Who is God?
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting
to everlasting, You are God."
(The Bible: Psalm 90, Verse 2)
There are many different ideas and opinions about God in the world. A per-son's image of God depends very much on how he is shaped. From birth we are under the influence of education, the media and school, which shapes our thinking.
In addition, there are the numerous reli-gions of this world, in which one or more "dieties" are worshiped. There are people who believe in the supernatural, but for whom God is just an impersonal force in the universe. Some religions teach that God is a part of nature as well as of every human being. For still others, God is just a name in a dusty book....
Many people have a negative attitude towards God. Reasons for this are, on the one hand, painful experiences that are associated with pain and disappoint-ment and which make some doubt God's love and justice. The church, too, with its murky past that some associate with God, has been a major contributor to the wrong image people have of God today (See: God and church).
However, most people reject God be-cause they do not know who and what God really is.
The Lord God speaks:
"I am the first, and I am the last,
and beside me there is no God."
(The Bible: Isajah 44, Verse 6)
The Bible describes God as the one and only, living, all-mighty, all-knowing and imperishable Creator of all things, who is without beginning and without end. Every-thing is created by God, both the visible and the invisible, the material and the immaterial. It is he who gives everything life and its order and who maintains it. The universe and nature are the work of God. The physical laws of nature also have their origin in God. In contrast to everything that is created, God himself is neither bound to space and time nor to the natu-ral laws.
Even though God is invisible, he surrounds us on all sides. We, humans, are God's crea-tures, just like all animals, each of which God created according to its own kind and - as well as humans - with manifold genetic variation. While God exists inde-pendently of us humans, we humans can-not exist independently of God. Because it is God's spirit or his breath of life that makes and keeps us alive (See: God and science).
The Lord God speaks:
" I am that I am."
(The Bible Exodus chapter 3, Verse 14)
God is introduced in the Holy Scriptures by the name "J-a-h-w-e" or "Jah-hu-wah" (not "jehova"), which in Hebrew means 'The Ever Existing'. Later, because of people's deep re-verence for God, the four letters YHWH were used to avoid pronouncing God's ho-ly name. Later still, the name of God was replaced by the title "LORD", which was in-tended to emphasize God's majesty as Crea-tor and Ruler.
The name of God, which has not changed since time immemorial, is a description of God's nature. On the one hand, it ex-presses that God has always existed and will exist for all eternity. On the other hand, it indi-cates that God is always the same, then as now and also in future, which means that there is no change in God and that God is faithful in every respect and his word per-fectly reliable.
"They changed the truth of God
into a lie, and worshipped and
served the creature more
than the Creator (…)."
(The Bible: romans chapter 1, Verse 25)
After man turned away from his Crea-tor and thus lost the connection to the true God over time, he began to make or think up his own gods, which are called in the Holy Scriptures as "idols" (= false Gods) and whose worship God consider as abo-mination, that is something particularly repulsive.
Various qualities and abilities were as-cribed to these so-called gods, and statues of them were usually erected, which mostly bore resemblances to humans or animals, while God expressly commanded that they should not picture God or compared Him with any living creature.
It was not uncommon for the worship of such idols to involve abominable religious rites that deeply displeased God. This inclu-ded e.g. sexual orgies, which were cele-brated as so-called "fertility rituals" and led many people to turn away from the true God and instead to worship those false gods. Also the sacrifice or burning of children in fire were part of some idola-try....
Nowadays there is a variety of things that people worship instead of their creator or put at the center of their lives, e.g. them-selves or other people (like rulers, idols or the partner), other beings (like animals or angels up to devil) as well as objects or inanimate things (like cars, money, sports clubs, technic or science).
On the other hand, man has almost com-pletely forgotten the true, living God to whom man owes his life. Only in challen-ging times or under difficult circumstan-ces do some people begin to ask about God, while in good times very few think about him....
"Bless the Lord, O my soul:
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!"
(The Bible: Psalm 103, Verse 1)
God is not a part of man, nor a product of human imagination or craftsmanship. God is also more than spiritual energy or an indefinable force in the cosmos. God is a real being with a personality that in-cludes many different characteristics.
Above all, God reveals himself as holy. This means, on the one hand, that God is above everything and everyone and that there is no creature that can match God, nor any-thing that is equal to Him. That fact alone makes God worthy of worship.
On the other hand, it means that God is perfectly good, righteous and pure, that is, separated from evil. This means that there is no evil in him and that nothing evil or sinful can exist before God. There are nu-merous reports in the Bible where people, to whom God had revealed himself in dreams or visions, fell on the ground as if dead in awe and in the awareness of their own imperfection, because they were seeing God's glory, which is brighter than light, and could not endure his pure and holy presence.
At the same time, God reveals himself to us as a living counterpart who actively in-fluences our lives and events in the world. And although God is so much greater than us humans, who we are only made of dust of the earth, we are allowed to have a very personal relationship with our creator. We humans can communicate with God and really experience his existence and presence as well as his work and actions.
This connection to God forms the basis of life for every human being. Only through this do our lives gain meaning and a secure basis. Because everything we are, everything we have and everything we need comes from God.
"God is love; and he that
dwelleth in love dwelleth
in God, and God in him."
(The Bible: 1st John chapter 4, Verse 16)
More over God reveals himself as a kind ruler full of love and compassion. Even more: God is love itself. This means that God has basically good and benelovent intentions for us humans and that God finds joy and pleasure in doing good to his creatures and giving away his love to them.
In addition, God is a faithful friend and partner who stands by everyone who loves and trusts him at every moment of their lives and never forsakes them (See: 10 signs for God's love).
Furthermore, God reveals himself to us as a caring Father, who always seeks only the best for us human children. Just as Jesus lo-vingly called God "Abba" (Aramaic: Father), He also taught people to see and call on God as their Father. This describes the deep personal relationship that God desires to have with us human beings. God's fatherly love and care is expressed in a special way in the "parable of the lost son", which is found in the Gospel of Luke, chap. 15, verses 11-32.
"Teach me thy way, O Lord;
I will walk in thy truth (...)."
(The Bible: Psalm 86, Verse 11)
The fact that God is love does not mean that God doesn't care how we live. Just as a true father gives his children whom he loves useful rules and boundaries to ena-ble them to grow up healthy and to protect them from strife and harm, so God has laid down certain commandments and regulations within which a safe and peace-ful coexistence on this earth should be possible.
God did not create human beings to live for ourselves or separate from him, but for his glory and in union with his will. At the same time, this is the decisive precondition for all people to be well and to live happily and in peace with each other and without fear and worries on earth.
In the Bible, God tells us what His will is (See: The credibility of the bible)
Since God is the one who gave us life and this earth, it is up to HIM alone to decide how we should live on it. Because God as Creator also knows every person inside and out, HE basically knows best what each of us needs and what is really good for us; even better than ourselves.
Anyone who trusts God and obey HIS commandments can experience how it brings God's blessings and true joy of life to themselves and to their fellow human beings (See: Life in freedom and peace).
"The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and plenteous
(The Bible: Psalm 103, Verse 8)
God continues to testify as a just judge who loves truth and justice and hates injustice and lies. This means that God neither tolerates evil nor endlessly looks on when people override his will. The fact that most people disobey God's command-ments (whether willingly or out of igno-rance) while instead following their own desires and standards of values, thereby elevating themselves above God, has crea-ted countless ills on our planet since the world's creation, under which humanity suffers to this day and which is increasing dramatically, especially in our day and age.... (See: God and suffering)
For this reason, God continually inter-venes in what is happening on this earth to limit the suffering that people cause in the world and to help those who ask God for help. In addition, because God is just, He has appointed a day when He will hold ac-countable for their actions every person who violates His will and who is not willing to turn from evil (See: Why salvation?).
At the same time, God is merciful and abounding in grace. This means that God is not pleased to judge people because of their sins. It is much more God's express will that we humans reconcile with our Crea-tor and live happily on earth as God inten-ded from the beginning. If God were to immediately punish every evil deed that hu-man beings commit, hardly any of us would be alive. For God's standard of good and evil is far higher than that of us humans....
But instead of condemning us, God of-fers every human being the opportunity to make peace with God again. Here we see how much love and patience God shows to-wards us humans. In addition, God wants to give us human beings eternal life, without us having deserved it and without us ever being able to earn it, so that we can enjoy life and fellowship with our Creator; not just for a limited time, but forever and ever; and that in a future world that knows neither suffering nor death.
"O taste and see that the Lord
is good: blessed is the man
that trusts in him."
(The Bible: Psalm 34, Verse 8)
every human wants someone who loves him and cares for him and with whom he feels safe and accepted. Someone he can trust implicitly and rely on 100% at all times. Someone who knows him, who under-stands him, who knows all his needs and who he knows for sure always has the best in mind for us. The only one who can ful-fill this claim and also perfectly satisfy the deep inner longing in the heart of every human being is God.
We humans, on the other hand, are only able to give another person what he or she needs to a limited extent. On the one hand, this is related to the fact that every hu-man being is needy himself and can only exist in the long term and respond to the needs of others if his own basic needs are met. In addition, people often have selfish or even deceptive intentions. Furthermore, the reality is that relationships between people are changeable and volatile, now more than ever....
God, on the other hand, who himself does not need anything because he has every-thing from himself, is able to satisfy all our needs. That is why the bond with God forms the life foundation of every human being.
Restoring this lost relationship between us humans and our Creator and father is the goal behind God's plan of salvation, which God accomplished through Jesus Christ.