What the Bible Says About God Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Title: What the Bible Says About God
Text: The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. (Psalms 145:17-18)
Scripture Reading: Psalm 145
It is impossible to define God. Because if you could, you could limit Him. It is possible, however, to describe God. And the source book from which we arrive at a description is the Bible. Therefore, it is appropriate to title this Bible lesson, “What the Bible Says About God.” –for that is all that matters.
There are four questions that the Bible answers about God.
1) What is the nature of God?
2) What are God’s natural attributes?
3) What are God’s moral attributes?
4) What are the roles of God?
The Scripture reading is Psalm 145.
Let’s begin by reading this great Psalm.
1 I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.
5 I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.
6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness.
7 They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, And shall sing of Your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.
9 The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
10 All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, And Your saints shall bless You.
11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power,
12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You, And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever.
The first question we asked is, “What is the nature of God?
There are at least four answers to that question.
First, God is Spirit (John 4:24).
In John’s Gospel, he wrote, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
People tend to depend on some tangible evidence for the existence of God. But it is a ministry of the Holy Spirit to enable people to grow in their understanding and perception of God as “Spirit.” Jesus made it clear in His conversation with a Samaritan woman, that the place of worship is not important.
The important things are the object of our worship and the manner of our worship. When we worship, we must depend upon God’s Spirit to help us fix our thoughts on Him and express our love for Him.
Christ came to declare God to us and He did it by showing us Himself. Nothing contributes more to worshiping God rightly than having the right knowledge of Him. In the Bible we are told that God is Spirit, for He is an infinite and eternal mind; an intelligent being, spiritual, invisible, and incorruptible.
We worship God in truth, by being sincere, for God requires not only the inward part of our worship but truth in the inward part. When we worship, we must seek to declare God’s glory and to draw near to Him with a true heart, and not be seen of men.
Second, we are told in Deuteronomy that God is one (Deut. 6:4).
Monotheism, which is the belief in one God, was the idea that set Judaism apart from all other religions. On the other hand, Polytheism, the worship of many gods, was the curse of the ancient world. Even though God has expressed Himself to humans in a variety of ways, He is still one God. The Bible exclaims, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” This verse is called “the Shema,” from the Hebrew word for “hear.” The devout Jew recites it several times a day to affirm his faith in Jehovah. The worship of foreign gods was always a threat to Israel, and this statement of faith reminded the Jews that Jehovah is the true and living God who alone deserves worship and obedience.
Third, God is personal (John 17:1-3).
The apostle John wrote, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
People can know (experience) not an “impersonal force” or an “absolute power,” but a God who has personality and identity with humans. Christ is our Mediator and for that reason, we pray in His name. He has undertaken the task of securing our happiness by giving eternal life to all those who will believe in Him. To know Him as Personal Savior, and to love Him, obey Him, submit to Him, and trust in Him...this is life eternal.
He is never far from us because His Spirit is within us. What could be more personal than to know a God who has personally undertaken the job of providing for your salvation and who is always with you?
Fourth, God is Trinitarian.
That means that, though God is one person, He reveals Himself to people as having three relationships (Gen. 1:26; Matt. 3:16-17).
As the Father, he is infinite in love, power, and wisdom. He is the Creator who had a divine purpose in all that He did.
As the Son, He is the revealer of God, the key to humankind’s knowledge of God and history.
As the Holy Spirit, He reveals Himself personally to humans.
The Holy Spirit “came upon” people in the Old Testament, enabling them to prophesy and perform mighty works. He was the agent in Jesus’ conception and was present at His baptism and during His temptation in the wilderness. He empowers and indwells believers and convicts the unsaved.
In the first chapter of Genesis, it says, “Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Man was to be a creation that was far different from all the other creatures, therefore God called a council to decide how to make him. The three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, consult and decide that man is to be made in God’s image, and likeness. It is the soul of man that does especially bear God’s image.
Matthew records that all three persons of the Trinity were present at the Baptism of Jesus. He wrote, “After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” God spoke and the Holy Spirit came upon Him. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were together to initiate the saving ministry of Christ.
The second question that we want the Bible to answer is, “What are God’s natural attributes; His characteristics?”
The first response is that God is infinite (1 Kings 8:27).
There is no limit to His being. Solomon wrote in 1 Kings, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” Can you imagine that a Being so infinitely high and holy would stoop to come and live on the earth and bless us with His presence? But can you imagine that He would suffer and die in your place? The infinite God, who fills all of creation, allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross, and He did it for you.
The second answer to the question is; God is omnipotent.
That means that He has all power and can do anything in keeping with His nature and purpose. The only limits to His power are self-imposed. He cannot lie or act contrary to His own laws, character, and purpose.
Next, there is another big word to describe Him; God is omnipresent.
He is present at all times...in all parts of His creation and universe. He is limited neither by time nor space, but is a free, personal Spirit.
And another characteristic of God is that He is omniscient.
That means that He has all knowledge and knows all things simultaneously. His knowledge is immediate without process of thought or reason. God’s foreknowledge is also part of His omniscience. However, divine omniscience gives no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God, it overflows with comfort. God is always thinking about us, He always has His eyes on us; and this is the way we want it, for it would be terrible to exist for a moment beyond the surveillance of our heavenly Father.
And God is also described as changeless.
A word that some preachers use is immutable. He is the one in whom there “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” God Is Changeless. Progress and change may characterize some of His works, but, God Himself remains unchanged. He does not change; otherwise, He would not be perfect. Therefore, what we know of God can be known with certainty. He is not different from one time to another.