Is there a God?
Before you begin this section watch this video and write down your thoughts:
Is There a God?
Most people have some idea that God exists. However, with such a wide variety of concepts possible, many of the ideas may not be accurate. An incorrect image of God, or even total ignorance about God, is a real problem. It is difficult to place our faith in something or someone we don't even know. The important matter for us as Christians, then, is to explore who the God of the Bible really is so we won't be confused in our beliefs.
Respond to the following statements. Do you agree or disagree?
- Though outward forms of religion vary across the planet, one thing is constant: human beings everywhere have a desire to know God.
- It is God who has placed this desire for meaning within the human race. Romans 2:14-15
- Not all people are aware of, or respond to, this universal desire. Nevertheless, God has placed it within us so that we might find him when we seek. (Christianity 101 Word In Action 2008)
We see evidence of God in many ways:
- The beauty and complexity of what we call "nature" points to the existence of God. Romans 1:20 It is difficult to conceive that nature could exist in all its various forms without the guiding influence of God.
- Life as we know it seems to have a purpose. That purpose must only make sense in relation to an existent God, not in meaningless and random occurrence of events. Watch This Video
- The very fact that we have conscious thoughts, that somehow we know we are alive, seems to indicate that there is an existence beyond ourselves. That existence is God. All life comes from and is sustained by God.
- The universe seems to follow a moral structure. Some things are always right; some are always wrong. This built-in "moral compass" comes from the characteristics of the perfect God who created this universe.
In Genesis 1:1 it says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It is important to note that the Bible begins with the assumption that God exists.
Here is another video to consider. Watch it and respond. Kirk Camron Speakes to an Athiest
What do Nazarenes believe about God?
We could read the Bible for the rest of our lives and still not understand the full nature and character of God. However, we can identify a few generally accepted attributes. Here is the official statement found in the MANUAL of the Church of the Nazarene:
We believe in one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that He only is God, [creative and administrative,] holy in nature, attributes, and purpose[;]. The God who is holy love and light [that He, as God,] is Triune in essential being, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Read the following Bible verses. What do these references say about the nature of God?
Genesis 1; Leviticus 19:2; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Isaiah 5:16; 6:1-7; 40:18-31; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19-20; John 14:6-27; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:4-6; Ephesians 2:13-18; 1 John 1:5; 4:8
Who is God?
Here are three important things to know about God:
- God is alive.
- God is holy.
- God is love.
To say that God is alive is to say that God exists. God is not some impersonal force in the universe that causes things to happen. Though without a human body, God has describable characteristics - one of which is life.
To say, "God is holy," is to say more than we can imagine. There is purity--a holiness to God that is beyond our human ability to describe. Set over against God's holiness, everything else in the universe is unfolding, unclean by comparison. Even the most sacred thing we can imagine doesn't even come close to being as holy as God.
This thought brings us into close contact with the third characteristic - God is love. God lacks nothing. He is not incomplete in any way. He has no need to grow or develop. There is absolutely nothing that humans can provide that God needs. Yet, he loves. He loves all he has created - from the smallest atom to the most complex human being. He loves because God is love.
One of the ways we try to describe the completeness of God is to use some "all" phrases we say that God is "all-powerful," "all-knowing," "all loving." There is no room [nor need] for growth in any of God's characteristics because he is already complete and perfect in all of them.
The doctrine of the Trinity states that the one true God reveals himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is not three Gods. The Trinity is one God who reveals himself as three persons.
The word "Trinity" does not appear in the New Testament, but the doctrine of the Trinity is true to the way God is spoken of in the Bible. The doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery, but the Bible and Christian experience make the doctrine necessary.
Study to see what Scriptures say about the Trinity: