Presentation on theme: "Welcome to Cornerstone Bible Institute Theology Proper - The Doctrine of God August 15, 22 and September 12 8:30-noon."— Presentation transcript:
Welcome to Cornerstone Bible Institute Theology Proper - The Doctrine of God August 15, 22 and September 12 8:30-noon
The Beauty and Incomprehensibility of God Session #1 8:30-9:30
A. W. Tozer “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us...For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentious fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.”
C.H. Spurgeon “Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed in invigorated. I know of nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.”
The Beauty of God “that attribute of God whereby he is the sum of all desirable qualities.” - Wayne Grudem Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”
The Incomprehensibility of God Although we can never understand God completely, we can understand Him truly. Psalm 145:3 – Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Isaiah 55:8-9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 1 Corinthians 2:11 – no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
The Incomprehensibility of God “The difference between God’s being and our is more than the difference between the sun and a candle, more than the difference between the ocean and a raindrop, more than the difference between the arctic ice cap and a snowflake, more than the difference between the universe and the room we are sitting in: God’s being is qualitatively different. No limitation or imperfection in creation should be projected onto our thought of God. He is the Creator; all else is creaturely. All else can pass away in an instant; he necessarily exists forever.” -Wayne Grudem
Implications of God's Incomprehensibility 1.We must come to terms with the "other-ness" of God 2.We must become comfortable with mystery 3.We must diligently apply ourselves to God's revelation in His Word
The Incomprehensibility of God Although we can never understand God completely, we can understand Him truly. 1 John 2:13 – I write to you, children, because you know the Father. John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. Jeremiah 9:23-24 – Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
God is spirit John 4:24 - God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. Grudem writes, “God’s spirituality means that God exists as a being that is not made of any matter, has no parts or dimensions, is unable to be perceived by our bodily senses, and is more excellent than any other kind of existence.” A.H. Strong – “God is the infinite and perfect Spirit in whom all things have their source, support, and end.” Thomas Watson: “By spirit I mean God is an immaterial substance, of a pure, subtile, unmixed essence, not compounded of body and soul, without all extension of parts.”
"God is spirit" 1.God's essence is of an immaterial, non-physical nature ▫Luke 24:39 - “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 2.In His essential nature or essence, God is not like us.
John Feinberg “Material things are extended and bounded things. We can observe where one material object ends and another begins. In contrast, immaterial things are not made of matter, are not extended, and have no physical boundaries... The difference between material and immaterial things is considerable.”
Three Implications for our Understanding of God: 1.God's Immensity 2.God's Invisibility 3.God's Interest
God's Immensity God both pervades His creation and at the same time transcends it. 1 Kings 8:27 - Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; God is "present in the totality of his being at each point in space." (Feinberg)
God's Invisibility 1 Timothy 1:17 – To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:15 – he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. John 1:18 – No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. 1 John 4:12, 20 – No one has ever seen God... Exodus 33:20 – you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”
God's Invisibility “God exists as a being that is not made of any matter, has no parts or dimensions, is unable to be perceived by our bodily senses, and is more excellent than any other kind of existence.” – Wayne Grudem
God's Invisibility and the Ten Commandments Second Commandment - “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) Third Commandment - “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,...” (Exodus 20:4-5)
The Spirit of Idolatry: Reduce God to Physical Forms Exodus 32:4 – And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” Romans 1:21-23 – For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
True worship John 4:24 - God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. ▫not a matter of location because God is spirit ▫not by sight because God is spirit ▫... therefore, true worship is a matter of faith, not sight. 1 Peter 1:8 – Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory...
God's Interest God is interested in communicating with man in a way that man can understand Three Ways God has Communicated with man: ▫Theophanies ▫Anthropomorphisms ▫Incarnation
Theophanies A visible manifestation of God's glory to a specific person at a specific time. Manifestations of theophanies: ▫Appeared to Abram (Genesis 17:1-3) ▫Appeared to Jacob (Genesis 32:30) ▫Appeared to Moses (Exodus 34:6) ▫Appeared to Manoah (Judges 13:21-22) ▫Appeared to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5) ▫Appeared to Saul (Acts 9) ▫Appeared to John (Revelation 1)
Anthropomorphisms A figure of speech which refers to God in human terms Psalm 17:8 – which says, “hide me in the shadow of your wings” Numbers 11:23 – Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Deuteronomy 4:34 – by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm... 2 Chronicles 16:9 – For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him...
Anthropomorphisms Examples ▫the face of God (Exodus 33:20) ▫the eyes of God (Psalm 11:4) ▫the ears of God (Psalm 55:1) ▫the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:30) ▫the lips of God (Job 11:5) ▫the tongue of God (Isaiah 30:27) ▫the back of God (Jeremiah 18:17) ▫the finger of God (Exodus 8:19) ▫the foot of God (Isaiah 66:1)
Incarnation John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Hebrews 1:1 – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Meaning of Names in Scripture Abram - "exalted father" Abraham - "father of nations“ Sarai - "my princess" Sarah - "princess“ Isaac - "he laughs“ Jacob - "heel-catcher"; "deceiver" Israel - "he struggles with God"
(1) El most simple designation of God in the Old Testament basic idea of power or strength most likely derived from a root that means "to be smitten with fear“ points to God as the strong or mighty One, the ultimate object of fear Psalm 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God. (El)
Various forms of "El" in Scripture Elohim - God of unlimited power and strength (Gen. 1:1) El Shaddai - "Almighty God" of blessing and comfort (Gen. 17:1) El Elyon - "God Most High" (Gen. 14:19-20)
(2) Yahweh (YHWH) Exodus 3:13-15 - Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'the LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
Yahweh (YHWH): made up of four consonants in the Hebrew - YHWH. known as a "tetragrammaton" - "four letters“ most Hebrew scholars believe original vocalization was "Yahweh“ used 6,826 times in the Old Testament - indicates God's personal, covenant relationship with His people
Yahweh (YHWH) Yahweh (YHWH) is usually translated with capital letters in our English translation Psalm 110:1 - The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."
Yahweh (YHWH) Yahweh (YHWH) - emphasizes God's attribute of self-existence Exodus 3:14 - God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
God's Self-Existence (Aseity) R.C. Sproul - "[God's] power of being“ Grudem - "God exists by virtue of his very nature,... he was never created and never came into being."
(3) Adonai not technically a name as it is a title (e.g. Judge Smith, Officer Jones) "Adonai Yahweh" often found together in Scripture Jeremiah 32:17 - 'Ah Lord GOD! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
Adonai comes from Hebrew term "Adon“ "-ai" is a suffix of intensification Adonai - "Supreme Lord"; "Supreme Authority"; "Ultimate Authority"
(4) Jesus Greek translation of the Hebrew name "Joshua". "Joshua" means "Yahweh saves". Matthew 1:21 - She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."