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What is God?

“Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? They are high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know?” —Job 11:7-8

The very short answer to this question is: in the context of a scientific definition (like how we can know what a star is), we cannot know what God is. The “depths of God,” as the writer of Job puts it, is beyond our mere mortal understanding. So let’s talk about what we can know.

God is Spirit

God does not have a physical body like you or me. He is not confined to one place or time. God is in this moment and a hundred years ago and in the last moment of our earth's existence. He is present as I sit here and write this—just as He is present where you sit and read this in the future. You cannot find a place in time or space without God (Psalm 139:7-12).

Now, it is important to note that while God is everywhere and everywhen, not every thing is God. God is not in the rocks and trees, but the rocks and trees reflect God's creativity and goodness. In the darkest tunnel, God is there, but the damp stone walls are not made of God, they are made by God.

God is Self-Existent

In Exodus 3:13-14, Moses asked God, "Who should I say sent me?" At first glance, God's response may have seemed confusing. "God said to Moses, 'I AM who I AM. ...Say this to the people of Israel: "I AM has sent me to you."'" Basically, God answered the question of His identity with the fact that He exists. But what does that mean?

You know how everything exists or happens because something caused it? You go to school because your parents signed you up for school; your parents signed you up for school because you were of the age to go to school; you were of the age to go to school because your parents had a child who grew up—and it was you! For everything in life, we can find a previous domino—something that came before which caused the next thing to happen, which caused the next thing, and so on.

God doesn’t have a “previous domino.” There is no before when it comes to God. God just IS. Nothing created Him; He IS the Creator. Nothing caused God; He has always been in existence (Acts 17:25). There are no pieces before Him. If He were to cease to exist, all else would cease immediately (Job 34:14-15).

God has been called the Alpha and Omega because He is the beginning and the end, but He's outside of time too. God is everywhere, in every time, and bigger than our brains can comprehend.

God is Three-in-One

God is not alone in His self-existence. He exists as three separate, unique beings: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Spirit (Holy Spirit). Now, we’re not going to dive too deep into the concept of the Triune God because this article would get way too long before we even scratched the surface.

So let's look at the basics of understanding the Trinity of God. Scripture is clear that:

  1. God is one being (Deuteronomy 6:4).
  2. God is a triune (three) being (Matthew 28:19).

This literally means God is both one being and three beings at the time same time. You may be asking, "How exactly does that work? Isn't that contradictory?" Yet everything in the Bible points to both of these statements as true. How it works? That falls under the category of "things our finite minds cannot grasp." I don’t believe we can truly understand the Trinity this side of Heaven. (If you're into deep theology, read "What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?" on GotQuestions.org)

God is Personal

Thinking of God simply as a self-existent triune being may be a bit intimidating and hard to relate to. But God is NOT an impersonal, abstract being, operating like a cold, unfeeling process of physics. God is personal in the sense that He has a will and intention.

“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure..." —Isaiah 46:9-10

God has a plan and reason for what He chooses to do and what He allows. (Also see: What does it mean that God is sovereign?) Jesus is our best example of God's personal nature. Just read Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John to see how God has intention, reason, and a specific plan for all He does and allows. And that leads us to the best part...

God is Love

"Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." —1 John 4:8

God is the originator of the entire concept of love. In fact, He's the essence of love. God gives His love freely (1 John 4:7; Psalm 86:15), unendingly (Romans 8:37-39), and sacrificially (John 3:15; John 15:13; Romans 5:8). God cannot help but love.

God's love is one of the key reasons why we can trust Him. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."

God is a being outside of our understanding. He always was, always is, and always will be. He chose to create us, and He chose to love us. And we get to spend a lifetime learning what we can of who and what He is.

TL;DR

God is a spirit who does not have a body, lives outside of our understanding of time and space, and has no beginning and no end. God is a mystery of being both one and three. God is love. The more we study Him, serve Him, and love Him, the more we realize how much more there is to know.

By: Heidi Joelle

Heidi Joelle spends her days staring at paperwork and making sure it is where it is supposed to be, how it is supposed to be, when it is supposed to be. And then she comes home and makes sure the porky little dog isn't eating a trashcan. Between these two events she tries to learn and see as much of the world around her as possible. 


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