4.1 Who is God?
This question is one that has intrigued people for thousands of years. This is not surprising; after all, it's only natural we would be curious about our Creator. + / -
People have come up with numerous conceptions of who they think God is (or, in some cases, what they think God is). Some of these depictions show God as powerful, majestic, or even as a simple human in either a white suit or a flannel shirt. Of course, Hollywood's portrayals aren't the most accurate sources for learning about God, so maybe we should begin by looking elsewhere for our answers.
4.2 What is God?
4.3 What are the attributes of God?
God is a spirit who has existed for all eternity. He is all-knowing (see John 21:17), all-powerful (see Matthew 19:26), and is present everywhere at all times (see Jeremiah 23:24). God is unchanging (see James 1:17), God is faithful (see 2 Timothy 2:13). He is holy and without sin (see Leviticus 19:2), forgiving and merciful (see Psalm 86:15). His ways are perfect and just (see Deuteronomy 32:4), gracious, merciful and above all else, God is love (see 1 John 4:16).
4.4 How do we know that God really exists?
God has chosen to reveal Himself to us both in the nature of the world He created, and in His special revelation, the Bible.
Most nations never received the Ten Commandments, yet they enact laws reflecting them. Our sense of morality and our conscience reveal that our Creator is a moral Being who holds His creatures accountable for their lives. Though we are sinners, God does not want us to be unaware that the Day of Judgment is coming for all people living or dead.
An author leaves elements of his personality in his characters. A photographer shares images of the world that reveals her perspective. Likewise, God's fingerprints can be seen throughout His creation.
Because of God's great love for us, He makes Himself known to us so we receive forgiveness of our sins, and give Him our heartfelt praise and worship. He has created us, and makes it possible for us to be able to grow in our faith until we are united with Him for eternity in Heaven.
4.5 What is the Trinity?
One of the most important things we should learn about God is that He is triune, meaning there are three separate and distinct Persons who make up our one and only God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Trinity is a mystery no human can ever fully understand. We simply must confine ourselves to the things God has revealed about Himself in the Bible and live with those things that are unknowable. The Christian church spent centuries struggling to find the most biblically accurate way to speak about it. We call the three formulas they ultimately agreed upon the Creeds.
4.6 What are the Creeds?
To help provide clarification and weed out errors within the church, the early church developed belief statements called, "creeds." Three creeds still in use by Christians today include the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. These creeds summarize who God is and what He has done for us through each of the Godhead's three Persons.
4.7 Who are the three Persons of the Trinity?
4.8 Did God really create the universe in six days?
The Genesis 1 account of the creation of the heavens and the earth depicts God's actual methods and timeframe for creation. When God gave the Third Commandment on Mount Sinai, He reinforced the six-day creation.
4.9 What does it mean to "create"?
To create something means to bring into existence that which had not existed before. So when we say God created the universe, we are saying God made all things out of nothing but the spoken words of His mouth. There were no pre-existing materials used in the construction of the universe; instead, He created both the object and also the materials from which the object was made. This is significant because it makes God the one and only Creator, solely responsible for the artistry and craftsmanship of His design.
4.10 How does biblical creation and evolution fit together?
Simply put, they do not fit together. The theory of evolution is based upon the premise that the building blocks for life were formed at the time of the Big Bang. Over time, this matter changed itself, growing and transforming into the life forms and systems we now see throughout our world. The Bible is clear when it describes God as the sole Creator of all things. God didn't use pre-existing materials because He didn't need them. Since God is by nature all-powerful, He didn't need to rely upon other things to create the universe.
4.11 What did God create on each of the six days?
According to the Bible account beginning in Genesis chapter 1, God created the universe in the following order:
4.12 How was the creation of man different than the rest of universe?
Mankind was created on the sixth day as the crown of God's creation. We were created in the "image of God" with an immortal soul and responsibilities to rule over God's creation. + / -
There are several distinct differences that set mankind apart from the rest of God's creation. First, before He created man, God the Father spoke with the other two Persons of the Trinity (the Son and the Holy Spirit) regarding this special creation. The humans God intended to create would be uniquely created in God's own image; they would be like Him in wisdom, righteousness and holiness. Next, though God formed all animals from the dust of the ground (see Genesis 2:19), He did something special after forming man's body from dust-He breathed into the man's nostrils and gave him life (see Genesis 2:7). This unique act of creation sets man apart from the animals and plants, man alone has within him a living soul. God created man with a specific responsibility as well as the talents and abilities to be able to rule over the rest of creation (see Genesis 1:28). Finally, God fashioned a companion for the man He created by taking a rib out of him to create a woman, who was also made in His image and possessing a soul. (Genesis 2:21-22)
4.13 What did God do after He finished creating all things?
God created the universe in six days, but the work of the Father didn't end there. Throughout the Bible, we read stories of how God continued to actively care for us and the world He created. + / -
After Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, God was there to immediately promise a Savior who would save his people from their sinfulness. In fact, God has instructed us in the words of 1 Peter 5:7 to "cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you." God took care of Noah and his family during the flood (see Genesis 9). God cared for Israel while they were in the wilderness (see Deuteronomy 8). God provided for Elijah, the widow and her son (see 1 Kings 17). God took care of Joseph, Mary and Jesus by alerting him to flee to Egypt (see Matthew 2). These are only a few of the many examples of how God showed love and care for His people, tending to their needs and insuring their safety.
To this day, God the Father continues to actively care for His creation. Our food, home, clothing, shelter, money and all other provisions are gifts given to us out of love by God.
4.14 What are angels?
Angels are spirit beings God created during the six days of creation. They are many and powerful. The holy angels serve God by obeying His command, protecting mankind, especially children (see Matthew 18:10), and bringing special messages from God (see Luke 1:26-27).
4.15 What is the devil?
God created all angels without sin, but some rebelled against Him. The leading angel was Satan, also known as the devil. He assumed the form of a serpent and tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3). Later he tempted Jesus in the Wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11). God limits Satan's works (see Job 1:6-12). On Judgment Day Jesus will cast Satan into hell forever (see Revelation 20:10).
"The Great Deceiver" is a video-based Bible study on the devil.
4.16 If God is active in our world today, why do bad things still happen?
When God first created the world, He created it to be perfect and without sin. However, once Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world, evil and suffering came with it. Our sins have tainted God's creation and are now a part of life we must all endure. Pain, suffering, hardships, disease, accidents and tragedies are unfortunate but common experiences in our sin-filled world.
In spite of our failure to follow God's will, He has not abandoned us. In fact, it is because of God's grace and mercy that He has provided us the path to salvation through Christ. + / -
Romans 8:28 gives us a clear reminder of the active love that God shows us in the face of the world's struggle. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." So while we will continue to deal with difficulties, we do so knowing we have a God who is there with us to guide everything that happens and make it turn out for our good-just as He brought our salvation out of the murder of His own Son Jesus.