What God is really like

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God’s Utterance

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Jesus of Nazareth is God’s utterance. He is the Word of God because no more thorough, personal, and beautiful revelation of God is possible.

He who is the perfect statement and rhetoric of the Father, the revealer of divinity, shows up in the form of a servant and sufferer and overturns our notions of deity. The One who is to be worshiped, exalted, and obeyed comes to serve and to give and to lay down His life for others. He unveils the essential truth and unsurpassing glory of the divine nature—a God who pulsates with goodness and power and love and beauty. Jesus reveals a God whose blessedness lies in giving rather than receiving, whose essence is an overflowing, unstoppable tsunami of grace. “Jesus Christ is the mercy of God,” wrote Karl Barth, “he is the love of God, he is the open heart of God.”

The Lord of glory has made Himself know in His Son—and He turns out to more wonderful than we ever imagined.

-J.O. Schulz

Living with a False View of God

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If we do not allow Jesus to recalibrate our image of God we are probably going to live with emptiness, guilt, suspicion, and fear. If we take spiritual matters seriously, we will likely be driven to religious activism to secure a place in God’s good books. We will function like servants and not like sons. Christian living will become dutiful, joyless, and burdensome. We may give it our best shot, but inside we’re running on empty. We may wear a smile, but our heart is struggling to keep going. A false view of God sabotages our spiritual life. Vital Christianity involves knowing that we have a Christlike God.

–Author unknown

What is your picture of God?

JesusInCrowd3The foundation for . . . Christianity as a whole—is the claim that God looks like Jesus . . . Jesus spent his ministry freeing people from evil and misery. This is what God seeks to do. Jesus wars against spiritual forces that oppress people and resist God’s good purposes. This is what God does. Jesus loved people others rejected—even people who rejected him. This is how God loves. Jesus had nothing but compassion for people who were afflicted by sin, disease and tragedy. This is how God feels. And Jesus died on the cross of Calvary suffering in the place of sinful humanity, defeating sin and the devil, because he passionately loves people and wants to reconcile them to God. This is how God saves.

–Gregory Boyd
Is God to Blame?

God explained

blank squareChrist 25 copy Jesus is the exegesis,
the exposition,
the explanation of God.
We cannot know God
outside of Christ.
There IS no God
outside of Jesus.
He’s God enfleshed.
      –Frank Viola

He is what God is like

Christ 38BLet us be rid of that horrid, sly idea that behind Jesus, the friend of sinners, there is some more sinister being, one thinner on compassion and grace. There cannot be! Jesus is the Word. He is one with is Father. He is the radiance, the glow, the glory of who his Father is.

–Michael Reeves
Rejoicing in Christ

Debunking the myths

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Men forsook God, and made carved images of men. Since therefore an image of man was falsely worshipped as God, God became truly Man, that the falsehood might be done away.

–Cyril of Jerusalem
(313—386)

Art: Rembrandt

The Central Issue

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Immediately you lose sight of the central, majestic figure of Jesus Christ, you are swept off your feet by all kinds of doctrine; and when big things hit us we find that our religion does not stand us in good stead; our creed does not agree with Jesus Christ.

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The revelation of the Deity of Christ does not come to a man’s intellect first, but to his heart and life, and he says with amaze-ment, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” The great point of the Bible revelation of God is not only that God was in Christ but that Jesus Christ is God. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” said Jesus.

If Jesus Christ is not God,
then the only God we have is an
abstraction of our minds.

–Oswald Chambers
(1874-1917)

A Christlike God

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God is Christlike,
and in him is no
un-Christlikeness
at all.

–Andrew M. Ramsey

What is God like?

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If God isn’t like
Jesus Christ,
He ought to be.


–Lord Byron
(1788 – 1824)

A God who stoops

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I search in vain through non-Christian systems for one authentic note of the self-giving, serving God. True, there is service as a royal dispenser of favors and benefits; but this is deeper, for here is service by a Servant.

He did not merely bend over to hand out,
he bent over to get under.

He stooped under the poverty and the toil, the sin and the shame, the troubles and the toil—under the very lives of fallen men, and when there was nothing left to get under, he got under the cross and bore that for them.

–E. Stanley Jones
The Christ of Every Road

God’s message to man

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Jesus is the Word of God.
He is not the best Word.
He is not the ultimate Word.
He is not the seal of series
of improving words.
He is the Word.

–Glen Scrivener

The starting point

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“In the beginning was the Word . . .
and the Word became flesh…”
(John 1:1,14)

The Gospel begins with Jesus, the Incarnate. If you don’t begin with Jesus, you don’t begin—you don’t begin with anything except roads with dead ends. We know little or nothing about God, and what we know is wrong, unless we begin with Jesus.

If you do not see God
in the face of Jesus,
you see something other
than God—and different.

–E. Stanley Jones
(emphasis added)

This is our God

Every false theology in history has been a failure to take seriously — that the only true understanding of God is that which comes through revelation of the Son, who is the full, perfect, absolute representation . . .  of who God is and what God is like.

–Gordon Fee

God is like Jesus Christ

The deepest conviction of all Christian theology is the affirmation that the God of all the world is like Jesus Christ. . . If we take this seriously we conclude that God cannot be cruel, or self-centered or vindictive, or even lacking in humor.

-Elton Trueblood

Divested of distractions

Men are too ready to look upon God as crushing force and cold omniscience. Had Christ appeared on earth with all His splendours about Him, He would have perpetuated our mistake. But He took another way. It is the very essence of the Word to be the Divine expression of the inmost nature of God. The inmost nature of God is love. and when Christ emptied Himself of the excercise of omnipotence and infinite knowledge, He did not empty Himself of love. He divested Himself only of that which would have dazzled and distracted us, in order that we might see His love more perfectly. The self-sacrifice of Bethlehem, leading on to that of Calvary, leaves no room for doubt. The Babe, lying in the manger, is the “sign” (Lk. 2:12) which convinces us of a richer theology than we could have guessed at, and makes us cry, with the angels, “Glory to God in the heights.”

–Arthur J. Mason

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