This will be part one of a four part series looking at the global purposes of the God of the Bible. This God, it is worth noting, is not just one God among others. He is not the “greatest among equals.” He is the only God – existing eternally in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The foundation of every true thought, every real perception of reality begins with God. Let’s look at some attributes of God that show Him to be utter unique.
A God Who Creates Out of Nothing, Including Lack
How did the world begin? God created it. In the beginning…God. God has always existed was never created. Everything that came after God becomes distinct from Him. The heavens and the earths did not exist and then, all the sudden, they did. From nothing, God created everything.
Why, though? We must remember that God did not create because He was lacking. The eternally blessed God was not lonely! Remember that this God is a Triune God. He has existed eternally, satisfied with Himself in the fellowship of the Godhead. Since God is God, He does not need. Paul says in Acts 17 that God is not served by human hands. This sets the God of the Bible apart from every other so-called “god” that we create for ourselves. He exists apart from us. Friend, do you realize that it does not matter if we think God exists or not? It does not affect Him in the slightest. God’s origin and self-existence does not depend on the opinion of man. He does not draw life from us; instead, our lives are completely dependent on Him.
Since God has created everything, He has the right to demand what He wants from His creation. We are the work of His hands. Everyone, from white Americans to Arab Muslims, are accountable to Him and Him alone.
God Defines God
God has revealed Himself. This is a huge point. As we’ll see in the next post, man has attempted to create gods in our own image that look much more like bigger and better versions of us, a god that is much easier to manage and please in our sin. But God is not up for debate. Every once of knowledge about Him must be derived from Him. Since He has created everything, He is the source of all truth.
God has revealed Himself as the “I AM.” Notice He does not say, “I Might Be” or “I Am Who You Think I Am.” This is because God has not left it up to us to determine just who God is. Do you think that God is like your grandpa? He’s not. Do you think God exists to give your anything you want? He doesn’t. Do you think God is an impersonal will, one who doesn’t care and isn’t working in the world? Too bad. I don’t get to make God and neither do you. That is because God is God. We need His written Word to know Him in any redemptive way.
Jesus is God (John 1:1). Nothing that was made was made without Him (Colossians 1:16). Jesus did not come into being. He is equally God, existing from eternity past as the second Person of the Godhead. Any attempt to make Jesus less is to engage in blatant idolatry. This takes many forms. Muslims have created their own god by denying that Jesus was the unique Son of God that died for the sins of His people. Nominal Christians have created their own god by using Jesus as little more than a symbol of moral life, used to get a better standing in society. But, Jesus is God. Any concept of God that is anti-Christ, anti-Trinitarian, is not just another God. It is a false god. We’ll soon see that we have all attempt such treason.
God is a holy God that loves. His love is eternal and not based on what He does to His creatures. This means that God is not love because He saves sinners. Since God is love therefore He saves sinners! God’s very character is love. First love for Himself as the highest good of the universe and second, astoudingly, He loves His people.
God is love (1 John 4:7-8). But love is not God. RC Sproul points out that God is never praised by angels who shout, “Love, love, love.” But in Isaiah 6 we see the eternal hymn reading, “holy, holy, holy.” God’s holiness refers to His utter uniqueness and perfection. God is not an even better man, but is completely other. He alone is holy! God’s holiness refers to His intrinsic value. God in His infinite perfections is the most beautiful being in the cosmos. In Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
God is Glorious
God’s glory is His holiness put on display. God’s glory, as Vos so aptly put it, is the revelation of the perfections of God outwardly like a brilliant light. God’s holiness refers to His commitment to Himself as the best good and highest beauty. His glory is the going public of that beauty! It is the revelation that God is worthy of all worship and enjoyment. This is the end for which God created the world: the display of His glory for the praise of all men through the gospel.
What does this have to do with missions?
We’ll see that this sets the stage for God’s demand of worship from the nations. Only God is worthy, and when His worth is slighted, His wrath comes forth. Does hell seem unjust? It is only because we don’t know Him! God’s glory demands the affections of all creation. Indeed, being created in the image of this God means that our end is to display His glory and character.
All nations must worship this God. It doesn’t matter if you have ever heard the gospel or not. It doesn’t matter if you are white or black, Jew or Greek, Muslim or Methodist. God is worthy of all praise. God is the owner of each and every one of us. This is the foundation of the biblical worldview. Anything else, everything that we humans have concocted in our blindness, is wrong. God is the determiner of reality. We are just living in it. And God’s reality presents a demand on our lives. We must enjoy this God as He does, because only He is worth enjoying. God is the creator. God is holy and loving. God is infinitely glorious. God is God.