The God Who Is

Behold Your God: The God Who Is | Exodus 3:13-15
Brian Hedges | October 18, 2020

Let me encourage you to turn in your Bibles this morning to Exodus 3. We’re going to be in Exodus 3:13-15.

While you’re turning there, let me quote from one of my great heroes of the faith, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. As many of you know, Charles Haddon Spurgeon was that great Baptist preacher of the 19th century, and he left behind volumes of sermons—63 volumes of sermons. In fact, the output of his sermons is the greatest body of literature by any Christian author in the history of the church.

In the very first sermon, a sermon on the Immutability of God, in the very first volume of the New Park Street Pulpit, this is what Spurgeon said. “The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.”

It is that study, the study of this great God whom we call Father, that is the focus of our worship during these weeks. We’re about five weeks into the study on the character of God, the existence and character of God. We’re calling this “Behold Your God,” and it’s a challenging study, because God is infinite, and because he is infinite there’s a certain degree to which we can never fully comprehend God. In fact, one of the classical attributes of God is the incomprehensibility of God. Scripture tells us that the Lord is “great and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”

There’s a story that’s told by Cicero about a king who asked a poet to tell him the nature of God. The poet asked for a day to go and think about it. He came back the next day and he said, “Could you give me two more days?” A few days later, he came back and said, “Could you give me four days?” And he kept doubling it. “Could you give me eight days? Could you give me 16 days?”

Finally, after 16 days of this, the king asked, “Why do you keep asking for more time?” The poet said, “Because the longer I deliberate, the more obscure the matter seems to me.”

Indeed, that is the case, that the more you study the character and the being of God the more mystery there seems to be. Nevertheless, we can know certain things about God that are true because God has revealed them to us in Scripture. So our focus during this series is to dig into the word of God and try to see what God has revealed about himself, understanding that there is mystery that we will never fully comprehend.

This morning, especially, I just want to say be prepared for your mental circuit breakers to flip, because we’re going to consider aspects of the being of God this morning that are so great that our minds simply cannot comprehend. So we will find ourselves coming up against concepts that are beyond our comprehension; nevertheless, they are important for us to consider, and in fact, I think they can really help us and sustain us during times of change and uncertainty in the world in which we live.

This morning, turn to Exodus 3. We’re going to be looking at just a few verses that occur in Exodus 3, and let me just remind you of the context. This is one of the theophanies of Scripture. When we’re studying the character of God, one of the ways we know God is how he has revealed himself through the theophanies of Scripture; that is, the manifestations of God’s presence in the Old Testament, as well as through his names and through his works of redemption.

In fact, you have all three of those things right here in Exodus 3. You have God’s appearance in kind of a mysterious way, through the burning bush, his appearance to Moses; you have God’s revelation of his name, as he describes himself to Moses there at the burning bush; and you have this in the context of God’s redemption of his people Israel out of slavery in Egypt.

All of those things converge together. You remember Moses is in the wilderness, he sees a bush that is burning with fire, but it, strangely, is not consumed. He turns aside to look at this mysterious sight, and God speaks to him from the bush. He tells Moses to take the shoes from off his feet because he’s standing on holy ground, and then God begins to tell Moses about his plan to redeem Israel from Egypt.

Moses, then, asks a question. He asks about the name of God. The scholars tell us that the verbal form here of the Hebrew indicates that he is asking about the meaning of God’s name—not just that God would state his name, but the meaning of God’s name. I just want to pick up in Exodus 3:13-15, and I want you to see this part of the conversation between Moses and God. Exodus 3:13.

“Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am.’ [And he said], ‘Say this to the people of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’”

This is God’s word.

God here reveals his name, “I Am who I Am.” His name, the Lord, or Yahweh. In so doing, we learn some very important, though mysterious, truths about who God is. There are three that I want us to consider this morning. I want you to see:

1. God Is Eternal in His Self-Existence
2. God Is Unchangeable in His Being and Character
3. God Is Faithful to His People and His Promises

I think all three of those things are implicit here in God’s revelation of the meaning of his name to Moses.

1. God Is Eternal in His Self-Existence

Again, look at verse 14. “God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am.’” He said, “‘Say this to the people of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you.”’”

A.W. Tozer said that “everything that God is, everything that is God is set forth in that unqualified declaration of independent being: ‘I Am who I Am.’”

We see here two aspects of God’s being: his self-existence and his eternity.

(1) The self-existence of God—the technical name for that is the aseity of God. The self-existence of God. It’s the idea that God has always existed, and he exists in himself and from himself. He is the great uncaused Cause of all things, he is the self-existent God, the God who has life in himself. He is dependent only upon himself and upon nothing else for his existence.

In fact, the very fire in the burning bush is perhaps an image of this. Here is fire that burns, and yet it burns without consuming the bush. In other words, this is fire that is self-sustaining. It’s not using the bush as fuel; this is fire that exists in and of itself. It’s an image for not only the holiness of God, but an image for the self-existence of God, the God who has life in himself.

This language, the language of “I Am,” is picked up again and again in Scripture. You find it especially in the book of Isaiah. If we had time I could take you from Isaiah 40 through Isaiah 48 and just show you time after time after time where Isaiah uses this language, or God uses this language through the lips of Isaiah, declaring who he is, this God who exists. Let me give you just a couple of examples.

Isaiah 44:6: “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts, ‘I am the first and the last; besides me there is no God.’” Here is the God who exists from all eternity—he is the first and the last—and he is this singular, solitary God; that is, the God who is the only God, there’s no God beside him.

Isaiah 48:12-13, “Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I have called: I am he. I am the first and I am the last. My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens. When I call to them, they stand forth together.” Here, God is the eternal, everlasting God; he’s seen as the creator. In fact, Isaiah 40 calls him “the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.” Here you have that emphasis again. God says, “I am he. I am the first, I am the last. My hands laid the foundation of the earth.”

Again, this language gets used in the New Testament. Consider the very last book of the New Testament, the book of Revelation. In Revelation 1:8 we read these words: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.” This is God. This is the everlasting God, the eternal God, the self-existent God, the God who is utterly unique and who is independent from all other things. He depends on no one and on nothing for his existence. He is self-existent.

The theologian Herman Bavinck beautifully describes the self-existence of God. He says, “God is the real, the true being, the fullness of being, the sum total of all reality and perfection, the totality of being from which all other being owes its existence. He is an immeasurable and unbounded ocean of being, the absolute being who alone has being in himself. This is the God we worship, the God who is self-existent.

(2) Note this, he is eternal in his self-existence. So we consider not only the aseity of God, the self-existence of God, but also the eternity of God. He is the God who says, “I Am who I Am.” Not simply, “I was,” but, “I Am.” He is the eternal “I Am.”

In the psalm written by Moses, Psalm 90, we find these words in verses 1-2: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” God is the eternal one.

Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

What do we mean when we say that God is eternal? We don’t simply mean that God has long life. What do we mean by the eternality of God? We mean three things.

We mean, first of all, that God has no beginning. There was never a point where God did not exist. There was no point in which there was no God. He had no beginning. God simply is. This has always been true.

We mean also that God has no ending. There will never be a time when there is no God, when God ceases to exist, when God does not exist. This stretches our minds to the breaking point, because we live in a transitory world, where everything is temporal. We are conscious of constant change, we are conscious of things that now are that one were not, we’re conscious of things that one time were but now they are not. But God simply is.

Here’s what will really stretch your mind: the eternality of God also means that God has no succession of moments. God does not experience time the way you and I experience time. You and I experience the fluidity of time. We experience moments in succession. We experience seconds and minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and years, and we can measure our experience through this succession of events in our lives. That’s not how God experiences time. God does not exist in time; he is above time; he transcends time. Rather we should say that time exists in God.

Think of a football game. You watch a football game; it has its four quarters, 15 minutes each. When you and I watch a football game, we’re watching one quarter at a time. But God sees the whole game all at once, and he always has seen the entire game at once. In all of human history, God has seen it eternally, with one act of eternal will and knowledge. There’s never been a point when God did not know everything that ever would happen or could happen; there’s never been a point when God did not see the end from the beginning.

That’s why the Scripture says, 2 Peter 3:8, “Do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is one day.” Or again, in Psalm 90, written by Moses, Psalm 90:4, “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” This is how God can declare the end from the beginning. God’s foreknowledge, his omniscience, is all dependent on this, God’s eternality; that God transcends time. He is not time-bound. He exists above time, beyond time, outside of time.

This is good news for us, brothers and sisters, because while we are temporary and transitory, God is not. God is eternal. You think about the transitory nature of life. You think about how life is always changing. You think about how frail our lives are. God is the one for whom that is not true. God is eternal, God is everlasting.

What’s the application of that to our lives? Well, just read the whole of Psalm 90 this afternoon. Psalm 90 emphasizes both God’s everlasting being, but also our temporary and transitory, our frail nature. There is this prayer in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” One of the things we so desperately need is to recognize the frailty of our own lives, and then see in comparison the eternity of God’s self-existent being and depend upon him.

God is eternal in his self-existence. He is the “I Am who I Am.”

2. God Is Unchangeable in His Being and Character

He’s not only eternal, and he’s not only self-existent, he is unchangeable. Now, that’s implicit as well in verse 14, “I Am who I Am,” but also in verse 15, because Exodus 3:15 shows that there is continuity between the character and the being of the God who is now revealing himself to Moses and the God who had in the past revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the patriarchs, the fathers. Look at verse 15.

“God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: “The Lord—” that is, Yahweh, which is verbally connected to “I Am”; both of those are forms of the Hebrew verb to be “‘—The Lord [Yahweh], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. I Am who I Am. I am the Lord, the one who is.” He is the God who is.

Now, scholars also tell us that his name of God, “I Am who I Am,” could also be translated, “I will be who I will be.” Perhaps in your Bible you have that in the margin. Either of those are appropriate translations.

In both cases we see something of the constancy of God’s character. He is the God who is, and he is always the same. This is what theologians call the immutability of God; that is, he is a God who is not subject to mutation, to change.

To quote Herman Bavinck again, “The doctrine of God’s immutability is of the highest significance for religion. The contrast between being and becoming marks the difference between the Creator and the creature. Every creature is continually becoming; it is changeable, constantly striving, seeking rest and satisfaction, finds rest in God and in him alone, for only he is pure being, and no becoming. God is changeless, he is enduring, he is constant; he is always the same.”

Let me give you a few other verses that show this in Scripture.

Psalm 102:25-27 draws a contrast between the changeableness of creation, the mutability of creation, and the changelessness of God. Psalm 102:25, “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain. They will all wear out like a garment; you will change them like a robe, and they will pass away. But you are the same, and your years have no end.”

You see there that God’s immutability is grounded in his eternity, that God’s changelessness is grounded in his enduring, self-existent life. His years have no end, therefore he is the same.

Let me paraphrase A.W. Tozer. Tozer, in The Knowledge of the Holy, essentially says that for God to be changeless, for him to be immutable, means that he never differs from himself. He says that essentially for God to differ from himself, for God to change, he would have to change in one of three directions: he would either have to change from better to worse, or from worse to better, or from one form to another, maybe a development from, say, immature to mature.

But none of those things are true of God. He cannot change from worse to better because he’s already infinitely perfect. He cannot change from better to worse, for then he would cease to be the God who he is. He cannot develop. There is no becoming in God, there’s no development in God; he simply is, and he is always consistently himself.

Now, this is the basis of our hope as believers. Malachi the prophet, in Malachi 3:6 says, “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore, O children of Jacob, you are not consumed.” The very fact of the immutability of God is the ground of the confidence that God will be faithful to his promises to his people, that he will keep his covenant.

God’s goodness is unchanging. In the New Testament, we read James 1:17, that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

God is the kind of Father who’s never moody. You know, sometimes I’ve realized that I can be moody and that my kids may not always know what kind of mood I’m in. That’s not a good thing; that’s a weakness in my character. But God is the kind of Father for whom there are no moods; he is always the same. He is always constant, he is always good, he is always consistent with his character.

His purpose is also unchanging. Numbers 23:19, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it, or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” God’s purposes are unchanging. God’s word is unchanging. That’s one reason we can count on the unchanging word of God.

Here’s one more verse, Isaiah 46:8-10 (three verses), “Remember this and stand firm; recall it to mind, you transgressors; remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done; saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’”

God is unchanging in his nature and he’s unchanging in his purpose. Now, that may raise a question in some minds. What about those passages in Scripture that say that God regrets or that God repents? Doesn’t that imply that God changes?

What we have to understand is that Scripture is constantly using what we call anthropomorphic language; that is, God speaks to us in human terms. He uses metaphor and analogy. He speaks to us according to our own experiences. So sometimes Scripture will represent God as being grieved with certain circumstances, but we have to understand that God is speaking relatively to that particular situation, but it doesn’t reflect his eternal character.

In fact, you could look at a passage such as 1 Samuel 15, where it says in one and the same chapter that God repented because he had made Saul king, and yet it also says that God is not a man that he should repent. There is a sense in which God seems to change, relative to our circumstances, but that’s really speaking about our experience of how God’s purposes are worked out in our lives. But there is a deeper and a truer sense, as the passages we’ve looked at this morning show, that God is unchanging, that God is changeless in his character, in his purpose, in his will, and in his ways. This is the immutability of God.

Listen, this is rooted in yet another one of God’s attributes, and I wish we had more time to dig into this this morning, but this is the attribute that theologians call the simplicity of God. Anybody ever heard of the simplicity of God?

I think when people hear that word, the simplicity of God, they think, “God is not simple. God is complex; he’s complicated.” Or they might think, “Well, to say someone is simple means that they’re kind of thick, they’re not really smart.”

That’s not all what theologians mean when they talk about the simplicity of God. They mean simply that God is not made up of parts. As the old confession says, “God is without body, parts, or passions.” It means that God simply is who and what God is. There’s not these different components in God; God just is.

Let me quote from James Dolezal, who has written a book fairly recently called All that Is in God. I quote this; I think this is important. I think it’s neglected. I think it’s something that people don’t think about often, but it’s part of the classical orthodox Christian doctrine of God. This has been one of the most important books that I’ve read in this study.

Dolezal says this: “God’s essence is not simply a bundle of attributes, each existing alongside the other as an integrated whole. His divinity is not a sublime set of great-making properties, all splendidly arranged together in him. In his essence, it is not one thing to be good, another to be wise, another to be powerful, and so on. Rather, the reality in virtue of which all these things are truly said of God is nothing but his own simple divinity. Properly speaking, God is good by virtue of God, not goodness. He is wise by virtue of God, not wisdom. He is powerful by virtue of God, not power. He is love by virtue of God, not love. And when we say that God is goodness itself, wisdom itself, power itself, love itself, we do not mean that these are so many really distinct parts or forms in God, but simply that he is all that is involved in these terms by virtue of his own divine essence as such. There is nothing in God that is not identical with his divinity, nothing that is not just God himself.”

I told you your mental circuit breakers were going to flip! You know what this means? It means that God is always utterly self-consistent. It means that God never differs from himself. It means that God never acts out of character. What do we mean when we say somebody acts out of character? We mean that generally this is a good, patient, kind person, but—you know, they were stressed that day, lost their temper, kind of blew up. He was acting out of character. God never does that! He never acts out of character.

It means that God’s attributes are not so many parts of him, but they are rather descriptions of his essence, different ways of describing him in relation to us. It means that God does not just have love, he is love. He does not just have wisdom, he is wisdom. He does not just have power, he is power. He does not just have holiness, he is the holy one! It means that all that God has, God is.

John Owen said, “All that is in him is himself.” You might think of it like this: God’s essence is refracted into many attributes in the same way that light is refracted into the whole spectrum of many different colors. But God simply is. He is the God who is, and that means there are no tensions in God; there is perfect harmony in him because he is who he is. He is the God who is.

Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you that in the midst of so much uncertainty in life—I could just say, personally, there’s a lot of uncertainty in my life personally right now, with aging parents, and both a mom and a mother-in-law who are near their deathbeds, there’s a lot of uncertainty in life right now. One of the things that sustains me through circumstances like this is the view, the vision of a God who never changes. He is always the same, he is always himself.

Henry F. Light put it so well in the words of that old hymn,

“Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day,
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all the world I see;
O thou that changest not, abide with me!”

He is the unchanging God.

3. God Is Faithful to His People and His Promises

He is the eternal God, he is the unchanging God, and then number three, finally, I want you to see that God is faithful to his people and his promises. In fact, God’s faithfulness is just the outflow of his eternal self-existence and his simple, unchangeable nature. He is faithful to his people and his promises, and that’s the context of Exodus 3.

What is God doing in Exodus 3? He’s coming to Moses to tell Moses to tell Israel that God is going to come through, he’s going to be faithful to the covenant that he made with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. He’s telling them that he is going to redeem them.

Look at verses 16-17. This is part of the commission given to Moses. “Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appointed me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’”

This is the faithful God, and he is faithful because it is intrinsic to his being and to his character.

One more quotation from Herman Bavinck, this great Dutch theologian. Bavinck said, “God does not simply call himself the one who is and offer no explanation of his aseity [self-existence], but states expressly what and how he is, then how and what will he be. That is not something one can say in a word or describe in an additional phrase, but he will be what he will be; that’s sums up everything. He will be everything to and for his people. It is not a new and strange God who comes to them by Moses, but the God of the fathers, the unchangeable one, the faithful one, the eternally self-consistent one who never leaves or forsakes his people. He is unchangeable in his grace, in his love, in his assistance, who will be what is because he is always himself.” The faithfulness of God is grounded in the very being and existence and character of God.

God’s faithfulness comes to the fore so often in Scripture. Let me give you just a couple of passages. Exodus 34:5-8; this is another of those theophanies, one of those moments where God is revealing his name to Moses. You remember this? Moses said, “Lord, show me your glory.” “Moses, nobody can see my live, but this is what I will do: I will proclaim the name of the Lord. I’ll hide you in the cleft of the rock, I will pass before you, and I will proclaim my name.”

What does God say when he proclaims his name? Look at Exodus 34:5. “The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.’ And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped.”

God’s faithfulness to his covenant, his steadfast love, his covenant love—it’s all grounded in his very being, in his name. His name reveals who he is.

Lamentations. Perhaps it’s the saddest book in the Bible, written probably by Jeremiah the prophet during the siege of Jerusalem. Things were so bad that mothers were eating their own children because they were starving to death. Can you imagine the atrocity, the horror? And yet, in this extended poem of Lamentations, right in the middle, Lamentations 3, we find these words: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in him.”

Brothers and sisters, our hope in a changing world is in an unchanging God who is faithful to his promises and faithful to his people. The Lord has said, “I will never, ever forsake you. I will never leave you. I will be with you.” That’s our comfort. That gives us hope.

As we draw to a close, the final thing I want you to see is that everything we’ve said about God this morning is true of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. In fact, the connections are astounding. Jesus is the eternal and self-existent God.

In John 8 (you remember this passage?), Jesus has been speaking to Pharisees, speaking to the scribes, speaking to those who opposed him, and he says in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it, and was glad.” They’re confused by this. The Jews said to him, “You are not yet 50 years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

Look at what Jesus says. “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’” There’s absolutely no question that he is evoking Exodus 3, and they knew what he was saying, so in verse 59 they “picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” Jesus declared his eternal existence, that he is Yahweh, that he is the eternal I Am.

In the book of Hebrews, the very passage we looked at earlier from Psalm 102 is applied directly to Jesus in Hebrews 1, and then in Hebrews 13:8 we read that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not only the self-existent I Am, he is the unchangeable God.

Of course, God’s covenant faithfulness is seen most clearly in Jesus, because Jesus is the one in whom all grace and truth dwells. He is the one who reveals God’s utterly self-consistent character in both his righteousness and his justice, in his love and his mercy! We see it most fully displayed in the cross and in the resurrection of Christ, where Jesus on the cross displays the fullness of all the varying aspects of the essence and the character of God. His justice perfectly demonstrated in God’s eternal opposition to sin, his love perfectly displayed in his eternal, covenant faithfulness to his people.

Then Jesus rises from the dead. How? By virtue of his unchangeable, everlasting life, so that we can read in Revelation 1:17-18—the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos says, “When I saw him [that is, the risen, glorified Christ], I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, ‘Fear not; I am the first and the last.’” It’s the language from Isaiah, echoing Exodus 3. “‘I am the first and the last and the living one. I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’”

We live in a changing world. We live in a world full of uncertainty, and that uncertainty is constantly edging us closer and closer to that great precipice that all of us have to go off of, the precipice of death. The older you get, the more you recognize change, the more you recognize the impending reality of death. Loved ones begin to die. We’re faced with this harsh reality. Every one of us faces it. It is the existential crisis for the human race: What happens after we die? Is death the end?

The great answer of the gospel is that the one person, the one being in all the universe, the eternal, self-existent, unchangeable God, Yahweh, “I Am who I Am,” has made himself known in and through Jesus Christ, who is that eternal I Am, and he says with absolute authority, “I am the first and the last and the living one. I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” The great answer of the gospel to the problems and the threats of a changing world that is full of disease and death is that there is one who has defeated death, and the one who defeated death is the living one himself.

Therefore there is hope for us, that though we are transitory and temporal, there is eternal life. How do you get eternal life? You get eternal life by relationship to the eternal living one, Jesus Christ.

Have you trusted in him? Have you believed in him? Have you put your faith in him? If not, I hope you will this morning. Let’s pray together.

Our gracious and great and merciful God, we are astounded when we consider your being and your character, when we consider who you are, that you are the eternal, unchangeable I Am. But it gives us hope, it gives us comfort, it gives us strength, it helps us in so much uncertainty. It helps us when we see that you have revealed yourself to us through your word, through your name, and supremely through your Son, Jesus Christ. We thank you for the gospel this morning, that Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, has defeated death, and that through him we can have eternal life.

My prayer is that we would not only bow before the majesty of your eternal being, but that we would put all of our trust and our confidence in your steadfast, unchanging character, the character of your Son, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that we would find our hope and our solace in him.

As we come to the Lord’s table this morning, prepare our hearts. As we reflect on your faithfulness, as we reflect on your changelessness, as we reflect on your mercy, may it feed and sustain our souls, and as we come to the table may we by faith feed on Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen one. So draw near to us, we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.