Spiritual Preparedness – Nature of God

Class 2: The Nature of God

“Do you know Jesus? I mean or do you know something about him or do you know him. I don’t know very much about Him, but what little I do know has changed my whole life. And remember the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ can only be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” Arthur Oakman from The Meaning of the Crucifixion

Definition:
Nature is defined as the complex of emotional and intellectual attributes that determine a person’s characteristic actions and reactions.

Learning more about God’s nature will cement in our minds who He is. It will allow us to understand what He has done and what He will do in the future. This will come with an increased awareness of how he works so that we might more rightly discern when he moves in our lives. Our understanding of what he would do in certain situations will become clearer and we will also realize what His expectations are for us as individuals and as a church.

The attributes of God’s nature can be divided into at least three categories: characteristics, personality, and purpose.

Characteristics
1. God is Lord
a. Exodus 20:3
b. Isaiah 43:10-11
c. Matthew 22:36
2. God is unchangeable
a. Moroni 8:19
3. God’s word never fails and He speaks the truth
a. Alma 9:39
b. Genesis 3:30
4. God works miracles
a. Isaiah 29:25
5. God is creator
a. Genesis 1 and 2
6. We are made in his image
a. Genesis 1:27-29
7. God is judge
a. Revelation 20:12
b. II Nephi 12:29
8. God is immortal and eternal
a. Mosiah 1:97
b. DC 22:2
9. God is holy
a. Leviticus 19:2
b. Psalms 99:9
10. God is omniscient (all knowing and wise)
a. Acts 15:18
b. DC 38:1b
11. God is omnipresent (present everywhere)
a. DC 22:4b
b. DC 38:1b
12. Omnipotent (all power)
a. Matthew 19:26
b. Luke 1:37
c. Mosiah 1:97

Personality
1. He is a loving God
a. Romans 5:8
b. I John 4:8, 16
2. He does not like sin
a. DC 1:5f
b. Alma 21:18
3. He can get angry
a. II Samuel 6:7
b. DC 56:1a
4. He is jealous
a. Exodus 20:5
5. He is just
a. Isaiah 45:21
b. II Nephi 11:71
6. He is merciful
a. Jacob 4:6
b. Alma 16:144

Purpose
1. God redeems
a. Psalms 78:35
b. Isaiah 54:5
c. Luke 1:67
d. Mosiah 8:57, 76
2. God restores
a. Alma 19:57-59, 64
3. God wants us to live with him for all eternity
a. DC 22:23b

Is it enough just to list off and memorize these attributes?
I would submit that knowing and committing to memory is not sufficient. We need to experience His nature for ourselves in order for him to become real in our lives and for us to truly understand Him.

Where and how can we learn of His nature?
1. Through study of the scriptures and hearing stories
2. Through direct interactions with Him
3. Through observation of His works
4. Through worship and the ordinances

More quotes:
“The communication of God to his creation goes ever forward and is cumulative. All that has gone before constitutes a prophecy of what is yet to be, and is itself the shape of things to come. History itself is prophecy, and such utterance of God in the course of time helps to fashion and shape those things which are to come.” Arthur Oakman – God’s Spiritual Universe (page 9)

“What is the faith of the church? What was ‘once delivered unto the saints’? (Jude 3) Let us bear in mind that it is a ‘faith’, not a system of morals, nor a code of ethics, nor a panacea for the ills of the world. This faith is an assumption of the truth, and an enlightenment of life, based upon a revelation of that truth. It is not a philosophy of existence, but an insight into the life of God.” Arthur Oakman – God’s Spiritual Universe (page 10)

“Primarily, the gospel is a declaration of the nature and mind of God, and is concerned first to secure the proper relationship of man to his Maker. Human relationships not founded on this primary consideration are based on shifting sands and thus are insecure.” Arthur Oakman – God’s Spiritual Universe (page 12)

The expression or revelation of God in His creation provides insight into who He is. It is not just in our direct interactions with Him that we learn of His nature, it is through our observations of His creation and purpose that we begin to understand Him.

Deep reflection and study:
How is it that God is incapable of change? Read Alma 19:38
How does observing the universe reveal God? Read DC 85:12
Is God bound by His own laws? Read DC 85:9
How does the judgment reveal God’s nature? Read Mormon 4:61-64
How is it that God is Omnipresent? Read DC 90:5e-f
What is light in relation to God? Read DC 85:2-3; 90:4b-5d
What happens when the full revelation of His nature comes to us? Read I Corinthians 13:12 and I Nephi 3:63-65

Things to ponder for next week:
How does knowing more about God relate to repentance?
Why does sin go against the nature of God?
How does the revelation of God impact our choices for sinning?
DC 90:3c

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