The Agora
Bible Articles and Lessons: G

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God, basic principles

How can we know God?

Although the order and design of the world can encourage belief in a Creator, we can only know God through His revelation of Himself and His ways. This revelation is in the Bible, which clearly claims to have been authored by Him through faithful men (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:21; Heb 1:1,2). In it we find His revelation of His nature, His character, His mind and His purpose. The superiority of all His ways and thoughts over those of men is to be expected and is stated: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa 55:8,9; see too 1Co 1:25-29).

His nature

God reveals Himself as the Supreme Being, Who has always existed, immortal, of infinite power, wisdom and understanding (1Ti 1:17; 6:15; Psa 90:1-3; 145:3; 147:5; Isa 45:5,18). He is declared to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the giver of life to all that lives (Gen 1:1; Jer 10:7,10-12; Act 14:15; 17:24). Not only does He create life, but He sustains it, and when He deems fit He will take life away (Psa 104; Deu 32:39; Act 17:25,28).

His character

God declared His character particularly to Moses: "The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty..." (Exo 34:6,7). His character is seen in His dealings with mankind, particularly with the nation of Israel. God's work with the nation of Israel illustrates His kindness and longsuffering, but also His intolerance of sin and rebellion against His ways (Psa 103:8-13; Hab 1:13; Deu 4:24). Paul describes these two aspects of the Almighty's character as "the goodness and severity of God" (Rom 11:22).
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