D1 - There is only one God
‘Now this is eternal life that they know you, the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ whom you sent.’
‘For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth – as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’, yet for us, there is ONE GOD, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and ONE LORD, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.’
Many religious leaders say that there are many roads to heaven; just like there are many roads to Rome. But the Bible has made it clear – that there is only ONE GOD and that belongs to the God of the Bible.
Just like, for example, there can only be one Coca Cola brand, with all others a mere counterfeit of the real thing.
Christians, therefore, do not worship the God of the Bible while having the same relationship with other religious leaders.
In the Old Testament, Exodus 20:5, the relationship is explicit –
‘You shall not bow down to them or serve them (other gods), for I the Lord, your God am a jealous God.’
Like a marriage, God demands us to be faithful to Him and Him alone.
For believers who are interested in history, you might be keen to learn about the Council of Nicaea.
In AD 325, an Alexandrian priest, Arius, raised the issue of Jesus’ divinity because, unlike God (the Father), Jesus was born and hence had a beginning. This ambiguity threatened the church and Emperor Constantine I, who converted to Christianity in AD 312 and who ceased the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, also became a patron of the Church,
As a result, he convened a meeting for all bishops of the region in discussing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. By the end, the Council established the equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity and asserted that Jesus was the Son incarnate.
For more information, please go HERE.
For a copy of the Nicene Creed, please go HERE.
D2 - God is three in one (Trinity)
The Bible makes it quite unequivocal that God is three in one. In Matt 28:19, Jesus said this just before he ascended back to heaven,
‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’
Consistently, throughout the Bible, it is always three persons but in one – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with the Father as the final authority.
In Matt 24:36, when asked by his disciples when the end of the age will be, Jesus said that
‘But concerning that day and hour (precise timing of Jesus’ second coming) no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.’
It is one of the most difficult concepts to explain – how can there be three in one and yet they are God (in the singular)? It is indeed a mystery. In 1 Cor 13:12, Paul explained it,
‘For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.’
Eccl 11:5 (NLT) says,
‘Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.’
It is unusual and we will never know what it means. Our best shot on this side of heaven is that of a ‘perfect’ marriage between a man and his wife; and we know that most marriages are far from perfect.
In a marriage, the two shall be one and it is more than about sex although God does use sex to illustrate that oneness. They are two separate personalities but yet the marriage can operate in perfect harmony where the husband loves his wife, and the wife submits to her husband.
In the case of the Trinity, we have three different personalities but yet one.
D3 - God is all knowing
1 John 3:20 says,
‘If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and he knows all things.’
If God is all knowing, then why should Christians pray? Again, we will not know everything except that God commanded us to do so. The Bible does not say, ‘If you pray’; in Matt 6:15, it says, ‘When you pray.’
Prayer is an expected part of us being Christians.
If God is all knowing, why did he create Lucifer, since he knew that Lucifer would ultimately rebel?
Again, we are not privileged to know everything but God did have a perfect solution ready and that came in the form of his plan in Christ. God’s sovereign plan did include Lucifer (or Satan) and Christ.
D4 - God does not lie
Heb 6:18 – ‘It is impossible for God to lie.’
The Bible is certain about this. Hence, repeatedly, Christians and Jews are told not to lie but to keep their words.
- Ex 20:16 laid out the ninth commandment as ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’
- Prov 30:5 says, ‘Every word of God proves true.’
- Jesus said of God the Father, ‘Your word is truth’ (John 17:17) and again
- In Matt 5:37, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
Put it simply, God does not lie and if God says so, then it must be so. At the same time, if the Bible says so (as the Bible is his words), then it must happen.
For example, the Bible says that Jesus Christ will return into the world again. As believers, we can be certain that it will happen.
God fulfilled and, even now, is fulfilling his promises. Here are some examples:
The promises that God kept regarding Jesus:
- Isa 7:14 said that the Messiah would be born of a virgin –
- Micah 5:2 said that he would be born in Bethlehem,
- Jer 23:5 mentioned that he would be from the lineage of David (Please see D27 – Jesus came from the bloodline of David for more details),
- Isa 40:3 proclaimed that a messenger would prepare his way. We know that John the Baptist met the requirements,
- Ps 16:10 declared that he would rise from the dead.
The promises that are even being fulfilled right now (PS: These predictions were made more than two thousand years ago):
- Isa 66:7-8 asked
‘Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she brought forth her children.’ –
The Nation of Israel, her people were dispersed worldwide for almost two thousand years, was literally formed in one day on 29 November 1947 when the United Nations (UN) voted to reconstitute the Jewish national home in the Jewish people’s ancient homeland in UN Resolution 181.
On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and soon to be the first Prime Minister of Israel, officially declared the establishment of the State of Israel which would come into effect on the termination of the British Mandate at midnight that day.
- Rev 11:9 said that at the end of times, two prophets will appear but will eventually be killed. Their bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem and will be seen by ‘all peoples and tribes and tongues and nations’.Rev 11:9 foresaw the presence of television and the internet as a global communication media,
- Rev 13:16 spoke about the future of a cashless society where buying and selling transactions could take place with just a mark on one’s right hand or forehead. We can see how this verse is making sense especially if you are living in the developed world or China. Covid 19 has also placed pressure on the monetary authorities to get rid of paper money as diseases could be spread via them.
As a book of prophecies, and the Bible is a book of prophecies, it is exact and precise.
Please also see
- D269, Great Tribulation – The first glimpse of the 666 system is upon us, and
- D262, Believers will be hated by all nations.
It is important that God does not lie because it shows God operates within the rules that he has defined for himself in the Bible and his word is true. It is vital because we know his character to be holy and holiness means that there is no sin in him. It is quintessential because if God could lie, will we place our faith in the Bible and what it says? What if he goes back on his word?
In effect, if God lies, he will be no different from you and I – imperfect beings.
In the Old Testament, Num 23:19 says,
‘God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?’
This may not be true for some religions but not the God of the Bible.
D5 - God is sovereign
1 Tim 6:15 says,
‘He who is blessed and the only Sovereign One, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.’
The Greek word for ‘Sovereign’ is dunastes or a ruler. Here we are not talking just about any ruler – we are addressing Him as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. That means, He is the Supreme One of the universe and He has no limitations.Consider this:
- God is above all things and before all things – He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (Rev 1:8).
- God is, and was, and who is to come (Rev 1:8) – He is not limited within time.
- God created all things and holds them together (Col 1:16).
- God knows all things – past, present, and future (Rom 11:33). He is smarter than the smartest brains on earth.
- God can do all things. Nothing is too difficult for Him. He is beyond our creative abilities. (Luke 1:37).
- God is in control and rules over all things. He is the Supreme One of the universe.
It means He is the ultimate source of all power, authority and everything that exists. For more information, please go here.
D6 - God is holy
Heb 12:14 (NIV) goes further when it says that
‘without holiness, no one will see the Lord.’
What does being holy means?
In these instances, the Greek word is hagios or ‘set apart by God/ sacred.’ We are set apart by God for himself.
In order to understand ‘holiness’, it might be worthwhile to turn to the Old Testament. God chose Israel to be holy (set apart). Deut 14:2 says,
‘For you (the nation of Israel) are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the people who are on the face of the earth.’
And within the tribe of Israel, the Levites were selected to be set apart for services to God and his people.
To be ‘set apart’ is a unique thing with special expectations. The Levites were ‘set apart’ because they were the only tribe that did not participate in the worship of the golden calf (Ex 32:25-29). In other words, they ‘earned’ their marks for their fervor for God.
In view of the holiness of God, a priest who must come from the tribe of Levites, had to follow very strict rituals including these:
- He must be a descendant of Aaron in the male line (Num 18:4-7),
- He was not allowed to defile himself by contact with any dead (Lev 21:1-3),
- He cannot marry a divorced woman (Lev 21:7),
- He was not allowed to enter the Sanctuary at all times (Lev 16:2),
- He cannot have any physical blemish if he was to serve (Lev 21:23).
- For more information, please go here.
The God of the Bible also said, ‘You cannot see my face for man shall not see me and live’ (Ex 33:20).
God’s moral holiness is so pure that men will not be able to view God’s glory and live. One of the few people with the unique experience of meeting God and coming back alive was Moses whose ‘skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God’ (Ex 34:29).
But Num 12:3 described him as someone who was ‘very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.’ To see God, Moses had to attain to God’s standard of holiness, or at least close to it.
God’s holiness also explains why He could never lie. All men are measured in accordance to His ‘immeasurable’ standard.
D7 - God is love
1 John 4:8 makes it transparent,
‘Anyone who does not love does not know God because GOD is love.’
The Greek word for love here is agape.
The Greek has various words to describe love. Agape love is one that is faithful, committed and a decision of the will. It is beyond emotions and touchy feely; one moment you are loved and the next you are rejected. It is not dependent on the value or worth of the object of love. One can never be unloved.
2 Tim 2:13 describes this love best:
‘If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.’
God does not just love. He is love itself. It is a decision of the will and a commitment no doubt. He chooses to love and that is the end of it.
‘In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God (chose to) sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.’
The love of the Father caused Him to send his Son, Jesus Christ, to die and save everyone of us who believe in Him, even, and especially, those who do not deserve to be loved.
It is equally a reflection of Jesus
‘who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but (chose to) emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form, he (chose to) humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even (the ultimate, unpleasant, and most cruel) death on the cross.’ (Phil 2:6-8).
To put into context of what agape love is, consider a young married couple who is in love. The love that they have is that of eros, a love that dwells on an appreciation of the beauty within the other person. It is an intimate love, of youthful beauty and of erotic desires.
But through the years, one of them, let us say the wife, may end up in a wheelchair because of sickness and that sickness may rob them of the vitality in the relationship.
When the wife begins to drop in ‘value’ in terms of the normal day-to-day living, does it mean that the husband, who is still well, can walk away from that relationship? But the couple has made a vow – ‘for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.’
What should then take place? Can they still depend on eros love?
The love that we know has evolved. It is now a love of choice and that is, despite the deteriorating condition of the weaker spouse, the husband, through a decision of the will, chooses to remain faithful, committed and loving. Now, we believe that is agape love.
Of course, it can work the other way around for the spouses; the traditional vow helps the couple to stay focus that love is more than eros and through the years, it can evolve into agape, a love of choice and of sacrifice. The vow is all about agape love.
The Bible says,
‘By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ (John 13:35).
It also says,
‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone (chooses to) lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13).
On a macro level, it was a choice of love for Mother Teresa to go to Calcutta and start the Order of the Missionaries of Charity. It is the same choice that got Bill Wilson to initiate the Metro World Child, a US ministry that focuses on serving the underprivileged inner-city children of the world – to love the unlovable and the less loved.
God is love. God chooses to love regardless of our condition. As his disciples, we are to show this agape love too.
D8 - God is spirit
‘God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’
The Greek word for ‘spirit’ is pneuma. It means wind/ breath/ spirit.
The Trinity consists of God – the Father, God – the Son, and God – the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is alive and a separate person from the other two persons in the Godhead. D75, The Holy Spirit is a person and NOT a force, explains further about the third person in the Godhead. More information of God the Spirit can be found from D74 to D84.
God’s Spirit was already in operation right at the beginning in Gen 1:2 when the verse says, ‘The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.’
The Spirit of God has a creative element.The Spirit is not limited by a physical body but can operate in all places at the same time.
Like God, we also have a spiritual element too. 1 Thes 5:23 says, ‘… may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’.
D9 - God is a person
God is a person; He has a personality. He makes decisions. In Luke 22:42, Jesus asked, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.’
He speaks. In Matt 3:17,
“a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’”
In Luke 18:1, Jesus told the parable of a persistent widow who kept bothering the judge for justice. Eventually, it wore him down to the extent that he gave her a hearing. In the same way, Jesus reminded his disciples to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-8). That section reminded us that God can and does hear our prayers and they do influence him. If that is the case, then we know God is a person.
The Old Testament is peppered with incidents to demonstrate his personality. For example, He spoke to Moses face-to-face. Ex 33:11 says,
‘Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.’
When God was about to destroy Israel and transfer His blessings across to Moses, Moses could remind God about His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to which the Lord ‘relented from the disaster’ (Ex 32:14). He could feel and accept Moses’ logic.
In the same way, God also regretted making Saul the king of Israel. 1 Sam 15:10 says,
‘The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.”’
God is definitely not a robot. Neither is He cold, separated and unapproachable.
Hence, while God is holy, He is also a person with a personality, one whom we can talk to (pray) and have a conversation with.
D10 - Only God is to be worshiped
In Matt 4:10, during the Temptation of Jesus, Satan challenged Jesus to worship him and promised him good rewards. Jesus responded, ‘For it is written: worship the Lord your God and serve Him ONLY.’
The Greek word for ‘only’ in Matt 4:10 is mono or alone, only, solitary. In other words, there is no other one.
The Greek word for ‘worship’ is proskuneo which means to go down on one’s knees/ do obeisance/ worship.
God does not compete for our attention; He wants our hearts to obey Him fully and to always recognize Him as the only One who can demand our complete obedience.
In the Old Testament, God explicitly says,
‘I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me’ (Ex 20:5).
The Hebrew word for ‘jealous’ is qanna or jealous. It means that we are not to give of ourselves to any other except God. Hence, the Old Testament is full of imagery of a marital relationship when it talks about the nation of Israel and its relationship with God.
How do we demonstrate our worship on something?
D11 - God is patient (longsuffering) but to a point when judgement sets in
1 Peter 3:20 says that
‘God’s patience waited in the days of Noah’
even as Noah was building his ark. He was hoping that the people would still repent. When they did not, the Lord acted and flooded the earth with water so much so that only eight people of the family of Noah were saved. In 2 Peter 2:4, the Apostle Peter said that God even send the sinful angels to hell.
In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter explained why it was taking so long for Christ to return. He said,
‘The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you (us), not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.’
In these verses, Peter demonstrated to us that while God is love and patient, it does not mean that God will not act to neutralize evil. That point is, what renowned author Malcolm Gladwell has termed as the ‘tipping point’, defined as ‘the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.’
The tipping point for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was ten and less righteous people; God told Abraham that He could not even find ten righteous people in the two cities (Gen 18:32) and that was why acted..
God is longsuffering and then our sins reach the tipping point. That is when God’s judgment will set in.
Ask yourself what implication does it have on the second coming of Jesus? See D298, Jesus returns because the sings of this world will be overflowing.
D12 - God. the Father is the final authority
God, the Father, is at the pinnacle of the Trinity.
In Matt 20:23, when the mother of the sons of Zebedee requested that James and John to sit on the right and left of Jesus in his kingdom, Jesus shared that those seats were to be decided by the Father.
Again, in Matt 24:36, Jesus said that only the Father knows when he would return. He even ruled himself out of that privilege.
In the Trinity, there is a decider and that privilege belongs to the Father. Our marriages represent an imperfect mirror image of the Trinity; God has vested the man as the main decision-maker.
See also B75, Honor the structure within a family.
D13 - God, the Father decides on the second coming of Jesus
God, the Father, decides when Jesus will return; not even Jesus is aware of it. The verses in Matthew and Mark made that clear.
In Matt 24:36, Jesus said that only the Father knows when he would return.
Acts 1:7 says,
‘It is not for you (the disciples) to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.’
The final decision and authority belongs to God, the Father.
D14 - God is to be feared (Fear of the Lord)
Jesus gave us a logical reason why we should all fear God – Because God holds the authority to decide who ends up in heaven or hell (Luke 12:5) and because God is ultimately the One ‘who can destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Matt 10:28).
The Apostle Paul explained his rationale for being God-fearing in 2 Cor 5:10-11,
‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.’
Rev 20:15 reads,
‘And if anyone was found whose name was not written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.’
In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the beggar, Jesus revealed the chasm between heaven and hell as being so wide that
‘those who would pass from here (heaven) to you (in hell) may not be able, and none may cross from there (hell) to us (in heaven)’ (Luke 16:26).
The Greek word for ‘fear’ is phobeo or fear/ dread/ reverence/ terrified.
It is a fear borne out of the fact that in God’s presence, we cannot wiggle our way out using our intelligence and rationale as God knows every of our motive, thought, word, and action and will judge us accordingly.
It is because of this positive fear that many eschew evil.
Prov 23:17 says,
‘Let not your heart envy sinners but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day’
and Prov 14:27 says,
‘The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life that one may turn away from the snares of death.’
Eccl 11:9 (NLT) says,
‘Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.’
When a society lacks the fear of the Lord, sin increases and there is no limit to evilness. Gen 6:5 says,
‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.’
See also D31, Jesus is the only way to God the Father and D11 – God is patient (longsuffering) but to a point when judgement sets in.
D15 - God created heaven and earth
Acts 4:24 was a prayer of thanks from believers when Peter and John were released from prison. The believers exclaimed,
‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them.’
Paul said the same in Acts 17:24.
The God of the Bible created all things. He is not a god or one of the gods as in Hinduism; He is the Lord of lords and the God of gods, the Supreme One (Deut 10:17).
D16 - God (the Lord of heaven and earth) is in control
In Matt 11:25, Jesus called God the Father,
‘Lord of heaven and earth.’
It was also reported in Luke 10:21.
What does it mean when it says that He is the Lord of heaven and earth?
It means that God, the Father has authority over everything – in heaven as well as on earth. It means that he is in control and nothing happens without his permission.
Satan, for example, could only act if God has given permission. Consider Job 1:6-12 when God lavished praises on Job and when Satan accused God of over-protecting Job. Even Satan required permission from God before he could unleash his fury on Job.
The same can be seen in Luke 22:31-32 when Jesus revealed that Satan had asked to test Peter but was countered by Jesus’ prayer for Peter’s faith not to fail. God apparently allowed Jesus’ disciples to be harassed but only within his purpose and intention.
In the Old Testament, you will find these verses to reaffirm that God is in control …
Psalm 115:3 says,
‘Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.’
‘The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.’
Dan 2:21 –
‘He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.’
And, of course, Gen 1:1 –
‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’