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This is the conclusion of a meaasge which began last month entitled "WHO IS GOD ?"

Who Is God ? (part 2)

How do you define right and wrong?

This question may never have been more important than in these times of eroding morals and constantly changing values. We as a society have moved away from absolutes. "moral relativism" is the rule of the day.

To know the difference between right and wrong, a person must have a base to start with.

This is where God comes in. He has set clear standards for right and wrong, based upon His owm perfect nature. We have already learned that these standards are worth heeding because God is all-knowingg, all-powerful and ever-present. Now let's look a bit deeper into His character.

GOD IS TRUTH

As in ancient times, our world worships many false gods. But our Bible teaches of the one true God, the only God whose knowledge and words are true. How can we know that we worship the true God? Is it because we feel right or have certain oppinions? Certainly not, for we are flawed in our ability to know what is true or false. The final court of arbitration is God Himself. He has told us that he exists and that He is truth. (jeremiah 10:10; John 17:3; Romans 9:20)

GOD IS HOLY

We repeatedly see this fact throughout Scripture. The angles are not singing, "eternal" or "faithful" or "mighty", though God is all these things. Rather they praise Him as "Holy, holy, holy!" Being holy means that god is without sin and will not look on sin. This is why the death of Jesus Christ was necessary. For God to be able to look upon you and me, we must appear as sinless and holy. Since we cannot achieve that state by ourselves, Jesus was given to cover us with his holiness. (Psalms 24:3, Proverbs 15:9)

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS

God is just in His dealings with mankind. Even Pharaoh recognized this fact as he and his people were suffereing under the plagues. Pharaoh acknowledged the perfect justice of God in punsihing him for his sin when he said, "I have sinned this time; the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked." (Exodus 9:27) Some people don't like the fact that God has control over their lives. (Many people even refuse to recognize that God has control over their lives!) Job eventually questioned God's dealings with him. God answered Job's questions quite bluntly, and he put things back into perspective for him. (Job 38-40)

GOD IS GOOD

God is the final standard of what is good, and all that God is and does is worthy of approval. This does not mean that God's goodness is contingent upon our approval. God i good whether we choose to believe it or not. Jesus said, "No one is good, except God alone." If God is good, then the definition of good that we should adhere to is, that which God approves, that which is consistant with His character.

GOD IS JUST

This attribute is closely related to holiness and righteousness. God hates sin and His just nature demands that He judge it. God has given us His law and has declared, "The soul that sins shall surely see death." It is because He is just that God has wrath and anger.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD COMPLIMENT ONE ANOTHER.

We learned that God is omnipotent (al powerful), and we see here that He is also righteous. If He were a God of perfect righteousness, without power, we could not be sure that justice would untimately prevail. On the other hand, if He was a God of unlimited power, yet lacking righteousness, how unthinkably horrible our universe would be. Similarly, in God's holiness He is unapproachable to sinful man. But in His love, God approaches us. Because God is holy, just and righteous, He hates sin and judges it. Yet because He is loving and patient, He hives us chance after chance.

Many people ask, HOW CAN GOD BE LOVING YET HATE SOMETHING?

God is the essence of love, but that is not His only attribute. As a parent I love my children with all my heart. Because of that strong love, I would hate anything that would harm them. If a wolf came after a toddler, aloving parent would hate it and stop it. In much the same way, God hates the sin that separates us from Him.

Other people ask, HOW CAN A GOD OF LOVE SEND SOMEONE TO HELL ?

Let me answer that by saying that our just God has given His law. Because He is righteous He has said, "The soul that sins shall surely die." But it is not His intention to send anyone to hell. In fact, hell was not even created for mankind, per se, but for the devil and his angles.

Because God loves humanity, He sent His only Son to die in our place and take the punishment for our peace. Only Jesus, as God incarnate, was qualified to bridge the gap between a holy God and a sinful man. If we reject God's loving offer of forgiveness and harden our heart to His word, we essentially seal our own fate. God has made a provision for man's salvation, but he cannot change the outcome if man refuses to accept His grace.

In the same way, the principle of gravity will not change if someone dives off the World Trade Center, and gravity would not be to blame for the tragic outcome of such a decision. The person who jumped is responsible for their actions, just as the person who ends up in hell is responsible for his fate. The outcome is a consequence of choice.

"The gates of hell are locked from inside." ---C.S. Lewis

HOW SHOULD WE REACT TO A GOD WHO IS ALL THESE THINGS?

We should seek to live holy lives in gratitude for all that He has done for us. (1 John 2:6)

WE, HIS CHILDREN MUST BE TRUTHFUL

Like God, we should love truth and hate falsehood (Proverbs 12:22; Isaiah 59:3-4)

WE SHOULD SEEK TO BE HOLY

To live a holy life is to be wholly committed to God. (1 Peter 1:15)

WE SHOULD BE RIGHTEOUS

We should love all that draws us closer to Him and hate all that drives us away. (James 5:16)

WE SHOULD BE GOOD, JUST AND LOVING

His love must show itself through us. (John 15:4)

Our God is great and greatly to be praised. (Psalm 145:3) Do not be afraid of Him. He is powerful and worthy of our respect, but our reverence should not be that of cowering. Instead it should inspire a love so strong that we will do all that is necessary to keep from displeasing Him. The Christian in relationship with God becomes driven to discard and avoid anything that will hurt that relationship.


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Universal Christian Outreach

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Chicago, IL 60611
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