Nature of God
do you mean by God's 'nature'?"
God's 'nature' means His characteristics, His attributes,
somewhere that man can't really know anything about the nature of God."
Among others, Smith, George H. Atheism: The Case Against
God. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books 1989 correctly points
out that man can never truly understand the essential nature of
a god. However, we can have an approximate
understanding of God's nature, a "working definition", and that is
all we really need. God tells us about Himself in the Bible
and He came in person and showed us what He is like
in the person of Jesus Christ.
"What is the
nature of the God Christians believe in? What are His characteristics,
His attributes, His qualities? What is He like?"
Christianity claims that the God of all things is unique in
that He alone has the following divine characteristics (in no
The God of Judaism and Christianity is the Supreme Being.
He is not merely a different type of being or a superior
being but the Supreme Being.
God is unique. The Bible describes Him in Greek as monogenesis,
i.e., "one of a kind", "having a unique nature."
He always has existed and always will exist. He had no beginning and
will never cease to exist. (Also see IMMORTAL
He knows all things.
He is all powerful.
He is everywhere at the same time.
God is the only thing that had no beginning, that was not created by something
Holy means pure, undefiled.
NATURE The one God is a single "trinity"
consisting of three distinct "persons":
- JESUS - often referred to as the
Son or "the Word of God"
- THE HOLY SPIRIT
Don't get hung up on the
"how can one be three?" issue!
Remember--we are imperfect, natural human
beings with physical bodies trying to understand a perfect,
supernatural spiritual being that does not have
a physical body. (Jesus' physical body was created; He did not always have
a physical body.) The best we can possibly hope for is just a "working
definition". Trying to understand the "triune" nature of
God intellectually is like trying to understand intellectually why some
things smell nice and some things don't, without actually smelling anything.
Also see Another
Look at the Trinity at http://www.carm.org/doctrine/trinitylook.htm
Deistic and theistic are adjectives from
the field of comparative religion. They describe the relationship between
a god and that which it creates. A deistic god is one that would distance
itself from that which it creates, one the would not get involved in the
activities of the things it created. A deistic god would essentially
be an "absentee father" god -- it would create a universe and
then sit back and says "I made you, but I don't want to get involved.
You're on your own!" The God of the Bible is theistic.
He does not distance Himself from that which He creates. He
gets actively involved in the activities of the things He
created. In fact, the God of the Bible 'micromanages' things.
God transcends that which He created, i.e., He "goes beyond"
that which He created, He is not limited to, He is not
bound by that which He created. For example, in the physical
universe it is impossible for a single being to consist of three distinct
persons, but God is not limited by physical laws, so He can
be one God and yet consist of three distinct persons.
Christianity claims that, in addition, this unique
God shares the following characteristics with certain other things:
The one God is a living being.
God is a living person with thoughts, reactions, etc., not an impersonal
A spirit is a living being that is incorporeal,
i.e., it does not possess a physical body. Note that Jesus took on
a physical human body. It is not an inherent part of His nature. By
comparison, our bodies are part of our human nature but we put on clothes.
A sentient being has intelligence, and also is aware
of its own existence, and aware that there is a 'big
picture'. For instance, cats, dogs, and horses have intelligence
but probably are not sentient.
God is a being that will live forever.
Note the technical difference between eternalness
and immortality: God is eternal because had
He had no beginning. He also is immortal because He
will live forever. Humans, angels, demons, etc., are immortal because we
will never cease to exist, but not eternal because we did not always exist.
It is important to realize that in practice eternal
and immortal are often used interchangeably and the technical
difference is not always maintained.
God is separate from that which He created. The universe itself
is not God. (The opposite is pantheism. Some "nature"
religions believe that the universe itself is god.)
(c) 1998 by Rick Reinckens
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