Lesson One – The Truth About God

The Truth About God

Lesson Aim:  To show that the truth about the nature of God can be understood only through Jesus Christ and only by those who abide in His word.


Many have supposed if they decide to recognize God, they have.  Somehow, they think by announcing they are praying to God, they are.  They suppose, it seems, by saying “God,” the right one always appears.  However, the only way we can know we are relating to the true God is to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ.  John said, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true…”  I John 5:20. 

While being questioned by Pilate about His identity and mission, Jesus said, “You say correctly that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of truth hears My voice.”  John 18:37.  The citizens of God’s kingdom let Jesus rule our lives because we are “of truth.”  That is, we understand the truth about God and His purposes for us.  We order our lives accordingly.

It is vital to our happiness to know the truth about God.  The truth about God becomes our truth about correct goals and purposes in our lives.  See Romans 1:18ff for the Apostle Paul’s explanation about the degradation of life when the truth about God is suppressed.  The truth about life can be understood only after we understand the truth about God (Acts 17:24-28).  All theories about the life of mankind must be tested by the truth about God.  The world hates Jesus because He manifested the way to live in the truth about God (John 3:19-21).

The world hates God because of His righteousness and His infinite power.  Everyone is afraid of a super-power unless we believe it is a friendly force for our good.  We love that which serves us and gives us security.  It is important for us to recognize our God as the Almighty Power; however, it is equally important for us to recognize Him as a person.  This is one purpose for God’s Son becoming incarnate, and it is also the aim of this lesson.

In this lesson we want to understand Jesus’ work as He revealed and explained the Father in relation to His attributes of character and personality.  We must know the Father personally in order to understand ourselves and eternal life.  These subjects will be explored in the next two lessons.


God is the almighty power.  This is one truth about God.  There are many powers, but God is the power over all powers.  There are those who proclaim there is no God; yet they recognize an almighty power.  The message of the Bible declares God is that power.  By His power and through Jesus Christ, this world and all that pertains to it came into being (John 1:10; I Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2).  The Creator introduced Himself to Abraham as God Almighty (Gen. 17:1).  Later He asked Abraham, “Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?”  Gen. 18:14.  Jesus told the disciples that “with God all things are possible.”  Matt. 19:26.  These scriptures teach us God our creator is omnipotent, that is, all powerful.

The Psalmist declared God is omniscient, or all knowing.  He said, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength, His understanding is infinite.” Psalms 147:5.  God said to Samuel, “…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  I Sam. 16:7.  John proclaimed God knows all things (I John 3:20).

Also, God is omnipresent, or everywhere (Jer. 23:23, 24).  The Apostle Paul told the Greek philosophers they should seek God, “…if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us…”  Acts 17:27.

Moses witnessed to the eternalness of God.  He said, “Before the mountains were born, or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.”  Psa. 90:2.  However, John added love to the list of the attributes of God in his letters to the churches (I John 4:7, 8).  Love is an attribute of a person.  According to the following scripture Jesus came to enlighten us about God’s person.

No man has seen God at any time:  the only begotten God (Son), who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.  John 1:18

Many people have recognized God as a power; however, because they suppress the truth about the nature of this almighty power, they serve Him only from a heart of fear.  Jesus came into the world with a message from heaven for mankind (John 3:31-34).  He came from God and went back to God.  Jesus had many works to accomplish and all were done according to the Father’s will (John 4:34).  As He saw God working, in like manner He worked.  He could do nothing by Himself; therefore, we can study about Jesus to learn about God (John 5:19).

Unless we “know God,” as the phrase is used in I John 4:7, it is possible to not know the God we worship.  One of the strongest points of Jesus’ message to the Jews while He was on earth was about their not knowing the God of creation.  They called on His name and claimed to know Him but at the same time they rejected Jesus.  Jesus gave the reason for their contradictory stand in the following scripture.

And the Father who sent Me, He has born witness of Me.  You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.  And you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.  John 5:37, 38

Jesus told the Jews they could not identify Him with the one whom they called God because they did not know God.  The most startling statement made by Jesus to them during His time on earth is found in the following scriptures.

Jesus said to them, “if God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.  I have not come on my own; but he sent me.  Why is my language not clear to you?  Because you are not able to hear what I say.  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me!  Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?  If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?  He who belongs to God hears what God says.  The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.  John 8:42-47 NIV

Although the Jews claimed the God of Abraham was their Father, Jesus said their father really was the devil.  His reason for this statement is found in verse 47 where He said, “He who is of God hears the words of God, for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”  All who are religious do not “know” God; however, they may know about Him.  To know God as the word “know” is used in John 17:3 and other scriptures mean we are attuned to God’s way of looking at situations – we understand His feelings.  We feel this way too.  If we do not know our God, how do we know who we are talking to in our prayers?  We cannot know Him with our five natural senses.

Jesus was trying to get the Jews to see the seriousness of their problem.  They had the wrong god because they rejected Jesus.  The point is, if we do not know the nature of God and relate our nature to His nature, we very well could have a “no god” we call upon.  We learn about God by learning about Jesus.  Jesus made this fact very clear to His twelve disciples before He left them.  First He said:

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.  John 14:6

And then He said:

Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’  John 14:9

The way Jesus explains God, the Father, to us is by His own nature.  To know the Father, we must know the Son.  Since we do not walk with Jesus as the disciples did, we must learn of Him from His word.  As we read the Bible and come to know the character and personality of Jesus Christ, we learn about our Father in heaven.  If we like Jesus we will try to imitate Him.  We imitate those whom we admire.  If we do not appreciate Jesus we will not try to develop ourselves like Him.  Jesus said, if we abide in His love, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).  If for some reason we do not love Jesus after reading about Him in the Bible, we are in a pitiable condition.  We cannot know God.  We do not know God, our Creator (Acts 14:15).

Jesus said, “He who hates Me, hates My Father also.”  John 15:23.  The one who does not love Jesus will be sadly disappointed in God.  Jesus is a person with a unique personality.  God is a person with the same attributes.  Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature (Heb. 1:3).  He has fully explained the nature of God.

Jesus taught the attributes of God as the highest goal for our character development.  In His nature, God is absolute.  We do not say God has love for God is love.  When Moses asked for the identity of God, He told him, “I Am.”  Exod. 3:14.  Everything about God is absolute.  We will be able to find our absolute reality only when we cease to suppress the truth about God as a person.  We must have His word implanted in our hearts and minds to know Him in the way the Bible speaks.  Consider the following:

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.  John 15:10

The Psalmist said the heavens tell of the glory of God in relation to His power (Psa. 19:1).  Jesus Christ revealed the attributes of God while upon earth (John 1:18).  Today, the heavens are still declaring the glory of God and Jesus is still revealing the nature of God through His teachings in the Bible.  The mass of the Jewish people could not relate to Jesus and God in the proper way even though Jesus did many miracles in their midst.  Their problem is revealed in Jesus’ statement:

He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.  John 8:47

They should have responded to Jesus with “open arms!”  They might have done so if they had known God.  They did not connect Jesus or His teaching to the one they called God.  This proves they did not know God.  Likewise, today many people read the Bible and do not see God through Jesus as a person.  The problem is they have not been obedient to His word.  When we are obedient to Jesus’ teachings and enjoy the fruit of God’s nature in our lives, we have no trouble seeing the beautiful nature of Jesus in the gospel.  The truth still stands, when we know Jesus we know God, the Father.  If we do not know Jesus, we will never know God.  If we are of God we will hear the words of God.  They tell us of Jesus and we know “He and the Father are one.”

We can know about God by our reflections on creation.  We can read about God in His word; however, to know God demands spiritual growth.  For instance, God is love, and as we begin to adopt this life principle, we begin to know God.  We know God because of our sanctification which means spiritual growth.  Consider the following scripture:

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.  II Cor. 3:18

Christians must have this glorious view of God’s person if we are to gain any strength from the often used phrase, “God, our Father.”  This becomes one of the greatest sources of strength in a Christian’s life on earth.  We recognize God as the power over all powers and then we come to recognize Him as a person.  But not just a person, this almighty powerful person is our Father.  It is then, and only then, we know all things work together for good for those who love God (Rom. 8:28).  His rule, or kingdom, will be within us (Luke 17:20, 21).  We can learn about all of the attributes of God and Jesus from the Bible.

The Apostle Paul declared that all idol worshippers are eliminated from any possible hope of arriving at the truth about the God who created them.  He based his argument on the premise that all people who believe in God, believe they are His offspring (Acts 17:29).  Since the nature of our “self,” does not relate to stone, metals or works of art; then God, our Creator, cannot be formed with these materials.  Any concept of God not having a “self” is not our Creator.

This reveals another way to arrive at the truth about God’s nature.  We can begin with ourselves.  All Christian people believe we were created in the likeness of God.  We do not believe our bodies were made in His image, but our inner man, our person.  We understand our physical body is only a container for this world (II Cor. 4:16-18).  The other part of us was made in the image of God.  It is our spirit that develops personality.  This gives us a lot of useful information about our God.  He is spirit with attributes of personality (John 4:24).

Let us summarize by stating God is the almighty power but He is also a person.  The latter is so often suppressed.  The suppression of the truth about God led the Gentiles to total confusion about themselves and brought His wrath upon them.  Since this will happen to anyone who suppresses the truth, teachers of God need to understand the truth, and then guide the lost out of their confusion.  Jesus did this as He went about preaching the good news of the kingdom, but then He offered a third dimension of God for those who believe.  We can have this almighty person as our Father (John 1:12).

Questions for Discussion

  1. What happened to the Gentiles when they suppressed the truth about God?
  2. What do most people acknowledge even though some claim they do not believe in God?
  3. What important fact do some fail to recognize about God even though they accept Him as the Almighty Power?
  4. Why is it important for us to have a true understanding of God?
  5. Give one of the works of Jesus while upon earth.
  6. How can we know we are worshipping the true God?
  7. Did the Jews of the first century know the God they claimed to follow?   Do those who follow the Jewish religion today know the God they worship?  Explain your answers.
  8. How is it possible to follow and worship a “no god?”
  9. What does it mean to “know God,” according to John 17:3?
  10. Explain the concept that “God is absolute.”
  11. Why should the Jews have accepted Jesus with “open arms?”
  12. Why is spiritual growth necessary to know God?
  13. Show how we can start with the truth about man and arrive at the truth about God.
  14. Why is it impossible for idol worshippers to know the God who created mankind?
  15. What is one very important responsibility of a teacher of God’s word today?

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply