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The following is a liturgy we have used at Immanuel Church.  It is based on William Bridge’s A Lifting Up For The Downcast (1648), in which Bridge uses God’s self-revelation in Exodus 34 to deconstruct the objections we raise against God’s grace.  There is no more wonderful question than, Who is God, especially in relation to compulsive sinners?  Exodus 34 is God’s own answer to that question.

A number of people in various locations have asked for this.  I am glad to make it available:


Leader:  Who is God?

All:  He is the Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty.


Leader:  But does God really want to help me?

All:  He is a God merciful and wants to help.


Leader:  But what is there in me to move him to care?

All:  He is a God gracious, motivated by his own love.


Leader:  But I’ve been sinful and backward for too long.

All:  He is a God slow to anger.


Leader:  But I’ve sinned extremely, blatantly, aboundingly.

All:  He is a God abounding in steadfast love.


Leader:  But I’m weak and unfaithful to him.

All:  He is a God abounding in faithfulness.


Leader:  But God works only with big important people.

All:  He keeps steadfast love for thousands.


Leader:  But I’ve sinned in so many different ways.

All:  He forgives iniquity and transgression and sin – all kinds.


Leader:  But if I let myself believe this, it makes God seem unserious.

All:  He will by no means clear the guilty.  But if any sinner desires God, he may have God as his mighty Friend through Christ.  This we believe, and we live again.


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2 thoughts on “Who is God?”

  1. theoldadam says:

    God is the One who raised Jesus from the dead.

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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