The reformed view of God centers on the very essence of God being his holiness, God does not just act in a holy way, his very essence is Holy.

Man is unable to comprehend God as the essence of holiness is so alien to fallen man, the only way that man can comprehend God is when God chooses to reveal himself to man and it is the nature of this revelation that man is able to comprehend. Therefore when both the Old and the New Testament is studied what is seen is an exposition of the very nature of God, and indeed the reason for the revelation was to impart such knowledge and understanding.

To some extent this revelation is limited by mans understanding and emotions, God is immutable (unchangeable) and his actions arise from his unchanging nature. Therefore while God may be described as “angry”, indeed he may use this description of himself, this cannot be seen as God showing emotion in a human form. Rather he is revealing part of his very essence, when God is said to be “angry” it is usually in the context of God revealing his holiness in response to Sin. When God is said to be a “jealous” this quality is not to be seen in its human meaning that reflects imperfection but rather an inability to contradict his very essence and cohabit with imperfection.

It is often said that “God is Love”, and indeed Love is a quality of God, but such love is never independently universal in the sense that the attribute of love also cohabits with the other attributes such as holiness and justice. Love is an attribute that God can exhibit according to his will, and such exhibition cannot be to the detriment of his other attributes. It is sobering when Gods character in dealing with sin is considered, as was masterfully set ou
t by the Great Jonathon Edwards in his sermon, Sinners in the hands of an angry God:

"Consider this, you that are here present, that yet remain in an unregenerate state. That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that he will inflict wrath without any pity. When God beholds the ineffable extremity of your case, and sees your torment to be so vastly disproportioned to your strength, and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks down, as it were, into an infinite gloom; he will have no compassion upon you, he will not forbear the executions of his wrath, or in the least lighten his hand; there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor will God then at all stay his rough wind; he will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense, than only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires. Nothing shall be withheld, because it is so hard for you to bear. Ezek. 8:18. "Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them." Now God stands ready to pity you; this is a day of mercy; you may cry now with some encouragement of obtaining mercy. But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. God will have no other use to put you to, but to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel, but to be filled full of wrath. God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that it is said he will only "laugh and mock," Prov. 1:25,26,etc."

God is sovereign, that is God is only constrained by his essence, if God wills something that that thing will happen but such “things” will by definition be in accordance with his essence and attributes. God is not subject to man; man is entirely subject to the will of God. The Bible depicts man as clay and God as the Potter, the created has no claim over the creator. God’s will is often understood as his decretive will, that is God’s will as expressed as a decree and such a result will inevitably follow and his perceptive will, that is the desired outcome but the result of which is not decreed. Luther uses the example of a man who is bound hand and foot being asked to touch his nose in order to reveal to that man his inability to comply; this would be an example of the commander’s perceptive will. God is so sovereign that nothing,
absolutely nothing happens that is not his decretive will.

The reformed is deliberately orthodox when the Trinitarian nature of God is expounded; the Nicene Creed is adhered to as the basic doctrine of the Christian faith without any mainstream attempt to redefine the terms of the creed.

The question arises as to why did God create man? God has no need of Man therefore why was man created? The Bible tells us that man was created to show the Glory of God and the full canvas of history has, and will be solely to exhibit the Glory of God. This is the reason why the Reformed concentrate so much on the Glory of God, all other aspects of our existence and salvation are secondary to this one overriding aim, our sole aim and joy should be in glorifying God and when people consider eternity this is what the saints will be doing. It is no surprise that most find this idea distasteful; this is a measure of how fallen man is.

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