The greatest way for us to get a glimpse of God’s character is through the names by which He is revealed in the Bible. In the time and cultures in which the Bible was written, a person’s name meant far more than it does in most cultures today. A person’s name defined them. When God wanted to change a person’s nature, He often started with their name. Abram became Abraham. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter.
It is by proclaiming His name that God reveals Himself. (Exodus 6:3, 33:19, 34:5-6) To worship God is to call on His Name, (Genesis 12:8) to reverence His name, (Deuteronomy 28:58) to glorify it, (Psalm 86:9) and to praise it. (2 Samuel 22:50) It is sin to flippantly use or blaspheme His name. (Exodus 20:7, Leviticus 18:21, 24:16) We are commanded to pray that His name would be seen as holy. (Matthew 6:9) God’s name defends His people and for His name’s sake He won’t abandon them. (1 Samuel 12:22, Psalm 20:1)
1 John 4:8 says, “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” There is no greater definition for love than found in 1 Corinthians 13 and in digging into that chapter we can have a greater understanding of the nature of our God who is defined by love.
Finally, there are many misunderstandings of who and what God is that must be addressed. The broad stroke categories we will look at are polytheism, pantheism, deism, materialism, and agnosticism.