“We could cope—the world could cope—with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples’ minds and hearts. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God’s new creation right in the middle of the old one.”
— N.T. Wright
God is good. If anyone tells you differently, please ignore them. That is not what I’m talking about today. What I want to explain is that God is not a good idea. To put it another way, God is not the manifestation of concepts, ideas, or virtues. God is real and alive. He is many things, but they are merely pieces of a character too incredible and immense to comprehend.
The Bible tells us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Does this mean that all things we call love are representations of God? Or, does it mean that love is God? When two teeny-boppers are making out in the back of a movie theater, is that God?
We have all of these “good” concepts like truth and honesty and faithfulness and peace and justice and grace. Did people recognize these things over the centuries and then develop the character of God? Did they take the best parts of humanity and construct the Almighty?
If you see God as a mere symbol for what’s good about humanity, you had better stop praying to Him. You’re wasting your time and fooling yourself. If God isn’t real, or alive, or a person (as seen in Jesus Christ), He only exists in your mind. He is only as big as your head.
God is not a good idea, or even many good ideas. God simply IS. He refers to Himself as I AM. (Exodus 3:14) Jesus refers to himself as I AM. (John 8:15) God is not our creation. We are His. Anything we know of His character, He has revealed to us. Anything that is truly good in this world comes from Him.
God is a person, and not a concept.
This should humble you, creature.