Christians often talk about how God is near to us. He is personal and relatable. But we also talk about how God is different than us. He is eternal and infinite.
So how can both of these things be true? Let’s find the answer to this question as we discuss the transcendence of God.
Transcendence is a word theologians use to describe God’s superiority to His creation in every respect, from His existence, His relationship to the world, and His power and purposes.
First, God’s transcendence reminds us that He is eternal. The Bible begins “in the beginning,” but before that, God was already there. There has never been a time when God was not, nor will there ever be a time when He will not be. He is the God “who was, who is, and who is to come…the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 4:8; 21:6).
Second, it means God is distinct from His creation. He is not constrained by it and does not exist within it. He needs nothing from it, even as He is intimately involved with it.
Finally, it means His ways are superior to ours. Isaiah 55 tells us that His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. He has a larger perspective, and purposes everything that happens for our ultimate good and His glory.
God’s transcendence is, in many ways, what makes God God. God is different than us. God is above us. God is superior to us. So let us respond to Him with awe and wonder as the only one worthy of all honor, praise and glory forever.