Faithlife Sermons

Who Is God?

Stuff Christians Believe  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God is Most High and Most Humble, King over all and friend of the poor, all-powerful and all-personal. We should worship Him everywhere, at every time, and in everything.

Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

Series Intro
Turn to in your Bibles and put your thumb there.
According to the Pew Research Center, a 2014 study showed that 89% of American adults believe in God (http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/belief-in-god/).
Fill in the blanks quiz
I love animals, and help them get better when they are sick. I am a veterinarian.
My family makes many personal sacrifices for my job; I may spend months at a time in another country; I risk my life to protect freedom. I am a soldier.
I’d like to watch Justice League.
I would eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, and supper; I would play video games all night long; I smell like week-old socks. I am a teenage boy.
I’m looking forward to fishing in my canoe.
I may or may not belong to one of more than 33,000 denominations; I may or may not believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God; I may or may not attend church services consistently; I may or may not believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation; I may or may not vote Republican or Democrat; I am a Christian.
What does it mean to be a Christian?
Encyclopædia Britannica defines Christianity as a “major religion, stemming from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus of Nazareth… It has become the largest of the world’s religions. Geographically the most widely diffused of all faiths, it has a constituency of more than 2 billion believers.” We should note that they define a Christian not on the basis of any belief or practice, but as any person who identifies themselves as a Christian.
Over the next couple years at LakeView, we’re going to be exploring this very question: What does it mean to be a Christian?
Christianity is more than a system of religious belief. It also has generated a culture, a set of ideas and ways of life, practices, and artifacts that have been handed down from generation to generation since Jesus first became the object of faith. Christianity is thus both a living tradition of faith and the culture that the faith leaves behind.
Our starting positions
A Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ ().
A disciple of Jesus is someone who follows Jesus with their whole life—in their beliefs, in their relationships, in their decisions, in their morality, in their worship. A disciple of Jesus is someone who submits themselves to the discipline of following Jesus Christ. A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Christ.
Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is a disciple of Jesus.
Over the next couple years as we dive into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, we’re going to look at topics like Stuff Christians Believe, Values Christians Hold, Things Christians Do, When Christians Suffer, Lies Christians Swallow, The God Christians Forget, and more.
Personal
We decided to start this journey today with the series Stuff Christians Believe because what we believe influences how we see the world, how we think, and how we live—it all stems back to what we believe is true. And of all beliefs we hold, none is more foundational than what we believe about God.
A. W. Tozer has famously said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” This is the most fundamental question in life: Who is God? Because what we believe about God will determine what believe about everything else.
What do you believe about God? A recent study by the Pew Research Center showed that 89% of American adults believe in God, 9% do not believe in God, and 2% don’t know if they believe in God.
Subject
Subject
What do you believe about God? Who is God? What kind of God is He, or are they, or is it…?
Who is God?
We’re going to approach this topic with three questions:
What does the world say?
What does the Bible say?
What difference does it make?

Body

What does the world say?

Atheists believe God does not exist, and agnostics aren’t sure one way or the other. If God does exist, He’s probably unknowable.
Buddhism teaches that no God or gods exist.
Hinduism teaches infinite manifestations of God through countless gods and goddesses.
New Age is a multifaceted movement with many differing beliefs, often acknowledging many gods and goddesses. The Earth or the Cosmos is frequently viewed as divine, a goddess who is the source of spirituality. A common thread that runs through most New Age belief is that we ourselves are (or can become) God.
New Age is a multifaceted movement with many differing beliefs, often acknowledging many gods and goddesses. The Earth or the Cosmos is frequently viewed as divine, a goddess who is the source of spirituality. A common thread that runs through most New Age belief is that we ourselves are (or can become) God.
Islam teaches that there is one, all-powerful God who is infinitely superior to and transcendent (wholly separated) from humanity.
Atheists believe God does not exist, and agnostics aren’t sure one way or the other. If God does exist, He’s probably unknowable.
Christianity teaches that God is both transcendent and immanent, an infinite, personal, and loving God who can be known in this life.
Christians believe that God is the Supreme Being, the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the Universe, the source of life and love who is perfect in every conceivable way.

What does the Bible say?

Psalm 113 NIV
1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. 2 Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. 3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. 4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, 6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? 7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; 8 he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people. 9 He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.

Three Observations from

God is Most High and Most Humble. His glory is above the heavens, and yet He stoops down to take notice of our lives (vv. 4-6).
Psalm 113:4–6 NIV
4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, 6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
Illustration: When you stoop down to look at your small children at eye level as you talk with them...
Philippians 2:6–11 NIV
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God is King over all and Friend of the poor. He sits enthroned on high, and yet He raises the needy to seat them in a place of honor (vv. 7-8).
Psalm 113:7–8 NIV
7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; 8 he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
God is the King of the Universe, but He doesn’t just associate with the wealthy, powerful, and elite. He’s not the kind of King who doesn’t have time for you. God is an advocate for the disadvantaged. He remembers those the world has forgotten. He takes notice of the people others overlook. He speaks for those who have no voice.
Deuteronomy 10:17–18 NIV
17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.
God is all-powerful and all-personal. He rules over the Universe, and yet He knows us individually and cares for our needs (v. 9a).
Psalm 113:9 NIV
9 He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.
God’s unlimited power is focused on the individual as well as on the world. He personally cares for you. He loves you intimately. He desires to be your friend who sticks closer than a brother. He wants to live in you, and He wants you to feel His presence as you walk through life.
God hears your cries for help. He knows and understands your pain. He knows your needs and He has promised to meet those needs.
Psalm 145:17–20 NIV
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

Whatever he might or might not have in store for a future life, he was, they were sure, a God who could touch their present lives with glory.

What difference does it make?

God is worthy of our praise (vv. 1, 9b)! God actually deserves our worship.
Psalm 113:1 NIV
1 Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord.
Psalm 113:9 NIV
9 He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.
We should praise God everywhere, at every time, and in everything (vv. 2-3). Worship is a way of life.
Psalm 113:2–3 NIV
2 Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. 3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The biggest transformation in my life and in my ministry as a Worship Arts Pastor before coming to LakeView was when I realized that worship is more than singing a few songs on a Sunday morning. Worship is a way of life.
How can you make every aspect of your life an act of worship? By asking, “If I was doing this for the Lord, how would I do it differently?”
We should be like God (). Let’s be imitators of God.
Ephesians 5:1 NIV
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children
Illustration: My boys, at least right now, want to imitate everything I do...

Conclusion

God is humble. How can I be humble at work or at home? Do I have too high an opinion of myself? Am I willing to humble myself, to stoop down and take notice of and serve those around me?
God is a Friend of the poor. How can I be a friend to someone on the fringes? How can I bring someone in whom the world has left out?
God personally cares for us. How can I personally care for someone else? Do I listen them? Am I willing to dedicate my life for their good?

Conclusion

The Bible reveals that God is…
Most High and Most Humble
King over all and Friend of the poor
All-powerful and all-personal
Our response to an infinite, personal, and loving God is to…
Acknowledge that He is worthy of our praise
Praise Him everywhere, at every time, and in everything
Take our cues from Him

Let’s respond now with worship.

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