I started this series last week standing on the Scriptures which are foundational to everything I believe. It is through the Bible that God chooses to reveal Himself in a specific way having revealed Himself generally through creation. This time I want to share what I believe about God. No challenge there!
We believe in one God creator of all things infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, (Article II, 1950 EFCA Statement of Faith).
The Shema recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4, says, “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one,” (ESV). This statement made the nation of Israel distinct. The neighbors of the children of Israel, God’s chosen people of the Old Covenant, worshiped numerous gods. They were to worship one God, not the idols and false gods that they worshiped. The Church is to worship one God as well, for God is one, (1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 1:17). He is worthy of our worship!
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen, (Jude 24-25, ESV).
This one true God whom we worship is Creator. He is the Creator of all things. He didn’t just get the ball rolling with creation and waited for things to evolve. He created all things one earth, in heaven, and in the universe, (Genesis 1; Psalm 102:25; Isaiah 42:5). The Apostle Paul standing before the Areopagus in Athens declared:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring,'” (Acts 17:24-28, ESV).
We don’t worship three Gods, but one eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, (Genesis 1:26-27; Exodus 31:2-4; John 1:1; 16:5-6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Philippians 2:6; Titus 2:13). These three persons are co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent, (Romans 1:7; Hebrews 1:8; Acts 5:3-4). The Father is God, (John 6:27; Ephesians 4:6). The Son is God, (Hebrews 1:8); and the Holy Spirit is God, (Acts 5:3-4). They are all equal and unified, (Matthew 28:19).
We see the Triune God in the Old Testament, though not fully revealed and understood, (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 6:8). In the New Testament the Trinity is revealed throughout, but particularly mentioned in Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:13. In the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as He was baptized by John the Baptist we also get a glimpse:
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV).
In the triune nature of God we see three persons who are in perfect harmony with each other. Jesus Christ subjects His will to God the Father, while the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son, and God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to exalt Jesus Christ, (Hebrews 9:14).
It is impossible to completely talk about the nature of God in a short blog post, thesis or even a book for that matter, but God has revealed His nature and attributes throughout scripture:
- God is personal, (Psalm 130:1-2).
- God is imminent, (Psalm 139:7-12)
- God is transcendent, (Job 38-41).
- God is absolute, (Daniel 2:20-22; James 1:17-18).
- God is eternal, (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17).
- God is spirit, (John 1:18; 4:24: 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16).
- God is holy, (Isaiah 6:6; 1 John 1:5; Revelation 4:8-11).
- God is love, (Psalm 145:14-16; Matthew 6:26-28; Ephesians 2:4-5).
- God is truth, (Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 25:1; John 14:6; 17:3; Hebrews 6:18).
- God is omnipotent, (Genesis 17:1-2; Job 42:1-2; Psalm 115:3; Matthew 19:26; Revelation 19:6).
- God is omniscient, (Psalm 104:24; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 46:10; Matthew 11:21; Hebrews 4:13).
- God is omnipresent, (Psalm 139:7-12; Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 22:23-24).
- God is self-existent and self-sufficient, (Exodus 3:14; Psalm 90:1-2; Acts 17:25).
- God is immutable, (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 33:11; James 1:17).
- God is infinite, (Genesis 18:14; Psalm 139:7-12; 1 Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24).
- God is righteous and just, (Psalm 89:14; Isaiah 45:21; Daniel 9:14; Matthew 25:21; Acts 17:31; Hebrews 11:16).
Amen and amen!