A Christian Essay by Jackie Houchin
We humans define ourselves in relation to other people, places, and things. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mother, a grandmother. I am a homeowner, a neighbor, a Little Free Library curator. I am a believer, a member of Faith Bible Church, a previous teacher of a Sunday School class. I am a resident of California, a citizen of the United States, a North American, an earthling, a human being. Now I think you could describe yourself in much the same way with different details.
But who is God? How can we describe the Almighty?
The eighty-year-old Moses of the Bible was out in the desert one day watching his sheep when a flame suddenly appeared in a nearby bush. His sheep didn’t panic. He didn’t panic. Instead, he decided to investigate this wonder. For indeed, it was a wonder. The bush that held the flame remained alive and green. It was not burned up. It was not consumed by the fire within it.
As Moses drew near the bush, a Voice from within the flame said with authority, “Take off your sandals for you are on holy ground.” NOW Moses panicked. He quickly removed his sandals and fell on his face before the burning, yet not consumed, bush.
It was Almighty God who appeared to Moses in the flame. And this all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere-present God gave Moses the commission to deliver His people from the hands of Pharoah in Egypt.
If you know the story (Exodus 2- 3) you will remember that God set aside Moses from birth to be His chosen deliverer of the nation of Israel. You will also remember in this scene, how Moses tried three times to get out of that commission. He whined that the people of Israel would not believe him, a mere shepherd of sheep, who, by the way, stuttered. God showed the miracles Moses was to perform before Pharaoh and the Israelites, and then He gave Moses – for the first time in the Bible – His Own holy NAME.
(Yes, don’t you also feel like taking off your shoes and falling before the One true living God at this point?)
God said, “I AM WHO I AM.”
It is printed LORD (all caps) in the Bible. It is called “the glorious and awesome Name” of God. (Deut. 28:58b) and it was the Name by which His people would know Him.
His Name means that the LORD is all-sufficient to Himself. He is independent of anything outside Himself in time and space. (It is why He appeared in a bush that did not burn. He was the fire in and of Himself.)
It is how He exists independent of our years, and in fact, exists in eternity past (before time began in Genesis 1:1) and in eternity future (after time ends). Forever and ever, HE IS. (Acts 17:24-25)
And this glorious, all sufficient LORD is uniquely multi-personal. He exists in three persons in perfect unity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In the Trinity, it is the Father who, in eternity past, knew and chose and redeemed a people that in love He would give to the Son for an eternal possession. (see Romans 8:29-30, Isaiah 53:10-11)
It is the Son who agreed to redeem His people in obedience with His Father’s plan, by entering the world with a human body and nature, being subject to and fulfilling the law, taking His people’s guilt, paying their penalty, having His righteousness then accredited to them, and having laid down His life, taking it up again. (see John 6:38-39, Philippians 2:6-8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, John 10:17-18)
It is the Holy Spirit’s role to apply that saving work of the Son to the people that the Father chose and promised to the Son. (see John 3:5-7 with Titus 3:4-7) And then to teach, help, grow, and sanctify them. (John 15:26, 16:13-14, 1 Corinthians 6:11)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To HIM be glory forever.” – Romans 11:36
If you have truly been regenerated (born again) of the Spirit, through the saving work of the Son, according to the will of the Father, then before time existed, God knew you by name, and chose you as a precious gift to His beloved Son.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance:
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O, God!
How vast is the sum of them!”
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:16-18, 23-24