“God is Love” (1 John 4:8). We believe God to be a relational being - not only with relationships between Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but also wanting to be in loving relationship with people, and for those people to be in loving relationships with each other. Love is kind and patient, delighting in others , being on the same side as, not putting others down.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). One of the primary expressions of love is in incessant generosity of spirit, and self giving. The bible uses a special word for this generosity of God, namely Grace. Those who embrace this are saved from the deathly selfishness which is rife in our capitalist society.
“Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6,7). Here is power devoid of manipulation or control.
One of the most liberating aspects of the nature of God, is that of “being” without deception - particularly self deception. When Jesus was on trial he was asked “What is truth?” (John 18:38) - we believe that the answer was literally the questioner in the face. As a result of this it is important for those who follow Jesus not to take his name in vain and to be very wary about saying “The Lord is saying ..“ or “the Bible is clear ..“
Part of the pain of human existence arises from the unfaithfulness of those who have told us of their commitment to love, justice, truth and all the other attributes of God on this list. This is in contrast to the God we find in Jesus who is faithful and trustworthy.
It is in God’s nature to be creative: “In the beginning God created everything” (Genesis 1:1), and, as those created in His image, it is in our nature to be creative in our homes and families and in our workplaces and our community,
Jesus is “holy, blameless, pure and set apart from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26) and says that “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Fortunately Self Control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23)
It is in God’s nature to make things right when they’ve gone wrong. Jesus said “The Spirit is on me, to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, & to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18). The body of Christ seeks to protect the vulnerable, challenge behaviour which puts others down, & focus on putting things right more than attributing blame or punishment.
As they crucified him, Jesus said “Forgive them, father, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). The mystery of the cross is that God overcomes evil with good (Romans 12:21), bears all the sin of the world, and saves us from the dreadful consequences of un-forgiveness.
Just as God does not give up on us when we make mistakes, He forgives us, He does not give up on us when we are ill, He desires healing. We believe that God is at work in many ways, including through the medical profession.
“In the night that he was betrayed Jesus gave thanks” (1 Corinthians 11:23). It is an extraordinary characteristic of God to be thankful, and find joy, for what is received, particularly in circumstances where not all is well. Here is the source of Joy.
“During the storm Jesus was asleep in the boat” (Mark 4:38). There is a peace which passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) that is found in the nature of God - a sense of well being that can be experienced in the middle of chaos
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) We are learning to put our hope in the hope Jesus brings us through His resurrection. We struggle at times with wanting our hope to be in success, health, long life and happiness. However we do have hope for development and learning