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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - What Do We Mean When We Say "God"?

James Meehan - What Do We Mean When We Say "God"?

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    James Meehan - What Do We Mean When We Say "God"?
TOPICS: Bible Nerds

Well, what's up Bible nerds? Today we're talking about God, which is basically what we do every week but normally we do it by focusing on different words, passages or stories from the Bible. But this week we're gonna zoom all the way out and do our best to clarify what we mean when we say God. Because what we believe about God shapes what we believe about everything. For example, if you believe that there is no God, no higher power, then that's going to change the way you think about what it means to be human and what life is all about. Because if there is no God, then as human beings we're nothing more than bags of meat and molecules made of matter.

There's no purpose or meaning in the universe, we're just drifting through space and time toward an unavoidable end when we cease to exist and eventually all the stars in the universe fade. If you believe that God is nothing more than an impersonal force like the universe or karma then certainly there's more to life than just chemical reactions going off in our brain but there's no greater will or design because impersonal forces don't design or have a will. So at the end of the day, life is really just what you make it. So you do, do what makes you happy and live by your truth. But if there is a creator, God, who designed the universe, who created us, who stitched it all together with a grander purpose, then it matters immensely that we know who that God is, what He's like and how we are meant to live as His creation.

That's why author C.S. Lewis famously said that Christianity if false is of no importance, but if it's true it is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important, all right? Because Christianity makes very specific claims about who God is, about what He's like, and about how we are meant to live as people made in His image. So, what do we mean when we talk about God? To start, we aren't talking about God with a little G, like Thor, Zeus or some spiritual superhero who exists somewhere in the universe. We're talking about the God who is beyond it all, the one who spoke all of existence into being, which is why we say that God is eternal. The very first four words of the Bible tell us that in the beginning, God, before there was anything else, God was there. He has no beginning and no ending. He always was, and He always will be, that's what it means to be eternal.

And God isn't some impersonal force like the universe or karma. What we believe is that God is personal, that He thinks, He plans, and He acts, that the very first act that God takes from what the Bible tells us is to create the heavens and the earth. That's what Genesis 1:1 goes on to say, that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, because of that, it's safe to say that God is powerful. Everything that is came into being because of God, right? The entire universe was created by Him. That means all of space, time, matter and energy were thrust into motion by His command. These qualities by themselves would make God worth worshiping, an all-powerful, personal, creative being. But He's not just all-powerful, He's not just eternal, He is also infinitely loving that's why He's so good.

You see, when we talk about God we're not talking about some dictator who is distant and detached from the goings on of humanity. We're talking about a Father who is close and compassionate, who is unbelievably interested in the everyday aspects of your life. We're not talking about a cruel old man in the sky who can't wait to dish out punishments when we mess up, we're talking about a being whose defining characteristic is love. You see, the idea that God is love didn't come from nowhere. It was first used to describe the God of the Bible, the God of Christianity, whose every word indeed is drenched in love. You see, when God looks at you He sees you as you really are, a son and a daughter, who may have lost their way but is always going to be welcomed home. He notices your struggles, He sees your sufferings, and He wants to give you strength.

1 John 4:16 tells us, and so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them. That's what we mean when we say God. He is the one who holds it all together, the one who spoke the cosmos into existence, the one who knitted us together in our mother's womb and the one who sacrificed himself to bring us back to Him. The most famous verse in the entire Bible tells us this, for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God to not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. God is eternal. He's personal, He's powerful, and He's loving and He wants a relationship with you.

So, get to know God, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Open up your Bible and read what it says. And then as you get to know Him you're gonna learn to trust Him. Believe He is who He says He is, a good, loving and personal creator who wants what's best for you and is actively working in the world today to bring goodness and justice. And then follow Him, follow God. Whatever He asks you to do, do it. Live for more than just what feels good in the moment. Model your life on the life of Jesus. Follow His example and chase after His purpose for you. Now, what is that purpose? Well, put simply, it is to love and worship God with all you are and to love and serve people the way that He has loved you. Now, to be clear, all of this is just barely scratching the surface because God is so much bigger, better, and more beautiful than we can ever fully wrap our minds around, that's part of what makes Him God. And while we may not be able to understand Him fully we can know Him truly. And in the future, we're gonna continue to discover more and more about what makes God so special. But until then, take care. Keep exploring and stay nerdy.
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