Join us this summer for this message series that is a study on the attributes of God. God can seem indescribable at times, and yet, He has revealed to us certain things about Himself that are worthy of our reverence and reason. We’ll seek to think correctly about who God is in the light of what He has shown us in His Word.
A book recommendation from Dale:
Hey friends! In our next message series that will last most of the summer, we will explore the attributes of God. Often times the works surrounding this subject matter can be quite taxing and sleep inducing.
My grandmother gave me a book before I went to seminary in Dallas that not only deeply impacted my theological understanding, but it also awakened deeper personal worship of God. The book is titled, The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer.
If you ever wonder about the writings (apart from the Bible specifically) that confronted as well as corrected the drifting Evangelical church over recent decades, this book remains at the top of that list. Tozer will strike you as a theologian, but he was simply a pastor from Pennsylvania who served churches even in the no-name coal towns of West Virginia. I am convinced that he was to the core, a man of God. Even though he died a year before I was born, he was uniquely fit to be a voice for us right here and now.
We have a few copies for sale in the CFC Bookstore, or you can order it online from multiple sources.
Gracious and Merciful
Grace is God’s generous love. Mercy is God’s compassionate love.
14 O God, insolent people rise up against me;
a violent gang is trying to kill me.
You mean nothing to them.
15 But you, O Lord,
are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
16 Look down and have mercy on me.
Give your strength to your servant;
save me, the son of your servant.
17 Send me a sign of your favor.
Then those who hate me will be put to shame,
for you, O LORD, help and comfort me.
29 “You warned them to return to your Law, but they became proud and obstinate and disobeyed your commands. They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey. They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen. 30 In your love, you were patient with them for many years. You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets. But still they wouldn’t listen! So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them. 31 But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever. What a gracious and merciful God you are!
The grace of God is pleasantly surprising and unpleasantly offensive.
1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. 3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.
6 “At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’
7 They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’
The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’
8 That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.”
9 “When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’”
13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’
The mercy of God is desperately sought but discretely applied
23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
26 But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.”
28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
29 His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
31 When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.”
32 “Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 35 That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
1 John 4:7-8
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Where is love first stated in the Bible?
1 Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.
“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”
2 “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”
Aheb: used to describe a parent's attachment to a child; intensely close emotional bond of protection and provision.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
“Agape seems to have been virtually a Christian invention—a new word for a new thing (apart from about twenty occurrences in the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is almost non-existent before the New Testament). Agape draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a matter of will rather than feeling (for Christians must love even those they dislike—Matt. 5:44-48). It is the basic element in Christlikeness.”
-Your Father Loves You, James Packer
How does the gospel confirm the principle of love’s first mention?
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
A storm is threatening my very life today
If I don't get some shelter I'm gonna fade away
A flood is threatening my very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter or I'm gonna fade away
I tell you love, Sister, It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
-The Rolling Stones
11 Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,
and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—
for his anger flares up in an instant.
But what joy for all who take refuge in him!
Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.
Strict in judgment, discipline, or government; stern.
Threatening a seriously bad outcome or involving serious issues.
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
4 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. 5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.”
12 I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. 15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”
Severely expressed, God’s wrath is measured, righteous, and specific in application.
5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done.
Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Severe experiences are not always indications of God’s wrath.
2 Corinthians 4:17
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
Jesus commands us to be particularly severe with personal sin.
27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
How do I apply the truth of this attribute?
Take time to consider how much God hates sin.
Is the posture of my life one of reverence before God?
Is my faith shaped only by the “kindness” of God?
God is a spirit Being, eternal, all knowing, all powerful, both righteous and merciful, and the Creator of everything in the physical and spiritual realms.
What would it require to make a cake, or bird house, or space shuttle, or the universe - with no pre-existing materials?
Everything ever made was made for a purpose.
If you were created, your life has purpose, even if you don’t know it or believe it.
The right or wrong usage of everything is determined by the purpose of the maker.
Colossians 1:16 INLT)
If you are created, NOTHING is more important that responding appropriately to that Creator.
This is not a matter of science vs. religion. It is one faith system vs. another faith system.
Cosmology - How did the universe begin?
Genesis 1 says God spoke everything into existence over a period of 6 days, approximately 6000 years ago.
Would that take a miracle?
Evolution says approximately 14 billion years ago in a “Big Bang” everything came from nothing.
Would that take a miracle too?
Paul Davies, physicist and evolutionist admits [The Big Bang] represents the instantaneous suspension of physical laws, the sudden abrupt flash of lawlessness that allowed something to come out of nothing. It represents a true miracle…”
The most basic law of all science, the First Law of Thermodynamics says matter cannot create itself. So where did the matter come from? A previous universe that exploded. etc. “Multiverse theory” is the predominant “explanation” in cosmology today. Faith vs. faith.
Biology/Chemistry - How did life begin?
Darwin theorized simple life began in a warm little pond. There is no such thing as “simple life”
Francis Crick, Nobel Prize for discovering structure of DNA said An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” So how did he think it began? From outer space!
Dr. Michael Denton: each [cell] is a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of elegantly designed pieces of molecular machinery…far more complicated than any machinery built by man and without parallel in the non-living world.”
Also, life could not begin in water. The reactions are reversible. The longer it is in water the more likely to break down.
Information Science - Even if we had all the perfect chemicals, life could never begin by itself. The most important ingredient is information, which only comes from intelligence. DNA is the most advanced language known - 3 billion letters in every cell.
Genetics - Mistakes in a computer code never improve the program. They degrade and destroy info. That is the same thing mutations do in living cells. Scientists are trying to find cures to over 2600 diseases caused by mutations - like cancer. Evolution requires more than change. It requires new genetic information.
Theistic Evolution (TE) says God stepped in the process and guided evolution. However, that raises three problems:
1. It teaches that a God of purpose used chance to accomplish His purpose. Purpose and chance are opposites.
2. TE is linguistically dishonest. It requires changing the concept of “days” in Gen 1. That word (Yom) is used over 2000x in the OT, but every time it is used with a number (431 times) it always means a 24-hour day. I have quotes from 4 PhD Hebrew scholars, none of whom believe the Genesis account, but all of them say the author of Genesis intended to communicate “days” as we understand them.
3. TE teaches that there were millions of years of death and decay before sin, contrary to Rom 5:12. It changes the reason for the gospel. I know of no way to harmonize Evolution with the Bible.
“…all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky.” Thousands of earthquakes, volcanos and tsunamis, all vegetation ripped from trees. Receding water was as destructive as the rising water. 75% of the earth is sedimentary rock, with billions of fossils.
Geology - No “dating methods” give actual dates for rocks. They only give percentages of elements in the rocks. Mt. St. Helen’s rocks dated 340,000 to 2.8 million years old but were actually 12 years old. 25 feet of sedimentary layers deposited in one afternoon. 100 foot canyon through solid rock in weeks.
Bent rocks - Tapeats sandstone in Grand Canyon, (extends across entire USA) supposedly 420 million years old but then bent almost 90 degrees. Solid rocks don’t bend. They break. All of that was soft when it was bent. It was not millions of years old.
Stalactites, petrified wood, gemstones, etc. can all be formed in a short time ~100-200 years. Former teaching of granite taking millions of years is “an offense to reason,” as geologists now say it pushed up through cracks in days, weeks, months. We know a thousand times more about geology now than in Darwin’s time.
Paleontology (fossils). Darwin said the biggest objection to his theory was that the fossil record did not show the necessary transitional forms. There should be millions and millions of them. We now have hundreds of million fossils, and the missing links are still missing.
Every fossil indicates rapid burial in water.
Dinosaurs supposedly extinct for 65 million years with soft tissue, red blood cells, C14, that “smell like cadavers” all indicate thousands of years, not millions. Hadrosaur in Alaska not even fossilized, still bone!
Astronomy - Pluto still has a magnetic field and atmosphere! Impossible if 4.5 million years old.
Genetics - “Mitochondrial Eve” first thought to be 200,000 years ago, but after measuring mutation rates, only 6000 years -“but we don’t believe that”. Male Y chromosome also shows only 6000 years.
If there is such a Creator, would He deserve a Nobel prize? or applause? Or worship?
Get a daily email - email@example.com
The relentless feeling of resentment toward someone for what they have while living with the desire to have what they have or be who they are. (This is Dale’s own definition)
“The feeling of resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages. It is characterized by or proceeds from suspicious fears or envious resentment.” (Dictionary.com)
You Belong with Me
She wears high heels, I wear sneakers.
She's cheer captain, and I'm on the bleachers.
Dreaming ‘bout the day when you wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time.
-T. Swizzle (Taylor Swift)
There is a difference between “jealous of” and “jealous/zealous for”
“Jealousy carries the particular sense of “zealous vigilance” and tends to be applied more exclusively to feelings of protectiveness regarding one’s advantages or attachments.” (Merriam-Webster.com)
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. 23 “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
“Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister.
As the ________ God, He must be vigilant of His ____________.
1 Then God gave the people all these instructions: 2 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 3 You must not have any other god but me. 4 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”
2 Corinthians 11:2-4
2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
2 Corinthians 11:5-6
5 But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things. 6 I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way.
As a husband for His wife, Christ’s jealousy is linked to His loyal love.
Because God is a jealous God, I will remember that I am His.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Because God is a jealous God, I will respond to what He reveals about Himself.
God is our Father because Jesus is our Brother.
1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. 9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. 22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
17 “……go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
The Father does not equal Creator in this particular sense, as if He and “Mother Earth” got together. God is the Creator of all but only Father to those who belong to Christ. If you go to God as Father, you will always have your Brother to thank for it.
Our Father God is perfectly pure and intimately paternal.
John 17: 11
Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.
John 17: 17-19
17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
1 Peter 1:14-17
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
Our Father God is not the replica; He is the original.
John 17: 25-26
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
The Biblical term for righteous and just are the same. They can be used interchangeably or nuanced by context. Righteousness conveys the standard for truth. Justice, particularly, denotes the judicial application of truth. For God to be the Sovereign Judge, he must also be the Righteous One.
137 O LORD, you are righteous, and your regulations are fair.
138 Your laws are perfect and completely trustworthy.
139 I am overwhelmed with indignation, for my enemies have disregarded your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that is why I love them so much.
141 I am insignificant and despised, but I don’t forget your commandments.
142 Your justice is eternal, and your instructions are perfectly true.
143 As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.
144 Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live.
God always acts righteously because He is righteous. We do not merely describe God by the term “righteous,” nor do we define Him by it. God defines the term. He is not measured by the standard of righteousness; God sets the standard of righteousness. He is not compelled by justice to act righteously. God is righteous and is, therefore, just.
For God to be the Sovereign Judge, He must also be the Righteous One.
Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.
As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous— not even one.”
5 “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is.
Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.)
6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world?
7 “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?”
8 And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!”
Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.
The gospel is all about righteousness
10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
Three Functions of Imputation
Adam’s sin imputed to all of humanity
Christian’s sin imputed to Christ
Christ’s righteousness imputed to Christians
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
God takes Jesus’ righteousness amount
Through faith, He credits it into the Christian’s account
-Shai Lynne Atonement Q&A
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, "Behold I am wise." But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumbline cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought… "I am but of yesterday, and know nothing." No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God.
– Charles Spurgeon
The difference between the Creator and the creature hinges on the contrast between being and becoming. All that is creaturely is in the process of becoming. It is changeable, constantly striving, in search of rest and satisfaction, and finds this rest only in him who is pure being without becoming. This is why, in Scripture, God is so often called the Rock. We humans can rely on him; he does not change in his being, knowing, or willing.
– Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics Volume II
Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.
– Augustine, Confessions
God is unchanging in His being.
God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”
So, if God is perfect, he must be the same; for change would imply imperfection now, or imperfection then.
– Charles Spurgeon
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
Since God is unchanging, in a world of chaos, we can have rest.
God is unchanging in His will.
But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.
Remember the things I have done in the past.
For I alone am God!
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future
before it even happens.
Everything I plan will come to pass,
for I do whatever I wish.
11 I will call a swift bird of prey from the east—
a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding.
I have said what I would do,
and I will do it.
He is no less immutable in his plans and purposes. Infinite in wisdom, there can be no error in their conception; infinite in power, there can be no failure in their accomplishment.
– Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Volume I
Since God is unchanging in His will, we can trust Him.
God, though immutable, is not immobile. If He consistently pursues a righteous course, His attitude must be adapted to every moral change in men. God’s unchanging holiness requires him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous. When the righteous become wicked, his treatment of them must change. The sun is not fickle or partial because it melts the wax but hardens the clay, the change is not in the sun but in the objects it shines upon.
– Lewis Sperry Chafer
His attitude toward sin is now the same as it was when He drove out the sinful man from the eastward garden, and His attitude toward the sinner the same as when He stretched forth His hands and cried, ”Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
- A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy
God is unchanging in His word.
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Isaiah 51:17; 21-22
17Wake up, wake up, O Jerusalem!
You have drunk the cup of the LORD’s fury.
You have drunk the cup of terror,
tipping out its last drops.
But now listen to this, you afflicted ones
who sit in a drunken stupor,
though not from drinking wine.
22 This is what the Sovereign LORD
your God and Defender, says:
“See, I have taken the terrible cup from your hands.
You will drink no more of my fury.
“We cannot grasp the true meaning of the divine holiness by thinking of someone or something very pure and then raising the concept to the highest degree we are capable of. God’s holiness is not simply the best we know infinitely bettered. We know nothing like the divine holiness. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible and unattainable.”
– The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
“The tendency is to add holy to the long list of attributes as one of among many. But when it’s applied to God, it doesn’t signify one single attribute. God is called holy in a general sense. It’s all that God is. It’s what makes God, God.”
– The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
I must see and comprehend God as Holy.
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
Lord (v 1) - Adonai – Sovereign One. Almighty Ruler. Supreme title for God in OT
LORD (v 3) – Yahweh – sacred name by which God revealed Himself to His people
Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.
They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care about them?
Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
“A recent survey of people who used to be church members revealed that the main reason they stopped going to church was that they found it boring. It’s difficult for many people to find worship a thrilling and moving experience. We note here, when God appeared in the temple, the doors and thresholds were moved. The inert matter of doorposts, the inanimate thresholds, the wood and the metal that would neither hear nor speak had the good sense to be moved by the presence of God. The literal meaning of the text says they were shaken. They began to quake.”
– The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
The Holy God reveals my unholiness (sin).
Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
“The sudden realization of his personal depravity came like a stroke from heaven upon the trembling heart of Isaiah at the moment when he had his revolutionary vision of the holiness of God. He expresses the feeling of every man who has discovered himself under his disguises and has been confronted with an inward sight of the holy whiteness that is God. Such an experience cannot but be emotionally violent.”
– The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer
“You don’t impress the officials at NASA with a paper airplane. You don’t boast about your crayon sketches in the presence of Picasso. You don’t claim equality with Einstein because you can write “H20”. And you don’t boast about your goodness in the presence of the Perfect.”
– Max Lucado
The Holy God cleanses when sin (unholiness) is confessed.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
The Holy God compels us to surrender.
Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us? I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
I want to follow Isaiah’s example and commit to revering Holy God, confessing my unholiness/sin, and furthering my commitment by continually surrendering my life to Him.
So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.
I want to be intentional about the way I approach the Holy God.
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand…
I want to pay more attention and look for glimpses of the glory of the Lord in the world around me.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
I want to grow in holiness.
I want to serve. I want to surrender
A Holy God compels me to worship Him.
God is Omnipresent
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
The Eternality of God speaks to His Lordship over time.
The Omnipotence of God is His attribute of power.
The Omniscience of God is His attribute of knowledge.
The Omnipresence of God is His attribute of presence.
Atheism: The world is. There is no God.
Deism: God created the world. God does not intervene in the world.
Pantheism: God is the world. The world is God.
Panentheism: God created the world. The world is in God.
God is immense but present.
“Heaven is God’s throne, but the King is greater than the throne he sits on. If heaven and earth exhaust what we call space, God is greater than space, beyond it, immense.” Systematic Theology, John Frame
1 Kings 8: 12-13, 27
12 Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. 13 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever!”
27 “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built!
24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs………27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist.
God is transcendent but close.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
“To say that God is present or with us is not merely to describe his location but to describe his saving purpose. He comes among us, not just to be among us, but to deliver us from sin and its consequences.” Systematic Theology, John Frame
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this:
“I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”
How will an intentional consideration of God’s omnipresence help us?
Because God is omnipresent, we are not forsaken.
Because God is omnipresent, we can pray anywhere.
Because God is omnipresent, He is always a guest.
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
We cannot know God completely, but we can know God truly.
God’s omnipotence is his control over all things. His omniscience is his authority to declare what is true. And his omnipresence is his real existence in every time and place. So when we talk about God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, we are talking about his lordship.
-Systematic Theology, John Frame
The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.
Holy Scripture affirms the knowledge of God poetically, narratively, and simply.
9 “Where is Sarah, your wife?” the visitors asked.
“She’s inside the tent,” Abraham replied.
10 Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”
Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. 11 Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. 12 So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
1 John 3:20
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
God knows a repentant heart.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
God knows a true worshipper.
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.
God knows the integrity of our faith and obedience.
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
How will an intentional consideration of God’s knowledge help us?
It will give us a more honest and complete evaluation of our integrity.
It will prevent us from trying to hide our sins.
It will prompt us to confess those sins and repent of them.
It will guard our expression of worship.
11 Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
God is omnipotent, He is all-powerful.
“Sovereignty and omnipotence must go together. One cannot exist without the other. To reign, God must have power, and to reign sovereignly, He must have all power. And that is what omnipotent means, having all power.”
The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer; p.77
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”
“The power of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct, and whatsoever the infinite purity of His will may resolve.”
The Attributes of God, by Arthur W. Pink; p 46
17 “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve. 20 You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt—things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name famous to this day.
“Since He has at His command all the power in the universe, the Lord God omnipotent can do anything as easily as anything else. All His acts are done without effort. He expends no energy that must be replenished.”
The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer; p. 80
17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” 21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
Take strength from the omnipotent God.
28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Take confidence from the omnipotent God.
2 Peter 1:3
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
1 Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!
2 Before the mountains were born,
before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
from beginning to end, you are God.
What is the Eternality of God?
God has no past, no present, and no future like we do. He is transcendent over time, outside of time.
Eternality means being non- temporal or timeless—without end or beginning.
God is eternal, unbound by time.
“Because God lives in an everlasting now, He has no past and no future. When time-words occur in the Scriptures they refer to our time, not to His.”
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.
6 This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:
“I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.
7 Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power.
Let him do as I have done since ancient times
when I established a people and explained its future.
8 Do not tremble; do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?
You are my witnesses—is there any other God?
No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
God is eternal, the safe home for time-bound children.
“Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time;
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines;
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way;
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say”
9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
“Here is both the glory and misery of men. To be made for eternity and forced to dwell in time is for mankind a tragedy of huge proportions. All within us cries for life and permanence, and everything around us reminds us of mortality and change. Yet that God has made us of the stuff of eternity is both a glory yet to be realized and a prophecy yet to be fulfilled.”
For in him we live and move and exist.
“We who live in this nervous age would be wise to meditate on our lives and our days long and often before the face of God and on the edge of eternity. For we are made for eternity as certainly as we are made for time, and as responsible moral beings we must deal with both.”
Since the Eternal God is my safe home I will not….
Worry about the past
Fret about future
Paralyzed in the present
Since God is Eternal, I will surrender to the process of sanctification.
12 But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.