The nature of God

There are a number of ways to describe the nature of God from a Christian perspective.

  • Monotheism - Christians believe that there is only one God. They are monotheists.
  • Trinity - most Christians believe that there are three distinct parts (usually referred to as Persons) to this one God and that these three aspects form a unity. This belief is called the doctrine of the Trinity:
    • God the Father - the creator and sustainer of all things.
    • God the Son - the incarnation of God as a human being, Jesus Christ, on Earth.
    • God theHoly Spirit - the aspect of God which is active in the world, drawing people towards God.
  • Holy - God is 'other', different from anything else - separate and sacred.
  • Omnipotent - God is all-powerful. Everything consistent with God's nature is possible.
  • Omniscient - God is all-knowing, of past, present and future.
  • Omnibenevolent - God is all-good.
  • Omnipresent - God is present everywhere.
  • Immanent - God is active and 'in the world' today.
  • Transcendent - God is also 'outside the world'. God is not active in human affairs. It is up to humans to act in the world on God's behalf.
  • Personal - individuals can have a personal relationship with God. The Bible often talks of God in human terms, eg as friend, king, parent, and judge.
  • Impersonal - many Christians think of God in impersonal terms. The Bible sometimes talks of God in this way, eg as a power, goodness, truth, justice and love.