I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God. Isaiah 45:5
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4
I. Who is God? Today we are looking at the big question, who is God? We are limiting our scope to that of the Christian faith. It is not possible to go into all the other gods of existence, but it is clear that if the Bible is true, and we discussed that last week, and it is inspired, and that to, we discussed, then there is actually only one God, and there is no other. (At the conclusion of this lesson is a little story, written in prose, illustrating who God is, the origin of sin, Satan and evil.)
It is difficult to explain God as He is greater than the explainer—always, no matter who is doing the explaining. Isaiah 55:8, 9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
It is difficult to explain a person, let alone God! Just try and explain who your wife or girlfriend or brother or father is. Pretty difficult to do, and even if you make a list of attributes, it just doesn’t do it. To know someone is to experience them. God, like the people in your life, is to be experienced more than explained. Through reading the Bible, you will gain an understanding of who God is through the ways that his people have experienced him. But for now…let’s give it a try so as to introduce you to who God is.
II. Who God isn’t. Often it is easier to explain who God isn’t in order to dispel the myths and misunderstandings of who the Bible describes as our God.
God is not a creative super being that made the world and all of us in it and then left us to run on our own. This is the deist view point. The point and purpose of the Bible is that He is in this world, communicating to us through among other ways, His written word. God has broken into history to reveal himself and to bring us into relationship with him as He was in the garden with Adam and Eve.
God is not all things. He is not the trees, the universe, the heavens, and all of creation. He made all things like new ageism teaches. Neither is he magic like superstitions teach. Why would we want to worship the created things when we can worship the creator?
He is not the God of punishment, so that we have to be good lest he punish us. This is a skewed view of our God or Santa Clause. In fact, God wants us to be blessed (simply defined as happy) more than we want to be blessed. Romans 5:8 God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. And Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all. How shall he not with him freely give us all things. Is this a god who is looking to punish? Absolutely not.
He is not waiting at the gates of heaven, watching everything you do so that should you do something wrong you will not get into heaven, enter eternal life or have any kind of relationship with Him. He is doing everything He can to get you into heaven, eternal life, and a relationship with Him. This separates him from all other so called gods, who will punish you fi you don’t appease them.
III. What God says about himself.
In Exodus 6 God reveals himself by name to Moses. He says of himself, I am that I am. That is a translation from the Hebrew word Yhwh or Yahweh. In the English language, we assign a transliteration to it as Jehovah. The literal meaning is I am that I am. God says he swears by himself and the reason he does that is because there is nothing higher than himself. He is! See Hebrews 6:13
The Names of God In the Bible many names are given to describe God. Below is a list of those names.
“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.” Psalms 148:13.
El Shaddai-The Lord God Almighty
El Elyon The Most High God
Jehovah Nissi-The Lord my banner
Jehovah-Raah-The Lord my shepherd
Jehovah-rapha-The Lord that heals
Jehovah Shammah-The Lord is there
Jehovah-Tsidekenu The Lord our righteousness
Jehovah-Mekoddishkem The who sanctifies you
El Olam The Everlasting God
Jehovah Jireh The Lord will Provide
Jehovah Shalom The Lord is peace
Jehovah Sabaoth The Lord of Hosts
And Elohim- a generic word for God that is in the plural. God is a trinity. More about that next lesson. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one. And I shall love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might.
- Some attributes of God
He is all powerful, all knowing, all present omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He has feelings and emotions.
He is Holy Ex 15:11 “Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”
Because God is holy, he cannot look upon sin. This is why sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, separated them from God. And we are born into that sin nature. The nature to do unholy things that drive us from God.
Jeremiah 31:3 says that He has an everlasting love. And love is an emotion. God has emotions and desires.
John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
In fact 1 John 4:8 says that God is love.
God’s love is unconditional. Everlasting! Again, see Romans 5:8…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. While we were yet away from God, not seeking him, not striving to be in relationship with him, he sent his son to die and pay the price for our sin, pay the price to bring us back into a relationship with him. He allowed his only Son to die on the chance that we might come into relationship with him. That’s love.
God also has a will and desires. 1 Tim 2:4 (God) desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God must be approached by faith. We cannot understand Him by using only our mind, but we approach Him through faith and faith in His words. Faith in God is what Adam and Eve lost in the garden when they chose to listen to words of the serpent, Satan, the devil, and to allow doubt in God’s word. That cost them their relationship with God because the doubt was sin and that sin separated them from God because God is holy and cannot look on sin. We, too, as children of Adam and Eve were born outside of a relationship with God and into a sin nature. But because God is love, even when we were away from Him, he sent his Son to show us his love and die to pay the price of sin and restore our relationship with Him. How great our God. If you believe that, then you are choosing to believe and trust God. Pray and talk with him, which are your first steps in reestablishing that relationship that Adam and Eve lost. Tell him you believe and that as a sinner you are sorry for the sins that separate you from Him, the sins that cost the life of his Son Jesus. Ask Him to restore you to relationship with Him. He is waiting.
Appendix: Who is God, A Story
God, Sin and the Spirit World
Before there was the world and the stars,
Before there was the sun and the moon,
Before there was the day and the night,
There was God.
Before there was light and darkness,
Before there was man and woman,
Before there was birth and death,
There was God.
God has no beginning and no end,
He wasn’t born and will not die,
He was never young and does not grow old.
God always was,
God always is,
God always will be.
And God, who is the Father of creation, is good.
God is the Father of creation.
He made the earth,
He made the heavens,
And in the heavens he made the innumerable angels.
The angels are good,
And they are spirits.
The angels serve God, the creator.
The angels love God and obey God.
God, the Father of all creation, is good.
God created a chief angel
God created him wise and beautiful
With every precious stone on his chest.
God anointed the chief angel,
To be the guardian of the Mountain of God.
And God named the chief angel Day Star.
God, the Father of Creation, is good.
Day Star was blameless in all his ways,
Until unrighteousness found him
And pride consumed him because of his beauty.
He said, I will be like God,
I will put my throne above God’s throne
And the other angels will serve me.
One third of the angels listened to him,
They turned away from God
This was sin.
Sin separates from God
Brings death to a relationship with God
So God cast them out of heaven.
Because God the Father of creation, is good.
Now, this evil angel is called Satan
The father of lied, the accuser, the devil
And he deceives us and appears as good,
But he is evil.
The angels that followed Satan are demons,
Fallen from heaven,
They no longer serve God
And they are evil.
But God, the Father of creation, is good.
The devil fights against man and woman,
The demons fight against man and woman
Deceiving man and woman to follow them.
The devil roams the earth like a lion,
Seeking whom he can devour,
And seeking who will follow him.
But God, the Father of creation, is good.
God has a plan to rescue man and woman,
A plan of hope and a future.
God has a plan to punish the devil and his demons
Soon they will suffer for their rebellion.
Because God, the Father of creation, is good.
Choose this day, whom you will follow.
This simple story, recited in a verse pattern, introduces many Biblical concepts about God and is put together from scripture: God is the creator; He is good, in the image of a Father. He created the angels which reinforces that the angels are less than He since he is their creator, that angels serve God, and that angels are spirits. The story explains the beginning of evil and why evil and suffering exists. It also demonstrates that the devil and evil are not equal to God and good, and shows God as more powerful than any other creation. Finally, it demonstrates that God has a good plan for man and woman and that plan has hope for man, but ultimate punishment for evil. And then it presents an opportunity to choose to follow God. (Scripture references are from Genesis 1, Job 38:4-7, Hebrews 1:13, 14, Revelation 12:7-9, Ezekiel 28: 1-19, Isaiah 14:3-23, Jeremiah 29:11, Revelation 20:10, Nehemiah 9:6, Luke 10:18, Jude 6, 1 Peter 5:8).