What does it mean that God is with us?

By Stephanie Ismer

When the birth of Jesus was prophesied, the angel told Mary that Jesus would be called "Immanuel" which means "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). This title applied specifically to Jesus, the Son of God, because of the incarnation. Jesus was the "exact imprint" of God's nature; he was God's words, voice and thoughts made flesh and living among men, "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:3). So, when Jesus was on Earth, he was literally "God with us" or "Immanuel."

God the Father is also "God with us" in many ways. He is omnipresent (in every place at all times), omnipotent (all powerful), and omniscient (all knowing). This means that, as the Scripture says, "He is not far from any one of us" (Acts 17:27). His presence fills all of creation; he is the one "who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:23). For "all things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). God is intimately involved with every aspect of creation, including and especially, human beings, who are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). From the moment of conception, God is with us (Psalm 139:15-16).

Jesus was God with us while he walked on Earth. God the Father is God with us from the moment of our creation and conception, and the Holy Spirit is God with us because He is God within us. When Jesus was speaking to the disciples just before his crucifixion, at the last supper, he told them that he was going to "prepare a place" for them and then he promised: "I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:3). Then, Jesus told them that while he was gone, he would ask the Father to send them "another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth...You know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you" (John 14:16-17). Then he promises "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (v. 18). Paul later refers to the Holy Spirit that indwells believers as the "Spirit of God" and the "Spirit of Christ" (Romans 8:9). The Holy Spirit is Christ's spirit and God's spirit, making him one with both God and Jesus Christ. He indwells believers continually, guiding them and helping them to walk according to God's will (Galatians 5:16). He is also the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). Our lives are hidden with Christ, in God, and the Holy Spirit is left as a "deposit" that shows we belong to Him (Colossians 3:2-4).

All of this shows that God cares deeply about keeping us near to Him. He is God with us, because He wants to be with us. He chooses to be near us, and to keep us close by His power (Romans 1:16). He came to us in human form, and sacrificed himself in order to save us. And although He had to go away, He did not "leave us orphans" but gave us His own Holy Spirit to keep us company during His absence.

Image Credit: Unsplash; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | God-Father  | Jesus-Christ

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Published 6-2-16