There appears to be several ways of attempting to answer the question "What is God like?" There is the approach by metaphysics, but this avenue is one that ends in "nothing", God being No-thing (see philosophy of Hegel) or in a series of negative abstraction like "Infinite", that is to say "not finite". This approach is of no use to a seeking sinner or to the Bible student. The Being and Nature of God can be approached along the line of His relation to created things, so that we can understand that the invisible things of Him are clearly seen by the evidence of His handiwork. This, however, fails to teach us what God is like, for "that which may be known of God" by this means is exceedingly limited. We may deduce by logic a Being of Almighty Power, but we could never discover by this means "The God of all grace", for the necessary promises are not discernible in nature. Atonement, Redemption, and Salvation lie outside the scope of creation's witness. We leave the work of His hands therefore, and come to the Word which He has inspired, and that Word focuses our attention upon One, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the fullest manifestation of what God is like that has been or can be given. This manifestation is twofold. First, before creative times, Christ was "The Word" (John 1:1); "The Form" (Phil. 2:6); "The Image" (Col. 1:15); "The Character of His substance" (Heb. 1:3); "The Brightness of His glory" (Heb. 1:3). Then, "The Word became flesh", and as a result, God Who is invisible, Whom no man hath seen at any time was "declared" (John 1:14,18). He Who in days past had spoken unto the fathers by the prophets, spoke at last "In Son". This strange expression is a Hebraism, as for example where in Ex. 6:3 of The A.V. we read: "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty" the Hebrew reads B'El Shaddai literally "in God Almighty." Just as to the Patriarchs, God had appeared to them "in God Almighty," so to their descendants the same God appeared "in Son."
In Isaiah 45:18-23 we read: "God Himself...none else...no God else beside Me...I have sworn by Myself...that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."
This the Apostle Paul, by race and upbringing a rigid upholder of the fact that there is "One God," refers to the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:10,11).
The same prophet Isaiah saw the Seraphim and heard their cry "Holy, Holy, Holy, is Jehovah of Hosts" (Isa. 6:3), and John declares that Isaiah saw the glory of Christ, and spoke of Him (John 12:41).
Yet again, Isaiah says: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God" (Isa. 40:3). The Gospels reveal that this was fulfilled by John the Baptist the Forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When Israel tempted the Lord, Ps. 78:56 declares "They tempted and provoked the Most High God." yet 1 Cor. 10:9 says they tempted Christ! The epistle to Titus declares that our hope is directly associated with the glorious appearing of "our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2:13).
Here in the Scriptures cited we find such titles as "God Himself; Jehovah of Hosts; The God; The Lord...Our God; The Most High God; The great God," each and every one finding their full expression in one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is, as 1 Tim. 3:16 declares, "God manifest in the flesh." These Scriptures are a sufficient justification for seeking further evidence of what God is like in the Person of Christ. Here are a few that doubtless come to the mind of every reader. "The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
We shall see later that there is a transfiguring power in the "face" (2 Cor. 3:18) but this we must leave for the moment.
"Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).
"Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape...for Whom He hath sent, Him ye believe not" (John 5:37,38).
If I desire to understand the righteousness of God, the love of God, the peace of God, the forgiveness of God, or any other of His glorious attributes or gifts, I can see them as I shall never see them otherwise, in the life, person, walk and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life, for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and manifested unto us" (1 John 1:1,2).
Here, therefore, is the Godward side of the great movement. God stoops down and reveals Himself in the Person of His Son. The manward side also will be found to be completely covered by the same term "likeness" and this we must approach from more than one point of view, first as to man at his creation, secondly in his redemption and thirdly in the Person of Christ as the One Mediator, "The Man Christ Jesus."
(From The Bearean Expositor, Vol. 44)