WHO IS GOD?

WHO IS GOD?

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;" (Genesis 1:26).

Whoever God is, both men and women were made "after our likeness". Not only are humans made after God's likeness, but also according to that statement, God is plural. He's more than one. God includes the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

How tall is God? How strong is God? What does God look like? Is he white, black, male, female? Can God make a rock so big that even he can't lift it?

Where does he live? Is his body big and strong or frail and wimpy? What sports does he like? Does God work out? How old is God? What are God's personality traits? These are the questions Americans want to know.

Gordon Lightfoot

The soul becomes a stranger but the rock will always be. (Gordon Lightfoot, The Soul is the Rock.).

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth" (John 4:24)

The Greek word for spirit, pneuma, can mean wind, breath or spirit.

The word spirit is from the Latin word spiritus, meaning breath, breath of a god, inspiration.

Here's how Webster's defines spirit: 1. The vital principle or animating force within living beings; the soul. 2. Spirit The Holy Ghost. 3. A supernatural being. 4. An individual. 5. Mood or emotional state. 6. Vivacity and courage. 7. Loyalty or dedication. 8. The real sense or significance.

So by definition, by being spirit, God is the vital principle, the animating force living inside of you – that inward spirit – that is mentioned in the bible. God is also the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, and he's a supernatural being, his essence extends above and beyond the mere physical world we see and feel.

God is an individual, like you. He made you in his own image. God is a person. He does not have a human body, because he is spirit. You do not need a body to be a person.In this world, we view life as the birth to death span our bodies endure. 

Our true life is not really our bodies, but our souls, our spirits. They live inside our bodies. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For we know that if this earthly tent we live in is destroyed…" The early Christians understood that they were not actually a human body, but they only lived inside those flesh and bones, that their bodies were just tents.

A psychiatrist named Raymond Moody studied and outlined 9 traits that defined near-death experiences. He found that 37% of those having the near death episodes have "out of body" experiences.  Most say they are not merely a point of consciousness but seem to be in some kind of body (click on the body to the right for On Beyond Death). The Apostle Paul believed in a bodily resurrection and wrote about Jesus, "who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body..."

(click here)

Is God a mood or emotional state? Various places in the bible speak of peoples spirit's being grieved, humble, broken (meaning despondent), patient, proud, jealous, and more. In Exodus 20:5, God states: "for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God". Researchers on caring think that when you are born your brain is equipped with neurons and circuits that allow it to feel what others are feeling, but takes many years to develop. Is that God working?

(Christ told Constantine to enter into battle under his sign, but not wage war at his behest).

Is he vivacious and courageous? Vivacious means animated, lively and spirited. Animated means to give life to, to impart interest to, and to inspire to action. In 312 A.D. the emperor Constantine was preparing for a big battle near Rome when he saw a cross illuminated against the sun, accompanied by the words in hoc signo vinces-through this sign you will conquer. The next night, Christ appeared to Constantine in a dream and explained the meaning of the phenomenon: His men should enter into battle with the sign of Christ emblazoned on their shields. The night before the battle, Christ appeared again with the same message. They won the battle. Was it God's courage that provided victory?  God is vivacious and courageous.

Is God loyal and dedicated? He claims in Exodus 34:6 that he "abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness". Deuteronomy 32:4-5 states that God can be counted on because he is true, "The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without inequity, just and right is he."

God fits all the definitions of spirit, and those definitions reveal a lot about God, but God is above all his creation and surpasses human understanding. Despite man's inability to grasp the full significance of God, we are given glances into his personality.

Is God "The real sense of significance" as definition #8 describes spirit? God created it all and Jesus claims that someday God will destroy it all (Mark 13:24-27)- so without question he's the ultimate real sense of significance. Those same passages confirm God can be sort of a "volatile substance".

God is also light. "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). This is an amazing statement in and of itself, but when viewed in comparison to the testimony of those who have gone through near-death experiences, its awesome! (See our section called "On beyond death").

What does God look like? The Apostle John writes, "No man has ever seen God" (1 John 4:12). Even though got is not visible to the naked human eye, God does reveal himself in nature, and at times he comes out through individuals and provides glimses of his personality.

John also states, "He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but the he loved us… If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us" (1John 4:7-13). God's kingdom is also characterized as love.

Jesus said: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14:9).

God doesn't like it when we make images of him. Two of his most important commandments warn against making and worshipping statues and images. Read our piece on "Power and Symbols" (coming soon) to see why God dislikes icons and idols. Those are all dead things. God is a living God. 

Even though God doesn't have a body, a lot of scripture describes him in human terms. This is to help us understand him better. The Old Testament describes God as having hands, feet, eyes, a face and a back. He speaks, walks, fights, and repents. He feels love, anger, pain, jealousy, and expresses regret. He stays close by. He also appeared on earth in human form as Jesus to show us the way back to him. After Jesus left the earth, he sent an advocate (the Holy Spirit) to be with us, help us and guide us. To learn about our God, as spoken of in human characteristics, is an exciting study and a heartwarming way to get to know our creator better. We will develop this picture of God as time permits.

Click the picture of Bill Shakespeare to the right for discussion on why God placed us on this earth?

click here