Who made us and what were we created for?
Everyone believes in God...
Every culture, even in the most remote places has some belief about God. There are myriads of religions and cults - each with their own beliefs about God. It seems like the need to relate to the divine is built into the heart of people everywhere. This is because God has created all of us with what John Calvin called the sensus divinitatis - that is, a 'sense of the divine'. Eternity is written on our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11)!
The reason for this is because, whether we acknowledge it or not, we all live in God's world and His creation itself testifies to the Creator (Psalm 19:1-2; Romans 1:20).
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
Everything we see in nature and our own perceptions of logic, reality, beauty and transcendence testify to us that God exists. Even the atheist perceives these things and must try to find alternative rational explanations for them. This is what the Bible calls "suppressing the truth" (Romans 1:18).
This suppression can often be subconscious as we are all skilled at self-deception if there is sufficient emotional motivation. Many other religions and beliefs replace the knowledge of the True God with a distorted image of a false god. However, when God helps us see the beauty of the Bible's true story of reality, we no longer fear or hate the truth, but rather embrace it.
Christian Apologist, Greg Bahnsen once said:
"It is not the end or outcome of knowledge to fear the Lord; it is the beginning of knowledge to reverence Him (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10)."
So, since it is the beginning of wisdom to know and fear the LORD, we must ask - who is God? What does the Bible say about the True God?
WHO IS GOD?
The God of the Bible is the only God and Creator of the Universe. The Triune God of the Bible is One infinite being eternally existing in three Persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit who have eternally been in perfect relationship, love and harmony. God is perfect, good, wise, sovereign and much more! We were created to trust, serve and love this God totally.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”
GOD IS HOLY
The Bible says many things about God, but one of the primary ways the Bible describes God to us is that He is Holy.
What does 'holy' mean?
Holy simply means, “set apart.” God is totally “set apart” from everything and everyone else in all of creation. He is unique. He is different to us and everything else that is created. He is transcendent and infinite – beyond our limitations and full comprehension.
“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
Many people who reject God actually have a false perception of who God really is - and so, what they reject is not actually the True God, but rather a god of their own imaginations. The God of the Bible is unlike any other conception of god that people have invented. No other religion has dreamt up a God that is totally sovereign, just, merciful, loving and good in the same way that the Bible describes.
But what else does the Bible say about God?
GOD IS THE JUDGE
Because God is totally wise, all-powerful, all-knowing, righteous and perfect, He is the only rightful Judge of all the Universe.
GOD’S LAW SHOWS US HIS GOODNESS AND HOLINESS
God’s Law shows us His holiness because the Law is based on the character of God Himself.
Below are the two 'tables' of God's law from the 10 commandments.
The 10 Commandments (God’s Law), found in Exodus 20 lay out for us God’s commandments to us about (i) our relationship to God (Commandments 1 to 4) and (ii) our relationship to others (Commandments 5 to10). They are God’s perfect moral standards to us which we must obey.
Below is a brief summary of the 10 Commandments and what they mean:
Commandments 1 to 4
Our Relationship to God
Commandments 1 & 2 – Don't have any other gods and don't make idols or false gods to worship (Exodus 20:3-4).
Because God is the Creator of all things, all of His creation should glorify and give Him thanks. Because we are His creations (Genesis 1:26-27), we are not autonomous, but rather we are accountable to God. We were created to bring God glory in all that we are and all we say, do, and think.
Commandment 3 – Don't malign who God is or misrepresent His character (Exodus 20:7).
We should not take His Name—which represents and stands for all of Who He is—in vain, or to think less of it, or dishonour it. We “take the Lord’s Name in vain” when we think, believe, talk or act in ways that do not honour all of who God is in His perfect character and holiness.
Commandment 4 – Set apart a day of rest to remember and thank the Lord (Exodus 20:8).
The purpose of God's gift of the Sabbath (day of rest) was for people to rest from their work in order to remind them of God’s gracious provision and worship Him. Sabbath rest was to show us that we are dependent on God for all things, and life itself. Sabbath rest reminds us that we cannot give ourselves all we need to flourish, and we must stop to worship and thank God as the only One who can.
Commandments 5 to 10
Our Relationship to Others
Commandment 5 – Honour your father and mother (Exodus 20:12).
The second table of the Law shows us that God’s moral perfections must be also expressed with regard to our relationship with others. It starts off with honouring the people closest to us and in positions of authority over us—our parents—just as God is our Father and Sovereign authority.
Commandment 6 – Don't murder (Exodus 20:13).
Because God is the only author and giver of life, we must not take life nor hate other people made in His image (cf. Matthew 5:21:22).
Commandment 7 – Don't commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).
Because God is ever faithful to His covenant, we must not be adulterous – either in thought/lust or action (cf. Matthew 5:27).
Commandment 8 – Do not steal (Exodus 20:15).
Because God owns all things, we must not take that which does not belong to us (time, money, possessions, etc) – no matter how small the value.
Commandment 9 – Don't misrepresent the truth (Exodus 20:16).
Because God is truth, we must not lie or omit the truth.
Commandment 10 – Don't envy what is not properly yours (Exodus 20:17).
Because it is God who chooses to distribute things as He wills, we should not covet or be envious of things which are not ours. God is not merely after our external keeping of the Law but after our hearts and inner intentions and desires.
Why is the knowledge of God and His Law important?
Because God’s perfect moral law does not solve our problem, it diagnoses our problem.
This is why simply trying harder to do better at following the moral law does not save us.
In light of all of this, the right vision of God gives us the right view of ourselves. It allows us to see that we are sinners who have broken our Holy God’s perfect law.
But what exactly is sin and why is it such a big deal anyways?
GOD | SIN | CHRIST | RESPONSE
Let's now move on to the second point: