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The Solitariness of God

Attributes of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Attributes of God

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The Solitariness of God

Jeremiah 9:23–24 ESV
23 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, 24 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.”
There is no subject that should take up the whole of man’s attention as the knowing and understanding of God.
We use the word Theology often without giving thought to what we are saying. Theo - God / ology - study of… So, theology means the study of God, or in a more common way of saying it, Theology is our understanding or knowing of God.
R.C. Sproul wrote on how “everybody is a theologian”, because everybody has something they believe about God, even those who refuse to believe in God, we call them atheists.
If you are here at Living Water Church then you are aware that we subscribe to Reformed Theology, meaning we are calvinistic in our belief about salvation, we believe the doctrines of grace and affirm the Sola’s of the reformation. We have an understanding of God that we believe is formed by scripture Alone.
Why is our theology important?

If we do not think rightly about God we cannot worship him rightly

If we do not think rightly about God, we cannot worship him rightly, and if have knowledge of God that is wrong, how can we know him at all?
Steve Lawson said, “You tell me what you believe about God and I will tell you the rest about your life. Because our lives are simply the overflow from what comes into our minds when we think about God.”
God is that important!
It is our knowledge of God that determines how we see the world around us, or simply put - Your worldview is based on your knowledge of God.
When we say attributes of God, we mean the defining characteristics of God that make him God. The attributes of God become a template for understanding the world around us according to the one who created life and rules it.
When I say God, what do you think about? Do you think about an old man with a long beard in a long robe with a big staff in his hands? That Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, not God. Did you picture a white man or a black man? Has your view of God been tainted by race? Because there is but one race, it is the human race, and God is not a man but the creator of all mankind and we are all created in his image and likeness, yet he is not like us.
When I say God do you picture an angry God thundering his voice from above or a benevolent God who gently whispers and creates everything that has ever been created, making something out of nothing by his words only?
When I say God do you picture someone far away and barely involved unless we get his attention, or do you recognize that there is nowhere we can go to get away from his presence because he is involved in every aspect of life?
Where do we get some of these characitures of God? What do we really know about God and how do we know if it is right? As Christians we have only to look to the word of God to see who God is, as he is the main subject of thew whole of scripture. The Bible is all about him and he is the divine author who has revealed himself to us that we would worship him the way he has prescribed for us to do so.
The foundation of all true knowledge of God, must be a clear understanding of His divine attributes revealed in holy scripture. To Quote A.W. Pink - “an unknown God can never be trusted, served, nor worshipped.”
We need to know about God, and because of the work of Christ on our behalf and the application of his work to our hearts by the Spirit we can know God in a very personal way. And yet we live in an age where some of the predominant Christian voices are putting all the emphasis on that personal relationship of knowing God without having it be informed by scriptural truth in order to know about God.
We would say that true knowledge about God will shape our relationship, so God is truly known in the souls of his people. Yet we need more than theoretical knowledge of God. God is only truly known in our souls when we yield ourselves to him, submit to his authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His Holy word.
John 7:17 ESV
17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
Daniel 11:32b ESV
32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.
If we are live in these times and have any response that is right to this world, we must know our God. The goal I have for our church is to understand God better by getting acquainted with him as he describes himself in scripture. This is a series on the attributes of God. And there are many and we will not cover them all here but here is a list of some of them?
Eternality of God - his eternal nature.
The Self-Existence of God - he doesn’t need anything else to exist.
The Immutability of God - he never changes
The Mercy of God, the Love of God, the Grace of God, the Goodness of God
The Omnipotence of God- He is All powerful
The Omnipresence of God - He is everywhere
The Omniscience of God - He knows everything
The Righteousness, Justice, and Holiness of God
The Sovereignty of God and the Supremacy of God
Today I want to combine a couple, because first of all you can’t exhaust this topic, nor can you capture all there is to know About God in a sermon or even a series of sermons.
I want us to understand the eternality of God coupled with his self existence. This is more concisely known as the solitariness of God.

The solitariness of God

Solitary is often thought of in negative terms like solitary confinement, and it does mean - Alone. But in this case it doesn’t mean alone as in lonely, but rather alone as in an entirely different class, God is Alone; unlike anything else in all of existence, and that is because he is the source of all existence.
Let’s look to his word.
Genesis 1:1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Just the words, “In the beginning God”...
There was a point at which, God, in the unity of his divine nature (being 3 in one), dwelt alone. There was no heaven where his Glory is now manifested, and no earth where attention is engaged. There was no angels singing his praises, and no universe being upheld by the word of his power. There was nothing and no one, including no time to track this state of being. No day, no month, no year, no millennium, he is from everlasting to everlasting.
Psalm 90:2 ESV
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

God is eternal - having no beginning and no end

Not only will God exist undiminished everlastingly into the future, but He has existed identically throughout the infinite past. This is the eternality of God, he is eternal. But not just that he is uncreated and eternal, think with me here… During a past eternity, God was alone, he was solitary, yet not lonely as he is a fellowship within his own essence as the Godhead exists. He was self contained, self sufficient, self satisfied, and in need of nothing. The solitary of God is a class unto itself, and one that we can hardly even imagine. But it starts with understanding he is eternal.
The universe, Angels and human beings were not necessary for him to be God and when he did call them into existence they added nothing to him as God. And he doesn’t change when we came along!
Malachi 3:6 ESV
6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
Since God never changes, his essential glory can never be made greater or diminished based off any other creation. God did not need to create in order to be God, he was God before any creation existed.
God was under no obligation or necessity to create anything. The fact that God chose to create was purely a sovereign act on his part. His deciding to create was caused by nothing outside of himself and determined by nothing more than his own good pleasure.
Ephesians 1:11 ESV
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
Our creation is according to the purpose of the counsel of his will. The fact that he did create us is more for his manifested Glory. When we get there, the attribute of the Glory of God, we can talk about the intrinsic glory of God, the manifested glory of God and the ascribed glory of God. God is by nature Glorious in all his ways, it is intrinsic to who he is, and yet he has manifested his glory in creating us, and we then ascribe him glory in our worship of him rightly.
But our creation was only for His glory to be manifested, not because our ascribed glory to him makes him anything more than he is.
A.W. Pink said it this way, “God is no gainer even from our worship. He has no need of that external glory of his grace which arises from his redeemed, for he is glorious enough in himself without that.”
How do we know this? That our worship of him doesn’t add anything to him?
Nehemiah 9:5 ESV
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
He is exalted ABOVE all blessing and praise that we can give to him. Translation? Our blessing and praise of him makes him nothing more than all he already is, which is more glorious than we can imagine.
So God is forever blessed within himself and our obedience in worshipping him profits him none, in that it doesn’t make him greater or more glorious or add a single thing to him. And likewise, if no one would worship him it takes nothing away from his glory. So what is creation like in his hands even now?
Isaiah 40:15–18 ESV
15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. 16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 18 To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?
He doesn’t need us or anything we may think of. He doesn’t get augmented by our being created and we are very very very small compared to him. All some 7 billion of us humans alive right now compared to him...
Isaiah 40:22–23 ESV
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; 23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Kind of nice to know how much greater he is than the governments of this earth… But again this is because he is Solitary and in a class of his own. There is none like him.
How does scripture describe a God that we have no category or class to think of?
1 Timothy 6:15–16 ESV
15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 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.
God is to be worship and revered because there is none like him.
To Quote A.W. Pink again, “He is solitary in his majesty, unique in his excellency, peerless in his perfections.”

“God sustains all, but is himself independent of all; He gives to all, but is enriched by none.” A.W. Pink

And if this was not enough, we must acknowledge that God cannot be found by searching high and low. We cannot gain his attention by our hard work or ultra-devoted lifestyle. God can only be known as he is revealed to the heart by the Holy Spirit through the word of God.
Even though all of creation screams of a creator, and leaves us all without excuse, we cannot know God unless he has decided to reveal himself to us by working in our dead hearts. And because we try hard to convince the world God not only exists but that he is who the Bible says he is, we have gone to great lengths and used many fine sounding arguments in order to explain God to man.
How can we explain something that we have no category for? And all powerful, all knowing, ever present being that created all things and is yet himself uncreated, but eternal?
God is solitary in his excellence. We must never lose sight of the fact that we cannot fully understand everything about him, and when we first come to him it is only because his Spirit has drawn us and we simply believe he exists and loves us, and that is good enough at first. And yet it still remains that we only will know of God what he has revealed to us to know of him, and that starts with him doing a work to allow us to have him made known to us. Maybe I can give you an example...
An Analogy has been drawn between a savage finding a watch upon the sands, and from a close examination of it he infers a watch maker. So far so good. But attempt to go further: suppose that savage sits down on the sand endeavors to form himself a conception of this watch-maker; his personal affections and manners; his disposition, acquirements and moral character — all that goes to make up a personality; could he ever think or reason out a real man — THE man who made the watch, so that he could say, “I am acquainted with him”?
It seems silly to ask such a question, yet is the eternal and infinite God so much more within grasp of human reason? There is no way!!!! Not unless he himself intervenes.
The God of scripture can only be known by those to whom he makes himself known.
This isn’t a matter of intellect as if only smart people can know God either...
John 4:24 ESV
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God must be known spiritually and truth is a reference to his word as the only truth in life.
The problem is that fallen man is not spiritual, he is carnal. He is dead to all that is spiritual. This is why Jesus says “unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven” John 3:3. A natural person who has not had the Holy Spirit work in his heart to reveal truth cannot understand this.
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
So what is it that the Holy Spirit does in order to make people understand this unknowable God? How can he get our spiritually dead hearts to know this God?
2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit reveals to our hearts the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!
This is the good news we are to be witnesses to… This all powerful eternal God who created everything to manifest his own glory; this being that we don t have adequate categories for in order to describe well; Our God who is solitary in his excellency, wisdom, power; Our God who is self sufficient and needs no one and nothing else in order to exist, is revealed by His Spirit to us, his creation… And we see him in the face of Jesus Christ.
Jesus being eternally God the Son, steps out of eternity and into time to put on flesh and identify with us, in order to redeem us from the sin that none of us can escape from. He lives perfectly in obedience to the father, and dies innocently in our place for our sin. His life and death change the world in such a dramatic way that people are totally transformed from how they used to live, and the Holy Spirit changes our hearts and transfers us put from under the kingdom of this world and into the kingdom of God. One of my favorite go to verse to explain this is eph. 2.
Ephesians 2:1–10 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The God that is solitary in his place where we could never begin to even start to understand how Excellent and Majestic and marvelous he is… that God declared that we are His workmanship, and he does a work to bring us to the knowledge of him so that our lives look different. Furthermore, we find from scripture that Jesus will return for his people and all of creation will be burned up and reset.
This is all a spiritual knowledge that unsaved people cannot understand. And we are constantly encouraged that though we are now spiritual we should not let ourselves be carried away by outsiders or act as if this isn’t true. God is real and his plan to save some and judge all is coming closer and closer to that end, and yet he never ends. listen to Peters words to us, and may they remind us of truth that will sustain us as we endeavor to know this God who is in a class by himself.
2 Peter 3:1–18 ESV
1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
If we have a low view of God we will not understand or obey these things.
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