The God Who Is
By Mary Kroeger
We are all familiar with change. We change, our surroundings change, customs change, the climate changes, definitions change, knowledge changes and is increased, etc. Therefore it is difficult to envision and embrace a God who always is and never changes. In our thought life we bring Him down to a changing God – a God who changes in response to how we treat Him, instead of the God who never changes. The natural tendency is to bring Him down to our level of being, instead of recognizing that He is in the process of bringing us up to His level of being. Without an understanding of who the one true God is, we will mistakenly worship and obey the god of our imagination.
This presents a problem. How can we know the God who is invisible to our physical eyes, yet always is? Since we cannot see Him, we have to believe the revelation that He has given us of Himself in Christ Jesus and in the scriptures! If we do not believe that He is who He says He is, we will create a god who only exists in our imagination.
The scriptures tell us that the God who always is, is the Creator of the universe, the Giver of life, and the one and only God! He is omniscient, omnipresent, and never changes. Since He always IS and never changes, nothing perishable can be in Him or enter Him. If it could, He would not be unchangeable. He is sovereign, all-knowing, all powerful, and only does what is right! He is always against all unrighteousness. He always keeps His promises! He has the ability to do His will. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He is the Savior of the world! He is love! He is the sovereign Ruler of the universe! He is a consuming fire; He is the spiritual fire that burns away all carnality.
Let’s take a closer look at some of His characteristics in order to get a better understanding of God. God IS love! He does not have a measure of love; He IS love! Therefore everything He does has to flow out of His love! The human mind has a problem with this. How can a God of love permit all the evil that is taking place in this world? Why did He let it come into this world? Did He purpose it, or was the serpent so crafty that it could sneak the evil in without God’s awareness and ability to prevent this from happening? If so, then God would not be a sovereign God. How can a God of love have a purpose for evil in this world?
God’s great desire and purpose is to make man in His image. Since God knows the difference between life and death, and good and evil, this man would also have to know the difference. He would have to be a man who loves righteousness and only does the will of God; a man who is always against all unrighteousness! Without learning to know how terrible sin is, and how wonderful and powerful love is, this man could not be in the image of God! This man would have to have a love for righteousness and a love for only doing what is right, even as Christ had! This man would know evil and hate it. He would recognize that participating in evil is unrighteousness. At present we see humanity having a love/hate relationship with evil. When doing evil appears desirable and advantageous to us, the carnal mind wants to participate in evil, but he does not want evil to be practiced against him. He loves evil when it looks advantageous to him, but hates it when he is the recipient of it! But evil is always against the will of God. It is always against the righteousness that God is. It is always performed in disobedience to God's will. It is a declaration of its love for unrighteousness. In contrast, obedience to God's will is the declaration of our love for righteousness.
Through Adam sin came into this world, and it quickly became evident how evil sin is. Yet all kept on sinning. Humanity loved evil in the unrighteousness of its love and worship of self. This man was not yet in the spiritual image of God. He was only an earthy image, formed of ground. Since God is spirit, the man in the image of God has to be a spiritual being, having the same love for righteousness that God has, and the same hatred for unrighteousness that God has.
The spiritual image of God came in Christ! In Christ’s willingness to have His love for righteousness tested by enduring the torture of crucifixion without yielding to any evil desires, He revealed God’s love for righteousness. His forgiveness revealed God’s forgiveness. God's willingness to let His Son give His soul a ransom for humanity revealed His great love for righteousness and for humanity. Christ’s hatred of evil was revealed during His crucifixion ordeal. All the unjust taunting, the shame and pain of hanging on a cross with a crown of thorns pressed onto His head, could not get Him to receive one unjust or evil thought! His love for righteousness and hatred of evil kept Him from succumbing to the desires of the flesh! His thoughts remained pure and undefiled! The devil wanted all the unjustified pain to stir up feelings of anger and revenge in Christ, but he was unsuccessful! All his attempts to introduce evil into Him were unsuccessful because Christ, in His righteousness, hated evil! His will remained united with the Father’s will. In His obedience to the Father’s will, He overcame evil and death! His resurrection proved His victory!
“In Adam all die, and in Christ all are made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) In Adam, the first corporate man, all die. In Christ, the second corporate man, all are made alive! Christ did not die as a single entity, for it was the Son of Man, the second corporate man, who died. We were crucified together with Christ! (Gal. 2:20) In Christ, the Son of Man, the second corporate man, all are made alive! In Christ we see the invisible God. In Christ we see man in the spiritual image of God! Our new birth by faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, has transferred us out of the death in Adam and into the life that is in Christ! In Christ, we have His life! This new creation is the spiritual being, the new man in Christ, that is growing, maturing, and being changed into the image of God. There is no ground or earthiness in him for he is born of an imperishable seed! So there is nothing perishable in him. He only listens to the voice of God and only does the Father’s will. Obedience to the Father’s will does away with evil!
Humanity does not believe in the sovereignty of God because it has elevated its own thinking above God’s word. We may wonder how God can be sovereign when there are two kingdoms, the kingdom of this world and the kingom of God. Since there are two kingdoms, each kingdom has to be limited. But limitation is overcome when one kingdom completely overcomes the other! God has promised that ALL things will be subjected to Christ. God’s sovereign rule of love has the power to draw all to Himself! God’s consuming fire has the ability to consume all that is not of Himself! God will not rest until He has reached His goal!
At present we see His rule being perfected in the first fruit. Then comes the harvest. After the harvest, whatever is left has to be gathered into subjection to Christ! “ When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:28) When ALL is subjected to God, evil can no longer exist!
God’s wonderful plan has no exceptions! His sovereign rule will accomplish His will. If the devil and his rule is not completely overcome, then we do not have a sovereign God! If God cannot overcome man’s will, He is not a sovereign God!
God has declared that “Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:8) His sovereignty flows out of everlasting love! God does not desire that anyone should perish, and He is able to fulfill His desire! Our God is sovereign!
At present, “We do not yet see all things put under Him; but we see Jesus.” (Heb. 2:8-9) The word “YET” is very exciting! It means that something that is not in our range of vision at this present time, will appear! It will come into manifestation!
"But we see Jesus.” At present we are privileged to see our Lord Jesus Christ. But how can we see Him, for He is spirit? The new creation that we are in Christ, has the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16) It can see and hear spiritually. His presence is always with us and we experience His resurrection power working through us! We see Him spiritually. In our spiritual union with Him, we see our oneness with Him! In the submission of our will to His will, and in the acceptance of His will as our will, we see the glorified Jesus doing His will in us and in others!
Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matt. 28:18) Since God has given Him ALL authority, the only legitimate power in the universe belongs to Him! He has absolute authority and power in the universe! All other power is either illegitimate or temporal. At present the temporal appears to be reigning. We see the wrestling for dominion, power, position and control. We see the evil that takes place in this war for pre-eminence. However, we, the body of Christ, know that high beyond the seen realm is the Christ who has ALL authority!
Jesus Christ is both the ruler and the rule in the kingdom of God! He is the truth! He has all power and all authority! Everything He does flows out of love. When we see Him, we see that He has the power and authority to bring into existence something that does not YET appear! We certainly agree that we do not YET see all things submitted to Him. Evil is still rampant and may become worse. But when we see Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, the God who always is, we know that His promises will be fulfilled. They are fulfilled in Christ! This is the good news of the gospel!
How thankful we are that God has revealed Himself to us in creation, in the scriptures, in Christ and in the Holy Spirit! This great God who always is, wants an intimate relationship with us, and has called us to have fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ! (1 Cor. 1:9) How exciting to know that He wants ALL things subjected to Him, and that He is able to accomplish His will! He can and will accomplish so much more than we can see and/or imagine! He is our God who never changes; the God who always IS!