With You there is forgiveness,
that You may be reverenced.
Psalm 130:4

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We could never know God unless God had chosen to reveal Himself to us.  Fortunately, He has done just that in the Bible.  According to the Bible, God is Spirit  which means His substance is altogether different than any matter that exists in our universe (John 4:24 - note: you can hover your mouse over these links to see the verse or click on them to bring them up in another window).  He is eternal, having always existed (Ps 90:2).  He never changes (Mal 3:6, James 1:17) and has always been absolutely perfect in every way (Matt 5:48), needing no improvement nor growth.  He is all-sufficient and has never needed anything from anyone (Acts 17:24-25, Ps 50:12).   He is absolutely holy, righteous, and just and thus everything He does is right and good (Lev 19:2, Deut 32:4, Ps 11:7).  He cannot sin and has never even had an evil thought or a wrong motive (James 1:13, Heb 6:18).  He is loving, gracious, patient, kind, and merciful (Ex 34:7, John 3:16).  He spoke the universe and everything in it into existence (Gen 1:1, Ps 33:6).  He knows absolutely everything, including the future and all of our thoughts and motives (1 Chr 28:9, Isa 46:9b-10).   

God has an eternal plan for all of creation and is guiding everything accordingly

Photo from NASA Visible Earth.

His plan is to prepare a people for Himself who will live in loving fellowship with Him and behold His glory for all eternity

God is in complete control of everything (Ps 135:6, Ps 33:10, Is 45:7).  Not a single particle or creature in all of creation can do anything unless He either allows it or causes it.  He has an eternal plan for all of creation and is guiding everything accordingly (Isa 46:9b-10, Eph 1:3-12).  His plan is to prepare a people for Himself who will live in loving fellowship with Him and behold His glory for all eternity (John 17:24, John 14:1-3).  Every good thing we have including our very lives, every heart beat, every breath, our health, talents, abilities, intelligence, resources, family, friends, neighbors, and food are all undeserved gifts from God (Acts 17:24-26, James 1:17a).  But the greatest gift that God can give anyone is a relationship with Himself (John 17:3, Phil 3:8-11, Ps 63:1-3). 

At this point some may ask "Well if God is really so good then why's there so much evil and suffering in this world and what hinders this fellowship with God?"  The simple answer is sin.  God created the first man and woman and put them in a perfect world (Gen 1:31).  But they disobeyed God and as a result, God brought death and decay into the world (Gen 3:17-19).  Since then, all of their descendents including you and me have followed in their footsteps (Rom 5:12).  But God is using even the most evil of men, fallen angels, suffering, and tragedy to accomplish His good purposes for Himself and His people (Rom 8:28-30).  Though only eternity will reveal how some things fit into God's plans, we can sometimes see even in the present how it is usually suffering, pain, and adversity that most help us to grow as people and to come to know and value God most deeply (Rom 5:3-5, Ps 119:67-68, 2 Tim 3:12).

Given all these truths about God, it is clear that we ought to love Him with our whole hearts and submit ourselves to His loving care and instruction.  But we haven't.  Instead we have rebelled and sinned against Him.  And being holy and just, God can't just overlook or ignore our sin.  But as you might guess by now, this didn't surprise God.  Even before He created the universe, God knew that man would rebel against Him and need a Savior.  So it was planned that His Son Jesus would enter the world by being born to a virgin, and that He would suffer and die to pay for the sins of His people (1 Peter 1:18-21).  And while there is only one God (Is 46:9a), God has always consisted of three equal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Each is fully God and they relate to each other in perfect harmony. Thus God Himself has made a way for us have our sins forgiven and to be restored to fellowship with Him.   We will talk more about this later, but sometimes we can't really appreciate a solution until we really understand the magnitude of the problem it solves.  For this reason, we are going to discuss our sin problem a little more thoroughly on the next page.

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Related links
A Passion for the Supremacy of God by John Piper

Is God in Control? by Jerry Bridges

I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow by John Newton
(a poem/hymn describing how God uses inward trials to purify us and
 grow our love for Him.  John Newton is the author of "Amazing Grace".)