Torrey - God -5.1- God is a living God

5. THE PERSONALITY OF GOD

WE HAVE SEEN that God is omnipresent. This conception of God must be balanced by the conception of God as a person or we run into Pantheism, i.e., the conception that God is not only everywhere and in everything, but that God is everything and everything is God; that God has no existence separate from His creatures.

I. GOD IS A LIVING GOD.

Jeremiah 10:10-16 — -"But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of Hosts is his name." (Note the context of verses 3-9, especially 5 and 8-9.) God is here distinguished from idols, which are things, not persons. Idols "speak not," "cannot go," "cannot do good, neither is it in them to do evil"; but Jehovah is wiser than "all the wise men," is "the living God," "an everlasting King," a being who hath "wrath and indignation" separate from His creatures — "at His wrath the earth trembleth and the nations are not able to abide his indignation."

Acts 14:15 — "And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein."

1 Thessalonians 1:9 — "For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God."

2 Chronicles 16:9 — "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."

Psalm 94:9-10 — "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? He that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?" (and numerous other passages).

Proposition: God is a living God. He hears, sees, knows, feels, wills, acts, is a person. He is to be distinguished from idols, which are things, not persons. He is to be distinguished from the works of His hands which he formed.

Note. Personality is characterized by knowledge, feeling, and will. Some confuse personality with bodiliness.