reply to post by Awen24
I will repost my question from several posts earlier, for you perhaps missed it.
Originally posted by Awen24
What the Bible says, in essence, is that we can't reach God, or godhood. Ever. "Your sins have separated you from God", and we can't close that
gap in and of ourselves.
Thank you all for your thoughts and interactions here, this thread is very interesting and I enjoy reading your ideas and beliefs, for they allow me
to strengthen my own. There is much material here, but I would like particularly to respond to this point, to the idea that we are somehow separate
from what you term as "God", but with whom I am more comfortable terming, "The Infinite Creator".
I will pose a question which I hope will draw us closer to what I perceive as truth...
Is God Infinite?
Wow, sorry... yes, I did miss your post. ...and obviously I haven't been back in here in quite some time!
To answer your question:
Put simply... yes. God is infinite. That's the short answer.
The longer answer, however, relates more strictly to the nature of that which is "infinite".
What does it mean for something to be infinite?
Well, if we're talking in numerical terms, something 'infinite' has definite form and structure; it is composed of clearly definable 'things' (in
this case, numbers). This would be what I'd term quantifiable infinity.
When we're talking about God, however, we're not talking about Him being quantifiably infinite. We're talking about Him being *qualitatively*
infinite, which isn't the same thing. What that means is that there is no boundary, no limit to how gracious God is, or how powerful God is, or how
loving God is, and so on. Each of those characteristics is composed of a SINGLE thing, as opposed to a string of clearly definable 'things' as you
might find in a numerically infinite sequence.
Now, what does that mean in terms of your question?
Your implication is that (and correct me if I'm wrong), an infinite God would be inherently part of, and within, us.
The Biblical argument is that... you're absolutely right. That's exactly how things SHOULD be. Scripture, though, presents a different picture.
As I quoted earlier, "your sins have separated you from God" (Isaiah 59:2).
What this means isn't that man has wrestled power away from God, or somehow taken away from His infinite nature.
What that verse suggests isn't that man is physically separated from God. Obviously an omnipresent and infinite God is here, and with us, all the
time. Man and God are not separated by sin in physical terms - after all, God has had Satan himself in His presence (Job 1:6), so the Biblical
implication isn't that God and sin can't be present in the same sphere.
The implication is, however, that God will not dwell with that which is sinful. This is both choice on God's part, and in some respects a necessary
demand made by God's own character. God cannot and will not tolerate sin.
This, then, creates a conflict: God cannot and will not tolerate sin, but God is also infinitely loving, infinitely forgiving, infinitely gracious.
How are those two things reconciled?
God's own standard says that "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." (Hebrews 9:22)
We see this in Scripture EVERYWHERE... from the Mosaic law, to the garden of Eden (who took the life of a lamb to clothe Adam and Eve? God did -
Genesis 3:21!), to Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac (where, notably, Abraham says "God Himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice". God didn't
provide a lamb, however, He provided a RAM. Why...? Because the Lamb of God was still to come - Isaiah 53).
God, then, to satisfy His own innate requirement for justice, and His own desire for grace, took the righteous judgement for the sin of man upon
Himself - sending His own Son, the third person of the trinity, to bear the punishment for sin and to reconcile man and God. Thus God, being in
nature both infinitely holy and infinitely good, remained both the righteous judge, and the infinitely forgiving Father.