How much do you know about God? About who He is and what He is really like? Although the human mind finds it difficult to wrap itself around questions like this, the Bible does actually teach us quite a bit about God.
“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:6)
What does this verse mean? Well, first we see that there is one God. In Genesis 1:26 He says, “…Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” using the plural noun “‘elohim” to refer to Himself, yet the first words of the “Shema”—Deuteronomy 6:4—are “Hear, o Israel: the Lord our God is one LORD.” How are we to understand this? The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Zodhiates) notes that “Until Jesus came, the essential (internal) unity of the Godhead was not understood to a great extent, though it was intimated.”
John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:1-5, 10-13) We now understand that God is the Father, Jesus Christ—the Word made flesh—and the Spirit whom He gives to those who follow Him. Yet there is one God.
We are further told that He is the Father—the Creator—of everything. This is clearly taught in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Complete Word Study Old Testament tells us, “God of His own free will and by His absolute power called the universe into being, creating it out of nothing.” We also learn that “There are at least five major theories on the interpretation of the six days of creation,” four of which attempt to somehow make Scripture fit with modern theories, but “The various attempts to join together the biblical account of creation and evolution are not supportable even by the various gap theories because the order of creation is in direct opposition to…[evolutionary views].” God called all things into existence through the His Word. This may be difficult to for the human mind to grasp, but it is Scripturally sound doctrine.
Next we see that God is above all. He is the ultimate potentate—the final authority to which everyone will one day answer. Jesus Himself taught, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28) God is in charge; because we will answer to Him, He is the one we must not sin against.
God also works through His people. God will perform His purposes, with or without us, but He graciously invites us to be involved in His activity. As Christians, we are to be aware of what He wants us to do, and do it. It might be telling the truth about Christ, or something as seemingly insignificant as speaking to someone who is discouraged, but whatever it is, when we see a need—whether physical or spiritual—and are in a position to do something about it, we must act.
And we are able to, because through the Holy Spirit, God is actually in us. Before going to the cross, Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:12-15) It is the Holy Spirit who gives us spiritual understanding, and who causes us to be receptive to the things of God.
Furthermore, it is the Holy Spirit who guides us into right living. Romans 8:1-11 explains the difference between living to please ourselves and obeying the Holy Spirit:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit…For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
It is those who are in Christ–who walk according to the Spirit–who are no longer condemned. Ultimately, His Spirit in us is our guarantee that God will also give us life!
Thank You that You are above all, that You work through Your people, and are in us through Your Spirit. May we glorify You now and eternally! In Jesus’ name, Amen.