Christian theology in a Sudanese context. The essential nature and character of God.
The Unity of God No one attribute of God is any more or less important than any other attribute. God’s being includes all of His attributes equally. Every one of the attributes qualifies every other one: for example,God is full of mercy and full of wrath; God is always one hundred
percent loving and always one hundred percent just, etc. God is always the same. Everything He does is completely consistent with Who He is. (Exodus3:14). We must remember, however, that God does respond in different ways to situations in which people either act in one way or they act in another. For example, when He told Jonah that the wicked city of Nineveh was to be overturned after forty days, it was God’s wrath and judgement that Jonah preached to the people. However, when the people immediately turned from their sin in repentance, because they believed what God told them through Jonah about judgement, the judgement did not happen. Instead, they saw and experienced God’s patience and mercy. (Jonah 3:1-10). While people strive to become something, God has always been all that He is. He is completely at peace with Himself. (Psalm 102:25-27). God is perfectly self-controlled and keeps to His purpose throughout everything. This consistency of God encourages us to trust Him absolutely. In Sudan tragically over the years of war, many landmines have seriously injured people who stepped on them unaware that the previously safe pathway had been dangerously changed. Walking in some areas even now people must take extreme care because there is uncertainty about what may be underfoot. Part of a Christian’s security in facing the challenges of his or her life, is the fact that God can be relied on at every moment to be exactly Who He always is. My wife and I used to buy most of our fruit outside a small dukkan by a soccer pitch in the Shaabbia district. Bananas, oranges, mangos, melons, guavas, all put into the basket together made up our fruit. God is not a collection of separate attributes added together to total ‘God’. He is totally and completely all of His attributes, all through His being, at any moment, in any circumstance. God is not made up of many parts, but we do see different attributes of God coming to the front of our human experiences at various times.
It is comforting to know that nothing we foolishly do will ever change the eternal God. Everything God ever was, He still is, and He always will be.
The God of the Bible is exactly the same God we know, love and serve today.
Thinking it through.
(a). Some people say: ‘I think the most important thing about God is His love’. Others say: ‘I think the most important attribute of God is His righteousness’.
What would you say?
(b). Why are there some qualities of God we always talk about: His love, holiness, etc., and others we seldom, if ever, talk about: His justice, patience, etc.?
Is this right or wrong?
(c). Is any attribute of God less important than any other?