third, we would find that He is also loving in His own, hard to understand, way. In the final analysis, Jesus Christ was the demonstration of His love: but Jesus didn't have an easy time of it, nor have any who have trusted in Him since.

Fourth, we would find that His power, demandingness, and love were all brought together by His grace. Grace is God doing for others what He required of them. His doing is backed up by His power--so it is effective. His demandingness is what He required, and He did for us what He required. What did He require? Total love, faith, and obedience. Who rendered it? Only Jesus. How did grace apply it? By faith.

Let me explain. God is powerful enough that no one is ultimately going to escape Him or His judgment. He is demanding enough that no one who tries to pass His judgment by personal merit is going to get by. Hell awaits those who try. He is loving enough that Hell for us bothers Him. And He is gracious enough to do for us what He required of us. Since He required moral perfection, He supplied it in Christ. Then, having supplied it in Christ, He made it available to us by faith. He said, in effect, "If you will trust Me for a free gift of eternal life, I will give it to you through the merit of Jesus Who died in your place."

So, the Bible tells us about a God who is both fearful and not to be feared. He is awesome in power, demandingness, love, and grace. His power and demandingness are fearful. But His love and grace mean we may have boldness to come to His throne of Grace and find mercy to help us. So we are actually urged not to fear.

The bottom line of the Bible's picture of God is, however, one of integrity. God has it, and He brooks no foolishness from those who don't believe He has it. Thus He has made eternal life a matter of trust in His promises on the basis of His integrity. Those who believe get life. Those who waffle, get death for eternity.

Do you believe in this biblical picture of God?

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This is article #089.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.