God

by Matt Slick

God, according to the Bible, is the only divine and supreme being that exists in the universe.  The Bible says God is Holy (Rev. 4:8), eternal (Isaiah 57:15, omnipotent (Jer. 32:17, 27), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12), and omniscient (1 John 3:20).  God is described as love (1 John 4:8, 16); light (1 John 1:5); spirit (John 4:24); truth (Psalm 117:2); and as creator (Isaiah 40:12, 22, 26).  He is worshiped (Gen. 24:26; Ex. 4:31; 2 Chron. 29:28; 1 Cor. 14:25; Rev. 7:11) and served (Matt. 4:10;1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14).

Though there are many other concepts of God in the world, the Bible alone presents God as the only God in existence--the Supreme Being who is a Trinity.  The Trinity is the Christian doctrine that there is only one God who exists as three persons--not three gods and not three modes. God is Sovereign.  He is in control of all things and supreme over all things (Eph. 1:11).  No one is more powerful than He, and He answers to no one. Pantheism presents God as an impersonal presence existing in all things, containing all things, and part of all things. Atheism says there is no God.  Deism says God exists but is unknowable and untouchable.

The Bible speaks of God as knowable, personal, real, alive, self-aware, and very much concerned with the affairs of this world.  It does not defend God's existence nor try to prove it.  Instead, the Bible simply assumes it and says that it is the fool who says there is no God (Psalm 14:1).

Some of the biblical names of God are "Jehovah or Yahweh" (Exodus 3:14, lit. "I AM"), "Elohim" (the Hebrew word for 'god', i.e. Gen. 1), and "Adonai," which means "master" or "lord."  "Jehovah" is often joined in usage to the word "elohim," as in Gen. 15:2.  It is also joined to other words.  For example, Jehovah-jireh which means "the Lord will provide" (Gen. 22:13-14); Jehovah-rapha which means "The Lord who heals" (Exodus 15:26); Jehovah-shalom which means "the Lord our peace" (Judges 6:24); and Jehovah-tsidkenu, which is "the Lord our righteousness" (Jer. 23:6).  In the NT, God is known as the "Father" (John 17) and the "Word" (John 1:1, 14), etc.

God is Sovereign.  This means that he is in control of all things and supreme over all things.  No one is more powerful than He, and He answers to no one.  He had no beginning and has no end (Psalm 90:2).  God decrees what will occur; that is, all things occur according to His plan (Acts 2:23). But this is not to say that God is the author of evil.  Instead, in His sovereign plan, He allowed for it to occur.

God is the creator of the Universe (Gen. 1; Isaiah 44:24; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17)--not a part of it.  God is the redeemer who became a man in Christ Jesus (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Titus 2:13).  God is our Savior.

God is forgiving (Eph. 1:7; Psalm 86:5), merciful (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 67:1; James 5:11), holy (Isaiah 6:3; Rev. 4:8), eternal (Psalm 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17), and perfect (1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 139).

The Incarnation

In the incarnation, God became man.  It says in Col. 2:9, "For in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form." (NASB).  Jesus is God in flesh--our redeemer.  It was necessary that God become a man to atone for our sins because a sinful man could not fulfill all the Law of God and offer a sacrifice to God the Father of sufficient quality to remove our sin.  God had to become a man, so that He could die for the sins of men.  In this, we have the sacrifice of a loving God who humbled Himself to become one of us and die at our hands for our sins, so that He might give eternal life to those who accept His sacrifice (John 1:12; John 3:16).

 

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