Intro: If you are asked to explain who God is and where do you find the Trinity in the Bible, would you be able to point out these truths? Why is it important for every believer to know the truth about God, who He is and how He saves sinners? Many people today call themselves Christians, but are they? It is claimed that the USA is a Judeo Christian country. Many people believe in God but do they really know the true God as revealed in the Bible. How many people have you heard claim to be saved because they believe in God? But they don’t mention specifically the name of the only One who is responsible to save them. What’s the difference between the god of the Muslims, the Hindus the Jehovah’s Witness, the Mormons etc… they all believe in a god but have different names like Allah, Krishna, Buddha and many other names. Is this the God of the Bible?
There are basic truths that every believer and follower of Jesus need to know as they grow in knowing Christ. For this is what having eternal life is all about. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent.” John 17:3
Those who have eternal life will grow to become fathers in their spiritual life. “I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning.” 1 John 1:13a
One can only know the true God by the revelation of God? And how does God reveals Himself and through whom and to whom? Today we will look into knowing the God Most High from one of the Scriptures we look into last Sunday which will now be our text.
“Know the True God of the Bible”
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand. The Abraham gave him a tenth.” Gen. 14:18-20
In the Old Testament, God uses persons as types to reveal and represent God’s redemptive plan for man as to how He saves man from his sins. Let me point out again that God Most High is mentioned three times in this passage. Why? This reveals to us the work of the Triune God in the life of Abram, whom God later changed to Abraham. So is this the first time God revealed the three persons in the Godhead? No. In fact we see the three persons of the Godhead right away in the first three verses of the Bible working together in creation. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”Genesis 1:1-3
Right there we see the three persons in just these three verses? In the first verse we see God as the Creator and also the Master planner of everything that exists. God is called Elohim in Hebrew a general term for deity and a name for the true God, referred to by Jesus referred to in John 17:3.
The second person of the Trinity is in the second verse, the Spirit of God. Why was He called the Spirit of God instead of the Holy Spirit? Holy Spirit is His person but since He represents God, thus He is called here as the Spirit of God. He would also be called in the New Testament as the Spirit of Christ. Furthermore, He is God the Holy Spirit, who reveals the will of God and lives in the believer as substitute of Christ known as the Spirit of Christ. He is Holy because holy is the nature of God.
The third person is the One who did the creating in accordance with the will of God who gave Him the command. “Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light”, in verse 3. He is revealed by the prophet Isaiah as, “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame.” Isa. 10:17
And in the New Testament, He is the light of the world. This third person of the Godhead is revealed also to us in the New Testament by John as the “Word”, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; and without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4
The plurality of the three persons is affirmed and revealed as written when God created “man”, the ultimate of God’s creation for the glory of God. “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female.” Gen. 1:26a, 27 This is the God of the Bible who jointly created everything according to their plan.
We all know that the man God created disobeyed and sinned against Him and thus got separated from Him and spiritually died as God said when they ate the forbidden fruit. Thank God, they had a master plan to restore the relationship with man that was broken which would save him from going to hell because of their sin. But did God know that Adam and Eve God created pure and sinless at creation would disobey God’s command? Yes. God being all knowing, we call that “Omniscient” knew beforehand that Adam and Eve would sin even before the creation of the world. And so in the council of the Triune God they already had a plan and provision how they would save man from the penalty of sin which is revealed to us in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit through Peter, “but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” 1 Pet. 1:19-20
The revelation and application of God’s redemptive plan came in progression as the story of God, His creation and man is unfolded. Right after Adam and Eve sinned God applied their plan of restoring them to fellowship with God. “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothe them.” Gen. 3:21
Notice that it was God who did all these. The name of God this time has changed to both LORD and God. Notice that the word here for Lord is all capitalized. This is another name of God that refers to Him as YAWEH, a Covenant God. So now He is both creator and the one who covenants with man. Why is this important to know? It is because when God saves it is by means of a covenant initiated by God between Him and man. It is a legal and binding contract between two parties. So what did God do here? In order to save Adam and Eve, God killed an animal, took out the skin and while doing so, blood was shed and then clothe them with these garments of skin. The most significant of God’s provision is that it comes from a living being that is sacrificed and killed in order to restore their fellowship and relationship with God as payment for their sin. We will now expand the application of God’s redemptive plan from our text in saving descendants of Adam who would be sinning because of the sinful nature they inherited from him.
Then Melchizedek appears into the picture. The only thing known about him is that he is king of Salem and priest of God Most High. We have learned last Sunday that God Most High means the Sovereign Lord, but also the same God whom Abram referred to as his LORD, God Most High to the king of Sodom. “But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or a thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’” Gen. 14:22-23
This is the first time a priest is revealed in the Bible. The chief function of a priest is to serve as intermediary between God and His people as his service to God. What did Melchizedek bring out before blessing Abram? Bread and Wine. What did Jesus give His disciple at the Passover meal, bread representing His body and the wine representing His blood of the New Covenant, bread and wine. Just as Melchizedek blessed Abram, Jesus blessed his disciples with salvation because He would die to pay for their sins. God’s plan of salvation starts with the call of God. “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. So Abram left, as the Lord had told him;” Gen. 12:1-4a
God called Abram because He chose him to be the father of the Jews. Did he respond and did what God said? What then was the blessing Abram received? “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Gen. 15:6
Isn’t this the same way God saves the people God has chosen to save today? “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44 “When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord, and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.” Acts 13:48
When were they appointed for eternal life? “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Eph. 1:4
Just as Abraham received the greatest blessing of all, so all those who also believe the Lord receives the same blessing, the salvation of their souls. Abram had a priest Melchizedek to mediate between him and God. So we too have Jesus as the mediator of the new covenant in His blood. Although Melchizedek died and ceased to be a priest but this is what God said about this priest of the new covenant. “But he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “the Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Heb. 7:21-25 We will look more about the priesthood of Christ next Sunday.
After Melchizedek blessed Abram, he then blessed God Most High. “And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Gen. 14:20
There is a footnote in this verse that blessing God also means, “And praise be to”. Does God need our blessing when we are the ones who need it most? We bless the Lord when we bring Him glory that is due Him. This is what God saved us for by giving us this birth in the spirit by being born again creating us with a new life. He delivered us from our enemy, death because of sin. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sin against them.” 2 Cor. 5:17-19a
After one has received salvation how do we bless God? By our worship that glorifies God. We do this when we gather together to “lift Him up” with our words, sing praises to His name, to call on Him, to recognize His greatness, to recognize His name, to give credit to His worthiness, to admit proper fear (reverential) before Him, to praise His word. How does God view and find importance in our worship? “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
How should our worship be that God Most High is blessed and glorified? “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-though I myself has reasons for such confidence.” Phil. 3:3-4
We are forewarned here by Paul that there are two ways we worship the Lord. In the flesh meaning we are just performing worship as an obligation just as Paul did in his past before he was saved. But the worship that blesses God Most High is the worship that is controlled and empowered by the Spirit of God, exalting the Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.
In summary, salvation is all the work of God working together to create a new man who was lost and died spiritually because of sin. The Triune God in total agreement to accomplish their plan in redemption assigned themselves different functions and work together in accordance with what they have purposed.
God the Father chooses whom to save and give to Christ to save. God the Son would pay the price of redemption by leaving His throne and glory in heaven to become flesh in order to be the sacrificial lamb as payment for sins. God the Holy Spirit gives this new birth in the spirit to all that God has chosen to be redeemed by Christ and conforming them to the likeness of His Son.
Their work together is spelled out and revealed to us through the apostle Peter. “God’s elect…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” 1 Pet. 1:1b INVITATION