Christian theology in a Sudanese context. The essential nature and character of God.
The Personality of God God is a living Person. He is more than a power or a force. You may have a photo of someone special to you. Having that photo with you is not the same as having the real person with you! In the Ten Commandments we are forbidden to make images of God. (Exodus 20:4; Psalm 115:1-8; Jeremiah 10:6-10). Any image of God would take away something from His glory. Any image of God would present a false idea about God. This is because God is alive! No image lives, but God lives. God’s personality enables us to talk with Him as well as talk about Him. God is
a personal Spirit with Whom we can have a relationship. Although God does not have a body, He hears, sees, knows, feels, wills and acts. God is a real Person. Idols are things; God is a Person. In the Bible people were encouraged to know that the living God was among them. (Joshua 3:10; 1 Samuel 17:34-37; Daniel
6:19-23). God cares for everything that He has made. He feeds and watches over the birds, even the house sparrows, passer domesticus, and common bulbuls, pycnonotus barbatus,
(Matthew 6:26; 10:29). Many of us have enjoyed parents who have looked after us while we were growing up. Jesus lived on this earth in constant touch with One He called ‘Father’ in heaven. Christians are brought to be children of God the Father in this close family sense. (Matthew 6:9). Our Father God will help us to walk properly, when we would rather just lie down and wriggle like babies. He will teach us how to work in order to feed ourselves, when we would like other people to serve us while we play at our own games. Our Father God will guide us and advise us through the most difficult circumstances. He has even more than the wisdom of experience. God is used to relationships. He has them within Himself. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three distinct Persons in One undivided Being. God made us people so that we personally could have a relationship with Him (Acts 17:24-27). Our relational knowledge of God is the fruit of the Christian gospel. A Christian is born by the Holy Spirit into God’s own family. (John 1:12,13).
God is so great a Person that He is always able to make even the activities of evil people work out to His own plan (Genesis 50:20). Things that give us great distress and bring much trouble for a while in this lifetime, are none-the-less activities of our living, loving Father in heaven (Isaiah 45:7).
Thinking it through.
(a). The personality of God enables our ‘relationship with Him’ rather than just a
‘knowledge of Him’. What are the differences between these two?
(b). After thinking about this, list as many differences as you can. Which do you want?