The Nature of God.

As you read the Bible more and more, questions will come to mind on a variety of subjects. This is very natural and in fact a constructive way to learn, it is an essential part of thinking out your faith.

Often people ask questions concerning the nature of God. In Scripture the Father is described as God, sometimes, the Son is said to be God, and still other times the Holy Spirit is viewed as God? Yet the Bible says that God is one? This seems confusing!

  In a way this is not nearly as confusing as it sounds, but it is very constructive that we begin to think about these subjects in relation to our own understanding of the nature of God. After we have done this, we may still find parts of God’s nature confusing; we all do however that’s completely understandable because after all he is God, and is a being for beyond our experience and comprehension. For those questions we follow James advice and “pray for wisdom” , and as we grow in Christ many of these questions begin to resolve themselves. James 1:5

So let’s take a look at the nature of God! Perhaps you have heard someone speak or sing of “God, the three in one.” Is God three? If so, how can God be one? Does the Bible say that God is one? To find answers to these perplexing questions we go to the Scripture and find out what God has revealed about Himself!

 

I. The Bible very definitely says that God is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is ONE.”…… What could be more direct than that?

II. The Bible also says that God exists in three distinct divine personalities.

For example, Genesis 1:27 says, “then God said, ‘Let us make many in our image, in our likeness, etc.” Notice that the ONE God spoke of Himself in the plural: “let us!”

You might have guessed that the “us” is God the father with the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is exactly the case. The Bible describes the Father as God in 1 Corinthians 8:6, the Son as God in John 1:1, and the Holy Spirit as God in Acts 5:3,4.

Think back to your own baptism, there is a sense in which it summarizes this whole dilemma. You were baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of your sins as you can see from Matthew 28:19. You were baptized into one name which manifests itself in three distinct personalities: Father, Son and Spirit.

Let me give you some illustrations of things that can be both one and three, and perhaps this will help us get a feel for how the Bible speaks about God. Please remember that any human or material illustration will in no way perfectly describe the nature of our God. Even so, in very simple terms, some of the following suggestions might be helpful.

  • Consider something as simple as a chain consisting of three links? It is one chain, yet made up of three links!.
  • Consider the triangle. It is one triangle, yet made up of three sides!
  • Or an egg, we speak of it as one item but it consists of three parts the shell, the white and the yoke.

Some of our confusion may come how we consider God mathematically. If we consider God in terms of addition (1+1+1=1) we might immediately become confused because it doesn’t add up. However, that is using addition. What if we use a multiplication model instead? One times one times one does equal one (1x1x1=1).

Still perplexed? Maybe consider the way that God created us. Remember he created us in His image? Let’s look at this in a couple of ways.

 

1st Consider our make-up as individuals.

The Bible speaks of us as having “spirit, soul, and body” in 1Thessalonians 5:23.

  • We are one person, yet we consist of three distinct elements.
  • Remember God said in Genesis, that we quoted above, let us make man in our image.

 

2nd He created both male and female and told them to multiply

We see in Genesis 1:27,28 what happens when two people get married and have children. While we are separate members of a family we are all “(insert your family name)”.

When our family is doing God’s will, we display a remarkable oneness:

  • We have one name,
  • With a singleness of love (for God and each other),
  • Unified purpose.
  • We are ONE!

But it is also clear that we are three: father, mother, and children, each with our own special personalities and responsibilities. If we can be like that imperfectly, why can’t God be like that perfectly?

  God is one! Yet His oneness is displayed remarkably in a perfect unity between Father, Son and Spirit! In fact, it is in this way that God’s love is made clear to us as we learn in Ephesians 2:18 that, “through Him (Jesus) we have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

If this still seems confusing to you, you’re not alone. For a lot of us answers and understanding of the nature of God comes gradually as we grow in Christ. Isn’t it amazing that our God is so vast and powerful that we cannot fully comprehend His nature and yet he loves us so deeply that He saved us from our own choices and the punishment for our sins!

 

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW AND STUDY

  1. If we do not understand something in God’s work, what should we do according to James 1:5?
  2. What does Deuteronomy 6:4 teach us about God?
  3. What does Genesis 1:27 teach us about God?
  4. The Bible describes the Father as what in 1 Corinthians 8:6?
  5. The Bible describes the Son as what in John 1:1?
  6. The Bible describes the Holy Spirit as what in Acts 5:3,4?
  7. What does Matthew 28:19 teach us about God?
  8. How are we as individuals made in God’s likeness according to 1 Thessalonians 5:23?
  9. How does Genesis 1:27, 28 say we as families made in God’s likeness?
  10. Write out what Ephesians 2:18 says about God.
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