What God looks like

Fahnhorst ToppsWhen I was in high school, I worked for a grocery store where an impressively large man used to shop with some regularity. One day someone asked me, “You know who that is, don’t you?” “No.” “That’s Keith Fahnhorst; he’s an offensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers!”

From then on, this football fan was always on the lookout for that player. I never asked him for an autograph (I didn’t want to be known as the grocery bagger who harassed the man while he was buying his groceries!); it was simply enough to be able to “know” a somewhat famous (he was a multi-year all-pro with two Super Bowl rings) football player.

Because I didn’t know any other pro football players, Keith Fahnhorst epitomized what it meant to be an elite athlete — tall, lean, muscular, and strong. He revealed to me, in small measure, a life that I did not know.

Because no man can see God and live (Ex. 33:20), we also need a revelation of God — something or someone to reveal to us a greater fulness of the reality and person of God.

Part of that revelation comes from the word of God — Scripture (2 Pt. 1:19-21). And part of that revelation comes from the Word of God embodied — through the person and work of Christ — “He is the image of the invisible God…” (Col. 1:15a).

Was it so important for Christ to reveal the God whom we cannot see because of our finiteness and our sinfulness? Scripture affirms that to not apprehend the glory of Christ as the image of God is to be ensnared by spiritual death (2 Cor. 4:3-4). So, yes, it is important to not only embrace Christ as God Himself, but also to embrace Him as the revelation of the Father.

Then, looking to Him as a “peek” into the nature and character of God, what is it that is revealed to us about God?

When we look to Christ, we see that God is worthy of our submission and obedience (i.e., our worship). He is Lord (Master). He is authoritative. The angels worship and serve Him (Heb. 1:6). So for us also to say that we love and follow God is to have that declaration affirmed by our obedient worship (Jn. 14:11-15).

When we look to Christ, we see that He is the provider of full and overflowing grace. The coming of Christ resulted in His followers being fulfilled and completed (Jn. 1:16; Col. 1:28). And that is not “just” grace (i.e., a small bit of grace begrudgingly doled out to beggars), but infinite, lavish, “fill the cup to the top and then let it overflow with even more blessings” grace! When we look at the incarnation of Christ and His redemptive work, we see a God who delights to reveal His glory by the extension of His lavish grace.

When we look to Christ, we see that He is the provider of truth and the provider of our completion. He is truth (Jn. 1:17b; 14:6). And by means of that truth we come to know Him, and in that knowing realize the satisfaction of our deepest longings (Col. 2:9-10; 4:12; Phil. 3:10-11). When we look at Christ, we see the glory of God, and that satisfies our longing that echoes Moses’ request, “I pray you, show me Your glory” (Ex. 33:18).

Is it of significance and value that Christ has revealed the glory of God to us? Oh, yes! Not only does He reveal a life and God we cannot otherwise know, but He is our preservative from death, but is the fulfillment of all our desires for joy!

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