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Series Theme:  Who is God?
Contents:

Title:   1. God the Father

        

This page provides notes for anyone, Christian or non-Christian who wishes to look up for themselves what the Bible teaches about the person of God. We will consider Hi m in the three forms shown in the Bible - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This page considers the bible's teaching on God the Father

NB. The subject of the "God" is so vast that we could go on for ever and ever considering who He is. Therefore all we have done is to pick out some facets of this subject which we hope will be helpful, being very much aware that there is much we have left out.

   

1. THE REVELATION

1.1 His Being

   He is   

  •  Spirit - Jn 4:24
  •  Invisible -1 Tim 1:17
  •  Unapproachable -1 Tim 6:16
  •  Only known by His self revelation -Heb 1:1,2
  •  Light -1 Jn 1:5
  •  Living - Jer 10:10
  •  Personal - Exo 3:7-10
  •  Immortal -1 Tim 1:17
  •  Eternal -1 Tim 1:17
  •  Self existent - Dan 4:35     
  •  Unchanging - Psa 102:27
    •  His life - 1 Tim 6:16
    •  His character - Jas 1:17
    •  His truth - Psa 119:89
    •  His purposes - Heb 6:1 
  •  Everywhere - Psa 139:7-10
  •  Holy, perfect, distinct - Mt 5:48

1.2 His Abilities:

   He:

  •  knows everything
    • He can see everything -Heb 4:13
    •  He understands everything -Psa 147:5
    •  He knows past & future - Isa 46:10
    •  He knows our thoughts - Psa 139:2
    •  He knows our needs - Mt 6:8 
  •  can do anything - Mt 19:26
  •  but will NOT
    • lie - Num 23:19
    •  deny himself -1 Sam 15:29
    •  sin - Jas 1:13

1.3 His Activity:

   He is:

  •  Creator - Acts 14:15
  •  Sustainer - Job 26:7 & Heb 1:3
  •  Supplier - Psa 145:16
  •  Redeemer - Psa 19:14

1.4 His Nature:

   He:

  •  is love -1 Jn 4:16
  •  is good - Psa 145:9
  •  hates wrong - Psa 5:5
  •  is righteous - Psa 19:9
  •  is just - Psa 89:14
  •  is wise - Psa 104:24
  •  is merciful - Eph 2:4
  •  is forbearing & forgiving - Num 14:18

1.5 His Fatherhood:

   He is

  •  Father to Israel - Deut 32:6   
  •  the One who : 
    •  conceives us - Jn 1:13   
    •  has a plan for our lives - Eph 2:10   
    •  knows our needs -Mt 6: 32    
    •  prunes us -Jn 15:1,2     
    •  disciplines us - Heb 12:7-10     
    •  puts His love in us -1 Jn 4:16-19
    •  has a place for us with Him -Jn 14:2

 

2. HIS NAMES

Names tell us about the person. Below are some of the names of God found in Scripture.

2.1 Basic Old Testament Names (Hebrew):               

El = "God" or "god" (seldom occurs in the singular )       

Elohim (plural of El) = "gods" or "God" in His fulness to be feared        

eg. Gen 1:1 "In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens & the earth        

El-Shaddai = God of power & blessing          

eg. Ex 6:3 "I appeared to Abrahamů. as God Almighty" (El-Shaddai)        

Adonai = mighty ruler) usually rendered "Lord"     

           (later on supplanted by Jehovah [see later])    

2.2 Covenant Old Testament Name

In Ex 3:14 we read, "I AM has sent me to you".

Then in verse 15: "The LORD. ..has sent me to you"

The word here printed "LORD" in Hebrew was "YHWH" which sounds like, in Hebrew (and was probably derived from), the word for I AM.

This is the only real "name" for God, all other words being more descriptions.

The Jews regarded this as the most sacred name and refused to even pronounce it lest they offend Lev 26:16 "Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death".

It is thought that instead they first of all substituted the name "Adonai" (Lord) and then took the vowels of that and added them to the consonants YHWH to produce, by the beginning of the 12th century AD, the word we know in English as "Jehovah" (from Yahweh)

[We don't have original Hebrew manuscripts going back into the Old Testament because the Jewish scribes destroyed the scroll as soon as it started getting damaged, after having meticulously copied it out again first].

In our modern versions therefore, wherever the name Yahweh or Jehovah is mentioned it is printed in the capital letters "LORD"

We sometimes get a number of the names together:

eg. Deut 5:9 "I the LORD (Yahweh) your God (elohim) am a jealous God (el)"

"Yahweh" or "Jehovah" is the covenant name of God that indicates and reminds that God is a faithful, unchanging, covenant keeping God


"El" is translated "God" some 250 times

"Elohim" occurs 2,570 times

"Yahweh" appears 6,823 times !

The constant emphasis therefore, is of a God who enters into personal enduring relationships with men. This is afar cry from the pantheistic impersonal "gods" of eastern religions.

2.3 Compound forms of the Covenant Name

Jehovah is often linked with another word to give a compound name to convey a greater meaning:


Jehovah-tsidkenu = the LORD our righteousess e.g. Jer 23:6

Jehovah-shalom = The LORD is peace e.g. Judges 6:24

Jehovah-m'kaddesh = the LORD who sanctifies (sets you apart as holy)    eg. Lev 20:8 .

Jehovah-shammah = the LORD is there (abiding presence) e.g.Ezek 48:35

Jehovah-jireh = the LORD who provides e.g. Gen 22:14

Jehovah-rophe = the LORD who restores of heals e.g. Ex 15:26

Jehovah-nissi = the LORD my banner (standard against enemey)   eg. Ex 17:15

Jehovah-rohi = the LORD my shepherd or friend eg. Psa 23

Each of these clearly indicates the God who has covenant  dealings with people. This is no God afar off, but THE God who draws near to His creation.

2.4 New Testament Names (Greek) :


Theos = equivalent to El, Elohim

Kurios = Lord, equivalent to Adonai

Pater = Father (but Father WAS also used in OT e.g. Deut 32:6 etc)

3. His Purposes

3.1 Mystery

We may feel at times we understand a lot about God but the Bible still leaves Him shrouded in mystery:

a) As to His Being

  •  Ex 19   Although Moses spoke face to face with God there is no reference to any description of God.
  •  Gen 18  Although God apparently came to Abraham in human form this doesn't give us any further information about Him (God appearing in human form like this is referred to as a 'theophany').
  •  Isa 6:1 says Isaiah "saw" the Lord but no description of the Lord is given.
  •  Ezek 1:25 describes an apparent revelation of the Lord but Ezekiel can only use words like, "what appeared to be" and "he looked like" and all we are left with is the sense of some brilliant figure.
  •  Rev 4 In the most amazing revelation of the throne room of heaven, the description of the One on the throne is limited to one verse and that to a couple of colours.

b) As to His Purposes

  •  Prov 25:2    God often leaves things hidden
  •  Deut 29:29   He keeps some things to himself
  •  Eccl 11:5     We cannot understand how he creates
  •  Rom 11:33  His decision making is beyond us
  •  1 Cor 2:16  His wisdom defies instruction

3.2 Butů

Despite all this God DOES reveal SOME things:

  •  Amos 3:7- reveals His plans to His prophets
  •  e.g. Abraham shown God's plan for Sodom -Gen 18:17

He has revealed that His plan:

Originated BEFORE He made the world in that He

  •  foreknew that man would fall
  •  foreordained redemption
  •  revealed His blessing of man and the hopelessness of man through a chosen nation, Israel
  •  involved the sending of His Son from heaven to earth to bring about the possible reconciliation of God to man and man to God
  •  results in possibility of redeemed men spending eternity in the wonderful presence of God