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Vieraskieliset / In-english

God ma­ni­fests Him­self

Siionin Lähetyslehti
Vieraskieliset / In-english
20.11.2013 15.17

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:45
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Man has ne­ver been ab­le to re­ach God and His gre­at­ness through his own un­ders­tan­ding. The Old Tes­ta­ment prop­het Isai­ah wri­tes:”Ve­ri­ly thou art a God that hi­dest thy­self, O God of Is­ra­el, the Sa­vi­our” (Isai­ah 45:15). Isai­ah al­so wri­tes: “For my thoughts are not yo­ur thoughts, neit­her are yo­ur ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the he­a­vens are hig­her than the earth, so are my ways hig­her than yo­ur ways, and my thoughts than yo­ur thoughts” (Isai­ah 55:8–9).

Man can come to know God on­ly if God ma­kes Him­self known to man. God spe­aks to man through na­tu­re, his lot in life and the ti­mes of na­ti­ons (Rom. 1:20, John 9:3, Acts 17:26–27). He spe­aks to us through our cons­cien­ce (Rom 2:15). God es­pe­ci­al­ly ma­ni­fests Him­self to man through the Holy Bib­le and in our Re­dee­mer Je­sus Christ (Hebr. 1:1–3).

It is im­pos­sib­le for an un­be­lie­ving per­son to come to know God wit­hout God’s word. For this re­a­son, God has gi­ven man­kind His word. The Holy Bib­le is the “hand­book” of God’s re­ve­la­ti­ons. It will al­wa­ys be the ul­ti­ma­te di­rec­ti­on for faith and life (2 Pet. 1:19–21, Ps. 119:105).

A per­son re­cei­ves pe­a­ce in God

God wants to show Him­self to pe­op­le. “I have al­wa­ys lo­ved thee with an ever­las­ting love: the­re­fo­re with lo­ving­kind­ness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3). Man is the on­ly cre­a­tu­re on earth that can hear God’s voi­ce, lean on him, love and ser­ve Him. This is be­cau­se man is cre­a­ted in God’s ima­ge (Gen. 1:27).

God has me­ant for man to live in fel­lows­hip with Him. For this re­a­son, man’s he­art can re­cei­ve pe­a­ce and rest on­ly in God (Matt. 16:26).

God’s ma­ni­fes­ta­ti­on of Him­self is not just a list of im­por­tant things about God. It is abo­ve all a proc­la­ma­ti­on of what His holy and righ­te­ous will is like, how He res­ponds to sin and what kind of re­demp­ti­on He has pre­pa­red for man­kind from the po­wer of sin and de­ath.

God gui­des and le­ads

The Bib­le de­monst­ra­tes that God al­so has cont­rol over the events of the last ti­mes (2 Thess. 2:3–4). The clo­ser we come to the end of time and the world, pe­op­le res­pect God and His word less and less (1Tim. 4:1, 2 Tim. 2:1–2). But God and His word have not chan­ged and will re­main unc­han­ged (1 Pet. 1:25, Hebr. 13:8).

Even man is ba­si­cal­ly the same as he has al­wa­ys been. Wit­hout even re­a­li­zing it, he is comp­le­te­ly de­pen­dent on the care of his Cre­a­tor. He is con­fu­sed in the midst of chan­ge. He feels fear and in­se­cu­ri­ty. He longs for a con­nec­ti­on to his Cre­a­tor, even though he does not un­ders­tand it him­self.

Though God has al­lo­wed the lost ones to inc­re­a­se (2 Thess. 2:11), He still cal­ls pe­op­le to Him. He shows his po­wer in His cre­a­ti­on work where His work­day con­ti­nu­es. “Be­hold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isai­ah 43:19). The gre­at­ness of God’s po­wer and man­kind’s smal­l­ness are made ap­pa­rent al­so in na­tu­ral ca­tast­rop­hes which frigh­ten the hu­man mind (Heb. 12:26–27).

The birth of a child is one of our Cre­a­tor’s gre­a­test cre­a­ti­on mi­rac­les and gifts of life – a child, which from the time of con­cep­ti­on, is a par­ta­ker in Christ’s re­demp­ti­on work through faith. We be­lie­ve and con­fess that on­ly God can give the gift of life, and He can al­so take it away. This is why fa­cing de­ath al­so touc­hes man.

God has not cre­a­ted man to be gui­ded by chan­ce, but He knew our life’s jour­ney even be­fo­re we were born (Ps. 139:16). But still, it is of­ten dif­fi­cult for us to see God’s gui­dan­ce in our life’s por­ti­on or the ti­mes of na­ti­ons, be­cau­se we see the events in such a short time span and with li­mi­ted un­ders­tan­ding.

It is es­pe­ci­al­ly dif­fi­cult to ac­cept life’s tri­bu­la­ti­ons, such as dif­fi­cult il­l­nes­ses or ac­ci­dents as being God’s will. But through faith we can re­cog­ni­ze the wise gui­dan­ce of God’s hands not on­ly in our own li­ves, but al­so those of our near ones. It pro­ves to us that it is worth be­lie­ving and trus­ting in God. “Thy will be done!” (Matt. 6:10) is a con­ti­nuo­us­ly ti­me­ly pra­yer.

Faith is born from the gos­pel

Re­a­ding and kno­wing the Bib­le is very im­por­tant. But no one can be­co­me righ­te­ous and ac­cep­tab­le to God by re­a­ding the Bib­le. For that, one needs the ser­mon of God’s king­dom. “So then faith co­meth by he­a­ring, and he­a­ring by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17).

When Mar­tin Lut­her trans­la­ted the Bib­le, he trans­la­ted the words “by he­a­ring” with the word “ser­mon”. Faith is born through the gos­pel which is the ser­mon of the for­gi­ve­ness of sins in Je­sus Christ. This ser­mon is he­ard on­ly in God’s king­dom. In this way Christ’s work con­ti­nu­es in the work of the Holy Spi­rit in the cong­re­ga­ti­on (Eph. 1:22–23).

The na­tu­ral eye and un­be­lief on­ly see the hu­man bor­ders of the cong­re­ga­ti­on. But through faith, a per­son sees the gra­ci­ous and righ­te­ous God which li­ves in the midst of His cong­re­ga­ti­ons. Even the un­be­lie­ving pe­op­le in Je­sus’ time did not re­cog­ni­ze God’s Son and His he­a­ven­ly bright­ness, who taught in their midst. (John 1:11, 14).

God ma­kes his king­dom fa­mi­li­ar to the pe­op­le of this time al­so. (Isai­ah 2:2). It is our pra­yer that pe­op­le would come to lis­ten to God’s word and that God would help them be­co­me his child­ren through re­pen­tan­ce, be­cau­se there is not sal­va­ti­on out­si­de of God’s king­dom.

To God’s child­ren the word of the Bib­le and ser­mon of God’s king­dom is “gi­ven by ins­pi­ra­ti­on of God, and is pro­fi­tab­le for doct­ri­ne, for rep­roof, for cor­rec­ti­on, for inst­ruc­ti­on in righ­te­ous­ness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The gos­pel is God’s strength for us all (Rom. 1:16).

Text: Kim­mo Puo­li­tai­val

Pub­lis­hed: Sii­o­nin Lä­he­tys­leh­ti 7–8/2012

Trans­la­ti­on: An­ge­la Hän­ni­nen

Jul­kais­tu eng­lan­nin­kie­li­ses­sä kie­li­liit­tees­sä 11/2013

20.1.2022

Me saim­me kat­sel­la hä­nen kirk­kaut­taan, kirk­kaut­ta, jon­ka Isä ai­no­al­le Po­jal­le an­taa.

Joh. 1:14

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