God, Who is God?, Names of God, Quotes About God, God Images

Who is God?

YHWH is given in the Bible as God's actual name. In most English Bibles it is translated as Lord, in small capitals. The name has various other English versions, including Yehovah, Jehovah, and Yahweh. The most likely meaning of the name may be "He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists," but there are many theories and none is regarded as conclusive.
God is the triune Supreme Being, the sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe, the principal Object of the Christian faith. God is the eternal ruler of all things and beings that exist, whether in the physical universe or in the spiritual realm (Heaven). Not only is God the creator and ruler of the things and beings within those two realms, but he is also the creator of the realms themselves. God created the physical universe, and before he acted in this creation, the universe did not exist. Likewise God did with the spiritual realm. From the biblical viewpoint it is generally agreed that it is impossible to give a strict definition of the idea of God. This is because using finite language to define an infinite God quickly proves inadequate. God is the Alpha and Omega, the first and last, the beginning and the ending. God is also the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Attempts have been made, however, to give a definition for Who and What God is. Anselm said that God is "that than which nothing greater is conceivable" and that he is "the supreme Being." Yet, this does not begin to encompass what God has revealed of himself in the Bible regarding his existence, nature, character, purposes, and most significantly in the person of Jesus Christ. The study of God is theology.

"I AM who I AM." - Exodus 3:14

"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us..." - Acts 17:24-27

God is Revealed: How we know about God


Other than creation itself, God is revealed in several ways, including conscience which testifies to us that certain things are wrong; and by special revelation through the Church; the bible and the prophets. Most importantly though, God is revealed in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. The Church teaches that we have knowledge of God, only because God has shown himself to his creation. God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us; "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Ps 118:26-27). Also, God's self-revelation is found in His Son Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the gradual and partial revelation of God in the Old Testament. Jesus is the one truly "blessed ... who comes in the name of the Lord."

Attributes or Character of God


Almighty God
The attributes of God are things that describe who he is. Similar to the way one might describe a close friend to another individual, so too do these attributes describe God's character and nature. Attributes of God include but are not limited to Wisdom, Infinitude, Sovereignty, Holiness, Trinity, Omniscience, Faithfulness, Love, Omnipotence, Self-existence, Self-sufficiency, Justice, Immutability, Mercy, Eternal, Goodness, Gracious, and Omnipresence. These attributes all work in complete and perfect harmony with one another.

God is Holy

According to the Scriptures, and the experience of the saints of both the old and New Testaments, God is absolutely holy. This means literally that he is absolutely different and unlike anything or anyone else that exists. He is so unique and so perfect that his existence cannot be compared to any other existence. God is absolutely transcendent, "what he is, by essence and nature, is altogether beyond our comprehension and knowledge" (St. John of Damascus).

God is Triune

Although the Bible does not use the term, it is clear that God is a triune God, or three in one. These are referred to as God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. The first hint of the Trinity is in Genesis 1:26 which relates God saying, "Let us make man in our image", indicating that God is a plurality. The three persons of God are treated as equivalents in these words of Jesus shortly after His resurrection:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19

One God, the Holy Trinity

The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion — the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another, each of whom 'dwells' in the other two, by virtue of a perpetual movement of love. God is not only a unity but a union.

Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God." In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son. Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent. This, the Church teaches, is the revelation regarding God's nature which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver to the world: and which she proposes to man as the foundation of her whole dogmatic system.

There is therefore nothing created, nothing subject to another in the Trinity: nor is there anything that has been added as though it once had not existed, but had entered afterwards: therefore the Father has never been without the Son, nor the Son without the Spirit: and this same Trinity is immutable and unalterable forever. - St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, P.G., X, 986.

Just as the Father is "ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever-existing and eternally the same" (Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom), so the Son and the Spirit are exactly the same. Every attribute of divinity which belongs to God the Father: life, love, wisdom, truth, blessedness, holiness, power, purity, and joy, belong equally as well to the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Father Almighty

It is God, the Yahweh of Israel (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), whom Jesus Christ has claimed to be his Father. God Almighty is known as "Father" through his son Jesus Christ. Jesus taught man to call the Almighty God by the title of Father. Before Jesus no one dared to pray to God with the intimate name of Father. It was Jesus who said, "Pray like this: Our Father who art in heaven ..."

Jesus is God

The first verse of the Gospel of John, in which Jesus is referred to as the "Word", makes clear that Jesus is synonymous with God:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." - John 1:1This verse not only says that "the Word" (Jesus) is synonymous with God, but also says that the Word was "in the beginning", which means that He existed before all else existed, something that is only true of God.

This is reinforced two verses later, in which Jesus is described as the creator. Genesis refers to God as being the Creator.

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." - John 1:3

The Holy Spirit is God

In the following passage, the Holy Spirit is referred to as God:

Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." Acts 5:3-4

God is Omniscient

God is everywhere: The omnipresence of God is one of the divine attributes of the Creator particularly stressed in Church teachings. Loving the whole of his good creation, God dwells within the world that he has made because of his goodness and love for man. This is not to say that God "is" his creation, for he is more than that, God is above and outside his creation, yet he also exists within it.

We don't know God by his essence and nature, but his energies come down to us. God's energies, which are God himself, permeate all his creation, and we experience them in the form of deifying grace and divine light. Truly our God is a God who acts in history, intervening directly in concrete situations.

God knows everything: "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." - 1 John 3:19-20

Because God is outside of time, He can see and knows the past and the future as well as the present.

"God" sometimes used to refer to God the Father


In the bible, the word "God" does not always refer to God's being as a whole, but more specifically refers to the Person of the Father (God the Father). Here are some verses which demonstrate this:

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

1 John 4:10

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

Notice how in each case, "Father" can be substituted for "God." For example, "For the Father so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son," and "not that we loved the Father, but that He loved us and sent His Son."

Terminology

The Bible uses several different words to refer to God. "God" itself is not a name, but an Old English word meaning supreme being, deity, which the translators who translated the Bible in to English chose as the appropriate English word for the Hebrew Elohim and the Greek Theos used in the Old Testament and New Testament respectively.

The other main term for God is the Hebrew Adonai, usually translated Lord. There are various compound words also used in the Bible, such as el shaddai, which means God Almighty ("el" is a short version of elohim).

YHWH is given in the Bible as God's actual name. In most English Bibles it is translated as Lord, in small capitals. The name has various other English versions, including Yehovah, Jehovah, and Yahweh. The most likely meaning of the name may be "He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists," but there are many theories and none is regarded as conclusive.

The Holy Trinity
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