What Do Baptists Believe About God?
What do Baptists believe about God? This session will explore how we know God exists, God’s attributes, and the Trinity.
How we know God exists? – God is known because he makes himself known – this is called revelation. God is revealed in two ways – through general revelation and specific revelation.
General Revelation speaks to how God is known in the created world. There are a number of arguments for God’s existence
- Cosmological arguments show how God is known through cause. It argues that the universe requires an uncaused cause to exist. The uncaused cause is said to be God. (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-2, Hebrews 1:1-2)
- Teleological arguments show how God is known through purpose, design, beauty and morality. All of these things speak to an intelligent agent who puts these things in order (Romans 1:20, Acts 14:17, Psalm 19:1, Romans 2:14-15).
- Ontological arguments argue that God must exist by definition. God is said to be the greatest possible conceivable being, and being that existence is greater than non-existence, then God must exist by definition.
Specific Revelation is how God is revealed in his Son and his word. The incarnate word of God is Jesus himself John 1:1, John 1:14, Hebrews 1:1-2), and his written word is the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God’s being – God is a Trinity. The word Trinity is not found in the Bible but the idea is. The Bible affirms the oneness of God (John 10:3, Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Corinthians 8:6), yet talk about the three distinct persons of God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Corinthians 13:14).
God the Father is the first member of the Trinity, and he demonstrates his fatherly nature in his work in the world (Matthew 5:45, Matthew 6:25–33, Matthew 7:9–11) and he draws his children to him (John 6:44, 1 John 3:1) and cares for his children as well (Ephesians 1:3- 14, Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6- 7)
God’s Attributes – What’s God like? There are a number of attributes that are used to describe God. Some of the attributes are said to be “communicable” meaning, that humans too can possess them, while others are “incommunicable”, meaning that only God possess them.
- Omniscient – God is all knowing, in that he can know all that is knowable (Psalm 147:4, Psalm 139:1-4, Isaiah 46:9-10, Acts 15:8).
- Omnipotent – God is all powerful, meaning that God can do all things that are possible. This would exclude things like lie, sin, or create illogical things like four sided triangles (Luke 1:37).
- Omnipresent – God is everywhere. This is not to be confused to say that God is everything. God is present everywhere, however not everything is God (Jeremiah 23:24, Proverbs 15:3, Psalm 139 7-10).
- God is infinite and eternal – God always has and always will exist. He existed before time began and will exist after time ends (Genesis 21:33, Revelation 1:8, 1 Timothy 1:17, Lamentations 5:19).
- God is self-sufficient. God does not need anything or anyone, nor is his existence dependent on anything or anyone (Exodus 3:14, Acts 17:24, Revelation 1:8).
- God is immutable – God doesn’t change – he stays the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).
- God is sovereign – God is supreme over all creation (Isaiah 46:10, Psalm 47:2, 1 Timothy 1:17)
- God is love – God exhibits the greatest love ever known, and it was manifested through Jesus’ death on the cross for the sins of man (1 John 4:7-20, Romans 5:8, John 3:16).
- God is holy – God is without sin, set apart. Not only that, God is the most holy. (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8).
- God is righteous – God is able to rightfully judge the world (Revelation 15:4, Psalm 9:4-8)
- God is spirit – God is not a material being with parts, although Jesus was a man (John 1:14, John 1:18).
- God is truth – God himself is the source of truth (Titus 1:2, John 14:6).