In a recent episode on television, two characters share their view of God. One utters their view of God is as a vengeful and wrathful deity. The other character quickly asserts their view of God is not as an angry divinity. Rather, they see God as a loving and forgiving God. So, who is right? In some sense, both are right and both are wrong. God is holy and will justly release His wrath on those who rebel against Him. Yet, God is loving at the same time and will forgive those who repent and trust in Jesus because He has saved them by living a sinless life, dying a substitutionary death, and rising again from the dead. The deeper issue with this television scene is the characters conform God into their image instead of understanding God as One who has made them in His image. In other words, their view of God is based on their perceptions and not on the truth of the Bible. To know God and to know the Christian faith means we must know the foundations of our faith. Genesis 1 is our starting point. In the first verse, we read, “In the beginning, God”. Before anything was created and before any matter came into being, God was there. God is eternal. He has no beginning and no end. The Christian worldview holds fast to the truth that the source of origin is God Himself. Simply put, He is the Creator of the world and the things in the world. Genesis 1:1-25 lays this out for us. Our eternal God chose to bring glory to Himself by creating the heavens and the earth and all which dwells in them. Moreover, take notice of how God creates: God creates by speaking, He sees what He has created, and He orders creation.
God creates by speaking (1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24). In the beginning, God created and He created by speaking. “And it was so” is a repeated phrase in Genesis 1. God’s speaking will surely bring about His ends. When we read and study Scripture, we do not erroneously view it as man’s thoughts about God. When we dig into the Word, we understand it to be the Word of God. God has revealed Himself in the Bible and He spoken through prophets and apostles, culminating in speaking through His Son, Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 1:1-4).
God sees His creation (1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). God not only speaks in creation but He also sees creation. And what does He say about what He has made? Six times in Genesis 1 we read “And God saw that it was good”. While humanity was the only creature made in the image of God, all creation reflects the character of God. God’s creation was good because the Good creator had made it. It certainly has been distorted because of the Fall, but all of creation points us back to some knowledge of God.
God orders His creation (1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23). A biblical view of God reveals to us our God is eternal, He is our creator, and He is good. From creation, we also see our God is a God of order. With each day of creation, we read “And there was evening and there was morning”. The phrase gives us a sense of pattern. God orders His creation. Even when life seems disorganized and chaotic, we can rest in the truth our God is a God of order.
So, who is God? The Bible informs us on that. God has revealed Himself in Scripture. To be sure, Genesis 1 does not tell us all about God. That is why studying the whole counsel of God is crucial. But, unlike the television characters, we do not answer the question with our own ideas but with the Bible’s proclamation. He is eternal, He is an orderly Creator, and He is good.
- How do you answer the question “Who is God?” How do you arrive at your answer—by studying the Bible or by relying on your own thoughts?
- Spend some time this week giving thanks to God for His order, His creation, and His goodness.