What Is God ~ 20200413 ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org

04/13 Foundations: What Is God?; Audio available at: http://www.ephraimbible.org/Sermons/20200413_god.mp3

God: What Is God?

In the classic by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters; which is an imagined correspondence between a senior demon and his apprentice tempter, on the matter of prayer, screwtape says;

If you look into your patient's mind when he is praying, ...If you examine the object to which he is attending, you will find that it is a composite object containing many quite ridiculous ingredients. There will be images derived from pictures of the Enemy as He appeared during the discreditable episode known as the Incarnation: ... There will even be some of his own reverence (and of bodily sensations accompanying it) objectified and attributed to the object revered. I have known cases where what the patient called his "God" was actually located-up and to the left at the corner of the bedroom ceiling, or inside his own head, or in a crucifix on the wall. But whatever the nature of the composite object, you must keep him praying to it-to the thing that he has made, not to the Person who has made him. ...Once all his thoughts and images have been flung aside or, if retained, retained with a full recognition of their merely subjective nature, and the man trusts himself to the completely real, external, invisible Presence, there with him in the room and never knowable by him as he is known by it-why, then it is that the incalculable may occur.”

We must direct our prayers "Not to what I think thou art but to what thou knowest thyself to be".

We need to ask ‘What is God? What kind of being is God?’ When we talk about ‘God’, we need to clarify what we mean.

I remember learning about taxonomic ranking in school. It is a method of classifying organisms; Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. It progresses from broad categories; the animal kingdom, and narrows down by traits or characteristics until we get to the specific species.


How do we categorize God? What type of being is God? What category is he in?

Psalm 113:4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! 5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, 6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?

Who is like the LORD our God? God is in a class by himself. He is utterly unlike any other being. In Isaiah 6, the prophet has a vision of God

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Holy, holy, holy. The word ‘holy’ means set apart, separate, distinct. The Lord is Holy, holy, holy. He is utterly separate and distinct, unlike any other being. He is utterly unique. Notice here, he is worshiped by the seraphim, another class of being with six wings. God is unlike anything in physical creation, and he is unlike any other created supernatural being.

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

There is a fundamental distinction between Creator and created being. God is the creator of both the physical and the immaterial, spiritual or supernatural realms. God is above and beyond and outside his creation. (And by the way, Colossians 1:16 is talking about Jesus!)


The Westminster shorter catechism question #4 is ‘What is God?’ and gives this answer: ‘God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.'

The catechism places God in the category of Spirit as opposed to a physical or material being. Jesus said:

John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God is spirit, as such is invisible.

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

God, in essence is spirit, and although he can appear in different forms, in his essence he has no physical form. Moses drives this point home in Deuteronomy 4

Deuteronomy 4:12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice.

Deuteronomy 4:15 “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. 19 And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

God is spirit, and must be worshiped in spirit and truth. He is not to be worshiped by making an image, either real or imagined. We must worship the God who is, not what we imagine him to be.

Self-Existent, Self-sufficient

When Moses asked God ‘what is your name?’

Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

I AM. The one who is, the one who exists, independent of all else, self-existent. You and I are dependent beings. Think for a moment what you are dependent on. Parents, food, water, air, climate, protection, relationships. We are truly fragile beings. God is independent. Absolutely.

Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

Infinite, Eternal, Unchangeable

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.' God is infinite. He is not finite; not limited in any way. He is not subject to the limitations of space and time and matter that we are limited by.

1 Kings 8:27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!

God is uncontainable!

Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

God is able to do all that pleases him. Nothing that he desires to do is outside his reach.

Psalm 102:25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 27 but you are the same, and your years have no end.

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. What he is, he always was. There is no improving on perfection. And he will never decline from perfection. God is infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his being, in his essence or essential nature.

God’s Moral Perfection

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.' God is also infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his moral attributes. He is perfect in his wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. These are characteristics we share with God. We were created in the image of God, to reflect and display who God is. We have understanding, we have ability, we have a sense of right and wrong, we love what is good and what is true. But we are limited, flawed, and imperfect in these moral characteristics.

We have some wisdom; God’s wisdom is unlimited.

Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

1 John 3:20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

God knows everything, sees everything, and is present everywhere.

Jeremiah 23:23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.

We have some strength; God’s power is unlimited; “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen.18:14).

We can sometimes be good;

Luke 18:19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

We have a sense of justice and truth;

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Deuteronomy 32:3 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! 4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.


What should our response be to this kind of being? We find a summary of what it should not be in Romans 1:18-25.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

With the limited understanding we have of this infinite and unique being who is God, we ought to honor him as God and give him thanks. He is worthy of our worship, and looking at his character and nature should cause us to overflow with worship in spirit and truth.


Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~ www.ephraimbible.org