Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Imagine you're "like God." Imagine going through your day knowing how it's going to begin and how it's going to end. You see every obstacle before you and you're able to make decisions knowing the outcome of every single one of them.

Being omniscient, then, you would have infinite awareness, understanding, and insight and possess universal or complete knowledge. This according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Like God, you would be able to see people the way they are, the choices they make, and you would even have the capacity to understand why they do what they do.

But seriously, let's get back to reality. We are not God and are not like Him, at least not in this sense. Does this make you wonder why though? Let's look at what we do know through Scripture. Genesis 1:26 says "26 Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" AND Genesis 3:22 states, "22 And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.'"

God had a purpose in mind when He created us. Not that we would be just like Him. I'm not even sure that would be possible. The very notion goes beyond human understanding. But rather, God made us to be in His image. Additionally, if we look at Scripture, we were also created with the express purpose of giving God glory.

1 Chronicles 16:24
24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

1 Chronicles 16:28-29

28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength,
29 ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name.
Bring an offering and come before him;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Psalm 29:1-3
1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
Psalm 66:2
2 Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!

Psalm 86:9
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.

Romans 4:19-21
19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

1 Corinthians 10:30-32
30If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—

So, if we're created to give God glory, we have to understand what is glory. Glory seems to encompass a wide range in its definitions according to the Bible Encyclopedia. It contains the ideas of size, rarity, beauty, light, and adornment. It also means wide, great, bright, and desire to name a few. It probably could be narrowed down to one other word: magnificent, or maybe splendor. Needless to say, God's attributes are such that He is notably worthy in His character in many, various ways. The only word aptly used to try to capture these attributes is glory. It tries to open our minds to the greatness of God.

So the fact that we were created in God's image tells us one thing. We were unique and set apart from all of God's other creations from the beginning. And by how we were made, we were created to give glory to God! As such, we have minds to think and reason. We have the ability to love and show compassion. We are even given the opportunity to commune with God, our Divine Creator.

We were created in the perfect sense. Originally, we were borne into an environment with no concerns or worries. Our relationship with God was pure...and innocent.

The point being is that man had a good thing going with God. God wasn't requiring much from man except for obedience. And we didn't even do that very well. Then things changed. Something happened that would change everything and set us on a path that would alter the course of human events for all time. This event was SIN.

One could say that at that point we were, let's just say, no longer living in paradise. Life, as we knew it with perfect communion with God, would be no more. Life would now become very different; full of uncertainty, difficult, painful, alone...and dead (spiritually speaking).

God altered His relationship with us because of our disobedience. He changed how we would have access to Him. He had to. God is perfect...holy. Holy means being set apart. Because of our sin nature, we would no longer have direct access to God.

So God had to provide another way. He began revealing Himself to us through dreams and visions. God chose a select few to be His prophets and they would be the main conduit by which man would receive communication from Him.

However, this is not the kind of relationship that God wanted with man. But God couldn't just ignore the sin. Sin had to be dealt with and had to be judged. God's holy nature demanded it.

God, of course, being omniscient had a plan and knew the way in which He would restore man into a right relationship with Him. This would happen through a series of events, and would all occur according to His predetermined plan and purpose.

Now because of man's sin nature, a separation existed between the Creator and the created. The Bible explains how man was no longer seeking after God. Man had gone his own way and was virtually incapable of pursuing or knowing God. (Romans 3:10-12)

God, therefore, gave man what is called faith. Faith can be a misunderstood word. Too often, it is misused and/or taken out of context.

What is faith? According to, faith is a "confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing." Or it could be a "belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence," among other things.

But when it comes to true faith, The Glory Land offers this explanation (shortened):

The Biblical definition of faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 is probably the most concise definition of faith found in the Bible. It is considered the classical definition of faith.

Faith is both the substance of things hoped for and the evidence that things exist that are not yet perceived with the senses.It is a condition of the human heart that is as real to God as the thing we asked for will be to us when we receive it. It is the exact image of the thing for which we ask. When we receive what we have prayed for the image is replaced by the actuality.

Faith is not based on human feeling but rather it is based squarely on the fact of what God says. The evidence is not found in the feeling, rational, visible or sense realm.

So, as you can see, faith is an essential element to our relationship with God. In fact, the Bible says that it is impossible to please God apart from faith. (Hebrews 11:6) A lack of faith even caused Jesus to withdraw from His own hometown and limit the miracles He would perform there. (Matthew 13:57-58)

Faith is so important, that God uses it as the catalyst to bring us to salvation. As such, faith came onto the scene even before the law. The law does its part, of course, leading us to conclude that our sin has left us dead spiritually. More than that, it exposes our sin. As Romans 3:19-20 state, "19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."

But faith does what the law can't do. It makes us right before God. If you apply the Biblical definition of faith to our situation, you have to conclude that this faith is something hoped for in Someone that we cannot see or perceive with our senses, but whose existence is very real. Our faith is not based on feelings or on human senses, it is based on the fact that God says that if we believe in His Son, we will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Let's look at this following passage in Romans. This ought to give us hope:

Romans 3:21-31
Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

There is so much more that we can discuss about faith. But suffice it to say that faith is everything. Without faith, we would have no hope. So where do we get faith? "17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) Clearly, God has done everything so we can be with Him, for all eternity. Remember our sin problem earlier? The text in Romans tells us that Jesus justified us and redeemed us by His sacrifice. So if you haven't already, by faith believe in the One, Jesus Christ, who can justify you apart from the law. Isn't that good news? I think it is.


  1. Love this post about faith...Yes we are not God, or we could make a mess.

  2. Hi Dean,

    This is such an excellent examination on the believers position in Christ (justification) based upon our faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

    What really gets to the hart of the subject for me is when you wrote, "Faith is not based on human feeling but rather it is based squarely on the fact of what God says. The evidence is not found in the feeling, rational, visible or sense realm."

    I have been blessed by your posts discussing the book of Romans. It continues to be my favorite book in scripture.

    Blessings and peace.


  3. Kim -

    I agree. I am glad that God is God and He created me to be who I am. He is infinitely wiser in all that He does.

    MTJ -

    I appreciate your kind comments very much. I am finding the study of Romans quite uplifting. It's giving me the sense of just how great our God is.

    I've learned in other areas of our spiritual lives that God initiates and He allows us to participate (i.e. sharing the gospel with others). But it's equally amazing that God could save us apart from our participation, but chooses to impart upon us faith so we can.

    When you begin to understand how encompassing God is, it's overwhelming. We have an awesome God!

    Thank you both for stopping by. God bless!

  4. Dean: Thank you so much for this well written and documented message on faith. God's blessings too you. Lloyd

  5. It is wonderful to realize that God created us even though He knew we would eventually mess up. He loves us so! Great insights!

  6. Lloyd -

    Thanks for the kind comment. Appreciate you stopping by and visiting. :)

    Alisa -

    God always had a plan. And I'm glad too that He included us. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

  7. AMEN!! The object of our faith (Jesus) is what's important. Good post ~Ron

  8. Ron -

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Appreciate the kind comment. God bless!

  9. Good post, Dean. A lot to chew on.

    I liked your reply on another blog so I linked over here. Looks like you have a good one.

  10. Warren -

    Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your visit and your comments. Have a great week. God bless!