God Has a Name

Most of us worship God without fully understanding God or even knowing how to comprehend God. We are often left to have a variety of other sources shape our picture of God. Those pictures can come from ridiculous places like Monty Python’s Holy Grail and they can come from innocent places like a childhood picture Bible, or they can come from serious places like a pastor or teacher’s definitions of God.

Regardless of the source, most of us have an idea of who God is, but we don’t really know what to do with that. We don’t know if we are right. We don’t know if it is complete and we definitely don’t know that other people’s descriptions are accurate.

In one of the most quoted passages in the Bible, by the Bible, God reveals his name and his character. Rather than communicate in systematic theology terms like omniscience and immutability, God communicates to us in words that we understand and can relate to, and draws us into relationship with himself.

[6] The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, [7] keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Exodus 34:6–7

As a church, we think it’s pretty critical that we have a healthy picture of the God that we worship. We are going to take some time to walk through God’s description of himself so that we can use that moving forward as a common basis for how we all understand God—the way that he gave us.

Much of the inspiration and source material for this series comes from a book called God Has a Name by John Mark Comer. It is a fantastic explanation of Exodus 34—so good that we debated just encouraging the church to read that… We opted to do a preaching series because it gives us the chance to explore the text as us… we know who we are and we know our pictures of God, so we can better understand how we need to be shaped.

My encouragement over the course of this series is that you would come in ready to learn, ready to challenge and be challenged and ready to believe in a God that is bigger and more wonderful than you could have imagined.