Beginning Bible Studies, Lesson 1 of 15
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). This is the first verse in the Bible.
All things begin with God.
The Bible begins with God.
A study of the Bible must also begin with God, for the Bible is Gods 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 answers 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, Gods 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 thou hadst formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Psalms 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:
"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of thy hands: They shall perish; but thou continuest: And they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a mantle shalt thou roll them up, As a garment, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, And thy years shall 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 every-thing. 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 pondereth all his goings" (Proverbs 5:21). "...God is greater than our heart, and knoweth 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 change not..." (Malachi 3:6 KJV).
God is spirit! God is not a human being as you and I are. "God is a Spirit: and they that 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 hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me having...." (Luke 24:39).
God is light! "And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto 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 that loveth not knoweth not 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. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [to pay the priceHis death on the cross] for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
God is holy! "Ye shall be holy; for I Jehovah your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2).
God is righteous! God cannot do any wrong. He hates all sin. "For Jehovah is righteous; He loveth righteousness: The upright shall behold his face" (Psalms 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). "Jehovah is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness" (Psalms 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 showeth his handiwork" (Psalms 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 some sort of deity. 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, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
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