To even attempt to comprehend the answer to this question requires that the created understand the Creator. It requires the finite to understand the infinite… the temporary to understand the eternal… the dying to relate to the living. It would be an impossible task if God Himself hadn’t invited us to know Him and provided us with information about Himself via the Bible.
God is Unique and Above All
God taught the ancient nation of Israel that He - Jehovah (The Self-Existent) - is one God. We can understand this to mean that He is alone among all beings as the only God. We can also understand it to mean that although He presents Himself in various forms, that He is one – and not many. In short, God Himself makes it clear that He is unique and greater than any other being. As the All-Powerful Creator, God commands us (as His created beings) to love Him with every fiber of our being.
God is Everything Good
According to the Bible, God created all things and saw that it was good. Through deceit, a lesser being (Satan) has corrupted that creation in his attempt to rebel against God and make himself greater than God. That rebellion introduced evil into the world, and with it suffering, disease, and death. We read in the Bible that God is all that is good. He is described as: kind, good, just, merciful, truthful, faithful, peaceful, patient, and holy. These are all characteristics that we deeply appreciate in others by design. God made us to appreciate and value all that is good. The Bible also described God as our heavenly Father. Learn more about this aspect of God.
God is a Righteous Judge
In addition to all of the characteristics that we think of as good, God is described by the Bible as a righteous judge, a consuming fire, and a jealous God. As our Creator, He will not tolerate the worship of false “gods”. We read that as a result of his holiness and justice, God will judge the world and condemn evil. He tells us that it is His desire that all men everywhere would come to the knowledge of the truth – both the truth about God and the truth about oneself – and repent (acknowledge one’s sin and turn from it). Once we recognize the purity and goodness of God compared to our selfish and evil tendencies, it is easy to understand why we are invited to stop living in sin and turn towards God. There is no joy in living selfishly. Those who have come to know God by faith will testify that it is a most fulfilling and joyful life. Many men struggle with the idea that God can be both merciful and a judge that would condemn sinners to eternal suffering. In fact, wouldn’t it be inconceivable that a righteous God would not condemn evil? Is there any meaning to mercy without clarity about what is just and right? Would it be good to permit evil to exist forever? Only when evil is overcome can good men live in peace.
God is a Spirit
Jesus taught that God is a spirit and that all who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. As physical beings, it may seem difficult for us to relate to an intangible spirit. However, we are taught that man also has a spirit. That intangible aspect of our existence has the ability to relate to God as a Spirit. However, we cannot expect to relate in a positive way to God’s Spirit if our spirit is evil and self-centered. We are instructed in the Bible that God will respond to a spirit that is humble and contrite – a spirit that recognizes one’s own sin and acknowledges the need for God’s goodness.
God is a Redeemer (Jesus)
To enable this, we read that God took the first steps toward reconciliation between humans and Himself. If we are honest, each of us must acknowledge that we have done things that are wrong and have hurt others. From the beginning of creation, God stated that those who sinned would die. In taking the first step toward reconciliation, God provided a way to live eternally by offering Himself (in the person of Jesus) to die in our place. His goodness recognizes that it is impossible for humans to live without ever committing some act of selfishness (sin), so in His love, God became a man (Jesus) and suffered death once - for all men - so that we do not have to die forever. The good news is that Jesus did not remain dead, because He had not committed any sin. The Bible relates many eyewitness accounts of those who saw Jesus alive after He had died. By coming back to life, Jesus showed that all who live as He lived, by faith in God, and by faith in Jesus as the Son of God, can be transformed in this life, and ultimately be raised from the dead to live forever. Learn more about Jesus.
God is a Comforter (The Holy Spirit)
God has also made Himself known as the Holy Spirit – an invisible but very real presence in the world. The Holy Spirit was called the “Comforter” by Jesus. He is also known as: a revealer and teacher of spiritual truth; the source of abilities beyond what man can accomplish; a provider of love, hope, and joy; a being that has the capability to rid men of evil (sanctify us); and a witness to all that is good in the spiritual realm where God lives. The Holy Spirit is promised to all who, by grace and faith, reject sin to follow Jesus and His example of righteous living. However, He will not inhabit the soul that continues in sin. To follow Jesus requires a transformed attitude that leads to obedience and holiness. Learn more about the Holy Spirit.
God is the Beginning and the End
As He is the Creator, the beginning of all things that are made, so God will be the Finisher. He makes it clear that He will bring about new heavens and a new earth and that all that is evil in this world will be destroyed. Even death will be destroyed. In the new creation, there will be no evil, no sadness, and no end. Separated from that new creation by an impassable barrier, will be a place of everlasting suffering. Those who have lived in rebellion against God will be condemned to that place. All that is corrupt will be eliminated from the new creation forever. In contrast, the mercy, kindness, goodness, patience, peace, and love of God will be shared with His people forever.
Just like you can’t really know who a person is through another person’s description, you really can’t know who God is until you meet Him and get to know Him. That is possible today if one is willing to believe that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If you seek Him in faith, repent (acknowledge your sin and turn from it), and empowered by Him live in a way that is like Him – loving, kind, patient, merciful, and just, then you will begin to know Him. Through faith in Jesus, believing that He died in your place, rose from the dead, and is in the presence of God today as an ambassador on your behalf, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this form, God will live in you and you will learn to know Him intimately – both now and forever. Learn more about the plan of salvation.