Seeking to Know Who God Is

—Bob Sisk, CCC member

“And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” (Mark 4:41).

“…He said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch’…When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break…But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord’” (Luke 5:4, 6, 8).

I can still remember the first time I really heard the statement “You cannot know who you are until you know who God is.” I actually felt a need to understand “who God is.” This desire surprised me because I grew up in the church and I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t believe there was a God or that Jesus died for my sins to satisfy this holy God.

Fast forward to 2019 and I find myself reading If There’s A God, Why Are There Atheists? by R.C. Sproul, which is basically a review of four of history’s prominent atheist thinkers and why the issues they address are really about “who God is,” or to put it another way, “The scariest thing to a sinful person in all of the world is the holiness of God.”

The disciples, on at least two different occasions, found themselves in the presence of a holy God while they were in a fishing boat, and Scripture tells us they were afraid. In both stories I can’t help but think of the disciples celebrating, “Wow! Look at all the fish. We’re rich,” or, “Did you see that? Jesus can tell the storm to stop.” In both stories, from a worldly point of view they had found the golden goose. Modern day promotion and marketing could spin these tales into millions of dollars. However, in both cases the disciples found themselves standing before a holy Christ, and this experience provided them with an insight into “who God is.”

In trying to understand “who God is” I believe I am just beginning to comprehend what it would be like for me, a sinner, to stand in the presence of a holy God without my sin being covered by the sacrifice of Jesus. In truth, I can’t imagine standing before a holy God at all, and I certainly can’t imagine what I would have to offer from my earthly deeds that God should consider acceptable as payment for my debts. What I do know is my salvation is not based upon how much faith I have, but the object of that faith. In this world, I feel sure that I will never fully understand who God is, but through the study of Scripture and the revealing work of the Holy Spirit I have learned more than I knew before, and my prayer is that if it pleases God, He will continue to reveal himself to me.