In my previous blog post we examined the idea that God's love is expressed through His Personhood (i.e. intellect, sensibility, and volition). This week, we will examine His love expressed through His nature. A person's nature is their basic or inherent features.
God's nature is divine. In contrast, we have a human nature (God is not human). There are many ways to describe God's divine nature. For our purposes, we will focus on three attributes of His divine nature that He alone possesses. (1) God is omnipresent. God is present everywhere at the same time. We see God's love expressed through His omnipresence in Psalm 139:7-10. "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me" (Ps. 139:7-10). Because God is present everywhere, He is close to His created world. (2) God is omnipotent. God has the power to do anything He wills to do. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. ... For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:16, 20). It is by God's power that we have salvation! What great love is shown through His omnipotence. (3) God is omniscient. God possesses perfect knowledge of all things. God knows all things without effort. Because God is eternal and He is not bound by time and space, He knows all things of the past and future without the need to recall or speculate. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Eph. 1:3-4). God knew we would sin and yet because of His love for us, it was His plan from the beginning for us to be saved through Jesus Christ.
God's nature is holy and perfect. In contrast, we have a sinful nature (God cannot sin). God's holiness means that He is separated from sin and devoted to seeking His own honor. God is a holy being before He wills holiness into action. This means God did not will Himself to be pure, He is pure (cf. Rev. 4:8; Isa. 6:3; Lev. 18:2). Man's holiness is not within self, but through identification with God who shares His nature with His children.
God's nature is spirit. In contrast, we have a physical nature (God is not composed of matter). The term "spirit" when used to define God means that He is not "composed of matter" and invisible. As Spirit, God is not limited by a physical body. "Spirit" means incorporeal being, God is a real Being who does not exist in or through a physical body (cf. Jn. 4:24; Deut. 4:15, 16, 19; Ps. 147:5; Lk. 24:39; Jn. 1:18; Col. 1:15). Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24).
When we consider the essence of God's nature is love, we are suggesting that God is Spirit and is intimately close to His creation (omnipresent), He has the power to provide salvation (omnipotence), and He knew from the foundation of the world that He would express His love for us through sending His Son to bring salvation (omniscience). His nature is perfect and therefore He can express His love for us perfectly.
(NOTE: The content of this blog post is exactly the type of subject matter we are studying on Wednesday nights through CLASS 203: Systematic Theology from 6:15pm until 7:15pm.)
Dr. Chris Dortch has been in vocational ministry since 1993. His blog is aimed to "equip the saints for the work of ministry."