Knowing God

God is love and love has no bounds. Love cannot be held within — it must flow outward. 

The word says, For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren, Romans 8:29.

He [the Son] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him, Colossians 1:15-16. 

The words ‘for Him’ jump out at me. Jesus is the Word who was with God, and who was God. Love, by definition, must have a recipient; thus the need for many brethren created through Him and for Him.

Love is patient, love is kind, is not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

In order for all the attributes of God to be manifested there had to be pain and suffering, hatred, jealousy, unrighteousness, lawlessness, etc. He could not show mercy without being wronged. He could not show patience without being put to the test, etc. 

Obedience is learned from suffering, Hebrews 5:8. So in order to show forth the complete essence of His divine nature, God placed Adam in a garden of paradise without any suffering. He also created him as an adult, with no parents to teach him obedience. Without knowing the difference between good and evil, and without learning obedience, Adam sinned. So God took the man and woman He had created in His image, and placed them on a cursed ground where they would endure pain and suffering, and have a chance to learn obedience.

Man continued in sin, so God sent the Law through Moses. And what the Law said not to do, man did all the more. Thus the predicament of mankind, bound to the sin that dwelt within them because of the disobedience of Adam, unable to overcome its power. 

So God, after displaying all His attributes since the beginning, and being full of mercy and grace and infinite lovingkindness, sent His only begotten Son and placed Him in the likeness of sinful flesh, wherein He spent His entire life walking on the ground cursed because of Adam’s sin, learning obedience through the things which He suffered. And having been obedient to all earthly authorities, and to His heavenly Father, He became the perfect sacrifice for sins, bringing an end to the sinful flesh of man when He died on the cross, an unblemished Lamb, holy and without blame before God.   

Through Him our sinful flesh has been crucified, for He carried the sins of our flesh on the cross with Him. Our sinful flesh has also been buried with Him through baptism, and we have been raised up with Him into newness of life in the Spirit, a new creation, a people for God’s own possession. 

We in turn now learn that love is thoughtful, gentle, humble, merciful, dignified, caring, and every other decent attribute that exists. Love is God, because God is love. Therefore our knowing God produces our loving one another, forgiving one another, bearing one another’s burdens, esteeming others above ourselves, and if need be, laying down our lives for our friends and enemies as well.

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love,” 1 John 4:8. 

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him,” 1 John 4:9.

“…God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all,” Romans 11:32.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant