"God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM, has sent me to you'" (Exodus 3:14).
God's reference to Himself as the "I AM" was meant to convey God's divine attributes. Instead of "I AM", God could have referred to Himself as the eternal, holy, self-existent, self-sufficient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient creator and sustainer of all that exists.
Eternality refers to God having no beginning or end. Humans are finite creatures trapped in a space-time existence; we are not capable of comprehending something that is infinite. God is infinite. God is not bound by space and time -- He in fact created it, and exists independent of it: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty'" (Revelation 1:8).
God is holy. Holiness means that God is pure -- both in thought and in action. In Him there is not even the possibility of doing evil. Secondly, holiness means that God transcends all creation; He is infinite, and we are finite.
Everything that has a beginning needs a cause for its being; this includes not only the physical universe, but also the space/time dimension in which we function. A created thing cannot create itself, so it follows that there must exist a first cause, an uncaused cause, that is responsible for everything that has come into being. The uncaused cause could not have come into being, but instead would have to be self-existent. God is the uncaused cause -- the self-existent being through which all that has a beginning has come into existence: "Through him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it" (John 1:3-5)
God is self-sufficient -- He does not need humans. God does not need any of the things He has created. His existence is not dependent upon His creation, but rather, the creation is totally dependent upon the creator: "Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God" (Psalm 90:2).
Omnipotent refers to all-powerful. God is omnipotent -- He has total power and control over His creation: "For nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37). Does this mean that God can do anything? No. God cannot do something that violates His nature, or that results in a logical contradiction. For example, God cannot lie; nor can God force one of His creatures to love Him since, by definition, love is something that cannot be forced.
God is omnipresent. Omnipresence refers to God's ability to be fully present everywhere at all times. God exists independent of His creation -- time and space are part of that creation: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there" (Psalm 139:7-8).
God is omniscient. God has full knowledge of all aspects of His creation; His knowledge is absolute: "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13).
By now it should be clear that God cannot be viewed in an anthropomorphic sense. Though Scripture often refers to God in the masculine (Father), this is not to be taken literally. God is no more a man than He is a plant (John 15:1) or a chicken (Psalm 17:8). God uses typology to convey His divine attributes. Though God is not a man, He has told us how He wishes to be addressed -- which is in the masculine -- and we must honor that: "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name" (Luke 11:2).
Finally, God is one -- He is one in essence and three in person. Person refers, not to 'people,' but to personality. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are each fully God; but each exists independently within the essence of the one God. While finite man cannot comprehend infinite God, we can, however, accept God's truths as revealed through the Holy Scriptures.
"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12).
|Return | What Is the Gospel? | What Must I Do to Be Saved? | Home|