What is God like?

There is no description which fully explains what God is like. We cannot see Him; we cannot prove He exists. The Bible gives us glimpses of Him and tells us about some of His characteristics, for example, His love, compassion, power and creativity. God is holy – perfect and blameless. But there are elements of God that we cannot grasp because they are just beyond our comprehension. God exists beyond our understanding of time and space. The universe exists because He made it happen. He is self-sufficient and self-sustaining. He does not need us. And yet Christians believe that we can know this God personally, even intimately, and that this is what He wants too.

Triune God

Christianity teaches that God exists as three distinct elements – the Trinity – which are in relationship with each other: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son is Jesus Christ who lived in the Middle East 2,000 years ago. In the Bible book of John, Jesus explained the closeness of His relationship with His Father, saying ‘I and the Father are one’. In the same Bible book Jesus says, ‘anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’. We can get an idea of what God is like by looking at Jesus’ life. The Bible books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, record eyewitness accounts of what He said and did. We see His compassion and love for people; His desire for justice; His anger with hypocrisy and wrong-doing and His self-sacrifice in being put to death even though He was innocent. During His life on Earth, Jesus was totally human, but also totally God.

The Holy Spirit is another person of God – a spiritual form of God which cannot be seen but can be experienced personally. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, dwells within believers, guiding, empowering, and transforming them. The Holy Spirit comforts, convicts, and equips individuals to live in accordance with God’s will.

The Creator

God is the creator of the universe and all that it contains. Despite being distinct from His creation, God actively sustains and governs it and He desires a personal relationship with humanity. Genesis, says he made us ‘in his image’. He has given us the capacity to be immensely creative and to love unconditionally; we too have the capacity for moral choice and the ability to experience love, joy, and purpose, which sets us apart from other living creatures.

God did not just create the universe and walk away. He remains intimately involved in it. He cares about people. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, tells us that even when humanity’s relationship with God went sour in the garden of Eden, he devised a rescue plan – hinting at the coming of Jesus Christ to restore that relationship.

God’s Character

To grasp the nature of God, we must examine His attributes, which can be classified into two categories: communicable and incommunicable attributes.

Communicable Attributes:

  • Love: God is the embodiment of love, and His love extends to all of creation.
  • Wisdom: God possesses infinite wisdom, comprehending all things perfectly.
  • Justice: God is perfectly just, ensuring that every action has appropriate consequences.
  • Mercy: God is merciful, showing compassion and forgiveness to those who seek Him.
  • Holiness: God is completely holy, separate from all moral evil and fully pure.

Incommunicable Attributes:

  • Eternity: God has no beginning or end, existing outside the constraints of time.
  • Omnipotence: God is all-powerful, capable of accomplishing anything within His nature.
  • Omniscience: God is all-knowing, having complete knowledge of the past, present, and future.
  • Immutability: God is unchanging, remaining consistent throughout eternity.
  • Omnipresence: God is present everywhere, not limited by space or location.

God’s Holiness

the Bible declares that God is a holy and righteous Being. From Genesis to Revelation, God reveals Himself as a holy God. He is perfect in every detail. He is too holy to endure sinful living because He is a good, perfect God.

If we could ever get a vision of God’s majestic righteousness, what a tremendous difference it would make in the way our nations live. If we could once see the appalling difference that separates our unrighteousness from God’s perfect righteousness, it would change our way of living immediately. We all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).

The Scripture declares God to be Light in whom there is “no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). It is impossible to understand the Bible unless you have a clear understanding of the holiness of God. His holiness determines all His other attributes.

Because God is holy, a gap exists between God and us, the sinners. The Scripture says, “your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2, NKJV). Not only is the sinner separated from God, but God is separated from the sinner. Because God is holy, He can have nothing to do with sin.

Before sin came into the world, humanity and God had fellowship with each other. Now that fellowship is broken, and it is impossible for a sinner to have any contact with God unless it’s through Jesus Christ. People do not possess, nor can they acquire, the sinlessness that is necessary to access God. Christ, however, came to make such access possible.

God’s Love

God is love. Many people have misunderstood that part of God’s nature. The fact that God is love does not mean that everything is sweet, beautiful and happy and that God’s love could not possibly allow punishment for sin.

God’s holiness demands that all sin be punished, but God’s love provided a plan of redemption and salvation for sinful people. It was the love of God that sent Jesus Christ to the cross: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

You may think, “Does God really love me?” No matter what sin you have committed, no matter how dirty, shameful or terrible it may be, God loves you. But it is up to you to believe in Jesus Christ, ask forgiveness for your sins and receive His gift of eternal life.

God is a complex yet loving being, encompassing the attributes of love, wisdom, justice, mercy, and holiness. His nature is further revealed through the Trinity, comprising the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Understanding God’s attributes and His relationship with creation provides a foundation for comprehending His character and intentions.

While we have provided a brief overview, delving deeper into the subject of God’s nature and exploring the intricacies of Christian theology can be a lifelong pursuit.

The most important thing to understand about God is that He loves His creation, and loves you. He wants to know you personally and has made a way for you to be in relationship now and for eternity.

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