Have you ever considered the defining verses of God in Bible? I’m not talking about the descriptive verses but verses that define Him. Some describe Him (“God is able”, “God is faithful”), but others say Who He is (“God is love”). So, let’s see what these passages reveal about the true God as we consider them in light of one another.
1) God is one Lord (Mk 12:29)
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:”
There are no other gods like this God! He is one Lord, different from all the rest. Deut 10:17 tells us He is “God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible…” Ps 188:27 says “God is the LORD…” Did you notice all the capital letters in LORD? This God is the only self-existent, eternal God. He is unique from all the rest. He is far above all the rest. He rules over all and is therefore worthy of all our praise and worship. But, man has a problem based on our next text…
2) God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24)
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
It is important that we understand this definition of God; otherwise, we’ll approach Him in the flesh, which He will never accept. According to our first point, we must worship this one true God, but our text in Jn 4:24 says this worship must be in spirit and in truth! As 1 Co 15:50 reveals, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” This fact highlights man’s dilemma. We’re not born spiritually-adept creatures! In fact, we’re born spiritually dead (Eph 2:1)! All we have is flesh and blood, so we have no ability of ourselves of ever worshipping this God acceptably! “The natural [literally “soulish”] man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God…neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Co 2:14) We can’t know them because we’re spiritually dead! So, the bottom line is that in our depraved state, man can’t worship this worthy God but instead will worship the creature rather than the Creator (Rom 1:25). That’s bad news according to the next defining verse.
3) God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29)
“For our God is a consuming fire.”
God expects His creation to worship Him alone. “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Mt 4:10) Worship is reserved only for this God. Our verse from Heb 12:29 is a quote from Deut 4:24 which tells us what it means for God to be a consuming fire: “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” He is jealous, and He will have the preeminence in all things! V. 25-26 explains those who worship any other “shall utterly be destroyed!” This God commands our full adoration (“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…”). And if we don’t give it to Him, we will not be able to plead our case before anyone else because…
4) God is the judge (Ps 50:6)
“But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
And, how does He judge according to Ps 96:13? “…for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” God judges righteously! There will be no appeal to any higher court. He won’t make any mistakes. He will judge according to the truth, and His verdict will be final! He will reveal the hidden things because our next point is true!
5) God is light (1 Jn 1:5)
“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.”
There is no darkness in Him at all! He is pure light, dispelling the darkness. He reveals the truth that the darkness seeks to obscure. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden for “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb 4:13) “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts…” (1 Co 4:5) All will be revealed!
Now, just consider everything we’ve looked at up to this point. We’re dead in the water if God stops defining Himself here! But, praise God, He didn’t! We also read…
6) God is love (1 Jn 4:8)
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
We don’t know love except God is its source. There is no love apart from Him! All true love (not what the world calls love) is from Him, “for love is of God.” (1 Jn 4:7) And, as the verse continues on, it is the outward expression of this love, which is God dwelling in us and manifesting Himself through us, whereby we are able to identify the children of God, for “every one that loveth is born of God.” It is this great love that prompts God to make Himself known as He does in our final point.
7) God is the Savior (Is 45:15)
“Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.”
Thank God that He defines Himself in this way! Because He is the one true God (our first point), He is able to save! No one can stay His hand or prevent Him. And He welcomes us, yea, commands us to look to Him as Savior! “Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Is 45:21-22) There is salvation in no other! God’s love prompted Him to be known in this manner and this is the only hope we have as God declares, “there is none else.”
So, have we fully answered our question: Who is God? There’s one final thought that was of great blessing to me as I studied these passages. Every defining verse points to the Lord Jesus! Our definition “God is one Lord” declared God to be “Lord of lords,” and isn’t that exactly how Christ is described in 1 Tim 6:15?!! He is “the King of kings, and Lord of lords!” We read that “God is a Spirit,” and as Paul contrasts the first Adam, who was made a living soul, with the last Adam, the Lord Jesus, we find that He was made “a quickening [or life-giving] spirit!” We see Christ as “a consuming fire” in 2 Th as He returns in “flaming fire” (1:8) to “consume…[and] destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2:8). Jesus is also “the judge” by His own testimony in Jn 5:22: “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son”. Even as we saw that “God is light,” do we not also know Christ as the “light of the world?” Jn 1:9 tells us that John the Baptist was sent as a witness unto “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Finally, where does the Father direct our attention if we would see that “God is love”? Love made visible is the One that is called “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15). The Father says to look at the Son to see love: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8) Do we even need to explain that Jesus is “the Savior”? Mt 1:21 says, “…thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. So, who is God? The Lord Jesus is!