What Kind Of Body Does God Have?

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“God is a Spirit.”—John 4:24.

THE BIBLE describes God as a spirit being. (2Corinthians 3:17) He is “the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible,” says 1Timothy 1:17. The Bible also states: “At no time has anyone beheld God.”—1John 4:12.

“To whom can you people liken God, and what likeness can you put alongside him?” says Isaiah 40:18.

There are, however, intelligent creatures who can see God and even speak with him face-to-face. How so? Because they too are spirits, and they live in heaven. (1Kings 22:21; Hebrews 1:7) Concerning these superhuman creatures, who are also called angels, Jesus Christ said: “[They] always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”—Matthew 18:10.

Is God omnipresent?

“Our Father in the heavens.” (Matthew 6:9) The Bible does not teach that God is omnipresent, or present everywhere at all times, like some impersonal force. Rather, as Jesus’ words found at Matthew 6:9 and 18:10 show, God is a person—a “Father”—and he resides in heaven, his “established place of dwelling.”—1Kings 8:43.

After his death in the flesh and resurrection as a spirit, Christ ascended “into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God.”—Hebrews 9:24.

These facts about God matter. Why? For one thing, because God is a person, we can learn about him and draw close to him. (James 4:8)

The truth about God protects us from false worship, such as the worship of lifeless images and objects. “Little children, guard yourselves from idols,” says 1John 5:21.

How were humans formed in God’s image?

“God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”—Genesis 1:27.

As humans, we have the potential to reflect God’s personality traits, such as his love, justice, and wisdom. The Bible says: “Become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love.”—Ephesians 5:1, 2.

The more we learn about God and imitate him, the more we live the way he intended us to live. As a result, we experience more joy in life, along with genuine satisfaction, inner peace, and contentment. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) God’s endearing qualities drawing honesthearted people to him and setting them on the path to everlasting life.—John 6:44; 17:3.

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True Faith—What Is It?

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“Without faith it is impossible to please him well, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”Hebrews 11:6.

WHAT is faith? Some explain faith as a religious belief in God without solid proof of his existence. It is vital to have a clear understanding of what faith is because, as quoted above, ‘without faith it is impossible to please God.’

The Bible says: “Faith is being sure of the things we hope for.” (Hebrews 11:1, The New Testament in the Language of Today) Therefore, faith is founded on accurate knowledge, facts on which right decisions can be based. It requires not only belief but a reason for believing.

Faith or Credulity?

Much of what passes for faith today is in reality credulity—a readiness to believe without a valid basis or reason. Credulity is often built on the shifting sands of emotion and superstition. This is not well-founded faith because it has no reliable basis for belief.

Credulity could cause one to jump to conclusions that may be out of harmony with Bible truth. Accordingly, the Bible warns against unfounded faith: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15) The apostle Paul wrote:”Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.” (1Thessalonians 5:21) The Bible does not promote credulity. It does encourage faith based on evidence.

Being able to discern true faith from credulity is a serious matter. An individual can be religious and yet not have true faith. Paul noted: “Faith is not a possession of all people.” (2Thessalonians 3:2)

True Faith Binds Man to God

Faith can be likened to a chain with link of confidence and trust that bind man to God. But this kind of faith is something that is cultivated; it is not something that we are born with. How can you develop true faith? The Bible explains: “Faith follows the thing heard. In turn the thing heard is through the word about Christ.”— Romans 10:17.

Therefore, you need to take time to get to know God and the teachings of his Son, Jesus Christ. This knowledge is not acquired without effort. (Proverbs 2:1-9) You must exert yourself to find out what the Bible says so as to be convinced of its reliability.

True faith, however involves the heart—the seat of motivation. Romans 10:10 says: “With the heart one exercises faith.” What doest this mean? As you meditate on godly things, building up appreciation for them, you allow the Bible’s message to sink deep into your heart. Faith grows and becomes stronger as you are motivated to act on God’s promises and as you see the evidence of his blessing.—2 Thessalonians 1:3.

We benefit by being able to face difficult conditions with confidence in God, trusting in his ability to guide our steps and in his willingness to care for our needs.

God’s Son, Jesus Christ, pointed to one long-term benefit of faith: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Faith in God’s promise to reward his servants gives one a fresh perspective on life. Hebrews 11:6 says that true faith involves belief in God’s ability to reward “those earnestly seeking him.” Clearly, then, true faith is not credulity, and it is much more than just believing that God exists. Do you really and sincerely want to know God? If you do, then acquire accurate knowledge from his Word, the Bible, and your faith will be rewarded.—Colossians 1:9, 10.

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Can Our Sins Be Forgiven?

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ACCORDING to the Bible, all humans are sinners. We inherited the tendency to sin from the first man, Adam. Thus, we sometimes do bad things and may later regret what we did.

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid for our sins by dying for us. This made forgiveness possible.—Romans 3:23, 24.

The Word of God says that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (1John 1:7) This will happen if we have a proper, repentant attitude.—Isaiah 1:18.

What must we do to be forgiven?

We need to learn about Jehovah God—to understand his ways, advice and requirements. (John 17:3; Acts 3:19) Is this too difficult for us? No, Jehovah understands our weaknesses. He is merciful and kind. His qualities want us to learn more about how to please him. (Psalm 103:13, 14)

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Does Jehovah Really Care About You?

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“Feelings of worthlessness are probably the biggest roadblock that I am trying to overcome.”

CAN you identify with these feelings? If so, you may wonder, ‘Does Jehovah really care about his worshippers as individuals?’ The answer is yes! We find proof of Jehovah’s personal care in the words of Jesus.—John 6:44.

What did Jesus, who knows the personality and will of Jehovah better than anyone else, say? (Luke 10:22) Jesus explained: “No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him.” So, we cannot become a follower of Christ—and a worshipper of our heavenly Father, Jehovah—unless Jehovah personally draws us. (2Thessalonians 2:13)

What does it mean that Jehovah draws us? Does Jehovah drag us against our will, forcing us to serve him? No. Jehovah gave us free will, so he does not force our heart open. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) One scholar puts it this way: “There is no handle on the outside of the door of the human heart. It must be opened from within.” Jehovah searches through the billions of hearts in this world, looking for individuals who are inclined toward him. (1Chronicles 28:9)

Jehovah gently attracts, or tugs at, the heart of an individual who is “rightly disposed.” (Acts 13:48) He does so in two ways—through the Bible’s message of good news, which reaches us as individuals, and through his holy spirit that help the individual to grasp and apply Bible truth in his life. (1Corinthians 2:11,12)

“Being a servant of Jehovah is the highest privilege anyone could have”, says a woman. And when Jehovah chose us to be servants of his, then we must be precious to him.

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Will You Trust God?

Image IMAGINE that you have a friend whom you admire greatly, but he does something that you cannot understand. Others criticize his action and judge his motives, saying that your friend is cruel. Would you be quick to agree with them, or would you wait to hear your friend’s side of the story? If he was not there to explain himself, would you be patient, giving him the benefit of the doubt?

You might want to know more before answering. You might ask, ‘How well do I really know this friend, and what basis do I have for admiring him?’ Fair enough. But consider: Can we not apply the same principles to this question of whether God is cruel?

For example, you may find it hard to understand some of what God has done, or you might be puzzled by what he has allowed to happen. There are plenty of people who will tell you that God is cruel. Will you judge his motives with haste as they do? Or will you extend him the benefit of the doubt until you know more? The answer may depend on how well you know God. Ask yourself, ‘What kind of a friend has God been to me?’

The Bible says: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19) Who is “the wicked one”? The Bible identifies him as Satan. (Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:15) Is that farfetched? Think of this: If Satan has power over the world, then he influences humans to be as selfish, greedy, and shortsighted as he is. Would that not help to explain why man so badly mismanages his own environment on the earth? Many experts warn that mismanagement of the environment may play a role in natural disasters, whether by causing them, worsening them, or making human society more vulnerable to them.

Why does God allow Satan to have so much influence? The answer goes back to the dawn of human history, when our first parents rebelled against God as Ruler. Most of mankind has followed the same course ever since. That choice—the rejection of the rule of God—has placed the world of mankind in the hands of God’s enemy, Satan. Jesus thus called Satan “the ruler of the world.” (John 14:30) But Satan will not rule forever.

Consider, if your life has been difficult, you might be tempted to say that God has not been a friend at all. But has God been responsible for the hardships in your life—or for the blessings? As we have seen, Satan is “the ruler of this world,” not Jehovah. (John 12:31) It is thus Satan who is behind much of the misery and injustice of this world. And our own imperfections and unpredictable circumstances cause many of our problems. Would you not agree?

God is “the Maker of heaven and earth”; his works include our physical bodies, which are “wonderfully made” and Jehovah is “the God in whose hand your breath is.” (Psalm 124:8; 139:14; Daniel 5:23) Yes, we owe our every breath, our very existence, to our Creator. (Acts 17:28) It means that the gift of life, the beauty of the world around us, the pleasures of love and friendship, the joys of taste, touch, sound, and smell—all of these are gifts from God. (James 1:17) Would you not agree that those blessings make him a Friend who is worthy of our esteem and trust?

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A Meaningful Life is Possible

Image “The lenght of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow.”—Psalm 90:10*, New International Version.

LIFE in this world is so often glutted with “trouble and sorrow.” Is it even possible to have a truly meaningful life now?

Your work may be repetitive, tiring, and tedious. Your efforts or work may not be recognized. Even if you do have a measure of success, you may feel insecure regarding your future. At times, you may also feel lonely or depressed. Your family life may be marked by conflict and strife. You may have lost a loved one in death.

No matter what trouble we may face, there is something we desperately need to know: is a meaningful life really possible? We can find the answer in the life of a man who walked the earth some 2,000 years ago—Jesus Christ. In spite of all the obstacles that confronted him, Jesus truly had a meaningful life. So can we if we follow his example.

Jesus—The Key to a Meaningful Life

Did Jesus really have a meaningful life? He evidently was brought up in humble surroundings, and throughout his life he had few of this world’s goods. He actually had “nowhere to lay down his head.” (Luke 9:57, 58) In addition, he was hated slandered, and finally put to death by his enemies.

You may reason, ‘Such a life is not what I think of as meaningful!’ But there is more to Jesus’ life that we do well to consider. Let us examine four aspects of his life.

1. JESUS HAD A PURPOSE IN LIFE—TO DO GOD’S WILL.

“My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me.”John 4:34.

By his words and actions, Jesus sought to fulfill the will of his heavenly Father, Jehovah. Jesus found great joy in doing God’s will. He actually compared doing so to food, as is shown in the scripture just quoted.

2. JESUS HAD INTENSE LOVE FOR HIS FATHER.

“I love the Father.”John 14:31.

Jesus had an extremely close relationship with his Father in heaven. Jesus’ deep love for God impelled him to make known his Father—His name, purposes, and qualities. Through his words, actions, and attitudes, Jesus perfectly reflected his Father—to the point that we see in Jesus a living portrait of his Father. —John 14:8, 9.

3. JESUS LOVED PEOPLE.

“No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends.”John 15:13.

The Bible explains: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Romans 5:12

Thankfully, Jehovah lovingly provided a solution to mankind’s situation. He allowed his perfect and sinless Son, who became known as Jesus, to suffer and die in order to provide the ransom needed to deliver mankind from slavery to sin and death. Jesus, moved by love for his Father and for humans, willingly complied and gave his perfect human life in our behalf. (Romans 5:6-8) Such unselfish love gave meaning to his life. To learn more about the ransoming value of Jesus’ death, see chapter 5 of the bookWhat Does the Bible Really Teach?, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

4. JESUS KNEW THAT HE HAD HIS FATHER’S LOVE AND APPROVAL.

“This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.”Matthew 3:17.

Jehovah spoke those words from heaven at the time of Jesus’ baptism. Jehovah by doing so, openly expressed affection for and approval of his Son, Jesus. (John 10:17) Knowing that he had his Father’s love and approval, Jesus faced opposition and criticism with confidence. He even maintained balance and emotional stability in the face of death. (John 10:18) His own Father’s love and approval gave even greater meaning to his life.

Clearly, we can learn much from Jesus about how we can lead a life that has real meaning.

A Meaningful Life—Jesus Shows the Way

“Walk just as Jesus walked.”1 John 2:6NET Bible.

If we want to fill our life with meaning, we do well to imitate his example and listen to his advice. Walking as Jesus walked involves patterning our entire way of life after his example and teachings. Doing so will help us to gain God’s approval and have a meaningful life.

Jesus’ teaching included principles that can help us to walk just as he walked. We find a number of these principles in his famous Sermon of the Mount.

PRINCIPLE: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”—Matthew 5:3.

Can God’s Word really help us to satisfy our spiritual need? Jesus indicated that humans have an innate spiritual need. We long to know the answers to such questions as these: Why are we here? Why is there so much suffering on this earth? Does God really care about us? Is there life after death? We need to know the answers to such questions in order to have a meaningful life. Jesus knew that there is only one reliable source that can answer those questions—God’s Word. In prayer to his Father, Jesus said: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17)

PRINCIPLE: “Happy are the merciful.”—Matthew 5:7.

Mercy involves showing compassion to others, being kind and considerate toward them. Jesus showed mercy to those in need. Moved by deep compassion, he took the initiative to relieve the suffering of others. (Matthew 14:14; 20:30-34) When we imitate Jesus in being merciful, we add meaning to our lives. (Acts 20:35) And are happy as a result.

PRINCIPLE: “Happy are the peaceable.”—Matthew 5:9.

To be “peaceable” literally means to be a “peacemaker”. How does being a peacemaker make life more meaningful? For one thing, we enjoy better relationships with those around us. We do well to heed the Bible’s advise: “If possible, as far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men.” (Romans 12:18) Yes if we follow Jesus’ wise advice, we will find happiness and contentment in life.

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The Resurrection of Jesus—Did It Really Happen?

ImageToday, the expression “Eat, drink, and be merry” has become a cliché. If life ends at death, why not live it up? Why aspire to lofty values? If death ends it all, living for the present makes perfect sense. The apostle Paul said as much. He described the attitude of people who do not believe in the resurrection, saying: “If the dead are not to be raised up, ‘let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.'”— 1Corinthians 15:32.

PAUL himself did not believe that death meant an eternity of oblivion. He was convinced that the dead could live again, with the prospect of never dying at all. That conviction was founded on an event of immense importance, the truthfulness of which he considered to be unassailable—the resurrection * of Christ Jesus. That resurrection, in fact, was the greatest single event that strengthened the faith of the early disciples.

WHAT IF CHRIST HAD NOT BEEN RAISED?

Some Christians in ancient Corinth were confused about the matter, and others did not believe in the literal resurrection at all. The apostle listed the consequences if the resurrection were not a reality. He wrote: “If, indeed, there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised up. But if Christ has not been raised up, our preaching is certainly in vain, and our faith is in vain. Moreover, we are also found false witnesses of God . . . Your faith is useless; you are yet in your sins. . . . Also, those who fell asleep in death in union with Christ perished.”1Corinthians 15:13-18.

If the dead are not to be raised, then Christ, who died, could not have been rased to life. Then, preaching the good news would be in vain, a colossal hoax. After all, the resurrection of Christ was a key element of the Christian faith, being inseparably linked to some of the Bible’s most basic teachings about God’s sovereignty, his name, his Kingdom, and our salvation.

If Christ had not been raised from the dead, Christian faith would be in vain, empty, based on a lie. Further, Paul and the others would have spoken falsely not only about the resurrection of Jesus but also about the one whom they said resurrected him, Jehovah God. What is more, the assertion that Christ had “died for our sins” would also be untrue—for if the Savior himself had not been saved from death, he could not save others. (1Corinthians 15:3) That would mean that Christians who had died, in some cases as martyrs, had perished with a false hope that they would be resurrected. (1Corinthians 15:19)

WHY YOU SHOULD BELIEVE

Paul did not believe any of those negative consequences to be true. He knew that Jesus had been raised from the dead. (1Corinthians 15:3-8) What made Paul so sure of that? One reason was the testimony of many eyewitnesses. The resurrected Jesus appeared to individuals (including Paul himself), to smal groups, and even to a crowd of 500, many of whom had no doubt been skeptical when they heard the news that Jesus had been resurrected! (Luke 24:1-11) Most of the eyewitnesses were still alive in Paul’s day and could be consulted to confirm those appearances. (1Corinthians 15:6) One or two witnesses might be easy to dismiss, but not the testimony of 500 of more eyewitnesses.

Notice, too, that Paul mentioned twice that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus were “according to the Scriptures.” Those events confirmed that prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures about the Messiah had come true, thus proving that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.

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