Who is God?
“Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:16).
There is likely no one on earth who has not thought about how the universe came into existence. Where did people come from? Is there a God, and what is He like? Where does God live and what does He do? As we look at ourselves and the world around us, we ask, “Where did this all come from?” Obviously, man could not make all the things we see. Then who did?
When we see tracks in the snow during the winter, we say, “Someone walked here.” Even if we did not see who it was, we can tell by the tracks whether it was an animal or a person, an adult or a child. In a similar way we can see the “footprints” of a great and wise God in everything around us.
No one has ever seen God. He is not visible to people. He does not have a body like us, and He lives in a world inaccessible to mankind. It is impossible to make a drawing of God or to describe Him with words, because no one knows such high and wonderful words that could describe His glory, omniscience, and beauty. But even so, God made it possible for man to learn much about Him and to have fellowship with Him.
To learn who God is, a person does not need to drive or fly anywhere. All you need to do is look at yourself and the world around you. Stop and think how marvelously man is made, and you cannot help but be amazed. How beautifully the birds sing in the morning! How majestically the sun rises above the earth! How wisely day and night, summer and winter were created! How harmonious it all is! In everything, absolutely everything, God’s wisdom and greatness are shown.
Who is this great and powerful God?
God is the Creator
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
“I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me” (Jeremiah 27:5).
Did you ever wonder about how and when the earth, the sun, the moon and stars, the oceans and rivers, the fish in the water, the birds in the sky, and the beasts in the forest came to be; and where man came from? Why, for example, does summer always come after spring, and never winter? Why do birds always migrate to warmer areas in the fall, and bears hibernate just before it gets cold? Why does our planet orbit the sun? Who put such a rigid and wise order in place in the whole universe? Who appointed such exact laws of nature?
The correct and true answer to these questions is given in the Bible. The Bible tells us God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible.
Do you know how God created everything? The Bible tells us “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6, 9). For an all-powerful God it was enough just to say a word and the land appeared, the rivers flowed, and the seas roared. God spoke and the beasts appeared, the birds flew in the sky, and fish swam in the rivers. God created man from the dust of the earth, breathed into him the breath of life, and put him in a wonderful place—the garden of Eden.
Only God can create something from nothing.
- What did God create?
- How did God create all things?
God is the Giver of Life
“The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).
Did you ever see a dead person? At first glance he doesn’t look different from anyone else. He has a head, hands, and feet. He may even be dressed in stylish clothes, but something is wrong. Life is missing. A dead person cannot see even though he has eyes, he cannot hear even though he has ears, and he does not breathe even though his lungs are still in place. When a person dies, we often say that he left this life, or that life has fled. What is life? Where does it come from?
People have been interested in this question for a long time. Scientists have studied different organisms and tried to bring forth life, but nothing has worked for them. Man cannot give life to even the smallest spider or insect. Life becomes an unsolved and unreachable mystery for the scientist.
When nature wakes up in the spring, you have seen how the forest is transformed and the flowers begin to bloom. A small, seemingly weak sprout will break through the asphalt and stretch toward the sun. What is this? It is the great, unfathomable, hidden power of life!
The Bible reveals the secret which scientists cannot understand. It tells us life is hidden in God Himself. He is the giver of life and the One who gives life to every creature. Without God giving life, the world would turn into a deathly still grave.
God does not only give earthly, temporal life, but He also gives eternal life to those who believe in Him as their God and Savior. If you want to escape eternal destruction, come to God and accept this priceless gift—eternal life. As you continue reading this book you will learn how to come to God for eternal life. For now, remember that there is no life without God.
- Who gives life to people, plants and animals?
- Is life possible without God?
God is Light
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
How good light is! It would be very hard to live without light. Darkness is not pleasant. Only robbers and people who do not want others to see their deeds of wickedness love darkness. God did not want people to live in darkness, so He created the sun and the moon to shine on the earth. He endowed light with a wonderful quality—the ability to chase away darkness.
The Bible says God is not only the creator of visible light, but He is light. In His presence everything is clear, open, and visible. All our secret thoughts and desires, that we can hide from people, are impossible to hide from God.
God reveals this truth even to children. As a child, you may have been tempted to take something belonging to someone else. You took it secretly. No one saw what you did or would have thought of accusing you of being a thief. But remember how your conscience pricked you—”You are wrong! It is not right to steal!” This was God convicting you and making you understand that it is forbidden to take someone else’s things! God works this way with everyone. When someone does wrong, they feel these pricks of the conscience. God is light, and He gives people an understanding of what is right and wrong.
Unfortunately, people love darkness more than light (John 3:19). A sinner does not love light because he wants to hide his evil actions. But God sees and knows everything. A day is coming when God will judge all people who did not love the light.
- Why is God called light?
- How does light reach the heart and what does it do?
God is a Just Judge
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11)
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
In the world in which we live, many kinds of crime happen every day: stealing, murder, violence, and suchlike. To keep order and to protect innocent people, criminals are judged and punished by the law. Judges can make mistakes in their judgment and condemn the innocent or justify the guilty. They may even knowingly judge wrong at times.
God is a just Judge. He is holy and without sin. Even though earthly judges may judge unfairly, God always judges honestly. He never does anything unjustly. God has a law, the Bible, in which are written all His commands. By this law He will judge all people, and reward each one according to their deeds.
Maybe you think God’s law does not affect you, because you never killed anyone or stole anything; but before God, even a small disobedience—anger, dishonesty, or lying—is transgression. The Bible tells us God will bring into judgment every deed—large or small, good or bad, secret or open. God will judge strictly and fairly.
God has given everyone the opportunity to repent so no one needs to die for their crimes. He wants everyone to live a righteous life, for which they can receive a reward. If you want to be justified in the judgment and receive a reward, you must know God’s law and live by it.
- Why do we need a judge?
- In what way can we escape the condemnation of God?
God Is Love
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9, 10).
God is a just Judge, and at the same time God is love. These qualities are beautifully combined in Him! God loves us and does not want to punish us. He has done as much as He can for us so we can receive a reward at the judgment, and not a death sentence.
How do we know God loves us? First of all, the Bible tells us so. Secondly, God reveals His love in action, and it becomes obvious to everyone.
God loves everyone, both those who do good and those who do evil. Every day the sun rises because God loves us. God gave life to everyone; this is also an expression of His love. But the greatest, most precious thing God did for everyone is give His Son, Jesus Christ, as a ransom for sin. This is the greatest love, and it cannot be described with words.
A mother’s love is considered the highest form of love on earth. Why? A mother tenderly cares for her children, trains them, and puts up with their childish antics. She is even ready to die for the good of her children. Yet a mother’s love can only be compared to God’s love in a very small way. Sometimes a mother rejects her child and leaves him to his own fate. God will never forsake His child. His love for us is far greater than a mother’s love.
It is impossible to describe God’s love, but it can be experienced. God loves you! He desires that you would love Him with all your heart and live with Him forever.
- How did God reveal His love to you?
God Is Eternal
“My days are like a shadow that declineth. . . . But thou, 0 LORD, shalt endure for ever” (Psalm 102:11, 12).
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding” (Isaiah 40:28).
God desires for you to love Him with all your heart and to live with Him forever. “Forever?” you ask. Yes!
The day that you were born is called your birthday, and is considered the beginning of your life. All people, animals, birds, and plants, and even the earth, stars, and sun, had a beginning. Only God is without beginning. He is eternal.
For an example, think of a circle. You cannot find a beginning or an ending to the circle. In the same way, God does not have a beginning or an end. God always was and always will be. No one created Him. He does not have a birthday, and He will never die. God lives without ending—He lives eternally! This is difficult and even impossible for our human minds to comprehend. We simply need to believe it.
You have already read that God is the Creator of heaven and earth. He is the only Giver of life and light, dispelling all darkness. God is a just Judge, and He is eternal. God is love. In His immeasurable love, He wants to take everyone with Him to heaven, to live with Him forever. To be able to go to heaven and live eternally with Him, we need to repent before God and believe in Him as Lord and Savior.
You will learn how to do this as you continue reading.
- What does the word “eternal” mean?
- What do you need to do to live with God eternally?