The idea that God moves inbetween our lives is something that most people can wrap their heads around, but the majority still hold onto the distant God theory. The truth is God yes intimacy with God does play out day to day but also it’s from generation to generation. Picture God as the most interesting dancer on the dance floor he’s moving through the crowd of human history like nothing we can ever grasp but we can witness his glory.
In John 14:6 Jesus says to his disciples, ‘I am the way the truth and the light and no one comes to the father but through me.’ In this moment Jesus reveals to everyone that he indeed is God and there is no way, path, or even prayer that be uttered in the human vocabulary that could reach God’s ears unless it goes through him. In this moment the outsider might be thinking, ‘well isn’t God one?’, or the ten commandments from Exodus chapter 20 states that there should be no other Gods before the most high God how can there be more to God if he was born as a man? Jesus in this moment doesn’t transcend and plane of existence, make any cosmic bargain with God the father to obtain authority he is born and has existed as God prior to this moment and still is God. (John 1:1-3) Jesus himself predates his incarnation in the first chapters of each gospel in the New Testament, and if we back track to the creation scenario in Genesis 1 and 2 God imprints man and woman in his image as in the first chapter of Genesis God’s spirit hovers over the waters and then imprints his image into the genetic material in which man exists. In this moment we can insert that God’s design for man is based on himself conducted in the presence of Jesus and in the likeness of Jesus as to be a reflection of God himself. God moving in spirit and in God the son and God the father in dictation of the order of which everything is structured and ordered. Therefore we see God move in three person in perfect unity as one being in the conduction, creation, and even the presence of man as he falls into sin.
In the movements we have in revelation of God in these three chapters we still see the same God in remaining 65 books his attributes remaining the same as the author of Hebrews pens remaining the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are introduced to this holy God and we are only made aware of these attributes in man’s fall in Genesis 3, as we see how the full view of God’s holiness is forced into view as man cannot be in his presence. We come to understand his zeal, and mercy as his punishment does not fit the crime, as Satan who had deceived early man knew that blood is the only thing that can pay for sin, and that it results in death. God’s love for the crown jewel of his creation comes into focus as the punishment does not fit the crime instead he allows man to live in the filth that he has brought on to himself and creation.
This provides us with the necessity for him, and redemption as man is now in a state of perpetual sin, death, and destruction this is the case and need for Jesus as proclaimed for the first time in Genesis 3:15. Which Jesus confirms in as he centralizes himself as the summation of this need for God and fulfillment of salvation to man in John 5:39 and so the need for the fulfillment of the cross. Which John Stott confirms in his book, ‘The Cross of Christ’ that the very nature and necessity of the cross itself as the symbol of the Christian faith originates in no other place but in the mind of Jesus himself. Thus we can assert as God proclaims in Genesis 3:15 he has this in mind. So why is there so much confusion on how Jesus is God? And how can we be sure that the same God we are introduced in the Old Testament is the same God that we are devoting ourselves to in the New Testament, and how can we be sure God is truly one?
Deuteronomy is a central book in the Old Testament because it chronicles God moving with his people in a time that is before they enter into the promised land that God swore to their ancestors and after he has delivered them from centuries of slavery in Egypt. It’s a reintroduction to a lifestyle, culture, relational piece, law, and complete identity that God reintroduces to the people as they enter into a national stage among other nations. Deuteronomy is retelling of the law, and it’s also carries the aroma of reminding the people of who they are but more importantly in how they now will reflect God into how they live for him, reflect him, and represent him to make him relatable to others outside of their race. The point of this is to prepare the people that will precede the current generation of God, what he’s done but also provide and expose of man’s inherent need for God as more than just a series of tributes but to have a clear understanding the God deserves praise, and doesn’t want to be distant from us. His actions prepare a path to where we can run to him like a child running arms wide open to embrace their father and so this preparation is not an institution of religion to keep an all powerful God happy but for man to recognize his separation from God as being something that needs to be reconciled. As sin is the issue being addressed as sin is the very infectious contamination of the human race as sin ranging in variation of size, and severity in it’s consequences in how it effects those around it. Is still viewed the same in God’s eyes as an act of treason against a holy, and righteous God which is like taking the dust from a vacuum cleaner and throwing into a clean room in a micro chip factory. Sin is a ultimately a death sentence and cannot be acquitted or unpunished by a holy God and so there needs to be a means in which to reconcile which is blood, and ultimately death. The 4th quarter Hail Mary play of the fallen Satan was to use mankind God’s image to follow him in rebellion against him which he knew that God would be required to punish them. Instead we given this promise of redemption made way by God we are promised Jesus as means in which to escape the impending wrath of God that will ultimately come down.
The common phrase of tracing this meta-narrative through the Bible is called the scarlet thread in which one can trace the promise of Jesus to Jesus and to him in his second coming. Deuteronomy is a key book in foundationally preparing the people for their savior as the lifestyle of humility inwards and outwards in full observance of God, for God, and by God is what Jesus in his first coming came to re-establish in the people of Israel. We can be sure from our understanding of this that Jesus is God in as we stop here and look at how God is revealed up until this point. Genesis begins out with one God in full presence moving three distinct but equal parts father, son, and spirit pre-fall in the creation event, and pre-fall. As there was no question of this as Genesis 1:27 says to himself, ‘let’s make man in our image.’ Moving to post fall man we are now revealed to God the father and God the spirit preparing the people for the coming of God the son as while God does not require a mediation between himself and man but rather elects Abraham, Jacob, and in Deuteronomy Moses. This headship being re-introduced by these leaders to replace the role that Adam should have been in fulfillment in the first place, instructing the people and carrying out his commands, introducing the law, and establishing the people in godly lifestyle. In all of this God remains visible but without having image of what he truly looks like as to prevent idols being made out of him but also to prepare the people for Jesus in his coming.
Deuteronomy’s movements move from what God has done, to what he expects, and then what he will do (Deut. 18:15) an identity pressed, commanded and given the people are only asked to obey both in the action but in their hearts. The theme is, ‘remember lest you forget’ having a healthy fear of God in moving from a nation of ex-slaves while being prepped by God the father, and God the spirit to a life that now requires a deeper reliance on God himself than before. The transition of becoming a physical representation is the dividing line between men as Israel who had once represented the summation of what makes men so weak is now a nation strong under the Lord. Israel is described as a stiff necked and stubborn people easily swayed, rebellious, and gullible in their own fears and superstition which needs to be broken before they are can become ambassadors.
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’“ – Jesus
“We don’t name God; God reveals His name to us. We don’t have the right to exercise authority over God. God copyrights, He trademarks, He patents His name.” -Mark Driscoll
Jesus is the central figure of all history as he was born in this world now approx. two thousand years ago born of virgin birth his birth is declared by God’s army of heavenly hosts declaring peace an juxtaposed armistice between God and man through his revelation to man and entrance into human history. Luke 2:28 and on Jesus is recognized as the promised one in which God had spoken of in Genesis 3:15, Deuteronomy 18:15 and in every prophetic tone including the tree spoken of in Zechariah 3:10 that all are invited under. He becomes the physical mediation between man and God as this was pleaded for in Job 9 where Job asks for a some one to place one hand on him and on God. He becomes the sacrifice that Abraham tells his son Isaac about that God would provide. He would teach with authority that no prophet before him could command, and he would perform miracles that would undo the very effects of the fall themselves that only God himself could perform and that man could not say or do on his own without God’s intervention.
Prior to the gospels there was 400 years of silence from God before he decides to enters in during the Pax Romana that exists as this brief period of relative peace and prosperity. The Bible starts off as God in full view Father, Son, and Spirit working in perfect fellowship in the creation event, the creation of man, and the expulsion of man from the garden of Eden. God then is revealed as God the father giving directive, and establishing his authority and otherwise supremacy over all creation, and God the spirit anointing those leaders through generations to have the authority that will ultimately be perfected in Jesus. Which Adam was supposed to embody and each prefigured leader since would act as means to prepare the people of God and to relate God to the people until he was able to introduce himself to be the ultimate relation of himself to us.
Jesus is baptized in John 1:29-33 as he is baptized by John the Baptist God the father verifies Jesus as being his son, and God the spirit descends on him. This a great New Testament view of God as a triune God together again in revelation to man, as he now is full representation of himself and the human body is now the tabernacle in which God now comes to man to teach and preach to them.
Quentin Tarantino says this about superman in and interview,
“Superman didn’t become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red “S”, that’s the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears – the glasses, the business suit – that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He’s weak… he’s unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”
Jesus puts on weakness as he comes in a similar fashion by putting on weakness in order to relate to what is it to be human in order to redeem mankind. Jesus doesn’t just put on weakness though and die in weakness so that men can just perpetually continue to live and die as a weak race of representatives but rather he reintroduces new teaching that are a retelling of a now fulfilled law in him that is derived from and based in the words that he had given man in Deuteronomy 6:4-8, Matthew 22:36-40. Before Jesus is set to take on ministry he is tempted in the desert where in the Genesis 3 Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan in a lush garden surrounded by God; Jesus is in a barren wasteland alone surrounded by Satan in means to tempt and test him. The progressive logic in this event is how can Jesus be God and still be tempted into weakness, and how could Satan know what exactly could tempt a holy God that he might give up what he has to rule in filth and rags?
Jesus puts on the weakness, and allows himself to enter into the scenario where Satan attempts to bait him by playing a weak hand towards God by trying to down play his zeal for his people and his desire for himself to be known as to them. He attempts to compartmentalize a righteous holy zeal into a finite view that doesn’t require a cross, and doesn’t involve sin to be forgiven and would result in the destruction of everything. Instead of forfeiting humanity and his ultimate plans for redemptive motion he instead meets Satan with the inerrant truth in rebuking him from Deuteronomy 6:13, 16, and 8:3. Jesus doesn’t stop in using Deuteronomy in his rebukes but he embodies the law as it’s being retold to the people through his life as he fulfills the law in preparation of the cross, he also teaches people from re-establishing them as the holy people that are holy because he indeed is holy (Deut. 7:6).
God is now revealed in the New Testament as God the son and God the spirit in full representation of God the father as the Holy Spirit;s empowerment is continually stressed. (Driscoll. 233) Each fully God as he had this people who were in transition from slaves to his people he gives them the law preparation of this revelation to now transition from being in bondage to their sin to being free children of God. And we find this to be the parallel to how God now approaches his people in Christ as Christ is the not just coming to re-tell the law but to fulfill it and prepare the people for a new way of life that now represents God in a way that is a militant mindset to one of peace by conquering hearts through love, devotion, obedience, and submission. The purpose of mirroring Deuteronomy is show how God had given man a measuring stick to measure up to in their rebellion, and so the law is meant to move man to a deep place of repentance as it does not save but condemns. But in the revelation and representation of Jesus and the Holy spirit of the father he can now provide the tree that Zechariah 3:10 speaks of in order save not just his elect but all people whom believe. (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9, Eph 2:8)
The Bible begins with a triune God creating in perfect fellowship, then moving God the Father, and God the Spirit establishing and preparing. Then it moves towards God the son and God the spirit fulfilling, redeeming, and reconstituting how man is represent God, and obey him making the body the new tabernacle that all people can fellowship with God. The consistent representation of God in the Bible is the Holy Spirit as he is seen in the beginning of the Bible hovering above the waters, and he’s the anointing of all the leaders from the Judges to Jesus and now the people God, present at the baptism of Jesus but who exactly is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy is Spirit is the very essence of God in personality, power, thoughts, and will he is present and equally God in all phases of creation and existence. The Holy Spirit is not an it, or a likeness of God that is immaterial or means of communication like long range walkie talkies. But he is a person, a personality and has a will that is of God and is God that works in the ways that carries out his own will and knows the depths of God in every possible eternal scenario. He shares the same attributes of God as he is immutable and does not change he is the same Holy Spirit seen in Genesis 1 as he is the same Holy Spirit that is at work in the believer today. He has a will as he is able to carry out instruct, empower, and bare witness as he knows the depths of God he is able to teach, and guide Christians in a manner that is only characteristic of God himself (father and son). (Grudem. 635) The Holy Spirit is all powerful and can restore, illuminate, and give spiritual gifts that exist outside of the human spectrum of power, and dominion. (Grudem. 634) He is also able to divinely inspire scripture which also shares God the father and Jesus traits of being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent so he knows all and is in every stage of existence at once in the future, past and in the past everywhere in one single moment.
So in this God the Spirit is the witness, and the power that empowers the Christian people to rightly represent God in Christ to the rest of the world that is in unbelief. His divine inspiration of the Bible testifies as he was present in Moses penning of Deuteronomy allowing Moses access to details only God would have access to about God, and about man even in the books prior to Deuteronomy. Even in Moses death in the conclusion of Deuteronomy the Holy Spirit bares witness to the account of Moses’s burial and so in his representation of God’s heart, thoughts and essence we can also look at his presence in all phases of the Bible to be holy, and truthful as what is known of God is that he cannot lie. And with his witness of Jesus being fully God and fully man we can rest that God’s testimony is not bias, or partial but one given in full truth.
So why is there so much confusion on how Jesus is God? And how can we be sure that the same God we are introduced in the Old Testament is the same God that we are devoting ourselves to in the New Testament, and how can we be sure God is truly one?
As we have discussed we have looked at how God has remained in tact throughout the Bible and how his movements and revelation to man has been one that is felt and dealt with in the different ways that he has interacted and deemed appropriate to do so in different areas of scripture. He leaves us the meta-narrative to follow to chronicle and follow after him and better understand the depths of who he is from our finite standpoint but also so we can understand and not forget the reason of who we are, and why we need him. He answers with a resounding yes that Jesus is indeed is God as he leaves us with no other option but to agree or disagree with him. (C.S. Lewis) The faith step we take is for us to take but he catches us with inerrant doctrine, scripture that has built foundations of who he is, and who we are and how to live in his presence. He has given us detail into how Jesus is, what he will do, and why before he is even introduced as we know him; the carpenter from Galilee and he also provides all details to tie up any doubt in his faithful witness of the Holy Spirit. The same God that hovers on the waters of creation is the same God that died for a lost humanity on a cross, and the same God that is now at work in convicting broken man of sin in order to prepare them for a life that God has predestined to reward us with well in advanced.
Driscoll, Mark. Breshears, Gary. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton, IL. Crossway. 2010. Print.
Wilkinson, Bruce. Boa, Kenneth. Talk Thru The Bible. Nashville, TN. Thomas House. 2002. Print.
Jensen, Peter. The Revelation of God Contours of Christian Theology. Downers Grove, IL. Inter Varsity Press. 2002. Print.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan. 1994. Print.
Merrill, Eugene. The New American Commentary: Deuteronomy Vol. 4. Nashville, TN. B&H Publishing. 1994. Print.
Sproul. R.C, Who is Jesus. North Mankato, MN. Tyndale House. 2010. Print.
Stott, John. The Cross of Christ. Downser Grove, IL. IVP. 2006. Print.