aymon de albatrus
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Gen 1:1)
"The LORD has made all things for himself: yes, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Pro 16:4)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Joh 1:1)
"And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands:" (Heb 1:10)
"4 For Jehovah is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but Jehovah made the heavens." (Psa 96:4-5)
Who is God?
Most people have their own distinctive opinions of a Supreme Being. But where do these ingrained impressions come from? Many are simply reflections of how people perceive God. As a consequence the word God has come to embody a spectrum of meanings to people mostly based on their fancy. Nevertheless God has placed in every human being a spiritual "stomach" that desire an entity superior to himself to whom he must render an account of his life.
The existence of God is so obvious (Rom 1:20), through creation and through manís conscience, that the Bible calls the atheist a "fool" "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good." (Psa 14:1)
But man has invented for himself a myriad of Religions, Denominations, and Doctrines in our world it's hard to grasp onto the truth about who God is and what our purpose is for being here upon this Earth in this day. With so many choices on what to believe how can we make certain that what we believe will not fail us some time in the future.
Conceptions of God vary widely. Theologians and philosophers have studied countless conceptions of God since the dawn of civilization.
Today's religions are filled with traditions and doctrines that have been passed down over the centuries. It is like a grocery store with the shelves full of choices (6000 years worth of choices) and we can walk back and forth from one religion or doctrine to another and pick and choose what we want to believe. We can go from one denomination to another and gather a little and then back track to where we were carrying our goodies with us as we go.
Todayís religions and doctrines are wide open and we are free to build our own version of believe system and call it the truth. But let God speak to you one on one through His Word and not second hand through someone else regardless of how honourable and trust worthy you feel that they are.
Conceptions of God by major religions:
Judaism, Christianity and Islam view God as a personal God, a being who created the worlds and rules over the universe. God is One and usually held to have the properties of Holiness (separate from sin and incorruptible), Justness (fair, right, and true in all His judgments), Sovereign (His will cannot be thwarted), Omnipotence (all-powerful), Omniscience (all-knowing), Omnipresence (present everywhere at the same time), Omni-benevolence (all-loving), and Immortal (eternal and everlasting). He is also believed to be Transcendent, meaning that He is outside space and outside time, and therefore Eternal and unable to be changed by earthly forces or anything else within His creation. The will of Man cannot change Godís will, nor can man frustrate His purposes, in any way. (Dan 4:35)
In Hinduism the Sanskrit and Hindi word for God, that is used most commonly, is Ishvara, literally, the Supreme Lord. Hindus believe that Ishvara is only One. This must not be confused with the numerous deities of the Hindus known as devas, which can number up to 330 million. A deva may be translated into English as a god, a deity, a demi-god, an angel or any celestial being or thing of high excellence, and hence is considered venerable.
Buddhism is non-theistic; it teaches that there is no creator god and believed the more important issue was to bring beings out of suffering to liberation. A bodhisattva is an altruistic being who has vowed to attain Buddhahood (the state of perfect enlightenment) in order to help others reach enlightenment. Buddhism also teaches of the existence of the devas, heavenly beings who temporarily dwell in celestial states of great happiness but are not yet free from samsara, the cycle of reincarnations. Some Buddhist scriptures do express ideas that are extremely close to pantheism, although this is very much a minority vision within Buddhism.
In the Modern view, God is not omnipotent in the classical sense of a coercive being. Reality is not made up of material substances that endure through time, but serially-ordered events, which are experiential in nature. The universe is characterized by process and change carried out by the agents of free will. Self-determination characterizes everything in the universe, not just human beings. God and creatures co-create. God cannot force anything to happen, but rather only influence the exercise of this universal free will by offering possibilities. Such is the delusion of modern thinking.
God Reveals Himself:
God reveals Himself to mankind through His Word, The Bible. The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God; rather, it assumes His existence right from the very beginning (Genesis 1:1), the Bible does not reveal in details who "God is" (nor do any other books) but it reveals Godís existence, nature, character, and work.
The Bible is a book about God and His relationship with human beings. The Scriptures contain a long history of Godís revelation of Himself to manófrom Adam to Moses down through the Apostles and the early Church. Essentially the Bible is the book of salvation from eternal separation from God.
The Bible is also an exclusive Book, for it excludes all other: "4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens." (Psa 96:4-5) Our God Jehovah is the only one that is God for it was Him who created the heavens and all that exist thus demonstrating that truly He is God, and NO ONE else. He is not a local God, for He is Universal, whilst idols (other gods) are worthless and nothing.
ALL we know about the True God is given to us in the Bible excluding all the other books. According to the Bible all the other books are about idols and demons.
Nature of God
God has not revealed ALL there is to know about Himself but has revealed in the Bible certain things about Himself, for us and for our children; (Deu 29:29). In His boundless mercy He has decided to reveal some of His qualities to us. God is spirit, by nature intangible (Joh 4:24). God is One, but He exists as Three PersonsóGod the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Mat 3:16-17). God is infinite (1Ti 1:17), incomparable (2Sa 7:22), and unchanging (Mal 3:6). God exists everywhere (Psa 139:7-12), knows everything (Mat 11:21), and has all power and authority (Eph 1; Rev 19:6).
Character of God
The character of God is above all HOLY, here are other quality of His thrice holy person (Rev 4:8): God is just (Act 17:31), loving (Eph 2:4-5), truthful (Joh 14:6), and holy (1Jo 1:5). God shows compassion (2Co 1:3), mercy (Rom 9:15), and grace (Rom 5:17). God judges sin (Psa 5:5) but also offers forgiveness upon repentance (Psa 130:4, Luk 17:3-4).
Work of God
The only way we may glimpse an understanding of God is to observe Godís works for what God does flows from who He is: "For every tree is known by his own fruit. Ö." (Luk 6:44). Here is just a micro list of Godís works, past, present, and future: God created the world (Isa 42:5), He actively sustains the world (Col 1:17), He is executing His eternal plan (Eph 1:11) which involves the redemption of man from the curse of sin and death (Gal 3:13-14), He draws people to Christ (Joh 6:44), He disciplines His children (Heb 12:6), and He will judge the world (Rev 20:11-15).
Love of God
The love of God is selfless. When He showed his glory to Moses, God revealed Himself as loving and faithful: ďThe LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy.Ē (Psa 145:8) and Just: "6 And Jehovah passed by before his face and called out: Jehovah! Jehovah God! Merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and great in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and not leaving entirely unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on sons, and on sons of sons, to the third and to the fourth generation. 8 And Moses hurried and bowed to the earth and worshiped." (Exo 34:6-8). As we can see the Love of God is counterbalanced by His Just Holiness, for true Love cannot exist without Justice.
Love is the foundation of the character and law of God. It is the basis of everything that God has revealed to mankind in the Holy Scriptures (Mat 22:35-40). Paul called Love (AGAPE) the greatest Christian attribute (1Co 13:13). It is the first aspect of the fruit of God's Spirit that he mentions (Gal 5:22). Love is the bond of perfection, binding everything together in perfect unity (Col 3:14). It is the fulfilling of God's divine law (Rom 13:10).
These are just a few aspects of Godís character, for God is infinite and of consequence His attributes are also infinite, Amen.
A seeker of God must believe that God exists and that He is personal and that He is Sovereign over all, even his own life. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb 11:6)
It is impossible for man to please God without faith; God justly regards us all as objects of his displeasure, as we are all by nature under his anathema (Gen 3:17); and we have no remedy for salvation in our own power. It is hence necessary that God should anticipate us by His grace; and hence it comes, that we are brought to know that God is, and in such a way that no corrupt superstition can seduce us, and also that we become assured of a certain salvation from Him. Indeed we love Him because He firstly loved us (1Jo 4:19). No one can please God without faith, but no one will ever come to God (Rom 3:11), except he believes that God is, and one can only seek God only of it is given by God:
"26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Eze 36:26-27). If access then to God is not opened, but by Grace, it follows, that all that are without it, are the objects of Godís displeasure.
The first thing one must do is to believe that He is. That God exists. Logically we cannot come to Him in an acceptable manner if we doubt His existence. We do not see Him, but we must believe that He is (Joh 20:29); we cannot form in our mind a correct image of God, but this should not prevent a conviction that there is such a Being. It is necessary that we have this belief in lively exercise in the act of drawing near to him, and that we should realize that we are actually in the presence of the all-seeing JEHOVAH.
The honest seeker must believe that God is; or exists, and he must not barely believe His existence, but that, as it is revealed in the WORD: he must believe in the three Persons in the Godhead as He has revealed Himself (Mat 28:19); that the first Person is the Father of Christ; that the second Person is both the Son of God, and Mediator; and that the third Person is the Spirit of them both, and the applier of all grace; for God the Father is to be approached unto, only through Christ the Mediator (1Ti 2:5), by the guidance and assistance of the Spirit. He must believe in the perfections of God; that He is omniscient, and knows his person intimately and all his wants; believe in His is omnipotence, and can do for him beyond his thoughts and petitions; God is all sufficient, and that His grace is sufficient for him; that God is immutable, in His purposes and covenant; that He is true and faithful to His promises; and is the God of grace, love, and mercy.
We can have an access to God only if we have the truth that God is deeply fixed in our hearts by Him, so as not to be led here and there by various opinions. It is hence evident, that men in vain weary themselves in serving God, except they observe the right way, and that all religions are not only vain, but also pernicious, with which the true and certain knowledge of God is not connected; for all are prohibited from having any access to God, who do not distinguish and separate Him from all idols. In short, there is no religion except where this truth reigns dominant. But if the true knowledge of God has its seat in our hearts it will not fail to lead us to honour and fear Him; for Gods without His majesty is not really known. Hence arises the desire to serve Him, hence it comes that the whole life is so formed, that He is regarded as the beginning and the end in all things (Rev 22:13).
Moreover, we ought to be fully persuaded that God is not sought in vain; and this persuasion includes the hope of salvation and eternal life, for no one will be in a suitable state of heart to seek God except a sense of the divine goodness be deeply felt, so as to look for salvation from Him. We indeed flee from God, or wholly disregard Him, when there is no hope of salvation. But let us bear in mind that this is what must be really believed, and not held merely as a matter of opinions; for even the ungodly may sometimes entertain such a notion, and yet they do not come to God; and for this reason, because they have not a firm and fixed faith:
"For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Eph 2:8). This then is the faith by which we obtain favour with God, even when we feel assured that salvation is laid up for us in Him.
Who is God, then?
God is one, meaning not only that there is no other, but also that He is alone in being able to meet the deepest needs and longings of our hearts, and He alone is worthy of our worship and devotion (Deu 6:4), He is NOT an idol or icon. God almighty is the Supreme creator of all that exists, there is nothing created that he did not create, and God is the Sustainer and the Governor of the whole creation. God is a Spirit: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (Joh 4:24), and God is perceived by Faith, and not of our own, but it is a gift of God. (Eph 2:8)
God has manifested Himself in the Lord Jesus Christ: "For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Col 2:9) In the Person of the Son, God became incarnate (Joh 1:14). The Son of God became the Son of Man and is therefore the "bridge" between God and man (Joh 14:6; 1Ti 2:5). It is only through the Son that we can have forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7), reconciliation with God (Joh 15:15; Rom 5:10), and eternal salvation (2Ti 2:10).
In Jesus Christ "all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" So, to really know who God all we have to do is look at Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2, Joh 14:9).
It is not enough to believe that God exists, but that GOD IS, that is I AM THAT I AM (Exo 3:14). Amen