What is the most common misconception that Christians have about God? In this video, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson explains a crucial aspect of who God is that Christians often miss.
I think the most common misconception that people have about God is they do not understand what it means for Him to be a Father. Often they understand what it would mean for a human being to be a father, that he would combine in himself direction and wonderful love. And so, I think, because of the fall—you think of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. What is the first thing that happens after they sin? They hide from God. They seem to have lost sight of His grace, His kindness, and goodness. They just know that they have sinned against Him, and this drives them away. And I think that often is true of people, that their sin drives them to a false view of God, which often they cover over. Now, I’ve often said to the congregations I’ve served, “Almost everybody you meet will say that if they believe in a god, He’s a god of love.” It is very rare for people to say, “Well, the god I believe in is a god of wrath.” You know when people get angry about our Christian faith, they will tell us that they believe in a god of love. I’ve tried to say to people that you need to do this very gently and find a way of doing it, but you need to tell people they’re lying through their teeth. Because they wouldn’t respond to Him the way they do, or live the way they do, or not worship Him the way they do, if they really believed that He was the kind of God they say He was. But all that is an indication of, I think, a latent sense that our only hope is if God is a God of love. And this is John 3:16, isn’t it? “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son.” So at the end of the day, what people need to see is that the only place you can be sure that God is love is in the cross of Christ, and this is the essence of the gospel.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published on May 6, 2019.