Sunday, 26 September 2010

Understanding God

A summary of the Bible Hour presentation at the Christadelphian Hall, Blackpool Street, Burton-upon-Trent on Sunday 26th September 2010.

Nobody can really understand God. He is the creator of the universe, we are puny transient creatures with limited minds. “There is no searching of his understanding.” (Isaiah 40:28)

But God has revealed himself to us in ways that we can understand. He wants us to take the trouble to understand him.

God has told us that one day the whole earth will be full of God’s glory (Numbers 14:21).

What is the glory of God? There are two aspects to God’s glory:

1. his moral glory – his character.

2. his physical glory.

These two aspects are each seen in Exodus 33 and 34. Moses asks to see God’s glory; God tells him no one can see his physical glory and live, but he hears a voice proclaiming God’s moral glory: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation.”

Psalm 19 shows both aspects of God’s glory: verses 1 to 6 describe the wonders of creation, and the following verses describe his wisdom.

God chose Israel as a nation to show forth his glory: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

This covenant was later opened out to include people of all races who are faithful (Galatians 3:28-29). There are those with whom God will make his covenant (e.g. Psalm 103:17-18), and those with whom God will not make his covenant (e.g. Psalm 50:16-23). God will make his covenant with those who are faithful and obedient.

Jeremiah 9:24: “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”

If we reflect the moral glory of God now (by following Christ), we can live in the hope of reflect reflecting his physical glory in the future, when Christ’s faithful are given immortality on his return. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21)

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