Do you know the God of the Bible?

by John Holbrook Jr.
A Biblical View, posted July 18, 2016, edited August 7, 2017.[1]

Because God is “alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending”[2] of all things, I will start my blogs by examining what we know about him.

God exists, but he is beyond human perception or comprehension.[3] Our only clues to his existence and to his greatness, goodness, and glory lie in the testimony of his works (creation) and his words (the Bible).

God’s works, from the limits of the macrocosm to the limits of the microcosm, testify to his omniscience and omnipotence. No one can miss Universe’s stunning beauty, complexity, functionality, and immensity.[4] Indeed, the Bible indicates that they are so obvious that anyone who denies their implications – that Universe was designed and constructed and is now being managed by an omniscient and omnipotent God – are “without excuse.”[5] Consider also the titanic forces which bind astronomical objects together and to one another throughout vast, interstellar space; they cannot match the power of their Creator.

God’s words testify to some of his traits. He is fair and just.[6] He is generous[7] with his gifts. He is discriminating, but also impartial.[8] He is kind,[9] but not indulgent. He is loving, but not sentimental. He is merciful – that is, he is forgiving of the penitent[10] – but he does not minimize the gravity of transgression.[11] He is patient and even long-suffering,[12] but he is not neglectful. Moreover, he is reliable – that is, he always keeps his word.[13]

God’s words also testify to some of his attributes. He is omniscient – that is, he is all-knowing; he perceives and comprehends everything.[14] He is omnipotent – that is, he is all powerful and can do anything[15] – and limitless – that is, nothing is impossible for Him.[16] He is omnipresent or immanent – that is, he is everywhere at once.[17] He is also eternal – that is, he always was, is now, and ever shall be.[18] He is holy – that is, he is both completely and perfectly good[19] – and he is transcendent – that is, he is inside and outside, above, below, and beyond, and wholly distinct or separate from his creation (his holiness and his transcendence are related). He is immutable[20] – that is, he never changes.[21] He is perfect – that is, he is without flaws or defects – and he is infallible – that is, he does not make mistakes. He is self-sufficient – that is, he does not need anyone or anything outside of himself. He is also unquestionable – that is, he never explains his thoughts and actions or answers man’s questions.[22]  Finally, he is triune – that is, he is both a unity and a trinity which consists of three distinct persons: God-the-Father, God-the-Son, and God-the-Holy Spirit.[23]

Consider what each person[24] of the triune Godhead has done, is doing, or will do and how we can identify the offices which each person of the Trinity holds by his activities.

God-the-Father is the creative mind of God – he conceived Universe.

He is the divine ARCHITECT who designed everything that would exist in Universe.

He is the divine AUTHOR who determined every thing that would happen in Universe, from its first day to its last day. [25]

Together his design and his script make up the Decrees of God that are contained in the book which he holds in his right hand as he sits on his throne in heaven.[26]

Thus the Scriptures report him saying, “…I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”[27]

God-the-Son is the creative body of God[28] – he actualizes Universe.

He is “the Lamb as it had been slain,” who is worthy to take the book out of God-the-Father’s right hand, open the book, and implement the Decrees of God.[29]

He is the divine BUILDER who constructs Universe according to the Father’s plans.[30]

He is the divine SUSTAINER, who holds all things together by the power of His Word.[31]

He is the divine DIRECTOR who ensures that Universe’s drama follows the Father’s script.[32]

He is the divine LAWGIVER, who has given all men the Father’s moral laws which they must obey,[33] and He ensures that Universe responds to mankind’s obedience or disobedience to those laws.

He is the divine REDEEMER, who repairs and restores Universe’s brokenness.[34] He atones for the sins of all men, women, and children who accept Him as their Savior and Lord,[35] thereby clothing them in His righteousness and assuring them of eternal life in God’s presence.

He is the divine JUDGE, who will judge all men[36] according to the Father’s moral laws.[37]

He holds three critical offices among His Chosen People: He is the PROPHET of His people and of His creation[38] – that is, He has foretold the end from the beginning and explained much between those two extremities. He is the High PRIEST of His people and His creation[39] – that is, He is the only mediator between God and mankind.[40] He is the KING of His people and His creation[41] – that is, He rules by right of His person, His creative work, His sustaining work, His directive work, and His redemptive work on the cross at Golgotha. In a reflection of this office, He is called the “King of kings and Lord of lords”[42] – or just “LORD.” [43]

Lastly, although He is co-equal with the Father, He voluntarily defers to him in all things – that is, He proceeds from the Father.[44]

God-the-Holy Spirit is the creative spirit of God – he gives life to Universe and its creatures.

He is the divine ENERGIZER who set Universe in motion.[45]

He is the divine QUICKENER who animates its flora and fauna.[46]

Lastly, although he is co-equal with the Father and the Son, he voluntarily defers to them in all things – that is, he proceeds from the Father and the Son.[47] He is “the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” by the Father and the Son.[48]

There is far more to say about God than the foregoing, but time and space preclude my doing so here.

© 2016, 2017 John Holbrook Jr.
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[1] Yesterday a friend urged me to add more footnotes to this blog to make clear that my description of God is firmly based in Scripture. I have done so, but be advised that the references which appear here are but a small sampling of what is available – the Bible is replete with descriptions of the Godhead and its three persons, God-the-Father, God-the-Son, and God-the Holy Spirit.

[2] Revelation 1:8, 1:11, 21:6, and 22:13.

[3] His incomprehensibility: Isaiah 55:8-9, Psalms 147:4-5, Romans 11:33-34, and particularly Genesis 1, which records that God spoke Universe into existence ex nihilo – that is, out of nothing. Now he exercises absolute sovereignty over Universe and everything which it contains, including earth’s creatures

[4] “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (KJV Psalms 19:1). See also Job 38-41, in which God confronts Job with questions concerning the wonders of his creation. Job could only respond by prostrating himself before God, repenting of his sins, particularly the sin of questioning God concerning the fairness of his treatment, and begging God for forgiveness.

[5] Romans 1:20.

[6] His fairness and justness – that is his judgments are dispassionate, equitable, even-handed, impartial, legitimate, unbiased, and unprejudiced: Deuteronomy 10:17, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Job 8:3, 34:12, 37:23, Psalms 19:9 and 119:137, Jeremiah 32:19,

[7] His generosity: Genesis 1:29-30, Leviticus 26:4, Deuteronomy 7:13-15 and 28:1-14, Ezra 8:22, Psalms 23, 65:9,-13, 147:8, Matthew 6:26-33, and 1 Corinthians 2:9. The gist of the foregoing is that God is prepared to pour out his blessing on individuals, families, and nations if they will just honor him and obey his commandments.

[8] His impartiality: Deuteronomy 10:17, Job 34:19, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:6, Colossians 3:25, and 1 Peter 1:17.

[9] His kindness: “With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer” to Israel (KJV Isaiah 54:8).

[10] His mercy and forgiveness: Exodus 20:2, Exodus 33:19, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 4:31, 7:9, and 32:42, 1 Kings 8:23, 1 Chronicles 16:34, 2 Chronicles 5:13, 30:39, Nehemiah 9:17 and 9:31, Psalms 25:6, 30:5, 31:7, 57:10, 62:12, 78:38, 85:2, 86:5, 100:5, 106:1, 108:4, 111:4, 116:5, 119:64, and 145:8, Isaiah 12:1,  Jeremiah 9:24 and 33:11, Lamentations 3:22, Ezekiel 33:11, Daniel 9:9, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, Micah 7:18, Nahum 1:3,Luke 1:50,  2 Corinthians 1:3, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 4:16 and 8:12, James 2:13 and 5:11, and 1 Peter 1:3; it is captured in his willingness to become incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth and die on the cross at Golgotha to atone for the sins of all who will acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

[11] Romans 11:22; also John 8:11, where Jesus forgives the adulterous woman while identifying her behavior as sin: “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”

[12] His patience: Exodus 34:6, Numbers 14:18, and Psalm 86:15.

[13] His reliability: “I will not fail thee or forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5) and “…scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35).

[14] His omniscience: 2 Chronicles 16:9, Job 28:10, 34:21, and 42:2, Psalms 33:13, 44:21, 139:1, and 147:4, Proverbs 15:3, Isaiah 29:15, 40:28, 46:10, 48:5, and 66:18,Jeremiah 23:24, Ezekiel 11:5, Daniel 2:20, Matthew 10:29-30, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:18, Romans 8:27Hebrews 4:13, and particularly KJV 1 John 3:20, which states: “God…knoweth all things.”

[15] His omnipotence: Deuteronomy 3:24, 1 Chronicles 29:11, Revelation 19:6; it is captured in one of his names, the “LORD God Almighty,” which appears in KJV Revelation 4:8, 11:17, 15:3, 16:7, and 21:22.

[16] His limitlessness: Genesis 18:14, 1 Samuel 14:16, Job 42:2, Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, and Luke 1:37.

[17] His omnipresence: 1 Kings 8:27, Psalm 139:3, Jeremiah 23:23, and Acts 17:27-28.

[18] His eternity: Genesis 1:23, Exodus 3:15, Deuteronomy 32:40, 33:27,Psalms 9:7, 41:13, 90:1 and 102:27; it is captured in the name by which he identified himself to Moses, “I AM.” (KJV Exodus 3:14).

[19] His goodness: Exodus 33:19, 2 Chronicles 5:13, Psalms 25:8, 33:5, 34:8, 52:1, 86:5, 100:5, 106:1, 107:8, 118:29, 119:68, and 145:7, Nahum 1:7, Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, and Luke 18:19.

[20] His immutability: Psalms 33:11 and 119:89, Proverbs 19:21, Ecclesiastes 3:14, and particularly KJV Malachi 3:6, in which God states: “I am the LORD, I change not….”

[21] Although the Bible records a few instances in which God appears to change his mind, a careful examination of the situation reveals that he only postponed doing what he had decided to do in order to allow a test of the individual(s) involved. When the individual(s) failed the test, God went ahead with his original plan. One example of this is God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; when Abraham argued in favor of leniency in order to spare the faithful men in those cities, God postponed the execution of his plan until it became evident that there were no faithful men in those cities.

[22] His unquestionableness: Job 33:13 states, “…he giveth not account of any of his matters.”

[23] This three-in-one nature is certainly a mystery. Yet God has given us indications of its reasonableness. One is the molecule consisting of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. This molecule manifests itself in three forms – ice, water, and steam – the form it takes depends on its temperature. Thus it has three forms, but one substance. Another is the fact that this three-in-one nature solves the philosophical problem of the one and the many.

[24] It is important to point out here that a person is non-verbal. No matter how many words one uses to describe or attempt to define a person, something will be left out. A person is self-conscious, cognizant of his own existence and the existence of others who are self-conscious, able to sense (see, hear, feel, taste, and smell), able to think (reason), able to experience emotions (love and hate, joy and sorrow, excitement and ennui, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, etc.), but there is more to a person than all the foregoing. A person is real; the foregoing constitutes an abstraction or construct in someone’s mind – not the thing itself. This same distinction must be maintained in science: the redness of Mars is real; its reduction to particular wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation is an abstraction or construct in a scientist’s mind that enables him to understand better the behavior of what he sees.

[25] 1 Corinthians 8:6.

[26] Revelation 5:1; also Hebrews 10:7.

[27] KJV Isaiah 46:9-10.

[28] God-the-Son is the only person of the Trinity with corporeality. God-the-Father is invisible and intangible. In John 6:46, Jesus states that no man has seen the Father, only Jesus Himself. God-the-Spirit is also invisible and intangible. His presence is indicated by such manifestations as his moving or hovering over the primordial waters (Genesis 1:2), which produced light, the “wind” that comes from and goes to who knows where (John 3:8), the “dove” that descended on Jesus during His baptism ( Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, and John 1:32-33), and the “tongues of fire” that descended on Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2:3).  He, however, is not identified with these corporeal phenomena.

[29] Revelation 5:2-9. Also Hebrews 10:7.

[30] John 1:3, John 1:10 John 8:28-29, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 1:10, Revelation 3:14, & Revelation 4:11.

[31] Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3. There are no such things as scientific laws. Things behave the way they do because God ordains that they do so. What scientists call laws are merely descriptions of the way God usually does things. What people call miracles are merely instances in which God has departed from His usual way of doing things.

[32] John 8:28-29.

[33] Specifically the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ three imperatives.

[34] Revelation 21:5.

[35]  All men, women, and children are sinners and, because of their sinful nature, break God’s laws. Only some of them, however, acknowledge their sinfulness, repent of their sins, acknowledge God-the-Son’s incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth and affirm His sinless life, His death on the cross to atone for their sins, His resurrection from the dead on the third day, and His ascension to heaven, where He sits on the Throne of God as LORD. The names of these redeemed men, women, and children were written in the Book of Life by God-the-Father before the foundations of the world were laid.

[36] 2 Timothy 4:1, Revelation 19:11.

[37] John 12:48 – “the word that I have spoken” includes the Ten Commandments which He conveyed to Moses on Mount Sinai.

[38] John 6:14 and Acts 2:30 and 3:22,

[39] Hebrews 5:5-10, 6:20, 7:26, 8:1, and 9:11.

[40] 1 Timothy 2:5.

[41] John 18:33-37 and 19:19-22.

[42] 1 Timothy 6:15 and Revelation 17:14 and 19:16.

[43] Philippians 2:9-11.

[44] The language here concerning God-the-Son’s deference to God-the-Father is modeled on the language in John 15:26 concerning God-the-Spirit’s deference to God-the-Father.

[45] Genesis 1:2.

[46] Genesis 2:7.

[47] John 15:26.

[48] Revelation 5:6.

 

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