by Jon Quinn
Knowing God is necessary if one is to do more than stumble through life from one ordeal to another. One needs purpose and direction. God gives us reason to live and reachable goals to attain.
Everything has a cause. Science calls this the “law of cause and effect.” Nothing in our universe can be the cause of its own existence, therefore we must look beyond this physical realm to find the Ultimate Cause of all things. The universe is like a huge clock that is winding down. The question is WHO “wound up the clock” in the beginning?
(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
(Revelation 4:11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
When we buy a watch we recognize that there must have been a watchmaker. If we admire a painting we understand that there must have been an artist. Likewise, the universe tells us of its Maker. We see design all around us. The human eye is much more effective than the finest camera and no one would seriously suggest that a camera came into existence by accident instead of by plan. It makes even less sense to deny the existence of the Designer and Creator of the eye!
(Psalms 19:1-2) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.
(Psalms 139:14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Also, the nature of man tells us much about his origin. Human beings are moral, rational and spiritual creatures. We ponder our existence asking “how” and “why”; and these very questions point us in God’s direction! It is foolish to deny His existence.
(Psalms 14:1) The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD
How does one describe God? Words are inadequate and yet they are all we have. The best approach is to see how God has revealed Himself to us.
Our God is majestic.
He is all powerful. His glory surpasses anything else in human experience.
(1 Timothy 6:15-16) Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Our God is wise.
He knows His universe down to the smallest detail. He knows the heart. He knows what is best for us.
(Psalms 33:13-15) The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
(Romans 11:33-34) 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! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Our God is jealous.
This is not to be confused with anything like the petty jealousies of man. It simply means that God demands loyalty from those He loves and redeems.
(Exodus 20:5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Our God is love.
Our well-being is His concern and He has acted in our behalf.
(John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(Hebrews 4:16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Our God is also capable of wrath.
He is the righteous judge of a wicked world. His wrath is perfectly dispensed; none will pay an unjust penalty. Also, it must be noted that Divine wrath is what men choose for themselves when they retreat from the light which God has provided.
(2 Thessalonians 1:8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
(John 3:18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
NAMES OF GOD
There are several names that God uses in identifying Himself. They also tell us something of His nature. We will look at two of these names.
“Jehovah” is the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses from the burning bush. This name continued to be used by God’s people throughout history. A shortened form of the name is used in the word “hallelujah” which means “praise to Jehovah.” The name “Jehovah” is from the Hebrew language and means “I AM.” It shows God’s eternal nature; that He has no beginning or end.
(Exodus 3:14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
“Elohim” is a name which signifies might and power. It is this Hebrew word that is translated “God” in the very first verse of the Bible.
(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Most are familiar with the concept of three persons in one God. Some refer to this as “the Trinity.” But what does the Bible teach?
There is one God. There are not two, three or more. However, we have already noticed the use of the word “Elohim” as one of the names used by God. The interesting thing is that “Elohim” is plural! This certainly helps to explain Genesis 1:26; “And God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” The one God of the Bible is revealed to be a unity of three Persons. All three are mentioned together several times in the scriptures.
(Matthew 3:13-17) Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
(Matthew 28:18-20) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
(2 Corinthians 13:14) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
God, the Father, is separate and distinct from the Son and the Spirit, and yet one with them.
(1 Peter 1:2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Jesus, the Son, is referred to in the scripture as God. He also accepted being addressed as God. He was also willing to be worshipped after saying that it was only proper to worship God and no other! Please compare:
(Matthew 4:10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
(Matthew 28:9) And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
(Matthew 1:23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
(John 1:1-3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(John 1:14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
(John 20:26-29) And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
(Titus 2:13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
The Holy Spirit is revealed in the Bible as being both a living being and Deity. The personal pronoun “He” is used to refer to Him. He is said to love, speak and grieve. He has a mind. If one lies to the Spirit, he has lied unto God!
(John 14:16-18) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
(Acts 5:3-4) But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
(Romans 8:27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
(Ephesians 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
We find examples of the Lord God making statements in the Old Testament and then discover that the New Testament quotes those same statements and attributes them specifically to the Holy Spirit. This certainly shows that the Holy Spirit is one of the Godhead. Compare the following…
(Isaiah 6:8-10) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
(Acts 28:25-27) And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
It is important to know our God. Not just to know about Him but to know Him as God. In this universe and in eternity, when all has been said and done, man cannot fail more seriously than to live out his life estranged from his Creator. On the other hand, there cannot be a brighter success story than that of a man or woman who walks with God.
Lesson #2 is entitled “GOD HAS SPOKEN” and shows the Bible itself as God’s word. How do we know that the Bible is God’s word? What does “inspiration” mean? What is the difference between the Old and New Testaments? Can one really understand the Bible? These and other questions will be dealt with in Lesson #2.