|Eternal Questions (The Gospel) - What Is God Like?|
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WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
This is obviously the next question to be faced. To acknowledge that God exists is one thing, and to acknowledge him in the general sense that God speaks to us in creation and through the pages of the Bible is another. But we need to know more. What is God actually like? The Bible gives us many clear and positive answers to this tremendously important question. Here are some of them.
God is personal. God is not a 'thing', power, or influence. He thinks, feels desires and acts in ways that show him to be a living personal Being. But he is not just 'the man upstairs' or some kind of 'superman'. The Lord is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. (Jeremiah 10:10)
God is one. There is only one true God. He says, I am the first and the last; apart from me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6) Yet God has revealed himself as a 'trinity' of three Persons - the Father, the son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit each of whom is truly, fully and equally God. The Bible speaks of the glory of God the Father; (Philippians 2:11) it says that the Word (Jesus Christ) was God; (John 1:1) and it speaks of the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18) While there is only one God, there are three persons in the Godhead.
God is spirit. He has no physical dimensions. He does not have a body, nor does he have any characteristics that can be defined in terms of size and shape. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) This means that God is invisible. No one has ever seen God. (John 1:18) It also means that he is not confined to one place at a time, but is everywhere all the time: 'Do I not fill heaven and earth?' declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24) Quite apart from anything else, this means that God is fully aware of everything that happens everywhere. This includes not only everything you do and say, but every thought that passes through your mind.
God is eternal. God has no beginning. In the Bible's words from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2) There never was a time when God did not exist and there never will be a time when he will not exist. God describes himself as the one who is, and who was, and who is to come.(Revelation 1:8) And he remains eternally the same: I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6) All that God ever was he still is and always will be.
God is independent. Every other living being is dependent on people or things, and ultimately on God - but God is totally independent of his creation. He can survive on his own. He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. (Acts 17:25)
God is holy. He is majestic in holiness, awesome in glory. (Exodus 15:11) There can be no comparison with the holiness of God. There is no one holy like the Lord, (1 Samuel 2:2) who is utterly without fault or defect. The Bible says of him, Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. (Habakkuk 1:13) And this holy God demands holiness from every one of us. His command to us today is: Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16)
God is just. The Bible says that the Lord is a God of justice and that righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. (Isaiah 30:18; Psalm 97:2) God is not only our Creator and Sustainer; he is also our Judge rewarding and punishing, in time and eternity, with a justice that is perfect and beyond any appeal or dispute.
God is perfect. His knowledge is perfect. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13) God knows everything in the past, present and future, including all our thoughts, words and deeds. His wisdom is perfect and utterly beyond our understanding. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Romans 11:33)
God is sovereign. He is the sole and supreme ruler of the universe and nothing whatever is outside of his control. The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth. (Psalm 135:6) With God there are no accidents or surprises. He writes all the world's history and works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. (Ephesians 1:11) God needs no advice or consent for anything he chooses to do. Nor can anyone prevent him doing what he pleases: No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?' (Daniel 4:35)
God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful. In his own words I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27) This does not mean that God can do anything (he cannot lie, or change, or make mistakes, or sin, or deny himself) but that he can do anything he wishes consistent with his character.
These are just brief sketches of some of the things God has revealed in the Bible about his own nature and character. There are other truths about God in the Bible (and we will look at one of these later on) though there are many things about him we cannot possibly understand. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. (Job 5:9) In that sense, the Almighty is beyond our reach (Job 37:23) and no amount of human intelligence or reasoning can change that. This should hardly surprise us: If we could understand God he would be unworthy of our worship.