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- God Is Always with His People
- God Knows His People
- God Loves and Is Faithful to His People
- God Shows Grace to His People
This section looks at some basic factors underlying God’s interaction with his people. They show that God’s relationship with his people is not an aloof, impersonal one – far from it. God is always with his people and they can actually know him. Complementary to this is God’s great love and steadfast faithfulness towards his people. Undergirding all God’s interaction with his people is his truly amazing grace.
Note that most of what this and the following chapters in Part D. God and His Own People say about God is also applicable to Jesus Christ.
[God:] When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not harm you. Isaiah 43:2 NET
In Exodus 33:17, “I know you by name” indicates: intimate knowledge – “I know you very well” (GNT, NCV); and a personal relationship – “I know you personally” (AMP); “you are my friend” (NLT, cf. CEV). A similar comment could probably be made regarding the like expression in John 10:3b.
[Jesus Christ, to the church in Ephesus:] I know the distress you are suffering and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know the slander against you by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9 NET
God’s love is “steadfast” – constant and reliable.
What God does for his people is based on his “grace” – his free and undeserved favour. God’s grace in the believer’s salvation is discussed earlier (cf. We are justified and made righteous by God’s grace, through Jesus Christ – not by law; We are saved by God’s grace rather than by works). This section speaks of the ongoing role of God’s grace in his people’s lives.
Here Paul speaks of God’s grace in moving the Corinthians to generously give towards supporting needy believers.
[The writer, to believers:] Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you from the right way. It is good to receive inner strength from God’s grace, and not by obeying rules about foods; those who obey these rules have not been helped by them. Hebrews 13:9 GNT