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How We See God Most Clearly

Have you ever noticed how much of the Bible consists of narrative (stories) and wondered why that is? I believe it’s because these stories reveal God more vividly than any other genre is able to. They paint a picture of God with colors that are much more vibrant than would be possible with abstract statements. In short, God’s deeds reveal what he’s like much more powerfully than anything else.

Psalm 145:4-6 states, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.

This psalmist speaks of praising God not in a historical vacuum but on the basis of the things he’s done—his deeds. And that’s actually a very common theme in the Bible. It speaks in numerous places of God’s glory being revealed through his deeds.

You see, God hasn’t revealed himself merely by giving us a list of his attributes. There’s no chapter in the Bible where it just says, “The attributes of God: holy, sovereign, loving, merciful, faithful, wise, powerful, gracious…” and things like that. There certainly are some partial lists of God’s attributes in the Bible, but for the most part, the Bible reveals God by telling us about what he’s done—his deeds.

We see his power and creativity as he creates this world out of nothing. We see his holiness when he expels Adam and Even from the Garden. We see both his holiness and his mercy as he rescues Noah from the worldwide flood. We see his power as he causes the walls around Jericho to crumble and then gives Israel victory after victory in their conquest of the Promised Land. We see God’s supremacy as he enables the weak boy David to defeat the giant warrior Goliath. We see his faithfulness as he preserves Daniel’s life when Daniel refuses to worship the pagan king.

All those stories in the Old Testament aren’t primarily about the human characters involved. They’re not primarily about Noah or Joshua or David or Daniel. The human characters are just incidental to the real point of those stories: the glory of God—a glory that has many different facets and therefore requires many different stories.

And of course, we see the glory of God put on display with unparalleled clarity when he sends his own Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our fallen, sinful condition.

Even though Jesus was fully God, he left heavenly paradise and entered the brokenness of our world. He experienced all the sin and suffering we experience. In fact, he experienced far worse, because Jesus voluntarily suffered the agony of the cross to take the punishment for our sins.

That speaks volumes about God. We see his love and mercy and grace in doing all of that for a bunch of undeserving sinners. We see his holiness and justice and righteousness in giving sin the punishment it deserved. And we see his power in that he didn’t stay in the grave but resurrected from the dead victoriously and triumphantly.

All of these different attributes of God displayed with stunning splendor in the gospel. That’s why we want Redeeming Grace Church to be a gospel-centered church. That’s why we never want to lose sight of all that God’s done for us. It’s because this gospel message is the clearest window we have to who God is. And if we ever lose sight of who God is, we’ve lost everything.