Many times, when we say that someone is with us we mean that they are our friends. We benefit from their companionship and comradery. They are there for us in our time of need or distress. They are on our side and will fight to defend us.
Scripturally speaking, what does it mean that God is with us? First, we must define "us." God is not with everyone in the sense of being friends with everyone. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that subsequent to Adam's fall, all mankind are born enemies of God (Genesis 2:17; Psalm 51:5; Romans 8:7). Having sinned against God both by commission and omission we have incurred a sin debt that merits God's eternal wrath (Romans 6:23).
But God promised to send a Savior, a Messiah, to save God's people from their sins. He promised to overcome the curse of sin and death, which man brought upon himself when he gave into Satan's temptation (Genesis 3:15). The prophet Isaiah spoke about this Messiah approximately 700 years before His birth (Isaiah 7:14). His name is Jesus Christ and He is the long-awaited Immanuel, which means, God with us (Matthew 1:22–25). Jesus is the Word (Divine Logos) who is both with God and is God (John 1:14). Jesus took on human flesh and dwelt among us; He is both fully God and fully man (John 1:18; Colossians 1:19). Jesus is what it means for God to be with us. He emptied Himself and humbled Himself, taking on the form of a servant, in order to identify and sympathize with us sinners, whom He came to save (Philippians 2:6–11; Hebrews 4:15–16; 1 Timothy 1:15). He broke down the dividing wall of hostility between God and us (Ephesians 2:14). He sacrificed His very life on the cross for our sins thereby erasing our debt (Colossians 2:13–14).
Through faith in Christ, we can be reconciled to God (Romans 5:10). As both God and man, He is qualified to act as mediator between us (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). He made peace between God and us by His blood shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20). In this way, Jesus demonstrates that God loves us (Romans 5:8). No greater love has anyone than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). God is with us in that He sent His Son to live and die and rise again for us, so that we may be forgiven, accepted, reconciled, and loved by the Father. Before His ascension, Jesus promised to send His disciples another Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16–17). The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to live within believers. The Holy Spirit guides us into the truth, comforts us, strengthens us, empowers us, prays for us, and produces fruit through us (Philippians 2:13; Romans 8:26; Galatians 5:22–26). In this way, God is with us by living in us.
God is with us by way of His promises made to us (2 Peter 1:4). God has promised His children that He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). He has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). God has promised that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:38–39). He has promised to resurrect us from the dead and grant us eternal life and joy in His presence (1 Corinthians 15:53; Titus 1:2).
As we live by faith in the Son of God and in the promises of God we will increasingly experience the truth that the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is with us and for us (Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:31).
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