The Nature of God

The Bible describes the nature of God in many ways, which makes it clear that He desires that we know who He is and understand Him to the extent He reveals himself in His Word.

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour” (Isa. 43:10-11). God reveals himself as eternal, all powerful, all knowing, Creator, holy, loving, compassionate, just and true.

The greatest commandment to the children of Israel was “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deut. 6:4-5). Loving the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, and might leaves no room to love another god. This worship of a single, living God was unique to the nation of Israel in Old Testament times, in contrast to many of the nations around Israel. The temptation to worship other gods was always present. However, when they were faithful, keeping His status as the only living God became the focus of their zeal. 

In the simplest of terms, we believe there is only one God, and this Creator God exists as one essence in three Persons. The three Persons are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The existence of one God in three distinct Persons is known as the Trinity (derived from “tri-unity”). The word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture, but the belief in the Trinity is clearly a Bible-based belief.  Although we refer to three distinct persons, we believe that they are all the one eternal God. Three distinct persons are represented at the baptism of Jesus in Matt. 3:16-17 in God’s voice from heaven, in Jesus being immersed, and in the Spirit as a dove descending on Jesus. Other references include Matt. 28:19; 1 John 5:7; 2 Cor. 13:14 and Titus 3:4-6.

In the New Testament, we read that the Jewish people were unable to reconcile Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God with their belief in the uniqueness of the Father as the only living God. However, Jesus thought it “not robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:6), and even declared himself to be one with God (John 10:30). In many ways, this is a mystery and perhaps impossible for man to completely fathom. Regardless of our inability to fully comprehend the nature of God, we can know and be certain of what the Bible says about one God in three Persons.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one

Just before leaving the earth, Jesus gave His disciples their final instructions. He clearly communicated that they should baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In other conversations with His disciples, He reminded them of the unity (oneness) between Himself and the Father: “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), and “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19).

As the other pages in this section make clear, there is equality in the nature of all three Persons of the God-head. However, as we consider the whole counsel of God, and by His grace “rightly divide” these Scriptures, we see the three Persons occupying different roles. Jesus acknowledged that His Father is greater than He (John 14:28), and the Apostle Paul wrote that “the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3).  

See also: Who Is God