Understanding God starts with understanding “the Trinity.” While the term “Trinity” is not used in Scripture the doctrine itself is abundantly evident (Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Mk. 1:9-11 and parallels). Scripture confirms that each person of the Trinity is God: the Father (Mt. 11:25-27; Jn 6:27; Rom. 1:7), the Son (Jn. 1:1, 14; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:8), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-9, 1 Cor. 2:11). At the same time, there is but one God (Dt. 6:4-5; Rom. 3:30). While the three persons of the Trinity are ontologically equal (none is more important than the other), they function together and relate to the world in unique ways. For example, with respect to roles, priority is attributed to the Father with the Son and the Spirit submitting. And yet this distinction has no negative bearing on the ontological equality of the three.
No human mind is able fully to comprehend the mystery of one God existing in three persons. Nevertheless, the doctrine of the triune God is intelligible in that we can identify it in Scripture, affirm it by faith and understand it’s importance and significance for our lives. Without the doctrine of the Trinity, other primary doctrines, such as the atonement, become unintelligible.
The list of God’s attributes is too long to fill out here, but it includes such attributes as holiness, love, power, goodness, transcendence and immanence. God is all of his attributes at all times such that, for example, his holiness is loving and his mercy is always true. The first two books below provide great, in depth discussion of God’s attributes.
Choose seven of God’s attributes, meditate on one per day for a week and journal your observations. How does God’s character transform the way you look at the world around you and your circumstances? Share your findings with your growth group.
Great books on God:
Thicker: Knowing God by J.I. Packer
Thinner: The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
Applying the theology to life: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer