God's Word For You is a free Bible Study site committed to bringing you studies firmly grounded in the Bible – the Word of God. Holding a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective this site affirms that God has provided in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of salvation in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace.



© Rosemary Bardsley 2023

In this study on the goodness of God we are going back before the beginning of time – back before the creation of the world, back into eternity when only God existed. And when we look at God there, and when we see what God did there, we will be even more amazed by his goodness. There we see that God is good beyond anything we could ever imagine. There we see that his goodness is so immense that we realize that our human ideas of ‘goodness’ come nowhere near the goodness we see in God, there before the beginning of time.


Although the Bible does not use the term ‘trinity’, it does present God as three-in-one – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. [For the biblical evidence of the Trinity read this study. ]

In this reality of the personal Trinity – the eternal Father, Son and Spirit – we find evidence of the goodness of God.

The fact that God exists as a Trinity prohibits us from seeing creation, including our individual existence, as something motivated by God’s need for something or someone to love, or someone with whom to communicate. Within the Trinity perfect love already had expression and focus. Within the Trinity, personal relationship and communication already existed. There is a completeness and perfection and glory there that cannot be qualified by any concept of need or lack. God had no need of us. He is complete in himself.

Bible study: What do these verses show us about the eternal nature and relationships within the Trinity?

John 1:1

John 6:46

John 17:4

John 17:24


In creating, God, who exists in this perfection and completeness of love and glory, brings into existence something apart from himself. Our creation by God is a divine act of absolute grace and total freedom. We are not here to supply some need or lack in God. We are not here because God is somehow, in some way, dependent on us. He did not have to create us. He willed to create us. He chose to create us. He was pleased to create us. We are here freely. We are here by grace. We are here as a gift – the gift of existence given to us because of the sheer goodness of God.

Karl Barth speaks of the utter amazement that should overwhelm each one of us: not amazement that God exists, but amazement that we and the world exist:

‘The first thing, the thing we begin with, is God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And from that standpoint the great Christian problem is propounded, whether it can really be the case that God wishes to be not only for Himself, but that outside Him there is the world, that we exist alongside and outside Him? That is a riddle. If we make even a slight effort to look on God, to conceive Him as He reveals Himself to us, as God in mystery, God in the highest, God the Triune and Almighty, we must be astonished at the fact that there are ourselves and the world alongside and outside Him. God has no need of us, He has no need of the world and heaven and earth at all. He is rich in Himself. He has fullness of life; all glory, all beauty, all goodness and holiness reside in Him. He is sufficient unto Himself, He is God, blessed in Himself. To what end, then, the world? Here in fact is everything, here in the living God. How can there be something alongside God, of which He has no need? This is the riddle of creation. And the doctrine of creation answers that God, who does not need us, created heaven and earth and myself, of “sheer fatherly kindness and compassion, apart from any merit or worthiness of mine; for all of which I am bound to thank and praise Him, to serve Him and to be obedient, which is assuredly true”. Do you feel in these words Luther’s amazement in face of creation, of the goodness of God, in which God does not will to be alone, but to have a reality beside Himself?

‘Creation is grace: a statement at which we should like best to pause in reverence, fear and gratitude. God does not grudge the existence of the reality distinct from Himself; He does not grudge it its own reality, nature and freedom. The existence of the creature alongside God is the great puzzle and miracle, the great question to which we must and may give an answer, the answer given us through God’s Word; it is the genuine question about existence, which is essentially and fundamentally distinguished from the question which rests upon error, “Is there a God?” That there is a world is the most unheard-of thing, the miracle of the grace of God.’ [p53,54, Dogmatics in Outline]

Discussion questions:
Which of Barth’s phrases express the goodness of God in his decision to create us?


What are your feelings when you think that God, who had no need of you, gave you life?


How much do you feel the amazement of which Barth and Luther speak, when you think of the goodness of God in creating the universe and you?


In what ways does this help you to understand that God is for you, not against you?


Bottom line: In knowing God as Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit – we also know ourselves: that we are here, we exist, not because God needed us, but because God wanted us. We exist freely; as Luther says, we exist because ‘of God’s sheer Fatherly kindness and compassion’



But the fact that God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – chose to create us, and did create us, is even more amazing than expressed above. Because he is omniscient – knowing everything – God knew, with complete clarity, what we humans would do.

Read Genesis 2:17.
What is there in this verse that informs you that God knew that Adam would reject his word?


God knew that Adam, and we in Adam, would turn our backs on him, rejecting both him and his word, and rejecting the glorious identity that he had given us and the glorious purpose he had for us. He knew that we would spurn his love, that we would sever our relationship with him. God did not say ‘if you eat it ...’; he said ‘when you eat it’.

He knew also what he would do to reconcile us to himself – that, at the right time, God the Son would leave the glory he had with the Father, and, sent by the Father, would be conceived in a virgin, would live a human life, would die a human death, rejected by the Father – to fully deal with the sin, guilt and condemnation that separated us from God, and restore us to a right relationship with God.
Knowing all of this, God still went ahead and created us.

And it is very easy to think - ‘Why would he bother? Why would he decide to go ahead and create us, when he knew what we would do to him? When he knew what it would mean for the Son?’ Why, in the light of our actions which were all known to him, did God say ‘Let us make man ...’? And ‘Let us make man in our image’? Why did he make us able to choose. Able to disobey. Able to reject him. [We will look further at this in Study Six.]

And the answer can only be: because of his absolute, indisputable goodness.



Even before he created us God had in place his plan for our redemption. Even before he created us, even before we rebelled against him, Christ’s death on the cross was a reality. Our salvation in Christ was as real to God then as it is now. Already, before time began, the message of the Gospel was ready. Already, before time began, Christ was chosen to redeem us with his blood. Already, before time began, the Son of God was the slain Lamb. Already, before time began, God’s grace was given to us in Christ. Already, before we existed in time and space, our names were written in the Lamb’s book of life.

God’s choice to create us was also God’s choice to send the Son of God to die.

Before the beginning of time, way back in eternity, when only God – Father, Son and Spirit – existed, back then, in an action of incredible and immeasurable grace and goodness, our salvation in Christ was already a reality. Back then before God created us.

Bible study. What do these verses say that God had already done before or from creation?
Matthew 25:34

1Corinthians 2:7

Ephesians 1:4

2Timothy 1:9

Titus 1:2

1Peter 1:19, 20

Revelation 13:8

Revelation 17:8

[For a longer study on this deep grace of God before time began read this study. ]

Discussion questions:
How do these verses make you feel about the goodness and love of God?


How do these verses help you to appreciate the deep, deep grace of God?


Given this eternal plan of God, can you ever again doubt God’s goodness and love for you? Why or why not?


How then should you live in the ups and downs of your life?