Taken from an interview with John Piper (Presented in 6 main points – Today, Points 1 and 2)
When I turn to Jesus and his teachings; and to the writings of his followers that he himself vouched for, guaranteed; and to the Jewish Scriptures that Jesus himself endorsed; and to the world of nature; and to the witness of my own conscience — when I turn from myself to these places where God has revealed himself — here’s what I see in answer to the question, Who is God? And I would appeal to everyone who’s listening not to take my word for it, but to search out those five sources as if your life depended on it, because it does.
1. God (the Father) is spirit.
Here’s the first thing I believe I see in those revelations from God of who he is. First, Jesus says that God (the Father) is spirit. John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” In other words, he’s not physical. He’s not material. He does not have a body. He is invisible. He’s spirit.
2. God is personal.
Second, God is personal. This is amazing when you think that absolute reality could have been anything — I mean, there was nothing before absolute reality to make it what it is. And to think it’s personal, that’s just mind-blowing! He has revealed himself as one who thinks and reasons and plans and loves and rejoices and experiences anger and compassion.
Isaiah 55:8: “My thoughts are not your thoughts.”
Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the plans I have for you.”
Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, let us reason together.”
Hosea 11:8: “My compassion grows warm and tender.”
Zephaniah 3:17: The Lord “will rejoice over you with gladness.”
Numbers 11:10: “The anger of the Lord blazed hotly.”
Amazing! God is not impersonal. He’s not a substance. He’s not a mere force. He’s not material, like an element or a gas. He’s not just an influence. God is a person, personal. From him comes personhood. This is why human beings are so unique in the world of God’s creatures: he made us in his image; we are persons.
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Providence.