What Do You Mean, You Believe in God?
Norman E. Fultz
Kansas City, Missouri
Results of a Gallup poll published a while back reveal that "94 percent of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit." The survey noted differences between those with different levels of education as to their religious perceptions. Among college graduates only 91 percent believe in God or a universal spirit. This group is also "more likely to believe in an impersonal God" with only 81 percent of them believing in God as a "heavenly father who can be reached by prayer." Ten percent believe that God is an idea, not a being; and another five percent believe God is an impersonal creator who cannot be reached by prayer.
So, my friend, if you tell me you believe in God, excuse me if I respond by asking, "What do you mean by that?"
The Bible presents unto us a living God who is a person, a divine person, who is very much in touch with his creation, a prayer-hearing God (Psa. 65:2), a God before whom we may be well-pleasing or displeasing. In order to be well-pleasing, one must "believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that seek him" (Heb. 11:6). God is not just an abstract idea or impersonal creator, but a "living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is" (Acts 14:18), and "who gives to us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim. 6:17).
Consider some other attributes of this living God. He is a spirit being, not flesh and blood (Jn. 4:24). He is One (Deut. 6:4; Eph. 4:6), manifested in three persons all agreed and united in plan and purpose (Acts 5:3-4; Jn. 1:1,14; 17:20-21). He is omnipresent (Psa. 139:710; Jer. 23:23-24). He is omniscient - all knowing (Eccl. 12:14; Heb. 4:13). He is omnipotent - all powerful (Gen. 17:1; Rom. 1:20). God is infinitely just (Psa. 89:14); infinitely holy (Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15); infinite in goodness (Psa. 100:5); eternal, immortal, invisible, and unchangeable (Psa. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Jas. 1:17). He is love and light and in him is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 4:8; 1:5).
Friend, God, who is not far from everyone of us, for in him we live and move and have our being, desires that you seek him (Acts 17:27-28). He would have you come unto repentance in view of his righteous judgment, not desiring that any should perish (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Pet. 3:9).
May we be of assistance to you in learning more of God and his will?
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 4, p. 100