God2-Sistine_ChapelThere are many names used for God (Elohim, Yahweh, Adonai, Lord, Father, The Great I AM, etc.) in the Bible, but most know God best as simply God the Father or God. God is frequently stretched and skewed in today’s pluralistic culture to fit one’s beliefs. To one person, God may reside inside them, to another, God may be infinite. A third person may believe that God ditched all of us a long time ago, and yet another person may believe that God is whoever you want him to be.

And we haven’t even come to the people who say that there are multiple gods, or none at all!

A god (or multiple gods) is acknowledged, if only passively, by many people in existence today. References to God are given in U.S. political speeches, but the traits of God, except for those few defined in the country’s founding documents, are conveniently not mentioned to the point that one wonders if the name is simply being used as a catch-all.

One of the most basic ideas about Christianity to nail down, then, is the nature of God. Can we even know God? Fortunately, the answer is yes. The Bible tells us many things about Him. The very first sentence you read in the Bible is that God created the heavens and the earth. This means that God also existed causally prior to creating these things, and existed apart from them. He also WANTED to create the Earth. Implicitly, this means God is powerful enough to do just that, and His omnipotence is explicit later on in the Bible (Luke 1:37). We then see God creating landscapes, animals, plants, and humans. Not only that, but He called them all GOOD. He was pleased with what he created. He blessed Adam and Eve, the first people, and gave them the command to manage the Earth’s creatures. In just Genesis 1, the first chapter of the Bible, we know all this.

Of course, there’s more to learn. God, who is eternal (Psalms 29:10), loves what is good, but He also hates what is not good (Genesis 3:13-19, Nahum 1:2-6). All humans today have been tainted by sin and are not good, but here we see God’s compassion as displayed by the fact that we are not dead already, and that the Bible demonstrates God’s willingness to forgive if we should repent (Micah 7:19). This is displayed most powerfully through God sending Jesus into the world (more on Jesus in a later article!) to be the ultimate sacrifice of compassion in place of our imperfect sacrifices.

Goodness is in fact God’s very nature. He cannot be evil (Psalms 5:4), and He alone is holy (Leviticus 11:45). The Lord, who is all-knowing, judges the human heart (2 Thessalonians 1:5), and He does it righteously, showing no partiality (Galatians 2:6). And, if it wasn’t evident already, God is very involved with His creation (Psalms 104, Isaiah 57:15), and He is faithful in His promises (Hebrews 10:23), which include the multiplication of Abraham’s offspring into the nation of Israel (Genesis 22:17), and the deliverance of man from their sins through Jesus (Romans 4:23-25). Additionally, God is a spirit (John 4:24) and thus not of flesh and blood.

Would any of the above ever NOT be true? No, for God is unchanging in character (Psalms 102:19, James 1:17), and He does not lie or contradict Himself (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29).

To try and sum up the above, God is an eternal and unchanging spirit, from which no evil can come, and He is the creator of the Earth and all living things on it, who actively has a hand in the things He created.

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Recommended resources:

The Portable Seminary, specifically Chapter 4 on God.
Who is God? – GotQuestions article