THE NATURE OF GOD
The nature of God as revealed in the Bible is seven fold, consisting of Love, Holiness, Knowledge, Power, Truth, Consistency and Goodness.
These represent the character of God and are illustrated by the four "beasts" John saw around the throne of God in his vision (Ezekiel 1:10; Revelation 4:6-8). They are also reflected in the character of Jesus as revealed in the four Gospels.
GOD'S LOVEThe love of God surpasses all else and without it we would not be here. When God created, it was out of his love and desire to show that love. God is love (1 John 4:8).
We see this expressed so tenderly when God created man out of the dust of the earth, creating him in His own image and breathing life into his being (Genesis 2:7). This was the act of a loving God taking great care over the design and well being of his creation, bestowing the greatest honour possible, that we should bear the very image of our creator (Genesis 1:26- 27). What a wonderful revelation of God's love.
When man rebelled against his creator, God gave them hope of a saviour (Genesis 3:15), and clothed them himself to cover their shame (Genesis 3:21). This is the act of a loving God.
When the time was right God sent his own Son into the world as an expression of his love for mankind. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that who ever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Jesus when he came showed great compassion on the human state. He healed the sick, set free those who were possessed with evil spirits, fed thousands and raised the dead. He demonstrated the love of God for his creation.
Consider the deep love of God shown for us. Who among us would offer
our son to die in the place rebels? This is exactly what God has done.
He forgives us all our sins and wipes away our guilt with the precious blood of Jesus. He bestows on us the free gift of eternal life. This cannot be earned. It is a gift of love. If it is earned it is no longer a gift. But God so loves us that he gives eternal life to as many as will accept it.
God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit as a personal guarantee of his promise to us (Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13). The Spirit Himself gives us gifts as a testimony of God's love for us (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Ephesians 4:11).
God said it is not good for a man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), so God made a woman to share a man's life with him. God also gives us each other that we may grow and mature in his love (1 John 4:7-8). As we grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord we become more and more like him.
"Behold what manner of love God has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God. Everyone who has this hope in them purifies themselves, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:1-3).
GOD'S HOLINESS AND JUSTICEGod is absolutely pure and holy. There is no sin in him. "He cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man with evil" (James 1:13).
God is eternally the same without change of any kind. The God we serve is the same God who said "the soul that sins shall surely die" (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23) and "I am a jealous God, visiting the sins of the fathers on the children even to the third and forth generation of them who hate me" (Exodus 20:5). This is how much God hates sin.
If God were to appear in front of us or speak to us in person, His holiness would destroys us. When Isaiah, that great man of God, saw a vision of the Lord in the temple he said "Wo is me for I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips in a country of unclean lips. For my eyes have seen the King the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). He saw his own sin exposed in the glory of God's holiness.
Even the angels covered their faces shouting "Holy holy holy is the Lord. The whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3).
This is the holiness of God. It exposes and destroys sin (2 Thessalonians 1:9). It is for this reason that God uses "visions" and "promptings" from the Spirit to speak to us. If He were to speak to us openly our own sin would kill us.
For us to have a relationship with God our sin must be covered. There is only one covering for sin. The blood of Jesus, the holy Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). There is no other covering for sin, and sin cannot exist in the presence of God. In His mercy the God has removed Himself from us for a time.
But God is coming back (Revelation 22:20). When He does anything that is not perfect will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10). It is not God's desire to destroy, but it is a result of His holiness. This is why He has prepared the Body of Christ (Jesus and the Church) to rule in the Millennial Kingdom in His place until all things are restored (Acts 3:21). Only then will creation be handed over to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). God has no desire that anyone should perish, but that all should repent of their sin (2 Peter 3:9). But he will not delay his return for ever. Anyone who has not repented of their sin will be destroyed.
God knows that these things would happen when he returns and has made provision for us through the covering blood of his Son, Jesus.
GOD'S KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOMGod knows all things. He knows every little detail of every little moment of everywhere in the universe. Nothing is hidden from him and nothing can be hidden. This is the knowledge of God. "Not even a sparrow falls to the ground except your God allows it" (Matthew 10:29).
God knows what is necessary for our well being. He knows we need food, drink, clothes, housing, love, forgiveness and all other things man needs (Matthew 6:25-33).
God knew from the very beginning that man had the potential for sin. Sin was possible because God gave man a free will. He also knew that Jesus would have to die if man was to be saved from sin. In His wisdom God set in motion a plan which would result in the restoration of the whole of creation through the work of the cross. If it were not for God's wisdom we would all be doomed to eternal destruction.
God has also planned the exact timing of each event within His plan. We will consider this further in a later section of this study.
God has all things perfectly timed. When the time was right God sent his Son. When the time was right Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for sin. When the time was right God raised him up from the dead and showed him to faithful men. When the time was right Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples.
When the time was right they went out in the power of the Holy Spirit and preached the Gospel. When the time is right Jesus will return. When the time is right God will create the new heaven and earth. All according to God's purpose.
God knows all things and has all things perfectly planned. For the moment he is holding all things until the end by his power. (2 Peter 3:7).
GOD'S POWERGod is all powerful. God created the entire universe out of nothing. He destroyed the world that was by a flood (Genesis 7:1-24). He confused the languages of the earth at the Tower of Babel. (Genesis 11:1-9) He sent 10 plagues upon Egypt (Exodus 8:14 - 11:10), to show the whole world His power. He parted the Red sea, to deliver His people from their enemies. He fed Israel in the wilderness for 40 years (Exodus Chapter 16) and produced water out of a rock (Exodus 17:1-7). He led them into the promised land and drove out the inhabitants before them (Exodus - Joshua).
He drove demons out of people. He healed the sick and raised the dead.
He performed miracles in the Church to show the people His power. God is
powerful by His very nature. God is "naturally supernatural".
What God Can Not DoThere are some things that it is impossible for God to do. They are:
Time is something that we humans experience. It involves the changes that we experience in our lives from moment to moment. If God does not change, then He lives beyond time. In fact, the best way to describe His existence is that He “co-exists” in all time. This is a difficult thing for us to comprehend, but it means that God exists in all time at once. God's “now” is our “forever”. He exists in our future at the same “moment” as He exists in our past. Therefore it is a simple thing for Him to know what will happen before it comes to pass. The best illustration of God's fore-knowledge is found in Isaiah:
“Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him-- and the gates shall not be closed: I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.” (Isaiah 45:1-4)
In this passage God calls Cyrus, king of the Persian, by name hundreds of years before he was born. God has revealed the future to us also. It is all laid out in the Bible. With the help of the Holy Spirit we shall know what lies ahead of us if we have a heart to know God and search out His will. When we do this nothing will catch us by surprise.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.