By Ronald Bartanen
Everyone has some concept of some god. God, to some, is one who would advocate a violent death to innocent men, women and children just because they believe in a different god. To others, he is so accepting that he would tolerate all sins to the point that all would be saved. To still others, he will judge all men strictly on the basis of law, with little or no mercy or grace. Others would imagine there to be no personal god, but would look upon creation itself as god, fashioning itself through a process of millions of years of evolution. Such would consider themselves to be answerable to no personal god that they would face in judgment. Then there are those who may claim a faith in the God revealed in the Bible, but he is not recognizable by biblical standards. I read of one church that advertised itself as teaching “the modern view of God,” as if that were a plus. Such would seem to believe that Christians should be able to revise God, remaking Him to suit every generation. In reality, regardless of what may be our claim, we are all worshipers of the god, true or false, which we have within our minds. Jesus spoke of those whose hearts clung to material wealth as serving Mammon, the god of wealth (Matthew 6:24). The apostle Paul wrote of the danger of covetousness, the overpowering love of, and desire for, material things, as “idolatry” (Colossians 3:5), the worship of a false god.
Who is your God? The apostle Paul wrote, “Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:5). Only the Bible gives us the correct view of God. All others are false gods, formed in our minds. The Bible presents God as the one Supreme Being, Creator of heaven and earth, “and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). He is the living God, holy, almighty, all-wise, all-powerful, and always present. Truly, “God is love” (1 John 4:16), but He is equally just (Isaiah 5:21). He is “the Judge of all” (Hebrews 12:23), but also the Savior of all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, as Paul declared in Titus 3:4-6, “After that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost: which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com