godhead Meditations

God Has Rights

The news is buzzing about rights. Religious right. Speech rights. Expanded marriage rights. Human rights. Pre-born rights. All of us have an innate understanding of what it means to have our rights ignored, squandered, or taken away.

Did you know God has rights? Here are only a few:

  • The right to give eternal life (John 17:2)
  • The right to judge (John 5:27)
  • The right to everything created (Deut. 10:14)
  • The right, as head of the church, to gift how he wills (1 Cor 11:3; 12:28)

God gives us the freedom to act but we should consider at least four things:

  • Am I honoring the Lord?
  • Am I properly representing the Lord?
  • Am I giving the Lord his due glory?
  • Am I respecting God’s rights? (Said another way: am I taking any of God’s rights away from him?)

Notice that I didn’t include “am I sinning?”. It’s easy to look for “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not” but it’s much harder to stop and consider if what we’re doing (1) honors him, (2) represents him properly, (3) glorifies him, (4) respects his rights to judge, rule, gift, and own.

Here’s an easy example with money. God owns all money and shares it with us granting the freedom to use it. When have you last used it to honor, represent, and glorify Him? Now, when have you stopped and said “wait, this isn’t mine, this is God’s!” and given it back to Him? 

That’s just with money. What about our lips? Our hands? Our day-to-day? How are you respecting the Lord’s rights today?

godhead Meditations

God’s Rights Set Aside

We don’t think twice about squishing the mosquito that dares bite our brow. God had every right to punish us rebels. He could’ve wiped us out at the garden. He could have wiped us out throughout any point in history. In fact, he could also have simply left us alone, ignoring us and leaving us in our frightful plight.

Yet, here is what Scripture tells us:

  • But God demonstrates his love for us (Rom 5:8)
  • But God is faithful (1 Cor 10:13)
  • But God, rich in mercy and love gave us life (Eph 2:1-5)
  • But God gifted his Son (Rom 6:23)
  • But God chose the foolish things of the world (1 Cor 1:27)

God, who had the right to condemn, didn’t use that right. Instead, he extended salvation and hope at just the right time in history. Instead, he sent His Son, born under the law and born to a woman, to bring peace and good will to mankind. Rejoice! God set aside his rights so that we might be made right with him.

godhead Meditations

Knowing God

Imagine someone saying that they know your dad and talking about all of the good times they had. The problem is that this person describes your dad with the wrong ethnicity, wrong facial description, wrong body type, the wrong job, and the wrong character. You would rightly conclude that whatever good times this person has had, it is not with your dad.

Good news: God makes Himself known in Scripture! The universal church has learned and been speaking about him in the same way for two-thousand years!

Now, that doesn’t mean all of us know, but it means that information is available for those in a relationship with God. Not by your feelings but by what God has said in Scripture.

Three verses are important here:

  • Jeremiah 9:23-24 says that anyone’s single crowning hope and boast is that they understand and know God.
  • says that the Scripture was given for this very purpose. God revealed Himself so that we are ready to work.
  • 1 Timothy 3:15 says that the universal church, not you as an individual, are the pillar of truth. So what we know about God is defended by the universal church as a whole over these thousands of years.

Do you know God as He is? Are your beliefs in accord with Scripture and what the church has held onto for two thousand years? As a member of the “pillar of truth”, how can you grow in the knowledge of Him?

godhead Meditations

Knowing that God Exists

Scripture tells us that everyone, even unbelievers, knows that God exists. The Bible says that although people “knew God” they refused to give Him thanks (Rom 1:21) and traded the truth about God for a lie (Rom 1:25). Sadly, this is how people can foolishly say that God doesn’t exist (Psalm 14:1).

We Christians, on the other hand, know that God exists. The Psalmist writes “God: as the deer pants when it is thirsty for water, so my soul longs for you?( Psalm 42:1). This should be true  for all Christians. Do you long for God? Do you live your life as if you truly believe God exists?

godhead Meditations

God Makes Himself Known

We can’t know God if he didn’t first reveal himself to humanity. Even in nature, we only know about God because “God has shown it” to us (Rom 1:19). Further, because of sin, we humans have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (Rom 1:18, 21, 25) which means that we twist God’s self-revelation even in nature. We need God to reveal Himself.

Jesus says no one knows the Father except the Son. Jesus, both being God and being sinless, had unhindered and total understanding of the infinite God. Jesus continues to say that in addition to the son, there are also those “to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matt 11:27).

Don’t be mistaken. Jesus is not saying that Christian Jane can know the Father, but Christian Tony won’t. Jesus is not saying that he implants thoughts to make us know the Father. Jesus makes the Father known through Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 proves helpful saying that God reveals perfectly, sufficiently, and usefully from Scripture.

We may never fully know the infinite, unsearchable, and unattainable depths of God (Psalms 145:3; Psalm 139: 6, 17). What can be known of God is because the Son (who is the Word) makes the Father known through the Holy Spirit (who knows the mind of God) by moving people to write (2 Pet 1:21).

This week, get to know what God says about Himself by interacting with Scripture.