"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1; New International Version). This is the first verse in the Bible - it leads us to conclude that:
All things begin with God.
The Bible begins with God.
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. How we answer these questions determines how we live on the earth and 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.
God is eternal! God has always lived. While people will grow old and die, God will always live. The Bible says of God, “You were God before the mountains were born, before the earth and the world were made. You have always been and will always be God!” (Psalm 90:2). "God also said, ‘O Lord, in the beginning you made the earth, and your hands made the sky. These things will disappear, but you will stay. They will all wear out like old clothes. You will fold them up like a coat, and they will be changed like clothes. But you never change, and your life will never end.’” (Hebrews 1:10-12).
God is all-knowing! God knows everything, and sees everything. It is possible to hide things from other people, but nothing can be hidden from God. "... when our hearts make us feel guilty, we can still have peace before God, because God is greater than our hearts. He knows everything” (1 John 3:20).
God is unchanging! Everything in this world changes... governments, habits, customs, the weather, even our bodies. But God never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. "“I am the Lord, and I don’t change" (Malachi 3:6).
God is spirit! God is not a human being as you and I are. "God is spirit. So the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).
God is light! "We heard the true teaching from God. Now we tell it to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness" (1 John 1:5). There is no darkness, or sin, in God. This means we can always trust Him - He will never lie to us or mislead us.
God is love! "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:8). God loves us. He has proved His great love for us by giving up His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. "True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. He sent his Son as the way to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10).
God is righteous! God cannot do any wrong. He hates all sin. “The Lord always does what is right, and he loves seeing people do right" (Psalm 11:7).
God is merciful! Although God hates sin, He is merciful. He will forgive our sins if we truly repent (or make up our minds to turn away from practicing sin and turn to God). “The Lord is kind and merciful. He is patient and full of love” (Psalm 103:8).
Beyond knowing what God is like, we also know that there is a God because of the things which He has made. "The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies announce what his hands have made" (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. 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 also 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. The Jews were the first people that God gave a written law to. The Bible says, “Those who are not Jews don’t have the law. But when they naturally do what the law commands without even knowing the law, then they are their own law. This is true even though they don’t have the written law. They show that in their hearts they know what is right and wrong, the same as the law commands, and their consciences agree. Sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done wrong, and this makes them guilty. And sometimes their thoughts tell them that they have done right, and this makes them not guilty” (Romans 2:14-15).
Finally, we know there is a God because He has revealed Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “In the past God spoke to our people through the prophets. He spoke to them many times and in many different ways. And now in these last days, God has spoken to us again through his Son. He made the whole world through his Son. And he has chosen his Son to have all things” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Over these next few lessons, we are excited for you to get to know God better.