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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Does the God of the Bible Exist?

Don Stewart :: Who Exactly Is the God of the Bible? What Can We Know about Him?

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Who Exactly Is the God of the Bible? What Can We Know about Him?

Does the God of the Bible Exist? – Question 1

The most frequently asked questions about the God of the Bible concern His identity. Who is this God? What is He like? What can we know about Him?

The only specific information we have about the God of the Bible is that which He has revealed to us in His written Word, the Holy Scriptures. We only know who He is and what He is like, because He has told us these things. Therefore, it is to the Scripture alone that we go to discover truths about God.

From Scripture we can have a basic, though not complete, picture of the nature of God. While it is difficult to give a simple definition of God, we can give a basic description of His being or character. They include the following things.

1. The God of the Bible Actually Exists

To begin with, we must note that the Bible speaks of a God who truly exists. He is not merely something that exists only in the minds of humans or is some fulfillment of a deep desire or hope which we all have. God has genuine existence! He is not simply something we have imagined. This is the consistent testimony of Scripture from the first book until the last.

2. God’s Nature Is That of a Spirit: He Has No Physical Form

The Bible also tells us something about the form or nature of the God who exists. God’s form is that of a spirit. Scripture says that He is an invisible, eternal spirit. That means that God does not have a body or any type of physical form. However, God can reveal Himself to humanity in a physical form. Indeed, the Old Testament does tell us that on certain occasions God temporarily revealed Himself to humankind in visible form.

In the New Testament, God the Son came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that Jesus was God in human flesh. Jesus came to earth, among other things, to tell us what God is like. The Bible says,

No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son—the One who is at the Father’s side—He has revealed Him. (John 1:18 HCSB)

However, in His nature or essence, God is a spirit. Because He is an invisible spirit, it impossible to make any likenesses, or representation, of Him that is accurate. Therefore, the Bible commanded that no image of God be made. Indeed, in the Ten Commandments, we read,

Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me... (Exodus 20:1-5 HCSB)

No image or likeness is to be made of the invisible God.

3. He Has Existed Forever

Another thing we learn about God is that He is eternal. He has always existed, and He will always exist. There has never been a time when God did not exist, nor will there ever come a time when He will not exist. He had no beginning, and He will have no end. The God of the Bible is the eternal God.

4. He Is the Only God That Exists

Furthermore, the God of the Bible is the only God who exists. There is no other God, either more or less powerful who exists anywhere in the universe. He alone is God. The prophet Isaiah records God saying,

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. (Isaiah 40:25 ESV)

There is no one to compare to the biblical God. He is the one and only God.

5. He Is Absolutely Perfect

The God revealed in the Bible is absolute perfection. There is nothing lacking in His character, or nature. He does not need anything or anyone to exist. He is complete within Himself. He is, therefore, the perfect, eternal spirit.

6. God Is Distinct from His Creation

This is important to understand. The universe is not part of God. God is distinct from His creation. The universe has not always existed. When the universe was created, God brought something into existence that had not existed before. Furthermore, He did not create the universe out of Himself or His own being. Thus, God has a separate or distinct existence apart from the universe. He is not dependent upon it for existence.

7. He Is Infinite: He Is Not Subject to Human Limitations

The God of the Bible is an infinite God. He is not subject to the same limitations as humans. He is all- knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere present. He knows everything there is to know or which could be known. He has power to do anything which is consistent with His holy character. His presence can be found everywhere in the universe.

8. The God of the Bible Is a Personal God

Along with all these other qualities, we find that God is also personal. This means that He has intelligence, will, emotions, and self-cognizance; He is aware of His own existence. Personal names are used when referring to Him. Personal characteristics are also attributed to Him. He is not some vague creative force that has no mind or feelings. Therefore, the God of the Bible is the infinite/personal God.

9. He Is Intimately Involved in the Universe

God is also personally involved in the running of the universe. He did not merely create the universe and then leave it on its own. He is intimately involved in everything that is occurring. He is concerned with what occurs in the universe which He created.

10. He Is Different than All Other Descriptions of God

This is an important point. The God of the Bible is unique in the sense that no other religion, or belief system, describes God in the same manner, as does the Bible. According to Scripture, God is a Person. Indeed, He interacts with His creation.

However He is also infinite in that He is not limited in any way by space or time. Only in the Scriptures do we find such an understanding of the nature of God. The God of the Bible is the infinite/personal God. Though He is all-powerful yet He is still personal.

While God is a personal loving God, One who is concerned with the needs of human beings, He is also a righteous God. The Bible says that He is One who will judge sin. The God of the Bible will not let evil run rampant in His universe.

In fact, the Bible says that each of us will be judged by God. Indeed, the God of the Bible is called the “Judge of all the earth.” We find the patriarch Abraham saying,

“You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25 HCSB).

Those who reject God’s truth will be punished forever. They will always be apart from His holy presence. However, the good news is that we will not have to be punished for our own sins if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. He has taken the penalty of our sins upon Himself. He died in our place so that we can live.

11. He Is Knowable

The good news of Scripture is that human beings can personally know God. It is possible to have a special relationship with the Creator of the universe. What a wonderful thought this is! The God who created all that there is can be personally known by humans. This relationship can only come about for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

12. He Is Not the Type of God We Would Create

There is one final point that should be mentioned. To many people, God is nothing more than our own creation. He is a divine being that we want to exist. In other words, we create the sort of God that we need. This God that we have created is primarily interested in us and our personal needs; He does what is necessary to meet them.

While it is true that humanity may wish for this type of God to exist, would anyone create the God who is revealed in Scripture? Would anyone create a God who has condemned the human race because of sin and will send them away from His presence forever unless they believe in Him? Would anyone create this type of God who judges sin? The answer is, “No.” The God of Scripture is not the type of God humans would create. However, He is the God that does exist.

This gives a basis summation of the nature of the God of the Bible. As we can see, from Scripture we can know many things about Him.

Summary – Question 1
Who Exactly Is the God of the Bible? What Can We Know about Him?

It is important that we have an accurate understanding of the God who is revealed in the pages of the Bible. While, a complete definition of God is something that is impossible to do there are still certain things that we can know about Him. We can make the following observations.

First, it must be emphasized that the Bible teaches that God actually exists. He is not merely a being which humans have created to meet some deep need. Indeed, God has genuine existence. This is the consistent testimony of Scripture.

Once we understand this, we can then go to the Bible to discover certain truths about Him. From a study of Scripture, a basic definition of God includes these facts.

There is only God who exists. There are no lesser gods or greater gods. In fact, there are no other gods of any type. He alone is God. He is the only God that has existed, or that ever will exist.

God does not have any physical form. He is an invisible spirit. Furthermore, He is an eternal spirit. He has always existed and always will exist.

He is also all-powerful. There is nothing impossible for Him to do. Anything that is possible to do, consistent with His holy character, He can do it.

Though all-powerful, God is also personal. He has characteristics of a person. He thinks feels and loves. He is an infinite/personal God.

God is absolute perfection. There is nothing lacking in Him. He has no needs. He is an infinite God who is not subject to human limitations.

He is not the same as His creation, but is Lord over it. He existed before He created the world and He does not dependent upon the world for His existence.

As a personal God, He is intimately involved in the affairs of the universe. He is a God who gets involved. Indeed, though all-powerful He is personally interested in each human being.

The infinite/personal God of the Bible is different from all other descriptions of God in the various religions of the world. Nowhere do we find God described in this manner.

The God of the Bible is a God of love. While God is a God of love, who is personally interested in each of us, He is also a righteous God who will judge sin. Therefore, a person has to make a decision as to whether or not to believe in the God of Scripture.

Those who believe in Him will spend eternity in His presence while those who do not believe will spend eternity apart from His presence. There are only two destinies for human beings, heaven and hell.

Finally, He is knowable. It is possible for humans to have a personal relationship with the God of the universe. This is the wonderful promise of Scripture.

These are some of the truths about the God of the Bible which He has revealed about Himself. We only know who He is, as well as what He is like, because He has told us these things. Fortunately, He has not left us in the dark about His character.

The Evidence (Introduction) ← Prior Section
Does the Bible Try to Describe God's Character? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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