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God

To come to a reasonable understanding of the purpose and duty of God’s people, we must first understand something about our Creator. Obviously, we can never know all about God or in this format even begin to express very much about Him. Scripture, though, does tell us everything we need to know about our God.

First, Scripture tells us that God is Love:

Beloved, let us love one another:  for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

Love is defined as what God is in Himself. To understand true love, we must first study God’s word and learn about Him. We read in that word:

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God’s love for His sinful creatures is so great that He gave His Son, first to humble Himself and take on our created nature. Second, to live amongst His creatures as a babe, a child and then a man, teaching us and demonstrating by His life, His deeds and His words what was real, right and worth far more than life itself. Third He suffered and died in our place, paying for our sin-incurred debt, so that we might live forever with Him.

All this is so magnificent, so very different from the usual life-events we ordinarily encounter, that we, coming on the scene two millennia later, would never have believed a word of it without a great deal of additional proof. Were we left to do so on our own we would, and have, simply rejected the whole story as absolute fiction. God, of course understanding us far, far better than we understand ourselves, sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within His chosen creatures, to free us from Satan’s bondage, and open our eyes, that we might perceive true reality, believe and live.

To assure us that all this is not merely temporary, God tells us that He loves all those that are in Christ with an inseparable love:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39)

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life;  and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;  that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:11-13)

Second, we are told that God is infinite, eternally existent and never changes:

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth:  and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure:  yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment;  as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (Psalm 102:25-27)

For I am the LORD, I change not;  therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Mal. 3:6)

We are blessed by the stability of God; He has no beginning, no end and personally created and knows all things. They shall perish, but He remains forever. Because God is who He is, we can be sure of the future; He never changes His mind.

Third, we are told that God exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:  and these three are one. (1 John 5:7)

Our God is the Triune God. He exists for all eternity as three persons, and these three are one. There is total unity and total diversity within the godhead. The three persons each have total knowledge of all things and are in full agreement with each other. In their eternal being, they are all equal; there is no superiority or subservience within the Godhead. This relationship is emulated by Christians that normally and by preference live closely together in families that, in turn, exist peacefully in larger societies. The tendency for governments to grow too large and too intrusive is mollified and offset by these strong familial and societal ties.

Muslims and others that place their faith in a unitary god do not share these characteristics. They reflect the god they believe in and tend to be individualistic, living in polygamous families that lack the tightness and closeness typical of the monogamous Christian families. They as individuals tend to be loners; the societies they form tend to be monolithic. They lack the strong, self-governing family structures that temper the tendency of civil governments to grow without any effective constraints, into absolute, totalitarian forms. Their men, without the tempering effect of the close presence of a single wife, tend to be self-centered, aggressive and warlike.

We see then how plentifully God’s blessings flow, coming even from the very nature of His Being. The tri-unity of the Godhead makes a stable society possible. Without it, family ties weaken, civil governments become stronger, more oppressive, and ultimately totalitarian. With it, father, mother and children live together in a tight bond of love, one that tempers the tendency of central governments to grow without limits. God is indeed great! He knows us so much better than we know ourselves and, in His loving care, provides for our every need.

Fourth, God created all things, the physical universe and everything in it: billions of stars, planets, all living things and the environments that keep them alive. Here are the Apostle’s words to the idol-worshippers of ancient Athens:

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being;  as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:24-28)

To say that God is great is a gross understatement. He is far more than merely great; He cannot be an addition to the catalogue of great men and great things of this world. To do so is to detract from the reality of His Being. He is our ultimate environment: For in him we live, and move, and have our being. To push God into a corner of our lives as so many of even God’s people do today is the pinnacle of foolishness. How can we ignore, so much of the time, the One that giveth to all life, and breath, and all things?

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;

Praise him, all creatures here below;

Praise him above, ye heav’nly host;

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.[1]

[1] Text: Thomas Ken, 1637–1711. Music: Louis Bourgeois, ca. 1510–1561. From Genfer Psalter, 16th century.