Who God Is

Insights From The Holy Bible On Who, And How, God Is

Who God Is
Image Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2018 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).
There are some purely basic things about God to know, and it is vitally important, especially for a true Christian, to know them.

It is imperative to realize that we as frail human beings cannot learn everything about God (Job 5:9, Psalm 145:3, Proverbs 25:3, Romans 11:33, Ephesians 3:8). However, God does reveal much about Himself in the written Word and through His Son, the living Word. Let us now examine the Holy Scriptures to get a basic knowledge of Him.

I. His Exclusiveness

(The Exclusive Attributes Of God)

There is only One Being that is God (Isaiah 44:8). He is the Supreme Being. Note that I did not say creature or creation.

God had no beginning nor does He have an ending (Psalm 90:2): “Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

The Holy Bible will refer to idols as gods and to mere humans as gods, but the Holy Bible is clear there is only One God and only One God to be devoted to and worshiped. It is recorded in Isaiah 43:10-11,
“‘You are My witnesses,’ declares YHVH (The Existing One), 
    ‘And My servant whom I have chosen,
    So that you may know and believe Me
    And understand that I am He.
    Before Me there was no God formed,
    And there will be none after Me.

11    I, even I, am YHVH (The Existing One),
    And there is no savior besides Me.
’”

There are five attributes of God that only God has. No other being in the universe has these five attributes. God is omnipotent, that is, all powerful (Genesis 17:1, Revelation 19:6); omniscient (all knowing) (Psalm 147:5, Hebrews 4:13, 1 John 3:20); omnipresent (present everywhere) (1 Kings 8:27, Jeremiah 23:24); eternal (timeless) (Revelation 1:8,  Psalm 90:2); and immutable (cannot be changed, altered, corrupted, or destroyed) (Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102:27).

The most misunderstood of these five is God’s omnipotence, being all powerful. Taking the entire Holy Bible we understand God to be all powerful in that He is able to do all that He wills according to His character. With that, there are some things God cannot do {A} such as look upon iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13), deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13), lie (Hebrews 6:18), and sin (James 1:13). Nor does He do the absurd or self-contradictory like make a square circle or a stone He cannot move. 

Another misunderstood or not thoroughly grasped attribute of God is that He is eternal (Revelation 1:8,  Psalm 90:2). He is timeless. He just is. While we are not eternal we are infinite in that we have a beginning but no ending {B}. At physical death we pass from the realm of time to timelessness and are assigned by God to either eternal damnation or eternal life. Before then, we are so used to thinking in terms of time. To us there is past, present, and future. Considering the wording of Revelation 1:8 it could be said that God is in all that. This is one reason why God is shown in the Holy Bible as speaking of a prophetic event as already done before it comes to pass. Much more could be said but suffice it for now for us to realize that God is already in tomorrow before we get there. You will see in an upcoming lesson why it is important to know all of God’s exclusive attributes.

One might think that while there is one Supreme Being Who is God, there is one supreme God but many other Gods (or gods). YHVH God Himself says in Isaiah 44:6g “there is no God besides Me”. Other portions of Holy Scripture point to the fact there is only one God and not more than one. Additionally YHVH says in places like Isaiah 45:22 that salvation is only found in Him: “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.”

II. His Expression

God describes some things about Himself in Exodus 34:6-7: “YHVH (The Existing One), YHVH (The Existing One) God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”

In revealing this portion of His glory to Moses He first speaks of His Name along with His Name coupled with the fact He is God. After that, and through the first half of verse 7,  we  see some of the moral attributes of God, viz., compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness (goodness, kindness, faithfulness) {C}{D}, truth, and forgiving. The balance of verse 7 points to Him being holy, just, and righteous -- attributes of God that are frequently stated about Him throughout the Holy Bible.

Today, many so-called ministers emphasize the "nice" attributes of God. His being holy, just, righteous, along with other attributes, are not mentioned by many. Holy (or we can say, holiness) is really His predominate moral attribute (Leviticus 11:44-45, Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8, and many more), and is often neglected by humans. When we read Hebrews 12:14 we see that neglecting holiness is a ploy of the devil to lead people into damnation.

The list above where many of God's moral attributes are posted is not an exhaustive list. Other moral attributes of God are to be found throughout Holy Scripture. Though we will never have His exclusive attributes, we are to share His moral attributes, which is done through Jesus Christ living within us (2 Peter 1:4, 1 Peter 1:15 -16).

So far, it could be said that this information mainly helps us to know about God. While that is important, it is most important to personally know God Himself, and so much so that each of us is changed from our sinful condition and are enabled to intimately know Him. Almighty God, the Supreme Being, desires for this to happen. When we read in 1 Timothy 6:16 that God dwells in unapproachable light this seems to be impossible. Yet it is possible because of Who God is.

III. His Entity - Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel: YHVH (The Existing One) our God, YHVH (The Existing One) is one!”

That should be “clear as a bell”. God is only one being, not two, three, or more. Yet, we find Him saying in Genesis 1:26 “Let us make man in our image”. We see in other places in the Holy Scriptures that YHVH speaks of YHVH. And we also see the word for “God” in Deuteronomy 6:4 is Elohim. In Hebrew, a few nouns are written as plural, such as the Hebrew word for Jerusalem and the Hebrew word for presence (or face). Elohim is one of those words and it is used at times in the Old Testament to denote idols. However, when used of the One True God the sentence or phrase it is used in is grammatically constructed in such a way to indicate one, not more than one, being.

All of what we just mentioned, plus other indicators in the Holy Bible, bring us to the conclusion that there is only one Supreme Being, God, who subsists in Trinity (Genesis 1:26 cf. Isaiah 40:14, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, et al.). By Trinity we convey the idea of one Being, God, subsisting as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The word "Trinity" itself does not occur in the Holy Bible however the word "Godhead" does (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9). He does not subsist as three gods, There is One Supreme Being Who subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You will soon see that He subsists in this manner for our salvation.

A Simple Proof Of The Holy Trinity (Godhead)

Here is one example in the Word of God of the Trinity: Ask the question, who raised Christ from the dead? Did you say God? Good answer, for it is written in Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

But we also read in John 2:19-21, “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ 20 The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.’” See? Jesus said He would do it.

We see in Romans 8:11 it was the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Finally, in Romans 6:4, we see the Father: “. . . Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." And there it is: One God Who subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

My Favorite Examples

I have two favorite examples of "trinity" but understand that no example in all of God's creation can adequately describe the Trinity. In no way do we believe in three Gods! God is One God, but He has lovingly chosen to reveal Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The first earthly example I use is to illustrate the simple fact you can have one substance that you can find in different conditions. For this, I use water. Chemically it is simply H2O. We find it on this planet either as a liquid, solid (ice), or as vapor. Though it is the same substance, you cannot ice-skate on steam or water. You cannot drink an ice cube or steam. Now, there is One Supreme Being, God, yet we clearly find Him revealed in the Holy Bible as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The second example, and what I feel is the best example, is you! I prefer us to see that the Holy Bible teaches that we ourselves, are three in one: body, soul and spirit. You might wonder what is the difference between soul and spirit. The soul has been described as the seat of affections (what we like, for one thing), while the spirit of the person is where resides the decision making capability. A simple Holy Bible example of this distinction between soul and spirit is found in Psalm 103:2. Read that verse. The psalmist commands his own being!

Now, think about YOU. Your spirit is throughout your soul and body. Your soul is throughout your spirit and body. No part of your body is separate from your spirit and soul while you have your physical being here. Someone hits you. Your body is affected. You might say "Do not hit me." Someone insults you. Your soul may be primarily affected. You might say "Do not hurt me."  Someone bothers you with some type of temptation. Your spirit is affected. You might say, "Do not bother me."

None of the examples that I have given can ever adequately describe all aspects of the Trinity (Godhead). Other studies I have will help you if you want to learn more about the Godhead. Because “Godhead” is the Biblical term to express how God subsists, from this point “Godhead” will be used instead of “Trinity” in the remainder of our lessons unless there is need to do otherwise.

For now, more importantly, in this current course we will later explore the sonship of Christ, where He is subordinate to the Father. Suffice it for now to know that whenever you see Jesus as subordinate to the Father it was for our salvation. He, while remaining the Son of God, became like us to rescue us from sin and damnation.

The Father

In Matthew 6:4 and many other places Jesus when speaking to His disciples refers to God as “your Father”. Once someone surrenders to God through Jesus Christ then God is truly their Father. In the Father we have real identity (1 John 1:12-13) as His true child. There are many today who do not know who their earthly father is, but once they commit to Christ, they become a child of our heavenly Father. One will also find they have purpose and that a true child of God can have a full life as he does the will of His Father. There is also provision in the Father (Matthew 6:19 - 34). As we truly seek His Kingdom and righteousness, our needs will be supplied according to His sovereignty.

The Son

John 1:1, 8:58 and 1 John 5:20 clearly show that Jesus Christ is God in our flesh (and there a good many more). In the next section you will see this is the only way anyone can be saved from self, sin, and the wrath of God. In order to bridge the gap between God and man salvation is provided in Christ Who is all God and all man.

A question might be raised in one’s mind about the immutability of Christ in regard to His natural growth into manhood and later His whipping, beating and death on the cross. Christ is immutable, but the flesh He took for us had to be mutable for Him to save and heal us. Upon His resurrection He had a new immortal body as we will. We, as creatures in time, look at the changes in Christ's human body as He grew, suffered and died. The mind of God considers these as collective actions (Revelation 13:8, Hebrews 13:8, Colossians 3:4).

The Holy Spirit

“God is a Spirit” -- John 4:24a (KJV)

Concerning the Holy Spirit we read He also has the exclusive attributes of being eternal (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10), omnipotent (Job 26:13), omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10-11) and His immutability is certainly indicated though not specifically mentioned in verses such as John 4:24. The lack of a verse specifically stating His immutability does not disprove His deity, since only God can have any of the exclusive attributes. You will learn some wonderful things about the Holy Spirit in future lessons!

IV. God's Accessibility

God’s accessibility is through Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:5) {E}. As stated, once we surrender to God through Christ we become a true child of God. God is truly our Father. And until that time, we are enemies to God. However, once we make peace with God through Christ He becomes our friend.

V. His Exaltedness

God is indeed King, the supreme King (John 18:37, Revelation 19:16). He is sovereign, despite the impression some give that He is some sort of genie or that He can be manipulated. It is good for us to act upon the fact that God is Sovereign, the King. He should be our King, and we need to serve Him with love.

And note that He is the King -- not a tyrant. In His wisdom He has graciously granted creatures like angels and people to have their own will. He forces no one to become saved and stay saved. His kingdom is comprised of willing subjects. And though He is King He is approachable (Hebrews 4:16).

Care For A Quiz?

Click here to take a quiz or for other options in the free online course of Basic Elements Of Christianity (BEC). We hope to populate that page with more active links over the coming months.

Notes:

{A} Thiessen,‭ ‬Henry Clarence: Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology (Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich) 1968 p126

{B} View an image to illustrate this at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/I/BEC_i00.html#EternalInfinite

{C} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{D}  This same word is used in “who keeps lovingkindness for thousands”.

{E} Please read the article “Does It Have To Be Jesus?” at http://newsandsociety.expertscolumn.com/does-it-have-to-be-jesus .

This article is part of a series of lessons on Basic Elements Of Christianity (BEC). Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.


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God made us to know him, love him, serve him and to be happy with him in this world and the next. God is love and if we don't love or know of love we don't know God at all.

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God is eternal, omnipresent and the one who guides all the happenings in the universe. He is in mysteries and in miracles that are beyond human comprehension.

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