ATTRIBUTES OF GOD - INTRO 5
The significance of the God of the Bible in relation to mankind is a necessary sequel in this article. Ideas have consequences, as the history of mankind thoroughly demonstrates. This is especially true in the arena of religion. No person has ever risen above its religion, and no religion has ever exceeded in proportion its conception of God. "Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God." Men tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward the mental image of the object they worship. What men approve in perception they approach in performance. This means that the most revealing thing about the people of God in any period is the conception they hold of the God whom they worship.
With amazing subtlety Satan attacked the human race at this point. He distorted the conception of Eve concerning the goodness of God. By means of an insinuating question he suggested that God might be withholding some good thing from her by imposing the prohibition concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 3:1). Her evaluation of the benefits to be derived from partaking of the fruit deceived her into believing that God was deliberately depriving them (Gen. 3:6). She took of the fruit and ate, and Adam joined with her in an act that plunged the whole human race into darkness and even lower conceptions of God.
The testimony of history, through millenniums of time, is that men have fashioned the object of worship over the pattern of their own thoughts. "Thou thought that I was altogether such an one as thyself (Psa. 50:21). This is the indictment of God hurled into the teeth of the wicked. God is something like man who was created in His image, but not altogether like him. And where sin prevails, it is certain that the image of God carried in the mind of the worshipper is measured over the pattern of sin. This explains how men "became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things" (Rom. 1:21-23).
This fact further explains the awful descent into sin of every conceivable variety: apostasy, thievery, adultery, and dishonesty, slander (Psa. 50:16-20). This low conception of God explains how men could descend to levels of sin so base and revolting that God was compelled to give them up (Rom. 1:24-32). Nor is the low conception of God to be restricted to the pagan world that engaged in idolatry. It is likewise manifest among those peoples where the images are mere mental conceptions of God issuing in the same plague of wickedness to be found in the pagan world.
To a world of sinners like this, the message of the Bible comes, speaking to the condition of all men. The message of the Bible concerning that exalted and majestic God who is therein described is both timeless and timely. Satan would, if possible, blind the minds of men lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them (2 Cor. 4:4). And only as God has shined in their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, can men be rescued from this night of sin (2 Cor. 4:6).