Who Is God? Part 1 - page 2

 


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From the Winter 2015 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

Who Is God? Part 1

by Thomas A. Tarrants III,  D.Min.
Vice President for Ministry & Director
Washington Area Fellows Program, C.S. Lewis Institute

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 The Bible nowhere attempts to prove the existence of God. Rather, it begins with the simple, majestic declaration that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This implies that God has infinite knowledge, understanding, and power. Or, to put it in slightly different terms, it shows God to be an all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful Creator, who is sovereign over His creation.
 This fundamental starting point of God’s revelation of Himself is what we must embrace if we are to know God, and we do so by faith. The Bible says it is “by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Heb. 11:3). Faith is essential, because “whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6). This is not blind faith, nor is it a leap into the dark. Rather, it is a leap into the light, the light of evidence, for God’s creation bears His fingerprints. The psalmist says,

The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world (Ps. 19:1–4).

 Drawing on this, the apostle Paul says that God’s “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world” (Rom. 1:20). This evidence is obvious to every human being, giving an awareness that there is a God. That awareness may be strong or weak, bright or dim. It can be suppressed by willful choice, or it can be embraced by faith.

 

God Reveals Himself as Spiritual, Personal and Good

  The God of the Bible is a spiritual being (John 4:24) and does not have a physical body, though on rare occasions He has manifested Himself in physical form to interact with human beings. These manifestations are considered by many theologians to be appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ. God is also a personal being, and He is loving, good, and gracious to His people. Unlike the impersonal god of pantheism, God cares deeply for His people and is actively involved in their lives. His relationship with Adam and Eve displays this love. The rich, abundant blessings He confers on them in the Garden of Eden demonstrate His goodness. His grace is seen in forgiving their horrendous sin and sparing them from immediate death and destruction. It is also shown in the way He tempers justice with mercy in their punishment. The fact of punishment alerts us that God takes sin very seriously and that righteousness and justice are also among His attributes.

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