God's Transcendental “I”
Scripture Gospels Exodus Leviticus Theology
The Scriptures are sacred, holy and fundamentally important because they tell about God as the transcendental and supernatural person who is the Creator of everything existent. This is their main subject. Other peculiar things, such as their vocabulary, stylistic devices, grammar, are characteristic as well.
The key principle is that our God is the living God whose selfhood has at its core what is called the “I”. According to this, the divine might, wisdom, will and speech (the Word) are the features making the true divinity different from Baal and any other idol.
By its essence divinity is unknowable because it is above and beyond everything existent, including the human mind. However, it is known that God has personhood in the center of which is the enigmatic thing that is called the “I”. The divine “I” transcends all limits and, therefore, is supernatural and transcendental.
In the Scriptures that “I” expresses itself when God speaks in the first person. Such passages when God is the speaker inspire great devotion.
I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. (Isa 42:8)
God's "I" is the most pronounced self-expression of the divine nature. Because the Holy One has personhood, the worship of the divine being is very different from idolatry. The Lord demands from human beings repentance, submission, obeyance and love. His will is that humans should be saved from sin.
Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (Isa 45:22)
It may be concluded that such phrases that occur repeatedly have a particularly great significance. For example, the phrase “I am the Lord your God” is many times used as a means of divine self-reference in the Leviticus.
In the Exodus there is a special case when Jehovah’s name was revealed to Moses. Moses believed in Jehovah as a supernatural living being, but, surprisingly, even then he did not know by what name Jehovah should be addressed. Perhaps at that time the people even did not know how to pray.
God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' (Exo 3:14)
The name “I AM WHO I AM” emphasizes the sovereignty, perfectness and self-sufficiency of God's selfhood. It means that there is no need to enquire into the essence of the divine nature. It is enough to accept the Lord as He is in order to believe. Such acceptance is an element of love.
The word “I” plays a big role. One may ask, for example, what would I do if I were God? To answer this question is to become closer to a unity with Him. Understanding leads to acceptance. You need to imagine yourself in God’s place to accept Him fully and bring your actions in agreement with God’s will.
Jesus Christ as the Lord is the embodiment of the transcendental “I”. In the Gospels the divine Son seems to be speaking on behalf of Himself. However, as is explained, the message of the Son is the same as that of the Heavenly Father, Who sent the Son to the world to proclaim that message. They are the one and only God, they possess the same divine might, wisdom, power, will, glory.
It is formidable when God addresses the mankind, saying what siners are unable to hear. He says, “I am the Savior and the Teacher of all. I am your Father and your Guide. I am the Truth and the true Life. I give life and take it back at the proper time. I am the Creator of everything and the Judge of the world. I punish infidels and reward the faithful. I am your highest Good. In My hands is the life of every creature. Believe all that and you will be saved”.
God’s “I” as the most unequivocal self-expression of the divine nature is also the highest Good, which is why the Lord often speaks in the first person. While the Bible is rich in meanings and can be interpreted differently, the notion of God’s transcendental “I” helps us better grasp the spiritual Truth.