The nature of God
The nature of God
God is a Person – God is a Person (I use this term because it describes a being who has intellect, emotion and will).
God thinks, as it is written: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). God sees what happens on the earth, for He saw what Laban did to Jacob, as He Himself said to Jacob in a dream: “I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee” (Genesis 31:12); and He saw that the Ninivites turned from their evil ways, for it is written: “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not” (Jonah 3:10). God hears, for when Aaron and his sister Miriam murmured against Moses God heard what they said, as it is written: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it” (Numbers 12:1-2). God “heareth the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). God speaks, as it is written: “When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens… “ (Jeremiah 10:13). However, not always God speaks to men through this kind of voice (that is, through His thundering voice), for sometimes He uses a soft voice. Let me quote just one of the numerous Bible verses that state that God speaks: “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). God remembers, as it is written: “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations” (Psalm 105:8); and He also forgets, for He has promised He will remember no more our sins, as it is written: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
God rejoices, for it is written: “The Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness …” (Zephaniah 3:17 – NKJV); He can be grieved, for in the days of Noah “He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:6 – NKJV) because He saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth; He gets angry with those who refuse to keep His commandments, as it is written: “And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight ….” (2 Kings 17:15-18); and He can be provoked to jealousy, for He Himself said: “They [the Israelites] have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God” (Deuteronomy 32:21 – NKJV).
God is spirit – God is spirit, as it is written: “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24 – The NIV reads: “God is spirit”). Therefore, since “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39 – NKJV), He does not have a physical body. However, that does not mean He is formless, for one day Jesus, the Son of God, said to the Jews: “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape” (John 5:37 – The NKJV reads “His form”) and Paul states that Jesus Christ, before coming into this world, was “in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6).
God is invisible – Since God is spirit, He is invisible to the human eye; the Scripture calls Him “the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15 – NKJV), and He “who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27 – NKJV). No man has seen God at any time (John 1:18) except the Son of God, as Jesus said: “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father” (John 6:46). God said to Moses: “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exodus 33:20 – The NIV reads: “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live”). Someone may ask: ‘How is it then that the Scripture states that Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, saw God (Exodus 24:9-11)?’ The reason is this: they saw a temporary visible manifestation of God (known as theophany), but not the face of God. In other words, they saw “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD” (Ezekiel 1:28 – NKJV).
God is eternal – God never had a beginning and will never have an end; He is the Everlasting God. In the Psalms we read: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). God is the “One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). Therefore, when someone asks us who created God we answer that no one created Him because He exists from eternity. He is completely self-existent. There was never a time when He did not exist.
God is unchanging – God is immutable, that is to say, His character and attributes never change. He Himself proclaimed through the prophet Malachi: “I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).
It is true that God sometimes repents, that is to say, He changes His course of action in relation to man, but this is only because man changes his actions. His nature remains the same. For example, God threatened to destroy the Ninivites but when He saw that they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had said He would do to them and He did not do it (Jonah 3:10).
Also, the Scripture sometimes speaks of God repenting in the sense of grieving or sorrowing rather than in the sense of changing His mind. For example, in the book of Genesis it is written: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6); and in the first book of Samuel: “Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night” (1 Samuel 15:10-11).
God is One – The Holy Scripture, which is the Word of God, teaches that there is only one God, the Father, as it is written in the book of Isaiah: “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6), and in the first epistle to the Corinthians: “…. to us there is but one God, the Father…..” (1 Corinthians 8:6). Therefore together with the Jews we proclaim: “The LORD our God, the LORD is one [echad]” (Deuteronomy 6:4 – NKJV). So, while many people in this world believe that there are many gods, we believe there is but one God and the gods beside Him are nothing but idols: “For all the gods of the nations are idols” (Psalm 96:5 – The IBRV reads: “Tutti gli dèi dei popoli sono idoli vani”, that is, “All the gods of the nations are vain idols”).
However, it must be said that the Oneness of God is not an absolute oneness, that is to say, when we say that God is one we don’t mean that the Godhead consists of one person, because, as we will see later, according to the Scripture, the Godhead consists of Three divine Persons, who are the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Oneness of God can be explained in this way: as husband and wife are “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5), yet they are two different persons, so the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are One God, yet they are three distinct Persons. So the oneness of marriage reflects somehow the oneness of God. Therefore the Hebrew word echad, which means ‘one’ and which is used in the Scripture (Deuteronomy 6:4) to proclaim the oneness of God, refers to a composite oneness (or compound unity).
God is omnipotent – God is called the Almighty (Genesis 17:1; 35:11) for He is able to do anything. One day God put this question to the prophet Jeremiah: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Of course, the answer is that there is nothing too hard for Him. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said: “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) and also: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). God is indeed a great God, His power is infinite. That’s why we call upon His name when we are in need of something, because He can do anything. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
The omnipotence of God is limited by His moral character. In other words, God cannot do anything opposite to His nature. Thus God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), for He is “the God of truth” (Isaiah 65:16 – NKJV).
God is omnipresent – God is everywhere at the same time, for David said to God: “Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8) and God said through the prophet Amos: “Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: and though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: and though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good” (Amos 9:2-4).
The Scripture states that God fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24). That means that His presence and power pervade His entire creation. However, He is not so immanent that He is indistinguishable from the universe; that is to say, we can’t say that the universe is God and God is the universe, because He is separate from His creation. Did not God Himself say that the heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool (Isaiah 66:1)? It is evident, therefore, that just as we can’t equate the one who is sitting on the throne with the throne, or the feet of a person with the footstool which is under his feet, so we cannot equate God with the heaven and earth, for He is separate from them. He has individuality, personality and intelligence.
Since God is present in all places at the same time, He sees everything, as it is written: “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3), and He hears everything.
God is omniscient – God knows everything, as it is written: “The LORD is a God of knowledge” (1 Samuel 2:3 – The IBRV reads: “L’Eterno è un Dio che sa tutto”, that is, “The Eternal is a God who knows everything), and again: “God …. knows all things” (1 John 3:20 – NKJV). He “is perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16 – NKJV).
He knows our movements, our thoughts, our paths, our ways, our works, our words and all our needs. Here are some verses taken from the Scriptures which confirm His infinite knowledge: David said to God: “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it” (Psalm 139:1-6); and Jesus said to His disciples “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
God knows the past and present. And sometimes, through His Spirit, He does reveal to His servants some of the past events as well as some of the present events. God revealed to the prophet Elisha a sin that his servant Gehazi had committed secretly (2 Kings 5:20-27); He revealed to the apostle Peter that Ananias and his wife Sapphira had lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11); and He revealed to Ananias (a disciple of the Lord who lived in Damascus) in a vision that Saul of Tarsus was praying (Acts 9:10-12). These revelations were the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit called ‘word of knowledge’.
God knows the future as well, and sometimes He, through His Spirit, foretells some of the events of the future (the foretelling of future events is the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit called ‘word of wisdom’). God says through Isaiah: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9-10). However, God not only foreknows and foretells what will happen, but He also acts to bring it about. For He says: “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please …. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that I will do” (Isaiah 46:10,11 – NIV). For example, God knew that the Egyptians would mistreat the Israelites four hundred years, and He foretold Abraham that future event (Genesis 15:13), but He also caused the Egyptians to mistreat the Israelites, for in the Psalms it is written: “Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants” (Psalm 105:23-25). Another biblical example that confirms this concept is the following one: God knew that the Messiah would suffer many things at the hands of the Jews and that He would be put to death – and He foretold those things through the prophets of old – however it was God who caused those things to happen to Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah; for one day Peter said to the Jews: “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (Acts 2:22-23 – NIV); and the disciples of Jesus said to God in prayer: “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27-28). Therefore, according to the Word of God, God not only foreknows or foresees the events of the future, but He has also foreordained them and in His own time He brings about all of them. As we will see later, God not only foreknew that we would believe, but He also foreordained us to believe, and thus in His time He gave us repentance and faith so that we might be saved, so that His purpose might be fulfilled. In other words, we believed in Christ because God had foreordained us to eternal life.
God is wise – The attribute of wisdom in God is His disposition to use His knowledge and power in the most benevolent manner. God has made all things in wisdom. The Psalmist said to God: “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches” (Psalm 104:24), and Salomon said: “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19). His wisdom is exceedingly great, for the apostle Paul said to the Romans: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).
Among the works of God there is also our body, and when we consider the function of every organ of our body we are compelled to acknowledge that God made our body in wisdom too. And together with David we say to God: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:13-17 – NKJV).
God has worked in wisdom in our personal life so far. He has caused the right things to occur always at just the right time and in the right way. And we are full of confidence that He will continue to work in wisdom in our life. Even though sometimes it is hard to accept certain things from His hand, and what happens to us is incomprehensible from our point of view, we know for sure that His loving hand is working for our good. God has done all things well till now, and He will surely continue to do things well. He doesn’t make mistakes, He is the wise God who created the universe! Blessed be His holy name forever. Amen.
God is good – God is a good God, as it is written: “Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way” (Psalm 25:8) and again: “Thou art good, and doest good…. “ (Psalm 119:68) and also: “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart” (Psalm 73:1).
God has shown His goodness toward us first of all by saving us from our sins, and then by blessing greatly our new life in Christ. We can say that we have tasted that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Therefore we have to praise God for His goodness, as it is written: “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; and gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south” (Psalm 107:1-3).
God – as the Psalmist stated – is “good to all” (Psalm 145:9) and not only to us who are His children. Jesus, the Son of God, confirmed this by saying that God “is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil” (Luke 6:35). Is it not true that God gives children to the wicked also? Is it not true that He gives food to them also, or that He sends rain also upon them, etc…? However, while the goodness of God toward His sons endures for ever, the goodness of God toward the wicked will finish one day. When they die, they will go to hell. Because God is also a righteous God.
God is merciful – that is to say, He is willing to forgive men their sins, and this He does when men humble themselves before God and repent of their sins. The Psalmist said: “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.” (Psalm 103:8-18). God is indeed merciful, for He forgave us all our old sins, and when we confess our sins He forgives us them all. We have tasted His mercy. Blessed be His name for His mercy. Amen.
God is righteous – God is morally right and fair. So He always does what is right, correct and lawful. “Everything he does is right and all his ways are just” (Daniel 4:37 – NIV). There is no unrighteousness with Him. The Holy Scripture states that He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), thus He does not regard the rich more than the poor, or the wise more than the unwise, or the Jews more than the Gentiles, for they are all the work of His hands (Job 34:19); and that He “without partiality judges according to each one’s work” (1 Peter 1:17 – NKJV), for He is “a righteous judge” (Psalm 7:11 – NIV), so He rewards righteousness and punishes wickedness. The Bible contains many examples of how God rewards righteousness and punishes wickedness. Here are some of them.
God rewarded Abraham (by blessing him and making his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky) for his obedience, that is to say, because when God commanded him to offer his only son as a burnt offering he obeyed God and offered up his only son (Genesis 22:1-18); He rewarded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian (by not giving him into the hand of the men of whom he was afraid) for he had put his trust in God (Jeremiah 39:15-18); He rewarded that notable woman of Shunem (by giving her a child) for the hospitality she offered to the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:8-17).
God punished Cain (by making him a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and by preventing the ground worked by Cain from yielding its crops for him) for he murdered Abel his brother (Genesis 4:1-15); He punished Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them (by turning them into ashes) for they had given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh (Genesis 19:1-29; Jude 7); and He punished king Nebuchadnezzar (by driving him away from the sons of men, and by giving him the mind of an animal) for his arrogance (Daniel 4:1-37).
Since God is righteous, He rewards even those who don’t know Him for any good they have done, for Jesus said to His disciples: “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42) – please note that Jesus said ‘whosoever’ – and He punishes even His sons for their sins. For instance, God punished those believers of the Church of Corinth who ate the bread and drank the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, as it is written: “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). And He punished Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who were among the early Christians, by putting them to death for they lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-10).
The Holy Scripture teaches that just as there is a temporary reward (such as a son, a house, or something else), as well as a temporary punishment (such as a disease, the loss of something, etc.), so there is an everlasting reward as well as an everlasting punishment. One day we sons of God will appear before God’s judgment seat, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). So each one will receive his own reward – which will endure forever – according to his own labor (1 Corinthians 3:8). Instead, the wicked will appear before the throne of God in order to be judged according to what they have done and they will be cast into the everlasting fire (Revelation 20:11-15), where they will be tormented forever and ever.
God is faithful – God is a faithful God, which means that He keeps His word. He cannot deny Himself. In the Scriptures we read: “God is not a man, that He should lie; nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 – NKJV). In the Scripture we find many examples of God’s faithfulness. God had promised a son to Abraham and Sarah, who were old, well advanced in age (Abraham was about a hundred years old, and Sarah ninety years old), and in His own time He gave them Isaac (Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-3). God had promised He would deliver the people of Israel from their bondage and in His own time He sent Moses to Egypt to set free the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage (Genesis 15:13-14; Exodus 12:41,51). God in ancient times promised He would send the Messiah, and in the fullness of the time He kept His word by sending Jesus Christ to save the world (Isaiah 35:4; Psalm 72:13-14; Luke 19:10). God had promised He would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and in His time He poured out His Spirit (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:1-21).
Now let me speak very briefly of some other promises made by God, which have been fulfilled in our life. God has promised remission of sins to all those who believe in the name of His Son, and His promise was fulfilled in our life when we believed in Jesus (Acts 10:43; 1 John 2:12). On that day we received remission of sins through faith in Jesus and began to live a new life, and as time went by we discovered other promises of God. For instance, we found that He has promised to answer our prayers, to supply all our needs, to keep us, and we have believed in these promises too, and by His grace we have seen many times the fulfilment of these promises in our life. Great is His faithfulness; it “reaches to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5 – NKJV).
To conclude, let me speak of a promise which is yet to be fulfilled in our life, that is, “the promise of entering his rest” (Hebrews 4:1 – NIV). God has promised us that we will enter His rest if we stand firm in the faith to the end, and when we enter that rest we will rest from our own works, just as God did from his (Hebrews 4:10). Therefore “let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23 – NKJV), and “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Let us not imitate the Israelites, who could not enter God’s rest because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19), but rather let us “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12 – NIV).
It is true that sometimes we are not faithful to God, for we all stumble in many things (James 3:2), but the apostle Paul says: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13 – NKJV. The IBRV reads: “Se siamo infedeli, egli rimane fedele, perché non può rinnegare se stesso” that is, “If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself”) and John says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Glory be to His name both now and forevermore. Amen.
God is holy – God is called ‘The Holy One” (Proverbs 9:10 – NKJV), for He is absolutely pure, perfect, and sinless. He is totally separated from sin and cannot have fellowship with it. When the prophet Isaiah saw the Lord of Hosts seated on the throne, above Him were seraphs “and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). The apostle John says in the book of Revelation that he saw God sitting on the throne and in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures that “do not rest day or night, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8 – NKJV).
Therefore, since God is Holy and He is the One who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light, we His sons must be holy, that is to say, we must pursue holiness. The apostle Peter says to us in his first epistle: “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16 – NKJV). Without holiness “no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14 – NKJV). To pursue holiness means to abstain from every kind of evil, and to live soberly, righteously and godly.
God is love – The only and true God, of Whom I am speaking, “is love” (1 John 4:8), and in the fullness of the time He manifested His love toward us by sending into the world His only begotten Son to make atonement for our sins, so that through faith in His name we might receive remission of sins and eternal life. Jesus Christ said: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16), and John the apostle said: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). And Paul wrote to the Romans: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).