THE DOCTRINE OF GOD
Throughout the Scriptures (the Bible) the authors did not attempt to prove the existence of God. Everywhere and at all times the existence of God, in the Scriptures, is taken as fact. The Scriptures reveal to us God’s revelation about Himself to man. The doctrine of God begins with the first book of the Bible, Genesis, and informs us of God’s existence. “In the beginning God” (Genesis chapter 1, verse 1 or Gen. 1:1).
When the Scriptures speak of God in terms of “God is” or God makes direct statements about Himself, like, “I am” and “I am the Lord, I change not,” these statements represent the attributes or the nature of God. I have collected from Scripture several attributes of God and list them here for you to think about.
God is Spirit – John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (NASB) In short, this means God is spirit in nature. He has no physical body to be seen. It also means God is spiritual in nature, He communicates to us through His spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11: “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” (NASB)
God is a Trinity – God did not choose to reveal clearly Trinitarianism in the Old Testament. However, we do find in Genesis 1:26, 11:7 and Isaiah 48:12-16 language that reflects that within God there exists more than one person. In the New Testament God has chosen to reveal that there are, in fact, three persons that make up what is referred to in Theology as “the Godhead.” The evidence of this can be seen in Matthew 3:16, 17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14 and John 14:16. The Scriptures teach that the Father is God in Romans 1:7; that the Son is God in Hebrews 1:8 and the Holy Spirit is God in Acts 5:3, 4.
If you put together the doctrines: God is spirit and God is triune, then the end result is, God is one spirit made up of three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all existing as a single entity and sharing a single nature which unifies the Godhead.
God is Omniscient – This attribute reflects that all knowledge comes from God through His creation and His revelation, and as the author of knowledge God is then all knowing. Psalm 147:4-5 states: “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” (NASB)
God is Omnipotent – The omnipotence of God simply means that God can bring to pass everything He wills to be. Another way of looking at it is, God has no one to oppose his actions and is free to do whatever He chooses to do within the limits of his own nature. This limitation means that God is only limited by His own person or nature. An example of this is God cannot lie, God cannot deny Himself, God cannot be tempted by evil, God cannot change his nature, and God cannot break His unconditional promises or covenants, which would constitute a lie. Consider Job 40:1-14:
Then the LORD said to Job, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” Then Job answered the LORD and said, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth. “Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add no more.” Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm, and said, “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified? “Or do you have an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His? “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity; And clothe yourself with honor and majesty. “Pour out the overflowings of your anger; And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.”Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him; And tread down the wicked where they stand. “Hide them in the dust together; Bind them in the hidden place.”Then I will also confess to you, That your own right hand can save you. (NASB)
God is Omnipresent – That is, God is everywhere present in spirit form. This is not to be confused with a spirit being like an angel or a ghost. God is spirit and His presents are all in compassing. To try to illustrate this in human terms think of the air that covers the earth, it is everywhere we are but it exists as a single element. Expand this concept to cover the entire universe, as we know it. This doctrine is also not to be confused with Pantheism, which says God is everything or in everything with out personality. The Scriptures state in Psalm 139:7-10: “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me.” (NASB) And in Acts 7:48-50: “However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord; Or what place is there for My repose? ‘Was it not My hand which made all these things?’” (NASB)
God is Eternal – That is, God is without beginning or without ending. God is without bounds or dimensions. God is present without past or future. For God has declared for Himself to be the self-existent one as we read in Exodus 3:13-14: “Then Moses said to God, Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you. Now they may say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (NASB)
God is Immutable – That is, God’s nature never changes. God’s attributes remain constant never changing in any way. Malachi 3:5: “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” (NASB)
God is Holy – That is to say, God is without sin or corruption, and evil is not found in Him. God is perfect in all morality and is the standard for morality. God hates sin and must turn away from it. Leviticus 19:2 states: “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.’” (NASB) And First Peter 1:15-16 states: “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (NASB)
God is Righteous – That is, God is always led to do what is right morally because He is bound to His holiness. In the end, God is always in right standing within Himself. There are no offenses within the triune Godhead. The Scriptures state in Psalm 145:17: “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds.” (NASB)
God is Merciful – That is, in God’s sovereignty God has the capacity to demonstrate mercy to whomever He chooses. Romans 9:15: “For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’” (NASB)
God is Love – That is, love is God’s nature. The love of God is not just compassion but action. This is demonstrated in Romans 5:6-8: “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (NASB)
This is just a sample of the attributes of God. In the end, God is the sum of all his attributes. Thank you for your interest.
(To pursue a more complete understanding of these concepts, pick up a copy of the book “Made in the Image of God: Understanding the Nature of God and Mankind in a Changing World.”)