Apologeet.nlWhat is God Like?
Silly Christian, you can’t even explain who God is.
I would love to explain to you what God is like… But, to do so would be of no value to anyone. All I can know and explain is what God revealed to us in the Bible. And that is what I will do!
As I have showed you in earlier videos, the Bible is the written revelation of God. The name of the God of the Bible is YHWH, which basically means ‘I am who I am’. This is the name He gave Moses. God is nothing like the spirit of Alladin’s lamp or Santa Claus. Anselm said that ‘God is that, the greater than which cannot be conceived’1
God showed Himself as one God, and yet there are three Persons in the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7)
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
God is Spirit (John 4:24) and as such we can not see or touch Him. But it is wonderful to know that God became man and lived among us in the person of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16).
God is creative. Just read the Genesis account of creation. Look around and look at yourself. Blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, red hair, black hair, blond hair… God created us to have an enormous potency to vary.
He is all-knowing (omniscient). He created the natural laws and He understands them all. It will not surprise Him when you do something totally unexpected. He will never say: “Wow, I did not expect that!” He is the Creator of time and as such He is not under the restriction of time. The past, present and future are all under His control.
The biblical God is all-powerful (omnipotent). He never grows tired, bored or disinterested. His power is endless and He will never run out of it.
God is also all-present (omnipresent). He is everywhere, it is impossible to escape Him like Jona found out the hard way.
God is always the same (immutable). This makes Him completely reliable because you don’t have to wait until He is in a good mood. You don’t have to be afraid that He acts out of irrational impulses. He is He and always be the same. He has no beginning or end because all that has begun to exist needs to have an absolute cause outside itself. God, as creator, is the one outside all that exists.
He is also perfect or, like the Bible says, holy. He is more holy than we ever can imagine. He is so holy that He cannot look on sinfulness. As a perfect being He has never sinned. He cannot even sin. So when someone asks you whether there is something God cannot do, this is your answer: he cannot sin. But this is troublesome for us. I don’t know about you, but I am far from being perfect. How can I come even close to the perfect Creator?
Now we also have to talk a little about the consequences of God’s attributes. Because all the attributes together also brings us to the conclusion that He has to be absolutely just. He cannot dismiss sinful behaviour. Every sin, from small to big (if we can even make that distinction in light of perfectness) must receive a penalty. When my son steals candy from his brother I, as his father, will tell him to apologise and repay the debt. On a bigger scale, we would consider it immoral when a judge tells a murderer not to be naughty again, and then let the person go free. We demand justice in small and big cases. It is interesting that most of us understand this. It is a reflection of our Creator in our conscience. That reflection shows us that there is no injustice in God.
I don’t know about you but these attributes are pretty depressing when you consider that God is all that, and we can’t even come close. You don’t have to be an Einstein to know that you fall short in every way. The Bible is clear: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
But hold on! We did talk about just a few attributes but not nearly all. One aspect of God we didn’t mention yet is, love. The Bible teaches us that He is all-loving. He loves us and wants to be in close contact but at the same time He has to bring forth justice. Are love and justice two incompatible qualities? You might think so, right? Wrong! God, in His endless wisdom, came with the perfect solution. He, Himself, became man. He lived among us!
This man, you probably know as Jesus Christ, never disobeyed any God-given rule. He lived a sinless life and as such He could stand between us and God the Father as a perfect Mediator. Jesus offered Himself as the scapegoat for the whole of humanity.
The punishment we deserve is unbearable. Some think the punishment is like torture in the same way dissidents are tortured in some countries right now but than everlasting. Yeah right, like God enjoys the idea of having some deranged demons who, as appointed executioners, torment people in the hereafter. No, the Bible depicts a totally different scenario. The punishment is an everlasting separation from God’s proximity. This goes for humanity the same way as for those deranged demons, who, in reality are fallen angels. When judgement comes, God will separate that what belongs to Him, that what honours Him from that which is not His. All that what is good will be with Him. You enjoy friendship? It will be with God. All that what is good will be with Him. Now try to imagine nasty things. Not hard is it? Enmity, hatred, darkness, bitterness, pain, lies, filth, selfishness etc. These things will not enjoy an everlasting stay with God and they will be send in the place we call hell. The place where nothing good exists since all that is good will be with God.
What did Jesus do?
Anyway, let’s return to Jesus! What did He do? He, as sinless man, stepped up and took our place. He provided a way whereby we can have forgiveness. He paid our penalty in full. He took upon Himself all our wrongdoing and together with that load He died. He died a horrible death. He did not only died for your little mishap but also for the murderers, the thieves, the blasphemers. He took all sin and after being beaten to the bone he died on a cross. Sounds horrible? That’s because it is! Still, He did that to make sure justice can take its course. The wonderful thing is that He did not stay in the grave. Although he took all sin with Him, death could not hold Him. He never did anything that deserved the death-penalty. After three days He came back to the land of the living. Having conquered death He now sits at the right hand of God the Father. When you accept His offer, you too can live with God forever. Jesus will look at you and say: “Come now, and let us reason together […] Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 AMP).