Posted by: forbygrace | August 16, 2008

Who are you, Lord?

That was the question that Saul of Tarsus asked when confronted with Jesus on the road to Damascus. It’s a question everyone one of us who is a believer has asked upon coming face to face with the gospel. The new believer may have a very basic view of who God is—his whole understanding may be nothing more than what we see in the thief on the cross who believed Jesus to be the King when he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).

As we read and study God’s word and grow in our faith the milk of His word gives way to the meat and we come back, often with more questions, and ask again…”who are you?”

In our bible study class we just finished a series on the attributes of God where we strove to answer the question: “who is God and what is He like?”. It’s important that our answer to that question matches what we read in scripture. The God who gave living water to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:4-26) is the same God who struck Uzzah dead for touching the ark (1 Chronicles 13:10). He’s the same God today as He was throughout all of scripture—so is His unchanging nature (Malachi 3:6).

Our natural way of thinking is to embrace the attributes of God that we find most acceptable to how we want to live our life. How often do we read and accept the passages that talk of God’s love, mercy and patience, and gloss over the passages that speak of His justice, holiness and sovereignty? I have heard it said, “Oh, that was the God of the Old Testament….and the Jews were far more rebellious than us in the church today”? But how is it in scripture? Recall, that it was the New Testament church where we saw Ananias and Sapphira struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10). Paul goes on to tell us that there were many who became sick and others who died because of not honoring Christ in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).

You might ask: “If I know God saved me and trust in Him, isn’t that enough?” It’s a fair question on the surface and it’s a legitimate starting point, but it’s no place to stop. If you are married, imagine how your spouse would respond if you told them that you were content to know no more about them than you knew when you first met. What good marriage operates that way? If it’s unacceptable in marriage, how much more unacceptable is it that we think that way concerning our Heavenly Father?

C.H. Spurgeon was once confronted with the discomfort the doctrines he preached would bring and responded: “I do not like it, says one. Well I thought you would not; whoever dreamed you would!” You see, getting to know God is almost certain to cause us to wrestle with what we read. Because God is more concerned with making us holy than He is with making us comfortable, it stands to reason that our ambition should be the same.

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