What Do We Know About God?
A saving knowledge of God is the basic need of every human being. The scriptures begin by simply stating the existence of God and the power of God. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) God exists. In dealing with Moses God said "I Am who I Am. And He said, Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I Am has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14) The existence of the one true God is evident from His works. "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun." (Psalm 19:1-4) God is infinite in relation to time. You can get neither backward nor forward to a point beyond God. Past, present and future are as the present with God. Time means nothings to Him. "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8)
In Deuteronomy 6:4 we find one of the most important declarations in all the Scriptures. The text says, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." It is the affirmation of the Scriptures that there is only one true God. The road to salvation begins with the proposition, God is! The Hebrew writer said, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) Life eternal is to know the only true God. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3) Isaiah recorded these words from God, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour." (Isaiah 43:10-11)
In His teaching Jesus said many things about God. Let us observe...
Jesus said God is spirit. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24) The fact that "God is spirit" is a very important Bible truth. God is eternal. He fills heaven and earth. God does not have a body and therefore He does not dwell in temples made with hands. (Acts 7:48) God is infinite, intelligent, incorruptible and eternal. (Psalm 14:1) We must worship God because He is spirit. "Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:25) God is self-existent, perfect and deserving of our worship. He is spirit.
Jesus said God is the living God. In answer to a question asked by Jesus, "Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 16:16-17.) Peter confessed Jesus as "the Son of the living God." In total agreement with Peter's statement Jesus said Peter had learned this truth from the Father in Heaven. It is by the will of the living God that salvation through Jesus Christ is revealed. In Isaiah we have contrasted the living God and idols. Idols are hand made; God is eternal. Idols cannot see and know; God sees all and knows all. I idols are not profitable at all; God gives every good and perfect gift.
Jesus said God is Trinity or a Godhead. There is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19) Trinity is the union of three divine persons the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one divine nature. Trinity is one God who exists simultaneously in three persons. Without either there is no God; all comprise the one God. The three members of the Godhead are "one." Jesus said, "I and My Father are one." (John 10:30) This speaks of the oneness of nature existing among the Father and the Son. They are the same substance; they enjoy the same power and glory.
Jesus said God is impartial. God will save any that open the door to Him ion loving obedience. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20) God is impartial in the matter of salvation. He will save one as quickly, and on the same terms, as He will save another. John wrote, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Revelation 22:17) God is impartial. Any person that is willing can be saved as a part of the kingdom of God. "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 8:11.)
Jesus said God is perfect. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48) Christians must be followers of God as dear children. The duty (and it should also be the desire) of every Christian is to press on to perfection, to perfection like God. "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)
Jesus said God is omniscient or all-knowing. He knows our hearts. "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." (Luke 16:15) God also knows all our needs. "Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear?" (Matthew 6:31-32) God knows us better than we know ourselves. The Bible is filled with passages which speak of God's boundless knowledge. Psalm 147:5 says, "His understanding is infinite." In the New Testament we read, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33) The Bible says that He is the only wise God. (! Timothy 1:17) God knows the things I do and my motivation for doing them. Therefore, I must commit myself to doing what He wants me to do and to being what He wants me to be.
Jesus said God answers prayer. In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:7-11) God compared His concern for His children to that of an earthly father for his child. But God's love, goodness and tenderness far exceeds that of any earthly parent. God will take care of His children. He is always willing to answer their prayers.
Jesus said God gives good things to us. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus promised that God would give good things to those that put Him first. (Matthew 6:24-34. God does so many wonderful things for His Children. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. (James 1:17) God is literally our help, strength and refuge. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) God gives a peace that passes understanding. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Our allegiance must be to God and to Him alone. He will not share first place with another. To the Jews God had said, "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3) God is the Most High God. There is none like the Lord our God. "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me." (Isaiah 46:9) If you believe in God and in His Son Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), then repent of your sins (Acts 2:38), confess Christ as Lord (Matthew 10:32), be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-5), and stay faithful to God in order to go to heaven. (Matthew 10:22)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA