Lesson 2 The Person Of God

“I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isaiah 46:9). The Bible declares the voice of the one Supreme Being, “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). Out of the mystery and infinity of His absolute being, He has declared Himself as “the living God” (Psalm 42:2; Psalm 84:2; Daniel 6:20; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:31). “His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 143:3). His immensit...

“I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isaiah 46:9). The Bible declares the voice of the one Supreme Being, “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). Out of the mystery and infinity of His absolute being, He has declared Himself as “the living God” (Psalm 42:2; Psalm 84:2; Daniel 6:20; 1 Timothy 4:10; Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:31).

“His greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 143:3). His immensity is such that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Again and again the cry has gone up, “O God, who is like unto thee?” (Psalm 71:19; cf.  Psalm 89:8; Psalm 113:5). The reply must always come, “There is none like thee.”

Popular Concepts About God

The name “God” has always been upon many lips. There have been those who have denied His existence, those who have used His name in cursing and those who have confused and misrepresented His being. Atheists say that there is no God and that they can prove it. Agnostics say it is impossible to know of His existence and they work diligently to lead millions in joining them in a declaration of ignorance. Pantheists say that God is merely nature, self-created, and that man is a part of it. Polytheists say there is not one God but many. Their ranks have included every variety from ancient pagans to modern day Mormons.

Other varied ideas have been put forward. It has been said that everything is God, including you and me, or that God is a principle, an impersonal law or force. It has been said that God is merely an idea in a person’s mind, a psychological crutch or a neurosis (an irrational fear). Men have made images or idols that represent gods (Acts 19:23-28), although such a practice is forbidden in the Bible (Exodus 20:4-5). Many times men have called themselves gods and called on others to worship them. Some, who refuse to acknowledge any accountability to a Supreme Being, have in effect become their own gods.

Self-Evidence of God

The Bible does not attempt to prove there is a God. It assumes this knowledge is woven into the very being and consciousness of men. It says that the fool denies His existence (Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1). It notes that wicked men seek to forget Him (Psalm 10:4). In archaeology it is considered a proof that man has been present if there is evidence of the worship of God. No dictatorship has yet been able to wipe out the belief in God, in spite of strenuous efforts.

Man, throughout most of history, has been incurably convinced in the center of his being that God exists and that he is answerable to Him. This knowledge is the very basis of his accountability. “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

The firm conviction of the existence of God was present long before man assembled arguments for and against the belief. It takes a systematic attack by the state, by the educational process and by the popular media to weaken belief in God. It is also evident that as pride, intellectual arrogance, wickedness and social degeneration increase, so does questioning about God’s existence. Some ask, “Why should we believe in God? We can account for everything on a natural or evolutionary basis.” Those who feel they are more intelligent than believers in God should consider:

1. Nothing is Self-Originating.

No scientific work has ever demonstrated an endless chain coming from nothing. In fact, nothing ever comes out of nothing. The Bible says, “every house is built by some man; but He that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).

2. Elaborate Structures Require a Maker or Designer.

Any major part of a man, such as his brain or his eye, is more complicated than a data processing machine or a watch. Yet no one would believe the latter came into existence by chance.

Biblical View of God

1. There is One God

Both Old and New Testaments alike proclaim that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5; 1 Timothy 2:5). Judaism and Islam agree with the Christian faith in this. Men often speak of other gods (1 Corinthians 8:5-6) and the Bible sometimes uses the word in an inferior sense (Exodus 7:1; Psalm 82:6), but there is only one true God.

2. God Exists in Three Persons

The one God is a plural rather than a simple unity. He is one in essence but revealed in Scripture as plural in distinctions of personality. One name for God in the Old Testament is Elohim, used about 2600 times. It is plural in form though at times used with a singular verb. Deuteronomy 6:4 is the classic Jewish affirmation that there is only one God. “The Lord our God is one Lord.” This verse uses Elohim. We further note that God often speaks of Himself even in the Old Testament as “us” or “we” (Gen. 1:26, 3:22). No king of Israel speaks of himself in this way.

There are references which intimate a distinction between “God and God” (Psalm 45:6-7, cf. Hebrews 1:8, or “The Lord said to my Lord” Psalm 110:1, cf. Matthew 22:42-46). The fuller revelation of God as existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is given to us in the New Testament. Each is plainly called God, even though the New Testament plainly affirms there is only one God.

a. The Father is God. See 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Peter 1:17.

b. The Spirit is God. See Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17.

c. The Son is God. See 1 John 5:20; Titus 2:13; John 1:1, 14; John 20:26-28; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 1:8, 17-18.

All divine attributes are attributed to each. The qualities of will, emotion and reason are attributed to each. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct from one another and yet joined in divine association (1 Peter 1:2; Jude 20-21). Their names are joined in the baptismal formula (Matthew 28:19) and the Apostolic Benediction (2 Corinthians 13:14). They can be further identified in the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17), and the Discourses in John (John 14:16-20; John 15:26; John 16:7-16). The oneness is also shown (John 14:9; John 17:22).

They are called the persons of the Godhead although they differ from what we mean by “persons.” They are not three different gods, nor a three-headed god. There is but one God in substance. The word “Trinity” is used as a convenience to describe the Godhead although it is not in the Bible. The same is true with the expression “Triune God.” Since we have nothing to parallel God in this respect, we have no term in our language that fully expresses this truth. The Bible does not explain it. We should accept the direct statements of Scripture and leave it at that.

3. God is Spirit

See John 4:24. He may take the form of a man or be heard in a voice. He may manifest Himself in some natural occurrence such as thunder or lightning. Yet He is an invisible spirit being who is not bound by space, time and form.

4. God Has Personality

He is not a mere principle or idea. Such personal characteristics as knowledge (1 John 3:20), sensibility or emotions (Genesis 6:6) and will or decision-making (James 1:18) are attributed to Him. He manifests both love and anger. He remembers or chooses to forget. He makes decrees and announces the future. God is not a self-functioning machine. It is of the greatest comfort to the believer to know that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). No principle or impersonal force would justify the statement of 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you.”

The word for “God” in our language is taken from “good.” He is indeed good. He is also called the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, the Savior, the Redeemer and many other names. The name Jehovah is taken from JHVH, a four letter word for the Divine Name in the Old Testament. It was never pronounced and its full spelling or pronunciation is guess work. No one can Scripturally say that any one word is the only name acceptable for God. It is essential that we know the God of the Bible, who is the One commanding us to know His Son Jesus Christ. He is the only way to God (John 14:6).

Study Guide The Person Of God

It is important to know in whom we believe. What is He like? Do you have false ideas about Him?

1. God is (select one)

a. an idea.

b. a force.

c. a man.

d. a spirit.

2. Which of the following most describes your concept of God?

a. policeman

b. manager

c. your own father on earth

d. a machine

e. none of the above

3. How would you describe God to someone who had not ever heard of Him?

4. Does the Bible attempt to prove the existence of God, or does the Bible assume that God’s existence is self-evident (Genesis 1:1)?

How would a person know there is a God even if he did not have the Bible (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:19-20)?

Why do you believe God exists?

5. The Bible teaches that there is

a. one God.

b. there are three gods.

c. there are many gods.

d. we all worship the same god.

6. How does the Bible account for other “gods” that men worship (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)? Paraphrase (rewrite in your own words) this passage.

7. How would you explain to someone the following: The Father is God. The Son is God. The Spirit is God. There is only one God.

8. God is a spirit means:

a. He cannot be known by us.

b. He cannot be seen.

c. He cannot reveal Himself visibly.

d. He is not personal.

9. What do you say? Because God is a person, it is possible to have a personal relationship with Him. How would you describe your present relationship with Him?

10. What do others say? Contact at least three people this week and ask them the following questions. You may wish to say something like the following:

“I’m involved in a Bible Survey here in (name city). Could you help me by sharing your opinion on three important questions? (1) How would you define God? (2) In your opinion, what is the greatest proof that God exists (or if person does not believe God exists, ask why)? (3) If you could ask God anything, what would you ask? Thank you so much for your help. Would you like for me to mail/e-mail you a copy of the survey results? Thank you.”

Record their names and addresses on the 3x5 cards provided by the class leader. Record the answers on the back, indicating if survey results are desired. Then return the cards next class meeting. Results of the survey will be tabulated by the class leader and mailed to each person indicating an interest.