Who is God?

by Matt Slick

The question "Who is God?" is a good question.  It is better than asking "What is God?"  This is because God exists, created us, loves us, is concerned for our being, desires to provide for us, and sent the Son to redeem us.  If we were to ask "What is God?" we might be tempted to say that God is the infinite being, the creator, a presence, or something like that.  In some respect, this would be true.  But the first question "Who is God?" brings us closer to understanding more of who God really is in His character and His love for us as revealed in the Bible.

The Bible teaches us that in all existence, from all eternity, there has been and always will be only one God.  God was never created, is completely loving, completely just, completely holy, completely merciful, and that He desires the best for us.  God is holy and He can have nothing to do with sin as the Bible says, "His eyes are too pure to look upon evil," (Hab. 1:13).  This does not mean that God cannot see what someone does that is wrong.  It is a way of describing how holy God is.  God cannot sin.  He is perfect.

In Christianity, God is a Trinity.  This means that God is three persons, not three gods. Technically, the doctrine of the Trinity states that in the one God is the person of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Each is not the same person as the other; yet there are not three gods but one.  This is similar in analogy to the nature of time.  Time is past, present, and future.  The past is not the same as the present, which is not the same as the future.  But, there are not three times.  There is only one thing called time.

The reason the word "person" is used in describing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is because each exhibits attributes of personhood -- not in a body of flesh and bones, but in personality.  In other words, each has a will, loves, speaks, is aware of others, communicates with others, etc.  These are attributes of personhood and we see the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each demonstrate these qualities.

Because of the Trinity, God can become flesh in the form of the Son, and still exist in such a way so that He can run the universe.  Therefore, the Son can communicate to us on our level.

Following are a couple verses that hint at the Trinity.

  • Matt. 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
  • 2 Cor. 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."

The Bible says there is only one God:  "I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God," (Isaiah 45:5).  Yet, the Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each called God.

Below is a very brief chart that shows that each of the persons in the Trinity share the same attributes that only God shares.  But remember, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each have wills, and speak, etc.  Therefore, we say there are are three persons.


FATHER SON HOLY SPIRIT
Called God Phil. 1:2 John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3-4
Creator Isaiah 64:8 John 1:3; Job 33:4, 26:13
Everywhere 1 Kings 8:27 Matt. 28:20 Psalm 139:7-10
All knowing 1 John 3:20 John 16:30; 21:17 1 Cor. 2:10-11
A Will Luke 22:42 Luke 22:42 1 Cor. 12:11
Speaks Matt. 3:17; Luke 5:20; 7:48 Acts 13:2

So, "Who is God?"  God is the Trinitarian, holy, omniscient, creator of the universe who is revealed through the person of Jesus.

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