There are many things in this world that I just don’t understand. Like, platypuses, taxes, gravity, people, or why the alphabet has the vowels mixed in with the consonants. But it’s ok, the world is too big and I’m too small to learn everything about everything.
In Christianity, there are several things which are rather difficult to understand. Some of these things are vital to your Christian walk, while others are meant to be learned as you walk. If I was to put together a list of the strangest and hardest thing to understand about Christianity, I think, I would place the Trinity right at the top of the list.
In this post, I won’t be going into an explanation about how to understand the Trinity. I feel like that has been well covered. Instead, I would like to talk about how the nature of God, our creator, affects who we are. But before we dive into how God’s nature affects us I would like to set the stage by asking the question, why does it affect us?
In the very beginning of the Bible, we learn that humanity was made in the image of God.
“God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
Because we are his image, we have some of his attributes. Now it’s obvious that we were not given all of them. If we were, we would not be an image we would be him. However, as his images, we do have some of those attributes and they are really awesome, but they do come with responsibility. This is why his attributes affect who we are.
So with that said, the first observation I have about God’s nature is that he is Love. It’s import to note that when I say, God is Love, I am not describing what he does, but who he is. Allow me to explain. In the unity of the Trinity (the three in one nature of God), the father Loves the son and the son Loves the father. However, they are not two gods who choose to Love, they are one God whose choice makes him Love. So God effectively IS Love. Only In the incomprehensible unity of the Trinity can, chosen, self-sacrificing, placing others before yourself, Love (known as Agape Love), exist as the literal essence of a being. A cool fact, which comes out of this, is that in all other religions life comes before Love, the creatures must be created before the god can Love anything. Christianity is the only religion where Love came before life.
God gave us the ability to Love in the same way he does (Agape Love). I believe that this gift is at the core of the human condition. Because, in order to exercise a Love that is chosen, free will, is required. So, God gave us the ability to exercise free will. However, because he gave us the ability to make choices, he also opened up the possibility that we would choose to rebel agents him. By rejecting his authority. Choosing instead to indulge our selfish desires.
Another one of Gods traits is that he is unity. Although there is diversity found in the persons of the Trinity (The Father, The Son, and The Spirit), they are unified in a way, which escapes understanding. Making God, the definition of unity in diversity. Because of this, it is not surprising that humanity has a deep desire to achieve unity in our diversity. Also, It’s not very surprising to me that one of the commands that Jesus gave the church was that in our diversity, Jew, gentile, western, eastern, male, female, republican, democrat, we are to be unified as his Church. Sadly, once again, what God intended is frustrated by us choosing sin, (which seems to be the literal enemy of the nature of God).
Another observation about God is that he is our Lord. As the creator of the universe, he is the literal owner of everything. He makes the rules, things are what he says they are because he made them how they are. This reality, of the lordship of God, places humanity in a precarious position, mainly because we often don’t want to be under his authority. This is one of the reasons why sin is so bad, it is the act of rebelling agents the authority of the Lord of the universe. Sin also has a corrupting nature to it. The influence of sin has changed what God made at the start into something quite different. Consequently, we live in a lost world which revels in, confusion, violence, disagreement, and delusion. In fact, the choosing of sin is the reason why, though humanity was created by God, we often portray the image of a creature created by hell.
This leads into the last observation I have about God, he is a physician and a counselor. The corruption of sin affects everyone and I would suggest, to the reader, that there are some things about your personality that have been corrupted, by others and your own personal sin choices. I would also suggest that the only way you can truly become whole is to enter into a relationship with your creator. I think that C.S. Lewis provides the best answer, as to why this is.
“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be… It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”
The last thing I want to say is that if you want to get to know God better you should start by reading about Jesus. As a human he is very relatable, but, “in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Making him the perfect picture of the personality of God. I want to end with this quote by James Stewart, about Jesus’s divine personality, because I find his insight quite profound.
“He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at his coming, yet he was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children Loved to play with him, and the little ones nestled in his arms. His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine. No one was half so compassionate to sinners, yet no one ever spoke such red hot scorching words about sin. A bruised reed he would not break, his whole life was Love, yet on one occasion he demanded of the Pharisees how they ever expected to escape the damnation of hell. He was a dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism He has all of our stark realists soundly beaten. He was a servant of all, washing the disciple’s feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and money changers fell over one another to get away from the mad rush and the fire they saw blazing in His eyes. He saved others, yet at the last Himself He did not save. There is nothing in history like the union of contrasts which confronts us in the gospels. The mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.”
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