The God of the Bible describes himself as holy or "set apart." He is not like any created object or being - and is not to be represented by them. Though he created humans (in his "image" - Genesis 1:26-27) to be a "reflection" of who he is, he is far greater than anything we can comprehend. He is not merely a "super human."
In the Old Testament, God revealed his name by the consonants "YHWH" - perhaps pronounced as "Yahweh." (Old Testament Hebrews did not have vowels in their alphabet.) Some Bible translations use the name "Jehovah," but most use the word "LORD" (all capital letters) to represent his name, following the example of early Greek translations of the Old Testament.
The Bible tells us that there is no God except the God who is revealed in the Bible - which is his Word to us. Any other "god" is a counterfeit - a pretension of human origin. It is idolatry.
We need God's Word, in order to understand what God is like, for any other perspective is a distortion of his character and nature - a form of idolatry. People have a tendency to have a "God concept" that is influenced by personal experiences and desires, rather than by the Bible. Some may view God as a "loving God" who closes his eyes to sin, and who would never punish a person for wrongdoings. Others may view him as a mean, unloving tyrant, ready to strike us down for the tiniest "mistake." It is only as we allow God's revelation to mold our minds and hearts, that our "God concept" can become "godly."
This section focuses on some of the issues dealt with in the first two of the 10 Commandments:
- Who is God? There is only one God, and we must have no other.
- What is God like? We must not invent our own "interpretations" of who he is (whether a physical image, or a mental concept), but must accept in full what the Scriptures reveal about him.
[These two commands are also indirectly dealt with in the section about "Idolatry." However, the third and fourth commands, which focus more on our response to God, are included under the main topic, "Love for God."]
This is an outline of the verses where the phrase "Most High God" (or "Most High Lord") occurs, based on the NIV translation. Part 1 focuses on: "Who Is He?" and Part 2 focuses on: "What is His Relationship to People?"
A look at the seven places where the phrase "Mighty God" occurs in the Old Testament. In these verses, we learn a lot about God, about human nature, and about Jesus Christ. Each reference is a separate study, and has questions for reflection and application of what was learned. (This is a group of several separate articles.)
A few comments (only 2 sentences) about the way God does things. We often don't understand why he does things... but we know we can trust him to do what is right and ultimately best for us.
An extensive list of Scripture passages, which focus on God's dominion, power and rule over creation. It contains verse references and a short summary of each verse.
God's holiness should influence all that we do.
We live in a day in which false teachers often belittle the concept of "fear of God." Yet when we examine the Scriptures, we discover that a person cannot even be saved without it! (This is a group of several separate articles.)
The relationship between God and people is one of profound mystery, yet God has revealed to us many things about that relationship. He interacts with us on our level - the level of created beings and human responsibility. But he also reveals something about his interaction with us from his level - the level of Creator and God's sovereignty. He reveals both of these to us for our benefit - and we do not need to be afraid to openly acknowledge both.
A collection of comments related to this topic. It was written as part of a study on the relationship between God's sovereignty and the fulfillment of prophecy; but it is not limited to that issue.
An article five chapters long, which explores this issue in-depth. It also explains some of the reasons that people have difficulty in understanding these concepts. Also examined are the role of God's mercy, and the issue of "assurance of salvation" (how we can know if we are among the "elect"). (This is a group of several articles.)
This is probably the longest title I will ever have for an article - but it's still shorter than the titles of some of the old "theological classics," written a few centuries ago! With a title that long, I probably don't have to explain what the article is about!
More Articles about Sovereignty and Responsibility
Every now and then, something comes up that results in another article on this topic. They are all grouped here, in one place..
A look at some verses about God's goodness/kindness... and how we should respond.
A short article that looks at the verses in the book of Romans, where these three words are found.
This is an aspect of God that many people don't want to accept. They like the idea that "God is love," but they don't want to hear about this complementary character trait. Yet when we are not willing to pay attention to all that God reveals about himself, we end up with less than the God of the Bible. [Such distortions tend to lead to half-truths, false teaching and heresy.]
God described himself in this way...
"I am the Lord, I am the Lord, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness. I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations." (Exodus 34:6b-7)
Moses demonstrated the only right way for us to respond...
Moses immediately fell to the ground and worshiped. (Exodus 34:8)