Friday, January 30, 2009

A Personal God - Prime Reality, Part 4

In our discussion of the Prime Reality of life, the first issue one must address is the question of the existence of God. But the discussion does not stop there. If one comes to the understanding that there is indeed a God who exists somewhere outside of our time-space continuum, then the discussion must turn to the question of what that God is like. As a review, Hebrews 11:6 says,

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is rewarder of those who seek Him. (NASB)

To come to God, one must first believe He exists. This is the first question of Prime Reality. The verse continues to say that one must believe "He is the rewarder of those who seek Him," which is the issue of character, or, the question of what God is like.

But where does one start the discussion of what God is like. If I asked you to describe the taste of coffee, without using the word "coffee," to someone who has not tasted it before, how would you describe it? If one really thinks about this for a while, one would probably find that it would be hard to really describe how coffee tastes. If our human language makes it difficult to describe something as pedestrian as coffee, how much more will it be to describe the indescribable God. However, we must attempt to do so in order to understand the God we worship.

I think a good starting point in the discussion of what God is like is to say that God is personal. In some of the classes I have taught, when I ask what I meant by saying "God is personal," many have answers which indicate they think personal means personable. Or they think it means God is their private God. Saying God is personal does not mean He is friendly nor does it mean He is your personal God.

God as personal means that He is a person. God is not an idea, God is not a force, God is not the universe. God is a person and has attributes of a person. God exists (Heb 11:6), God has an intellect (Psalm 104:19-30), God has a will (Acts 13:17), God has emotion (Deut 9:7, Rom 5:8), God relates to others (Exo 3:4-4:17, God is a person.

This idea of God as a person should significantly effect the way one attempts to approach God. As a person, He has set attributes which cannot be made up by the one approaching Him. For example, one may want to make assumptions about me, a person, if they come to introduce themselves to me, but just because they have those assumptions does not make them true. However, once I begin to show others what I am like, then they get to know me better. The longer they know me, the more I show who I am, and the more they get to know me. This is why usually our closest friends are those who have known us the longest or seen a lot of who we are and still like us. This time together is time sensing who each other is, or simply thinking about each other, it is time conversing and relating in intimate ways.

Similarly, as one attempts to approach God, one cannot just make up what they think God is like and then expect God to be like those assumptions. Because God is person, we cannot make God into who we want Him to be but instead must get to know who He is. We look for how He has revealed Himself to us. And, because He is not just some other human person, but instead Almighty God, we must then approach Him on His terms. Additionally, one does not simply sense God or meditate on something to find God. Since God is a person, we talk with him (also known as prayer) and relate to Him in a way we can with no one else.

God as personal is big stepping stone for our discussion of Prime Reality and "What is God like?" This single concept is radically different than many other worldviews and is one of the truths which makes Christian Theism unique. However, the question is not how unique it is, the question is "How true is it?" If our discussion is concerning the Prime Reality, the implications are far reaching in every area of life. If God is a person, then perhaps He did create humans in His image and thus all humans, in every stage of life, has inherent value. If God is person, and can think and emote and chose, then perhaps there is a basis for the things we call "right" and "wrong." If God is person, then perhaps there is a way to commune with Him and have a relationship with Him.

For those out there wondering about this, the answer is "YES! There is a way to relate to God through the person and work of Jesus Christ." Please choose Christ today! If you would like to know more, either click HERE to see how to receive Christ, or respond to this post and we can talk.