Describing God

Most churches have an internet presence, and on their website post a series of belief statements.  Many if not most will have a belief statement describing God including how God describes Himself.  The church talks about “who God is” by a listing a series of attributes of God found in Scripture.

This belief statement usually contains all or most of these thoughts:

God is a Spirit and is the Creator of all things. He alone is eternal (has always existed) and is the self–existing one (He is completely self–sufficient and independent of anything else for His existence). He is loving, all–knowing, all–powerful, omnipresent (present everywhere at all times), unchanging, holy (without sin), just, long–suffering, gracious, righteous, and merciful. He is the One True God (all other so–called gods are nothing but man–made idols) who reveals Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Here is one Example:link

What is most interesting to me is that when we examine the Biblical text which define and authenticate these ideas, God is not simply giving us a list of His attributes.  God is actually defining Himself in the context of activities or events, as well as dealings with us individually and corporately as human beings.

Look at these brief examples:

Genesis 15:7 “I am the LORD, who brought you out…”
Genesis 26:24 “I am the God of your father Abraham…”
Genesis 28:13 “I am the God of Abraham…and the God of Isaac…”
Genesis 46:3 “I am God, the God of your father…”
Exodus 3:6 “I am the God of…Abraham…Isaac…and Jacob”
Exodus 6:7  “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.”
John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;”

Do you see the pattern here?  God’s definition of Himself is found in relationships, and His own actions within those relationships.

Should someone ask me, “Who is your best friend?”, I would not respond, “She is this wonderful, 5 ft. 4 in. female, approximately 66 years old, brunet, hazel eyes, and a smile that never ends.”  These are attributes of my friend, but they don’t really answer the question.  So, my answer would be “She’s my wife.”  I find the answer in relationship, not attributes, although the attributes are fantastic!

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is completely filled with God desiring to reveal Himself in relationship with individuals and with mankind as a whole.  He reveals Himself through these relationships and His actions.  In thousands of stories and interactions with humanity, the divine God, the LORD of all creation reveals Himself in control, as authoritative, and always present among us.

Is God eternal?  Is He self-sufficient?  Is He loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent, unchanging, without sin, just, long-suffering, gracious, righteous, and merciful?  Without a doubt, the LORD is all this and more!

However, the only way to realize or experience these truth-statements, is in a personal faith act of your choosing to believe God is who He claims to be!

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

This means that to be properly in relationship with God a person has to move beyond the intellectual assent of knowing facts about God’s attributes, to a place of believing God has revealed all this information just for you; so that you can know, then believe it to be so.

The ultimate revelation of Himself to humanity is the Man/God, Jesus.  In His physical presence on earth, He established one simple fact: the LORD desires relationship with individual human beings.  Jesus demonstrated in very clear actions and words, that God loves every one of us.  He said He wouldn’t leave us as orphans on this worn out, sin-filled planet. He said, one day He would return to take us where He is.

The questions posed in all this information:

Do you know God, or know about God?
Are you in relationship with God, or are you hung up on His attributes?
Who is God to you?

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