Are you sure? Sure, I'm sure!
Previous articleBack to Table of ContentsNext article


Topic: Theology Proper

God as God

by Darrel Cline

The Bible begins with the declaration that "In the beginning, God created...". Of course, when that portion of the Bible was originally written, the author did not write in English. That means that we are to ask the question, what is the basic content of the word the author used that our translators rendered "God"? That is the subject of our topic today.

When Moses wrote Genesis 1:1 in Hebrew, he penned the word "Elohim" as the descriptive noun that was to inform his readers that he was writing about "God". By choosing to use "Elohim", Moses deliberately set the stage for our understanding of God in terms of the exercise of power. The root of the word "Elohim" is tied to this power thesis, and Moses clearly intended us to think in terms of power when he told us that this "Elohim" created all that is by simply saying "Let there be...".

The author of the New Testament book of Hebrews picked this up in 11:3 where he wrote "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (KJV). The point is that the biblical "God" is fundamentally The Exerciser of Power.

The apostle Paul, in Romans 1:20 says that the invisible realities about God that are clearly seen by the things which He has made are two-fold: 1) His God-ness; and 2) His eternal power. In other words, by reason of man's sensibility toward the inescapable law of cause and effect, man knows two things with certainty: 1) God is; and 2) God is powerful. Because the two most universally known laws of physics are the first and second laws of thermodynamics, men are aware of the existence and power of God.

Just in case you are not familiar with the first and second laws of thermodynamics, let me set them before you in popular terminology. The First Law basically says "You cannot win". In terms of the issues of energy, there is no such thing as an energy generating machine. No one can set up a generator that can both run the electric motor that drives it and run something else. No one can get more energy out of a system than has been put into that system. The Second Law basically says "You cannot even break even". This means that, in terms of energy, we will always have to put more energy into a system than we will get out of it. No one will ever build a perpetual motion machine, nor can they set up a generator that can drive the electric motor that runs it.

The point of these two laws is rather blunt: the universe did not self-create; and it is gradually winding down in terms of usable energy. All men experience this in themselves as the vitality of their birth-life gradually departs from them until death claims them. They neither birthed themselves, nor can they defeat death's gradual dominance over them. On that basis, they have to conclude that there is an Originator (God) Who is powerful enough to be responsible for the existence of this massive universe in which we live. God is and He is powerful.

Note that the apostle, in Romans 1:20, did not say that men could tell what God was like beyond His power. He did not set up any kind of logic for the deduction of the character of God. He simply said that men know they are creatures and that God is more powerful than they. On this basis, no man will have any excuse for his refusal to acknowledge and serve God. Most men think that they have the right to decide if they will acknowledge God and serve Him. They especially think that if God is not good enough to suit them they can refuse Him with impunity. They cannot. Creatures have no right to demand any character from the God who made them on the principle of Romans 9:21 -- "the potter has the right over the clay". Since all men claim their right as potters to make of their clay anything they wish with no regard for their own character or the future of the clay, God has them under their own recognition of the right of the potter over the clay.

Elohim exists and He is very powerful.

(return to the top of the article)

Previous articleBack to Table of ContentsNext article
This is article #312.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.