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THEOLOGY > God > God's Essence 


Derived from the Latin infinitive, esse, which means “to be,” the word “essence” speaks of what a thing is. To speak of God’s essence, therefore, is to speak of what or who God is. God is His essence. To speak of God’s essence is to seek to delineate God’s intrinsic state of existence or being—God exists, but what is it that exists because God exists? God can be spoken of as Being itself, but to say Being is to say what?

To speak of God’s essence is to discuss God, who can be discussed as a result of the Revelation He has made of Himself. Because God has spoken, man can speak of God and can discuss what God has said about Himself and seek to elucidate the Revelation. Accurate information about God is possible, for the Revelation from God makes possible the discussion of God. And to the degree that the discussion accurately reflects the Revelation to that degree the discussion is valid.

While God can be discussed, He cannot be defined, for to define God is to limit God. Some would even maintain that to define God is to deny God, for God is not limited to nor equal to any definition that might be given of Him—God defies definition. Once a definition is given the Biblical God must be said to be greater than the definition, for the essence of God cannot be encapsulated in a sentence or paragraph. Discussion of God is permissible, but definition is impossible. What is said about God will be true if it is consistent with the Revelation, but the affirmations that are true never exhaust the Infinite and in that sense God cannot be defined but only described in part.

Articles related to God's Essence

    The Question of Attributes

    Classifications of Attributes

    God is Spirit

    God is Personal

    God is Tri-Unity

    God is Constant

    God is Omnipresent

    God is Eternal

    God is Omniscient

    God is Omnipotent

    God is Holy

    God is Righteous

    God is True

    God is Wise

    God is Love

For Quotes related to God's Essence, see: Quotes - God's Essence

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