“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This is the first verse in the Bible.
1. All things begin with God.
2. The Bible begins with God.
3. A study of the Bible must also begin with God, for the Bible is God’s book.
“What is God like?” “How can we know there is a God?” These are the most important questions anyone can ask. Nothing is of greater importance than the answers to these questions. The answer we give to these questions will determine (decide) how we live on the earth. The answers we give to these questions will determine where we will live after this life on this earth is over. Let us turn to the Bible, God’s Book, to learn the answers.
What is God like?
God is eternal! God has always lived. He will always live. The Bible says of 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” (Psalm 90:2). All people who live on the earth will grow old. All will die. But God can never grow old or die. Let us hear the Bible again: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12).
God is all powerful! “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14). We human beings are weak. There are many things we do not have the strength to do. But God has all power. He can do anything. By His great power, God created the heavens and the earth. By His great power, God created man. We can trust the promises of God, for He has the power to fulfill them.
God is all-knowing! God knows everything, for God sees everything. It is possible to hide things from the eyes of men, but nothing can be hidden from God. “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He ponders all his paths” (Proverbs 5:21). “God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20).
God is unchanging! Everything in this world changes. Governments change when nations become independent and new leaders replace old leaders. Ways of living change. Habits and customs of people change. The weather changes. Styles of clothing change. Even our bodies change as we grow older. But God never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
God is spirit! God is not a human being as you and I are. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). God does not have weaknesses and sicknesses of the body as you and I do. “For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).
God is light! “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). There is no darkness (sin) in God. Therefore (for this reason) we can trust Him for He will not deceive (lie to or mislead) us.
God is love! “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). God loves us. He has proved His great love for us by giving His Son to die for our sins. “In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (to pay the price — His death on the cross) for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
God is holy! “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).
God is righteous! God cannot do any wrong. He hates all sin. “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright” (Psalm 11:7).
God is merciful! God loves us. Although He hates sin, He is merciful. He will forgive our sins if we truly repent (make up our minds to turn away from practicing sin and turn back to God). “The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8).
How do we know there is a God?
We know there is a God because of the things which He has made. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). When we see a house we know that someone wise enough and strong enough built it. A house cannot exist without a builder. In the same way, when we see the sun, moon, stars, the earth, and all that is in the earth, we know they have a Builder. Someone wise enough and strong enough made all these things. Only God has power to create the heavens and the earth. Therefore, we know there is a God when we see the things He has made.
We know there is a God because our hearts or conscience tell us. People have always believed in a God. This has been true in every country and in every age. People have often had false ideas about God but they have always believed in Him. Read Romans 2:14-16. We know there is a God because He has revealed Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1, 2).