Majesty and Humility

colorful sunset

Jesus is worshiped because he was and is God. He is the creator Word, the saving Lord, the reign-of-God-establishing pantokrator, Lord of all. There is no secret God hiding behind the back of Jesus, furtive and unknown, whom we must periodically reimagine to suit our changing ideology. Jesus, in the flesh of his Mary-given humanity, is God. God is none other than who he is for us and for our salvation in, through and as the man Jesus. Through him, in union with him, which is the principal work of the Holy Spirit, we know the Father, serve the Father and worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

– Andrew Purves,
The Crucifixion of Ministry

The Gracious Mystery

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Prayer . . . is either the primary fact or the worst delusion. If God is not, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, prayer is the veriest self-deceit. If God is, yet is known only in vague rumor and dark coercion, prayer is whimpering folly: it were nobler to die. But if God is in some deep and eternal sense like Jesus, friendship with Him is our first concern, worthiest art, best resource, and sublimest joy.

Such prayer could brood over our modern disorder, as the Spirit once brooded over the void, to summon a new world. Prayer would not then dispel the Mystery: worship requires Mystery. . . . But the Mystery then would be a gracious Mystery, inviting and needing the friendship of our humanity, granting us light for life here and “authentic tidings” of life hereafter.

— George A. Buttrick,

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

We can only point


It is impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle. All-wise. All-powerful. All-loving. All knowing. We bore to death both God and ourselves with our chatter. God cannot be expressed but only experienced.

In the last analysis, you cannot pontificate but only point. A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, “I can’t prove a thing, but there is something about his eyes and his voice. There is something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross—the way he carries me.”

–Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking

The cruciform God

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When the crucified
Jesus is called
“the image of the invisible God,”
the meaning is that
THIS is God, and
God is like THIS.

–Jürgen Moltmann

Redefining God

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Christmas calls 
for a total revolution 
in our view of God.

–Glen Scrivener

Truth, Goodness & God

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All other teachers have pointed beyond themselves to truth. Jesus pointed to Himself and said: “I am the truth.” And somehow or other we believe it; for if we could sit down and try to imagine a perfect illustration of abstract truth translated into life and action, we could not think for the life of us of a better illustration than Jesus of Nazareth.

A man lived two thousand years ago; and now when I think of truth, I do not add truth to truth to get Truth—I think of Jesus. When I say Truth, I think of Jesus. When I say Goodness, I think of Jesus. And when I say God, I think of Jesus. If I don’t, I miss Truth; I miss Goodness; I miss God.

–E. Stanley Jones

What is God like?

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

–Lord Byron
(1788 – 1824)

God’s idea of God

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Our idea of God
is not God.
Instead, we ought
to begin with
God’s idea of God,
and God’s idea of God
is Christ.

–E. Stanley Jones

Getting a look at God

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One great advantage of the incarnation
(God in human form) is that
now we can see God.
Just look at Jesus.

–Larry Crabb

The starting point


Our starting point is Jesus. But someone objects and says, “The Gospel begins with God.” No, for until Jesus came, there were views about God and there was news about God, but no Good News. Apart from Jesus we know little about God, and what little we know is not Good News. The conception of the character of God apart from Jesus is questionable. In Jesus our question marks about God turn into exclamation points.

In the face of Jesus we know what God is like
and what we must be like if we are to be good.

If God is other than Jesus, He is not good; if He is like Jesus, He is good. This is an astounding thing to say, yet when I say it, I hear the Ages give an resounding Amen. And it reverberates through all things.

–E. Stanley Jones

Jesus shows us God

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As Christians—as followers of the Lord Jesus—when we talk about God, we are talking about one who has entered into the very fabric of our world, who has come as close to us as we are to ourselves, a God who has become incarnate. When we talk about God, ultimately, we are always talking about Jesus. For the God of the gospel is the God who has come among us in Jesus of Nazareth. We believe in God because of Jesus.

Jesus is the one who showed us the face of God—
Jesus shows us the truth of God,
Jesus shows us the love of God.

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Jesus is God’s smile beaming at us out of the depths of eternity. Jesus is God’s love wrapping around us, seizing us and not letting us go. Jesus is God’s grace, reaching into the darkest and most shameful dimensions of our experience. Jesus is God’s healing, binding up the wounded.

Jesus is God’s goodness, in a world
full of chaos and disaster and catastrophe.

Jesus is God’s great strength for the weak. Jesus is water for the thirsty, and when you drink that water you will never thirst again. Jesus is bread for all those who are starved and hungry, famished for something good and something true. Jesus shows us God. He is not God’s explanation, he is not God’s argument, he is not God’s debate. He is God’s simple, great, loving act, showing us, Here I am, here you are.

In Jesus, God shows us God.
That I believe, is the whole secret
of the Christian faith.

–Ben Myers
(emphasis added)

God made visible

Jesus was God letting people 
see the beauty of His face
and listen to the music of His voice,
and feel the irresistibly gentle
drawing power of His presence.

–S. D. Gordon

Not the God we imagined

Jesus reveals a God
entirely different
to the monstrous bore
we routinely imagine
God to be.

–Mike Reeves

The quest is over

Man in his homesickness for his Heavenly Father has looked at nature to see the image of God. He views sunrises and sunsets and mountains and flowers and wonders if God is like that. But the storm rages, thunder rolls, flood arise, and the earthquakes shake; nature is cruel, and man’s faith in God’s being, like Nature is shaken with it all. No, God is not like that! The nature-worshipers are confused—and empty.

Then man looks on the works of his hands—on idols. He goes through austerities to wring out of the idol some favor or attention. For instance, in the hottest period with the thermometer 115 digrees in the shade devotees in India will measure their length on the ground for 50 miles to get to the temple to ring the bell, and thus get the attention of the idol. But the idol sits attentionless.

Then man looks to his books for some word from God. But the letters are letters, not life. He drinks of the words, but knows in his heart of hearts that this is not the Word.

Then he looks on the face of Jesus, and in one look he knows his quest is over. Jesus is “the Stamp of God’s very image.” The doubt now is not whether Jesus is like God, but rather is God like Jesus? If He is, then He is a good God and trustable.

If the best of men should try to think out what kind of God they would like to see in the universe, they could not imagine anything better than that He should be like Jesus. 

–E. Stanley Jones

The human face of God

This is one of those all too rare, Christ exalting, heart warming, bless your socks off messages. It will likely rearrange your theology. Scrap your plans for the evening and give this one a listen. You’ll be glad you did.

Published in: on 02/01/2012 at 7:41  Leave a Comment  
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We see Him as He is

We worship a God who lived in the womb of one of His sinful creatures for nine months, washed the dirty feet of his betrayer, and humbly forgave those who tortured him to death. Through Christ, the veil of distortion and misrepresentation of God’s character is removed and we see Him as He is.

–Brad Cole

A Jesus-like God

The gospel begins with Jesus, not with God. Apart from Jesus you know little or nothing about God, and what you know is wrong. If you don’t see God in the face of Jesus, you see something other that God—and different.

Jesus is the self-revelation of God:
God meeting us in understandable form,
human form, the Word become flesh.

God is a Jesus-like God . . . apart from Jesus your ideas of God become strange and uncertain. When you lose Jesus, you lose God . . . the more I know of Jesus the more I know of God.

–E. Stanley Jones

The Christlike God

The old religious image of a vindictive, angry punitive God gives way to Jesus, who cherishes all people, even sinners. Jesus does not present a God who demands but who forgives, who does not oppress but raises up, who does not wound but heals, who does not condemn but forgives. Woe then to those who wound, condemn, oppress and punish in his name. It can only be said, they do not know the God of Jesus Christ.

 –Brennan Manning

Face to face with God

We must reject as inadequate or inaccurate the attempts to find God through nature—the nature worshipers; the attempt to find God within ourselves—the “I” worshipers; the attempt to find God through teachers, gurus, priests—the human worshipers; the attempt to find God in legalism—the written law worshipers; the attempt to find God in slogans and affirmation—the cult of the Positive, the Positive worshipers; the attempt to find God in the quiet of submissiveness—the worshipers of Silence, of Quietism.

In any of these you may find glimpses of God, but if you are to see God face to face you must see God in the face of Jesus Christ. For Jesus is God approachable, God available, God simplified, God lovable. The Word has become flesh.

–E. Stanley Jones

God is like Christ

If the finest spirits of the human race should sit down and think out the kind of a God they would like to see in the universe, his moral and spiritual likeness would gradually form like unto the Son of Man. The greatest news that has ever been broken to the human race is the news that God is like Christ. And the greatest news that we can break to that non-Christian world is just that—that the God whom you have dimly realized, but about whose character you are uncertain, is like Christ.

–E. Stanley Jones

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