Who God Is

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The Bible

Theology is literally “knowledge of deity”, and we need it to understand God

  • Though the term “theology” has gotten a bad reputation with some Christians, it is the only way to logically understand God
    • Because of the eternal nature of God, we are forced to think philosophically
    • Theology, therefore, can be stated as philosophy applied to understanding God
  • Understanding and knowing God starts with theology and the Bible, since feelings can be misguided

It’s very clear about many parts of who God is

  • God is forever the same
    • God is self-existing
      • (Exodus 3:14, Psalm 90:2, John 1:1-5, John 5:26, Colossians 1:15-17)
    • God is eternal
      • (Psalm 102:12, Hebrews 13:8)
      • Infinite is so big that it can’t be measured, while eternal is fully separate from time
    • God doesn’t change and can’t be changed (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17)
  • God is unlike any other being in our experience
    • (Psalm 113: 5-6, Isaiah 55:8-9, Isaiah 57:15, John 8:23)
  • God is love, in that His very attributes define it
    • (Deuteronomy 7:7-8, John 14:31, Romans 5:5-8, Romans 8:35-39, 1 John 4:8-16)
  • There are multiple portions of God’s love
    • God is good (Exodus 34:6-7, Psalm 25:8, James 1:17)
    • God is very gracious
      • (Psalm 145:17, Romans 3:24, Romans 5:15, Romans 5:20, Ephesians 4:7, Hebrews 4:16)
    • God is nearby and actively involved (Jeremiah 23:23-24, Acts 17:27-28, Haggai 2:5)
  • God is the only one who has the right to deliver judgment
    • God is holy, which is another word for extremely pure
      • (Exodus 3:5-6, 1 Samuel 2:2, Psalm 99:2-3, Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8)
    • God is righteous, which is like holiness or goodness but requires doing something to prove itself
      • (Genesis 18:25, Psalm 19:7-9, Psalm 145:17, Jeremiah 9:24)
    • God knows everything
      • (Ezekiel 11:5, Psalm 147:5, Acts 15:18, Romans 2:6, Romans 11:33, Hebrews 4:13, 1 John 3:20)
    • God is fair and just
      • (Genesis 18:25, Exodus 34:6-7, Nehemiah 9:32-33, Psalm 99:4, Romans 1:32, Romans 9:14-33, 1 Peter 1:17)
    • God is merciful
      • (Psalm 6:4, Romans 9:23-24, Ephesians 2:4, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 4:16, 1 Peter 1:3)
    • God is all-powerful
      • (Psalm 115:3, Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 19:26, Mark 14:36, Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:11, Hebrews 1:3)
    • God is all-present, which doesn’t mean God is IN everything as much as able to be anywhere
      • (1 Kings 8:27, Job 11:7-9, Psalm 90:1-2, Psalm 139:7-10, Jeremiah 23:23-24)
  • All 3 persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are consistently indicated as male
    • (Matthew 12:31, John 16:3, John 16:8, Acts 5:3, Acts 7:51, Acts 8:39, Acts 10:19-20, Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, 1 Corinthians 12:11, Ephesians 4:30, Hebrews 10:29)
    • There are some instances of female attributes in metaphors, but this is rare (Matthew 23:37, Luke 15)
  • The attributes of God are different than what God does
    • God can be wrathful as an action, but that requires others to bring it about
    • The Trinity changes how love works, since love always requires an object of that love
    • There are some other things that can be derived about God’s “roles”
      • God is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Deuteronomy 10:17, 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16)
      • God is the Great Physician (Psalm 103:3, Matthew 14:14, James 5:16)
      • God is the Great Lawyer (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17)
      • God is the Great Teacher (Job 35:11, 1 Corinthians 1:27)
      • God is the Great Artist (Job 37:14-16, Psalm 96:11-12, Ecclesiastes 3:11)
      • God is the Great Recordkeeper (2 Samuel 14:11, Luke 21:28)
  • There are some things that God clearly is NOT:
    • God isn’t “tame” or weak
    • God isn’t self-contradicting or fickle
    • God isn’t conventional or predictable

We can’t know everything about God

  • We are created in God’s image, but we aren’t God (Genesis 1:27)
    • We are unable to understand God fully because of how finite we are (Psalm 103:15-16)
  • The concept of the Trinity is one of the hardest things to humanly understand
    • The one God is three unique and individual persons who are all the same God (Matthew 28:19, Luke 1:35, John 14:16-17, John 14:23)
    • The Bible is clearest when showing their individual relationships
      • Jesus and the Father
        • Jesus is quite clearly different from God
          • (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 4:25-26, John 8:24, John 10:30, 1 John 5:7)
        • At the same time, Jesus clearly is the same as God
          • (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 2:21, Colossians 2:9-10, Hebrews 1:8, 1 Timothy 3:16)
      • Jesus and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20, Romans 8:9)
      • The Father and the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, John 15:26)
    • The Trinity doesn’t have a great example that we can pull from
      • Some use water (solid, liquid gas) or light (primary color addition) but they all fail at being truly accurate
      • The best way to describe it is as 3 interconnected relationships

Jesus is God

  • Jesus claimed to be God (John 8:58, Mark 2:1-12, Mark 2:28, Mark 14:60-64)
    • For some reason, Jesus consistently stated it very clearly and very indirectly
  • Jesus is also fully man (Matthew 16:3, Matthew 20:28)
    • We don’t know how Jesus is fully man and fully God, but Christians have to believe it
      • He couldn’t have risen from the dead if He wasn’t God
      • He couldn’t have died if He wasn’t a man
  • The unique attributes of a Christian lie exclusively in what they believe about Jesus
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