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(Attributes of God) Conclusion

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A Conclusion of the Attributes of God series. Focuses on why the attributes are important and an overview of what has been covered.

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Today, I would like to conclude our study by doing brief review of it. My hope is that we would be able to look very broadly at who God is and what that means for me.

Why study who God is?

Why study who God is?
>>>>>>>>>>Slide 3

Who God is a basic question of life.

>>>>>>>>>>Slide 4
“At its very roots, life is about God. Whether you shake your fist at him, consider him so distant that his existence is irrelevant, or tremble before him because you feel that you are under his judgment, the reality is this: the basic questions of life and the fundamental issues of the human heart are about God. Life is about knowing him or avoiding him. It is about spiritual allegiances. Whom will you trust in the midst of pain? Whom will you worship?”
Welch, Edward T.. Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness
Further, that question of life had it’s basis in the fall. I am not going to take time to explain from Genesis 3 because we talked about that when I introduced the topic. But I will briefly survey that idea.

The Fall.

Many theologians have noted that the fall was caused by two questions:
a. Is God really who he says he is?
b. Should I give reverence to God or should I give reference to myself?
>>>>>>>>>>Slide 5
“As long as man trusted God everything was all right; human beings were healthy and holy (or at least innocent), and pure and good. But then the devil came along and threw a question mark into the mind of the woman: “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said… ?” (Genesis 3:1). This was equivalent to sneaking around behind God’s back and casting doubt on the goodness of God. And then began the progressive degeneration downward.
When the knowledge of God began to go out of the minds of men, we got into the fix that we’re in now:”
Tozer, A. W., and David E. Fessenden. The Attributes of God: Deeper into the Father’s Heart. Vol. 2. Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2001–. (pg. 3-4)
Thus struggle has not change. Much of our spiritual, social, and sometimes even physical disorders are related to how we view God.

The Importance of our View of God in our life.

>>>>>>>>>>>Slide 6
The wrong view of God often results in:
•Anger
•blame-shifting
•Depression
•Envy
•Jealousy
•Guilt
•Rebellion
•self-pity
•sexual deviation
•addiction
•Anxiety
•Fear
•Discouragement
•Despair
•Frustration
•Bitterness
•Hatred
•Guilt
•Shame …
I have already shown you the manifestation of our choices and emotions being a result of what is in our heart. I have shown you how Jim Berg demonstrated, I showed you how Edward Welch (Biblical Counselor, Professor at Westminster), today I would like to give you a 3rd persons perspective.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Stuart Scott, Exemplary Husband, Pg. 45.

Reverence of God is the beginning of knowledge. (Pr 1:7)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Slide 8
Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
We do not have a basic understanding of life until we have a reverence for God. The Adoration is the building block for understanding life and it’s meaning.
“Genuine faith is expressed in, and animated by, a reverential awe, and this is the basic meaning of the biblical idea of the fear of God.”
(Baker’s Encyclopedia of the Bible)
This begs a practical question. What leads us to be in awe of God?
Principally, there are two ways we began to awe at God.
a. A knowledge of God himself.
b. A knowledge of how God has worked among humanity (Biblical history).
Therefore, we gain reverence for God by a study of who he is.
Explanation and Exhortation:
We often take evangelism as simply communicating the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for our sins, as according to Scripture. And I do not think that is bad because Paul does that in 1 Corinthians 15.
But, may I also say that a basic knowledge of the Gospel must eventually include a knowledge of not just what God has done in salvation, but also in who he is.
A true belief in the Gospel is also an understanding of who God is, and basic component of true Christian faith.

How have we divided the attributes of God in this study?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Slide 9
a. God’s Being (What is God made of)?
b. God’s Attributes (What is God like)?
(Neither the final nor only way to understand God’s Attributes)
I come to this conclusion
1. because Scripture does not clearly specify how we are to understand God.
2. It matches the dichotomy of man: Man is Physical and Immaterial - Soul and Body.
(Handout sample of survey from Paul Enns, Moody Handbook).
With that being said, let’s quickly look at our God. What is he made of and what is he like?
I have added the definition of God’s attributes to serve as an index or appendix for you. But I am primarily concerned with putting it all together into one view that demonstrates the greatness, perfection, and magnificence of God.

God’s Being (What is God made of)?

Trinity

Spiritual Comfort: God the Father loves us like a father, God the son redeems us giving us a future, God the Holy Spirit leads by comforting, convicting, and illuminating Scripture. The Trinity of God should give us confidence that God is working on our behalf in a manifold of ways ultimately for our good.
(God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit)
1. There is one God.
2. God is three persons.
3. Each Person is fully God.
(Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology; Master’s Seminary, https://www.tms.edu/preachersandpreaching/doctrine-focus-trinity/)

Glory

Spiritual Comfort: The glory of God should give us both a glimpse of his greatness as well as purpose for our lives. We were created and redeemed to bring the perfect being glory.
“The glory of God can be described in two senses:
(1) as a general category or attribute, (Attribute)
and (2) as a specific category referring to particular historical manifestations of his presence.” (Being)
(Adapted from McCune)

Spirit

Spiritual Comfort: God’s Spirituality tells us the proper way to relate to him (Spiritually) as well as comfort us in that he is actually able to do the goodness he desires.
“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, Systematic Theology, pg 187-8)

Eternal

Spiritual Comfort: God’s eternity should give us confidence that he is in control of our future and knowledge that his kind presence will never disappear. He is the one person we know will always be there for us in terms of time.
“The fact that God has no beginning and will have no end. He always been and always will be.”
(Millard Erickson, Concise Dictionary of Christian Theology)

Immutable

Spiritual Comfort: The Immutability of God should give us confidence that we can trust him to always be Good to us and to always keep his promises.
God does not change.

Omnipotent

Spiritual Comfort: The Omnipotence of God should give us confidence that he is the ability to keep his promises and the ability to help me in the time of need. He literally can be refuge from anything that I might face. There is nothing outside the power of God.
God is able to exercise all logical powers within his holy will.
(Personal Definition)

Omniscient

Spiritual Comfort: The Omniscience of God helps me know that he always knows my struggles and what is best for me. This should encourage me that when I call out to God, He hears me.
“Omniscience refers to God’s immediate, simultaneous and eternal knowledge of all things past, present and future, whether actual or possible.”
(Ronald McCune)

Omnipresent

Spiritual Comfort: The Omnipresence of God comforts us that he is always with us. There is no struggle or persecution that God does not personally guide us through. He is always present leading, comforting, and providing mercy and grace through the trials of life.
God is present with his whole being in every part of space.
(Personal Definition)

God’s Attributes (What is God like)?

Goodness

Spiritual Comfort: Sometimes we have the idea that God is punishing us. However, a believer will never be under the wrath of God and all he does towards is nothing but Good. An omnipotent God who is vengeful would be a very scary God, but the God of Scripture is both powerful and good.
“The goodness of God means that God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval”
(Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology)

Jealousy

Spiritual Comfort: God is always jealous for us. This means he protects us from the evil one who desires to steal our affections. It also means he always is seeking to restore us because he loves us despite our sinful and rebellious tendencies.
God’s jealousy means that God desires the affections of his people and is protective of his own honor.
(Personal Definition)

Justice

Spiritual Comfort: This means that though our moral compass is corrupt, we can always count on God as our moral compass. It also means that God will also bring justice to those who seek to harm His people. This may be through his providential rule, or at the very least in the final judgement. No one will get away with hurting God’s people.
“God’s righteousness means that God always acts in accordance with what is right and is himself the final standard of what is right”
(Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology)

Love of God

Spiritual Comfort: The greatest comfort we can have is that the eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Triune-God loves us. God’s love means that God personally cares about my welfare and it is secure in the life of Jesus Christ.
“God’s love is an exercise of his goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, he has given his Son to be their Savior,” and we now are adopted as sons of God being free to know and enjoy God.
(Adapted from J. I. Packer, Knowing God, Pg. 123)
God’s Love is found in 4 dimensions according to Millard Erickson, Introduction to Christian Theology.

Persistent

Spiritual Comfort: The love of God is not dependent on my own works or my ability to love God back. God’s love persistently pursues a relationship with me.
God is persistent in pursuing humanity in love.
(Related to Patience, Long-suffering)
(Personal Definition)

Benevolence

Spiritual Comfort: God in his benevolence is concerned with what is best for me. This means he is actively concerned with my struggles and miseries and desires to bless my life beyond my own personal hopes.
“Concern of God for the Welfare of those whom He loves”.
(Erickson, pg 92)

Mercy

Spiritual Comfort: When I am in distress, God is concerned with removing that distress. This mercy finds its ultimate fulfillment in eternity when all misery and distress will be removed. This future mercy should encourage me with hope and longing for the future.
“God’s goodness toward those in misery and distress.”
(Grudem, Systematic Theology, pg. 200.)

Grace

Spiritual Comfort: God is good to me even though I have sinned against him. I do not have to accomplish a certain number of works or a certain degree of righteousness in order to receive the grace of God. The greatest grace we shall receive will ultimately be found in the eternal state in which he will bountifully bless me as an adopted son, even though I have sinned against him.
“God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.”
(Grudem, Pg. 200.)
Discussion Questions:
What have you learned from this study?
How has this study transformed your thinking?
Has this study comfort in your time of need?

The Stabilizing Effect of God’s Being.

>>>>>>>Slide 10
The Study of God is one of the most profound studies we can do.
In life there are many trials that could make us fearful, anxious, depressed, angry, and bitter. Yet, as I understand God as a whole, these truths should remind us that we do not need to be fearful, anxious, depressed, angry, and bitter. Instead, we can trust in God.
That trust practically means this:
1) When a trial arises that a normal person might become fearful, anxious, depressed, angry, and bitter; I instead look to my God and take refuge in him, confident that he will insure that the end-result is that which I can call good and righteous.
2) Instead of being fearful, anxious, depressed, angry, and bitter; I am now joyful with hope looking forward to the day Christ returns.
Understand, a knowledge of God brings dependence upon God and peace during the storm. My life doesn’t have to be the picture perfect world with no hardship because God stabilizes my life for His Glory.
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