Humanity’s Thinking: God Is Like Us

“You thought that I was altogether like you, but I will rebuke you” (Psalm 50:21)

The psalmist shows that God breaks through the natural world from His domain and does not fail to leave us without knowledge of Him.  Since He created men and women in His image, God implanted knowledge of Him in them and revealed to them how they should live.  When our faulty thinking rises to Him, He takes it into account and it calls down His rebuke.  He is not like those among humanity who give a pass to sin and overlook wrongdoing.  Judgments in our court system is full of inconsistencies and laxities. We think nothing of watching violence on television or at the movies.  They decrease our sensitivities to wrongdoing.

The judgment of humanity is that fairness and judgments are what we want them to be.  Then we form God in the image of our judgments.  We fail to understand and perceive the faultiness of our thinking until its repercussions show up in our behavior and actions.  Troubles abound as we experience the results of our faulty thinking and evil ways.  Then we ask, “Why do bad things happen to “good” people?”  We fail to understand our faulty logic, because our waywardness has encompassed our entire being, and we no longer see ourselves the way God sees us – in need of restoration and reconciliation back to Him so we can see ourselves from His perspective.  God calls people who have wandered from Him and sought their own ways, calling them “wicked” (Psalm 50:16).  He pronounces judgment on them because of their wickedness:

“But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, And your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son” (Psalm 50:16-20).

The psalmist’s statement is not only true for his age but also true for all ages.  The psalmist stated then,

“You thought that I was altogether like you” (Psalm 50:21).

Today, contemporary men and women substitute the above statement with the following (and so many more):

“A loving God would not punish people.”

“God accepts everyone.”

“Who is your God to judge me?”

“Live and let live.”

“It is OK to do [fill in the blank] as long as it does not hurt anyone else.”

“My truth is just as good as your truth.”

All of the above give us a way out and an excuse for anything we believe is not bad.  We call good evil and evil good and claim God holds the same perspective.  We claim, “There is nothing wrong with doing [fill in the blank].”

The only way we can overcome faulty thinking is through embracing how God created us – in His image and turning around and affirming through faith God’s design for our lives, a design patterned after His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The psalmist says much the same thing in his conclusion:

“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).

Offering praise to God is an act of faith.  It acknowledges that what God declares is right and truthful and that He alone establishes how we order our lives.  That ordered way is faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  The results is salvation or life with Him for all eternity.  This salvation is real freedom from faulty thinking and waywardness into evil.

Jesus Claimed to be the Life, John 14:6

This claim is stunning when seen from the viewpoint of His humanity.  Humans die, and their bodies decay in the grave.  Given that Jesus is not just human but divine, He is eternal.  He also conquered death through His resurrection to demonstrate the durability of His endless life (Hebrews 7:16).  The claim Jesus makes that He is the life rests again on His divinity.  As God, He has life within Himself in the same way the Father has life in Himself (John 5:26).  This truth claim has significance beyond the life He possesses on His own that death cannot take away.  Rather, this claim exhibits His absolute authority to give this same eternal life to those “to whom He will” (5:21).

Furthermore, since Jesus claims to be the life, all life in the created order has its source in Him.  Paul makes this astonishing claim when he writes,

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth…All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Consequently,since Christ is the source of all life, He alone determines the reality or truth for guiding it, as He is the source for that truth.  This claim has no equal in creation but is unique beyond anyone in the created order could make” (from “Nothing But the Gospel,” Floyd Talbot, Action Faith Books Press, 2014, pp. 77-78).

Is it little wonder that Jesus could call Lazarus back from the dead (John 11:1-44)?  As the source of life, Jesus imparts and restores it with a word.  Life resides in Him unlike the way it resides in the creature or creation.  Our life depends on other created things, such as plants, animals, and the atmosphere and environment of our planet.  Their life depend on a greater source – Jesus.  He has life within Himself.  We do not.  Initially, God breathed His life into a human being, Adam, and he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).  One might ask, “Was Jesus not the source of life?”  YES!  Then how could Jesus be the source of life when God created all of life.  The answer is that Jesus claimed to be God when He claimed He was “the way, the truth, and the life” who was from the beginning as the second person of the Trinity.  It is for the reason that Jesus could claim,

For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26).

The life that God has does not depend on anything else.  God as the Trinity is independently life.  That independent life resides in all three persons of the Trinity.  For this reason, Jesus could impart life to whom He wishes (5:21).  We cannot impart life to another because we are of the created order and must depend on an outside source for our own life.  That outside source is Jesus.  Jesus stated,

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (5:24).

Jesus grants life to all who believe.  Do you believe Him?

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