What is God Like?
The Nature of God
The Bible emphasizes God’s loving, compassionate, and forgiving nature, but also maintains his perfect righteousness, or morality, which cannot tolerate evil. In the entire biblical record of God’s interaction with people, obviously there is much to be studied pertaining to the characteristics of God. There are also many questions about God’s nature that are left unanswered, including aspects which are stated to be beyond our comprehension.
This brief synopsis focuses on what the Bible emphasizes as the important characteristics of God.
God is loving, compassionate, and merciful toward people. He is also holy and righteous, and, therefore, requires just punishment for sin. The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished. Exodus 34:6
- God has an earnest desire to repair the fallen state of humankind. In spite of our inherent sinfulness, he loves us. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 God our Savior…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Timothy 2:4
- God knows each one of us intimately; he sees all our thoughts and actions. O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3
- God is a single entity who has made himself known in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4 Jesus answered…I and the Father are one. John 10:30 Now the Lord is the Spirit… 1 Corinthians 3:17
- God possesses infinite power and wisdom, existing beyond the bounds of time and space. The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power. Job 37:23 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29
Two thousand years ago… In the small, conquered province of Palestine… The impoverished remnant of a Jewish nation is chafing under the rule of the Roman empire…
In this setting, the 30-year-old son of a carpenter began a walking ministry that lasted only a few short years.
He spoke of the fulfilment of Jewish scripture, pointing to himself as the centerpiece of century-old promises. He spoke of God’s love with authority that amazed his followers and critics. He performed miraculous healings. He avoided politics. And he so enraged the established religious leaders that they plotted his death and succeeded in having the Roman authorities execute him. He was killed at age 33.
Jesus himself never wrote down any of his teachings. The disciples who carried on after his death didn’t have the benefit of mass media. Yet at the turn of the year 2000, nearly 2 billion people described themselves as followers of Jesus Christ (source: adherents.com).
In dealing with the “sect” of Jesus’ followers after his death, a Jewish leader gave this advice:
Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God. Acts 5:38
Holy Word Lutheran Church is part of a larger world-wide synod of like-minded churches called the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The website of our Synod is an excellent source of information regarding our beliefs and doctrinal differences with other denominations.
Feel free to contact one of our staff who can answer more of your questions about our beliefs and how it relates to you.