God

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This article is about the biblical God. For the term as used to refer to any divine being, see Other Gods

God is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the ending
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The Godhead
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God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
God is the sovereign creator and eternal ruler of all things and beings that exist, whether in the physical universe or in the spiritual realm (Heaven). Not only is God the creator and ruler of the things and beings within those two realms, but he is also the creator of the realms themselves. God created the physical universe, and before he acted in this creation, the universe did not exist. Likewise God did with the spiritual realm.

Contents

God is Revealed: How we know about God

Other than creation itself, God is revealed in several ways, including conscience and special revelation (the Bible, and prophets). Most importantly though, God is revealed in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.


Cathedral Cordoba, Spain.

Attributes or Character of God

Rembrandt, Ascension.

The attributes of God are things that describe who he is. Similar to the way one might describe a close friend to another individual, so too do these attributes describe God's character and nature. Attributes of God include but are not limited to Wisdom, Infinitude, Sovereignty, Holiness, Trinity, Omniscience, Faithfulness, Love, Omnipotence, Self-existence, Self-sufficiency, Justice, Immutability, Mercy, Eternal, Goodness, Gracious, and Omnipresence. These attributes all work in complete and perfect harmony with one another.

God exercises eternal and righteous judgment of the wicked in hell, because of an inherent problem in the human heart, namely Sin. According to the Bible, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of calvary and then resurrection, is God's merciful and gracious response to the problem of the human heart.

God is Triune

For a more detailed treatment, see Trinity.

Although the Bible does not use the term, it is clear that God is a triune God, or three in one. These are sometimes referred to as God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.

The first hint of the Trinity is in Genesis 1:26 which relates God saying, "Let us make man in our image", indicating that God is a plurality.

The three persons of God are treated as equivalents in these words of Jesus shortly after His resurrection:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Jesus is God

The first verse of the Gospel of John, in which Jesus is referred to as the "Word", makes clear that Jesus is synonymous with God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NIV)

This verse not only says that "the Word" (Jesus) is synonymous with God, but also says that the Word was "in the beginning", which means that He existed before all else existed, something that is only true of God.

This is reinforced two verses later, in which Jesus is described as the creator. Genesis refers to God as being the Creator.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit is God

In the following passage, the Holy Spirit is referred to as God:

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." Acts 5:3-4 (NIV)

God is omniscient

For a more detailed treatment, see omniscience.

God knows everything:

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 1_John 3:19-20 (NIV)

Because God is outside of time, He can see and knows the past and the future as well as the present.

"God" sometimes used to refer to God the Father

God the Father by Jose Maria Velasco (1840-1912).

In the bible, the word "God" (θεός) does not always refer to God's being as a whole, but more specifically refers to the Person of the Father (God the Father). Here are some verses which demonstrate this:

John 3:16 (NASB)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
1 John 4:10 (NASB)
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Notice how in each case, "Father" can be substituted for "God." For example, "For the Father so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son," and "not that we loved the Father, but that He loved us and sent His Son."

Terminology

The Bible uses several different words to refer to God. "God" itself is not a name, but an Old English word meaning supreme being, diety,[1] which the translators who translated the Bible in to English chose as the appropriate English word for the Hebrew elohim and the Greek theos used in the Old Testament and New Testament respectively.[2]

The other main term for God is the Hebrew adonai, usually translated Lord. There are various compound words also used in the Bible, such as el shaddai, which means God Almighty ("el" is a short version of elohim).[2]

YHWH is given in the Bible as God's actual name. In most English Bibles it is translated as Lord, in small capitals. The name has various other English versions, including Yehovah, Jehovah, and Yahweh.[3]

Resources on becoming a Christian

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane by Heinrich Hofmann.

see also: Resources on becoming a Christian


Below are some resources on becoming a Christian:


Tips on choosing a Christian church:


Spiritual growth as a Christian:

See also

References

  1. God Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kruse, Dale P.,More on the Names of God In the Bible, Advanced Training Program of Evangelism.
  3. McHyde, Tim, God’s Name: LORD, Yahweh, Yahveh, YHWH, YHVH, Jehovah or Yehovah?

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