Often people ask questions like … “Is there a God? Who is God? What is God like? These would perhaps be the most common questions. It’s not only people who have grown up with no religion of any sort … Christian or non-Christian that ask these questions … it includes people who have been Churched … who have experienced the full nine yards of Christianity. They too ask such questions.
Is there a God? From the first page of the Bible, the Bible assumes there is a God as it speaks of God clearly and actively, yet as soon as we come to Romans we are told there is a God.
Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Verse 20 is a clear acknowledgement in the Word that there is a God. These verses also speak of God’s qualities, power and nature (v20) and His holiness …
1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
Not only do we see here the depravity of man, we see God’s holiness in Him revealing wrath against son. Not only do we find there is a God … we see something of what God is like.
But the real question remains … “Who is God?” Is there anyone one who can explain God to us? Surely if there was, God would more easily be received, obeyed and followed. You see, He lives within the unknown, invisible sphere and is not seen by the human eye … is there anyone who can explain God to us? The answer is a decidedly yes! There is someone:
Joh 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”
Here we have a Scripture that might be overlooked all too often. This verses divides easily into four facts.
“No One Has Ever Seen God”
Even the Father of the nation (Abraham) could not see God. The Angel of the Lord (The Pre-incarnate Christ) was the closest he came. Not even Moses could see God. His head was covered as God passed by. No one can see God and live. Such brilliant holiness cannot be gazed upon. It would be far worse than encountering the sun’s terrible heat from a closer range.
“But God the One and Only”
This phrase refers to the Lord Jesus, the second Person of the Triune Godhead. He not only has seen God, but is God. With the Father He has no beginning and not end. He and the Father are eternal. The concept of father and son in our language, culture and experience requires a birth … yet this one … “God the One and Only” was never born because He was one with the Father eternally. He has full knowledge of God for He is God.
“Who is at the Father’s Side”
In our language this might sound like two distinct and different persons. Yes there are persons … three in fact, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit … but one God and one substance! In God becoming man is a miracle … and unfathomable miracle to us humans … yet God is one and His oneness was, is and always will be. Points ‘b’ and ‘c’ are so important because “God the One and Only Who is at the Father’s side” has seen God because He is God and knows God because He knows Himself … and may therefore make Him known:
“Made Him Known”
Actually … “Has made him known”. The first 18 verses of John’s Gospel is known as the Prologue. John wrote his gospel long after Jesus’ Ascension and in these 18 verses he is giving us a snap shot of what the content of the gospel is. Look at verse 1 and 2
Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
This is the reason the Son can make the Father known. As a pastor / teacher explains the Bible, his duty is to make known … through exegesis every detail of the text. Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text. He takes the truth of the Scriptures and reveals it to the people so that they understand. This is what Jesus did with the Father. He made the Father known … Jesus, through exegesis made the Father known so that the Father was understood to be whom He is! Jesus brought the Father from behind the curtain of invisibility presenting Him in full view for all to see. To the extent that our human minds can grasp, Jesus has revealed and explained the person of God the Father. How did He show us the Father? Through His righteousness, love, service, healings, exorcisms, raising the dead, teaching … did He not say
Jn 14:9 “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
Jesus has made the Godhead knowable.
Dear God, thank You that You are knowable through Jesus Christ. Help us to learn as much as we can from Your Word about You since You are knowable … so that as we get to know You better we might model You to the lost world. Lord, let the world see You in us Your people and desire more and more to taste and see that You are good and that You care and love and will save them should they turn to You through Jesus Christ. Amen