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CristopherScinilam

GIVEN

Theology1M10:301:20
4November2015
GodPaper
ToWhomItMayConcern,
ThankyoufortakingthetimetoreadmyresponseregardingthequestionofwhotheGod
oftheBibleis,andwhyChristiansviewhiminsuchhighesteem.Iwilldomybesttoarticulate
toyouinclear,concisetermsastowhoGodisandhowheisreflectedintheChristian
worldview.IwilltreatthereaderasifhehasnocontextorpreviousknowledgetoChristianity,
andhopetoaccuratelyconveytheintentandmeaningbehindspecificBiblepassages.
Ultimately,IwillfocusonthequestionsofWhatDoestheBiblesayaboutGod?andWhats
sogreatabouttheGodofChristianity?,andwilloverviewatleastthreecharacteristicsofGod
thatarefoundintheBible,ultimatelytohelpthereadergainanunderstandingofGodandthe
Christianworldview.
Tobegin,letsgetsomecontextregardingtheimportanceoftheBible.TheBibleisa
collectionofwrittenworksthatChristiansbelievetobethewordsofGodgiventohumanity.
TheBiblecontains66books,writtenacrosshundredsofyears,bynumerousauthorsfroma
diversespreadofbackgrounds,writtenindifferingformsofliterarygenre.TheBibleisbroken
upintotwosections:theOldTestamentandtheNewTestament,yetitcontainsonesingle
storylinewhichdepictsGodscreationofhumanity,thefallanddepravityofhumanitycompared
toGodsperfectness,andtheeventualredemptionofhumanitythroughthesacrificeofGods
son,Jesus.Inessence,accordingtotheChristianworldview,Godisthemaincharacterofthe

Bibleandworksthroughawholecollectionofsupportingcharacterstodepicthiscare,love,
powerandglorytothosewhoreadit.Finally,ChristiansbelievethatBiblicalauthorswere
divinelyinspiredbyGod,andthatthewordsintheBiblearetheverywordsofGod,containing
fulltruthandinerrancy(2Tim3:16,Ps.116:160).
InordertogainabetterunderstandingofGodintheBible,letusstartfromwhereGodis
firstmentioned.InthefirstchapterofGenesis,thefirstbookoftheBible,Godisattributedas
creatoroftheheavensandtheearth(Gen1:1).Infact,theBibledepictsGodasexistingbefore
allelseandbeingtheauthorofallexistenceandcreatedthings(Gen1:2,John1:13).Oneofthe
firstwaystheBibledescribesGodisnotonlyacreator,butthecreatorofallthings.Heseparates
lightfromdarkness,thewatersandthesea,andcreatesallformsoflife,fromplants,animalsand
finallycreateshumans,whomhecreatesmodeledafterhisownimage(Gen1:327).The
ChristianworldviewbelievesthatGodnotonlycreatedallexistence,butcreatedhumanityina
waythatspecificallyandspeciallyreflectsGod.Inaddition,Godclearlycommunicateswith
AdamandEve,thefirsthumans,andhasarelationshipthatisspecialtothem(Gen1:2830).
AfterGodcreatedtheearthandhumanity,AdamandEvechosetodisobeyGodafter
beingtemptedbySatan,anadversarytoGodthattheBiblecallsthefatheroflies,deceiverof
thewholeworldandonethathasnotruthinhim(Gen3:17,John8:44,Rev12:9).Because
ofAdamandEvesdecisiontodisobeyGod,AdamandEvehidfromhim,andareeventually
castoutoftheirperfecthomewithGodandarelefttosufferpainandwork(Gen3:8,1719).
Christianscallanactoftransgression,rebellion,disobedienceorotheractionthatwouldseparate
usfromGodsin,anddescribeAdamandEvesactionasbeingthefallofmanorthefirstsin
towardGod.ChristiansalsobelievethatbecauseAdamsinned,allofhumanityhasinheritedthat

sinfromhimandareallguiltyofdisobediencetowardGod.Theconceptofaninheritedsinis
oftenreferredtobyChristiansasoursinnature(Rom5:1213).
Asaresultofthefallofhumanityandoursinnature,death,deception,lust,greed,envy,
prideandmanyothersinfulcharacteristicsentertheworldandfurtherseparateusfromGod.
Goddoesnotmerelyabandonhumanity,however,butcontinuesrelationshipswithfurther
descendantsofAdam,includingNoah,Abraham,Jacob,MosesandDavid.Withthese
descendantsGodcreatesanationatreasuredpossessionandachosenpeople,callingthe
nationIsraelandpromisingthemland,numerousdescendantsandblessing.(Gen32:28,12:13,
Deut7:6).MuchoftheOldTestamenttellsthestoriesoftheIsraelitesandtheirrepeatingcycles
ofdisobediencemetwithGodsjudgement,justiceandgrace.ThepromisethatGodmakeswith
AbrahamandtheIsraelitesisoftenreferredtobyChristiansastheAbrahamiccovenantorthe
OldCovenant.
AlthoughtheIsraelitesintheOldTestamentwereunderacovenantwithGod,theywere
farfromblamelessorexcusedfromtheconsequencesoftheirsin.GodisdescribedintheOld
Testamentasbeingcompletelywithoutsin,andhavingnoevilinsideofhim(Ps5:4).In
addition,heviewssinasdefilementasifitwerearedstainonwhitewool(Isa1:18).The
absenceofsinandevilfromGodatteststowhatChristianscallhisholiness,Godbeingthe
holiestbeinginexistence(1Sam2:2).BecauseGodisholy,heissetapartorabovehumanity
andanythingthatcontainssinorevilness(Lev11:4,1Sam2:2).Godissosetapartfromsin,in
fact,thatweashumansareundeservingandunworthytoevenbeinhispresence,yetGodenacts
onusaformofhismercyinthathechoosesnottoleaveusordestroyusinourwrongdoing,
eventhoughwedeservedeathduetooursin(Deut4:31,Rom6:23).

Godsmercyextendssofar,infact,thathesendshisownsontoactasasacrificeand
atonementforoursins.IntheNewTestament,theBibletransitionstothenarrativeofJesus
Christ,themanthatChristiansbelieveisthesonofGod,bornfromthevirginMary,andsent
fromGodinordertoredeemhumanityfromthepunishmentoftheirsin(John3:16,Matt1:23,
Matt3:17).Jesuslivedonearthandcommittednosinsduringhislife,eventhoughhewasboth
temptedandtriedbySatan(1Peter2:22,Matt4:111).Ashistimeonearthdrewtoaclose,
Jesus,blamelessandinnocentofcrime,wastriedandcondemnedonacross,wherehediedasa
perfectsacrificeforoursins,fulfillingwhatGoddeemedanecessaryconsequenceforallof
humanity'ssin(Heb10:1214,1John2:2,2Cor5:21,Gal3:13,Rom4:25).
BecauseofChristsdeathandsacrifice,hefulfilledwhatwasthelawoftheAbrahamic
covenantortheoldcovenant,andinturnenactedinanewcovenantthatallowsanyonewho
choosestobelieveinChristtobesavedfromtheconsequencesofsin(Matt5:1718,Romans
10:4,Hebrews9:12).Christalsogainedvictoryoverdeathbynotsuccumbingtoit,butraised
fromthedeadtobewithGodtheFatherinheaven(1Cor15:2022,Rom6:4,Mark16:19).
Christpromisedtohisdisciplesthathewouldreturn,butuntilthenhecommissionsthemandthe
generationsofChristiansafterthemtogoandspreadthegoodnews,orgospelofJesussacrifice
toeveryonetheycan,inorderthattheybelieveandbesavedfromtheirsinandcondemnation
(Matt28:1620,John14:3).Today,ChristianscontinueChristscalltoevangelizeandpreachhis
gospeltoalloftheworld,withhisoriginalrequestinthebookofMatthew,chapter28nowbeing
calledtheGreatCommission.AlthoughChristisinHeavenwithGodtheFather,Christians
believethatChristisstillwithpresentinourlivestoday,actingthroughaspiritcalledTheHoly
Spirit(John14:1517,26).ChristiansbelievethattheHolySpiritempowersusandguidesusin

ourdaytodaylife,andisacompaniontoallChristianswhobelieveinJesusandreceive
salvationfromtheirsin(Acts2:38,4:31,Rom15:13).Finally,Christiansbelievethatwhen
Christreturnstoearth,therewillbeafinaljudgementonallhumans,andthosewhohave
acceptedChristwillbegrantedeternityinheaveninthepresenceofGod,andthosewhohave
rejectedChristwillbecondemnedtoeternityapartfromGodandinhell(1Thess4:1617,2
Thess1:710).
Inessence,thatisasummaryofthetruthsChristiansbelievethatGodhasrevealedinthe
Bible,andwhatisoftenreferredtoasthegospel.ThereissomuchmoredepthtoGod,Jesus,the
HolySpirit,theirunity,andalloftheirattributesthanwarrantsthiswriting,soIwouldhighly
encourageyou,thereader,tocontinueinvestigatingtheBibleandunravelingallofthetruthand
beautyinthewordandplanGodhaslaidout.Toclose,Iamgoingtodiscussafewattributes
aboutGod,andhowtheyarejustanelementtothevastnessofhisgreatness.Forbrevityssake,I
willkeepeachattributetoaparagraph,butknowthatthereissomuchmorethatcanbe
expandeduponbeyondthissinglepaper.
First,IwillspeakonGodslove.SomuchcanbesaidastohowGodshowsloveto
humanity,butthefirstexampleIwillgiveishowhechosetosendhissondonetosufferforour
wrongdoing.Paul,oneoftheApostles,wrotetothechurchinRomeandamongmanytopics,
encouragestheRomanchurchtohavepeaceinknowingthatGodslovehasbeengiventothem
throughChrist.Hewrites,Forwhilewewerestillweak,attherighttimeChristdiedforthe
ungodly.Foronewillscarcelydieforarighteouspersonthoughperhapsforagoodpersonone
woulddareeventodiebutGodshowshisloveforusinthatwhilewewerestillsinners,
Christdiedforus(Rom5:68).Godshowshisloveforusbyhavinghissonpaytheultimate

price,evenforthosewhodonotdeserveit.AnotherexampleofGodsloveishowhecallsthose
whobelieveinhimhischildren(John1:12).inthebookofJohn,theauthordescribesthose
whowouldeventuallybelieveinChristwouldbecalledchildrenofGod.Hewrites,

Buttoall
whodidreceivehim,whobelievedinhisname,hegavetherighttobecomechildrenofGod
(John1:12).Godsrelationshiptothosewhochoosetobelieveinhimisdescribedasbeinglike
thatofafathertohischildren,notonlyasonewhocreatedthem,butonewholooksafterand
lovesthem(Isa64:8,1John3:1).Hechoosestoloveusandembraceusashischildren,
somethingthatonlyacharacteristicallylovinggodwoulddo.
ThenextattributeofGodthatattributestohisgreatnessishisjustice.Alotofoutsidersto
ChristianityhavetroublereconcilingGodsloveandhisjustice.Theymayask,IfGodisa
lovingGodthenhowcouldhelethissondieunjustly?orHowcouldalovingGodsendpeople
tohell?.Forthescopeofthispaper,Iwillonlybeabletomakeafewremarksonthosepoints.
Inbrief,however,Godadherestohistheconsequencesandpunishmentofsinbecauseofhisjust
nature.IfGodweretoprovideafreepassforChrist,thatwouldnotonlydiminishtheworkof
thecrossandtheconsequenceofsin,butitwouldsuggestGodisunjustinallowingpunishable
actionstogounpunished.Thesameconceptappliestothosewhodonotacceptthegiftof
salvationfromChristandareheldresponsiblefortheconsequencesoftheirsin.Inbeingajust
Godandaproperjudge,itwouldbeuncharacteristicofhimtoletsingounpunishedorunpaid
for.ThereconciliationbetweenGodsjusticeandhislove,however,isthathechosetohavehis
sonpaythepenaltyofsinoutofloveforus,allowingustoberedeemedinhislove,whilestill
holdingtruetothejusticeofhisnature.InthebookofRomans,theapostlePaulusestheanalogy
thathumanswereallslavestosin,andjustlydeservetheconsequenceofsin,whichisdeath.

BecauseofChrist,however,hebroughtusfreedomfromsinwithhisdeath,grantinguslife.He
writes,
Forthewagesofsinisdeath,butthefreegiftofGodiseternallifeinChristJesusour
Lord(Romans6:23).
ThefinalattributeIwilldiscussisthesovereignty,orsupremepower,ofGod.TheBible
tellsthatGodsupremeinhispower,andtherearenootherswhocanmatchhispower,vastness,
orstrength.IntheOldTestament,thebookof1Chronicles,DavidpraystoGodandblesseshim
infrontofhispeople.Davidsprayer,however,isonethatacknowledgesthepowerandvastness
ofGod.Hedeclares,Yours,O
LORD
,isthegreatnessandthepowerandthegloryandthe
victoryandthemajesty,forallthatisintheheavensandintheearthisyours.Yoursisthe
kingdom,O
LORD
,andyouareexaltedasheadaboveall.(1Chrn29:11).Daviduseswords
suchasgreatness,power,gloryandmajestytodescribetheattributesofGods
sovereignty.Inaddition,inthebookofPsalmswefindthatGoddoesallthathepleases
(Psalm115:3),andthereforearenonewhocontrolhimorforcehimtodoanythingoutsideofhis
will.Finally,Godhasaplanandpurposeforallthingscreated,eventhoseweseeaswicked.In
Proverbs,theauthorwritesTheLordhasmadeeverythingforitspurpose,eventhewickedfor
thedayoftrouble(Prov16:4).Godnotonlycreatedallthings,buthastheauthorityandpower
todesignatetheirpurposes.
Toclose,thisismerelyatinyglimpseattheattributes,nature,andcharacterofGod.
These,alongwiththegospel,arejustarayoflightinthevastspectrumoftruththattheBible
contains.IhopeIhaveefficientlyandclearlypresentedtheseideastoyou,andthatyoutaketo
heartwhatyouhaveread.IwouldencourageyoutodelveintothewordofGodyourself,and

allowthewordstospeaktoyouinawaythatmypapercannot.Thankyouagainfortakingthe
timetoreadthis,andIpraythatGodwillrevealhisloveandpeacetoyouandthosearoundyou.