Who are we?
Who are we?
On Sunday evenings in Grace Baptist Church we’re grappling with one of the most important questions we can ever ask: who are we as human beings? And here is where we are going for the answer: the Bible. It’s the last place in the world your average 21st Century man or woman would dream of going. Yet it’s the only place where we get the correct answer. The Bible is God’s mirror to show us who we are as human beings.
So who are we? Merely the products of some blind evolutionary process? On the contrary, we are here on this planet because God the Creator made us. Think with me for a little about that. What does it mean to have God as our maker?
It means being distinct from God. Pantheism insists that we can’t drive a wedge between the world as a whole – including ourselves – and God. We are part of what God is, part of what he does. The Bible, by contrast, separates God and creation. God is certainly involved in all that happens in our world. He is no distant observer. But he is always distinct from what he has made. It’s like ourselves and our children. They came from us and may in many ways resemble us. But they are entirely separate from us. So with God and us.
It means being dependent on God. One of the truths about God that puts us firmly in our place is his complete independence of us. He does not need us for life, for sustenance, or for safety. But we always need him. It’s a big part of what createdness means for us. We are dependent on him for our very existence. So too for the continuance of life. So too for food, for clothing, and for everything else that we need. We give practical expression to it when we pray. And we show our appreciation when we thank him. Shame upon those who all their lives receive from him and never give him thanks! It is a great sin.
It means being subject to God. Like it or not (and many don’t like it at all) God the Creator is our rightful and righteous Lord. And as our Lord he has a will for us. That is why, for example, we have the Ten Commandments. They are an expression of his authority over us and our duty in response to them is simple and clear – to obey. Which is precisely where the problem with us lies. Instead of being subject to God (as we ought) we are living in rebellion against him. It’s the essence of sin – to choose our own way over God’s. And we are all guilty of it. That’s why the world is in the mess that it is. That’s why there is a hell.
It means being sons (and daughters) of God. The first man Adam is called in the Bible, “the son of God” (Luke 3.38). God was his father. Createdness for Adam meant sonship. So also for us. By virtue of the fact that God made us in his image we are his “offspring” (Act 17.29). God is our father. And as such he cares for us, provides for us, showers us with good gifts, and takes steps toward our spiritual recovery.
It’s with spiritual recovery that we end. God has a family of very rebellious children. But far from washing his hands of us he has sent his eternal son, Jesus, to be the savior that we need. Through him our rebellious acts can all be forgiven, our evil hearts transformed, our lost relationship with God wonderfully restored, our futures made beautiful and bright. Hasn’t God been good to us?
Grace Baptist Church
777 W North Street
Carlisle, PA 17013