LESSON 2 – GOD

  1. His existence
  2. His personality
  3. His nature
  4. The grace of God
  5. The Trinity

Introduction:
The Bible reveals God as the only INFINITE and ETERNAL BEING, having no beginning and no ending. He is CREATOR and SUSTAINER of all things. He is the Supreme personal intelligence and righteous rule of His universe. He is life, and therefore, the only source of life. John 5:26 – “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself…”

Man is natural and cannot know God by wisdom (Job 11:7) “Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?” v9. “Their measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.”

God is a person and can be known only by Revelation. In the Old Testament He revealed himself to and through His prophets. In the New Testament He reveals Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-3 –“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself  purged oursins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…”

2 Peter 3:18 –“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

To Him be glory both now and forever.

  1. His existence

(Hebrews 11:5-6) –…”for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

The Bible nowhere attempts to prove or argue the existence of God. ““for he who comes to God must believe that He is…”It is a fact.

Gen 1:1 – “In the beginning God…” Here the Bible opens by announcing the sublime fact of God and His existence. The following  are arguments, not conclusive, but helpful as food for thought. Universal belief in God comes from within man. It is innate in man and comes from rational intuition.

  • The argument from “Cause and Effect”—Everything that began owes its existence to a “cause”: a watch to a watchmaker, a building to a bulder, hence a creation must have a creator. This grand and great creation could not have come into existence without an intelligent, personal creator any more than the alphabet could produce a book without an author.
  • The argument from anthropology: Man’s moral and intellectual nature speaks for a moral and intellectual creator.

The Bible and the Christ that it reveals—His virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death, and His bodily resurrection—all these and much more argue, speak for and declare the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, loving, holy, eternal God in whom we move, live and have our being.
We should Pray –

Psalm 90:1-2: Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

  1. His Personality

1 Thessalonians 1:9-“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God…”

The Bible reveals God as a personality, He is called “the living and true God”—one possessing self-consciousness and self-determination. His personality is shown in what He does, such as:

  • God Loves: “God so loved the world” (John 3:16)
  • God Hates: “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil,a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.”. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
  • God Cares: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • God Grieves: “Then the Lordsaw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)

The point of this lesson is: only a personality can love, hate, care, and grieve. Therefore, God must be a living, eternal, personal being, and we must so regard, revere and obey Him.

  1. (a) His Nature

1 John 4:8 – “He who does not love does not know God, for God is Love.”

There are four fundamental definitions of God in the Bible. Since God cannot be defined, they must be regarded as incomplete. However, they do throw much light upon the nature of God. They are:

  • God is Love. (1 John 1; 4:8) This is the nature of God in His divine compassion.
  • God is Light. (1 John 1:5)  This is the nature of god in His divine character. In Him there is no darkness.
  • God is Consuming Fire. (Hebrews 12:29) This is the nature of God in His divine holiness.
  • God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) This is the nature of God in His divine essence.

CAUTION: God is present everywhere, but he is not IN everything. If God were in everything, man could worship any object and he would be worshiping God. This is an error called Pantheism and must be avoided. God is a spirit being: “And they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” –John 4:21-24

  1. (b) His  nature – His attributes

The attributes of god reveal His nature. His attributes are not abstract, but are vital mediums through which His holy nature is unveiled. Attributes ascribed to Him:

  • LIFE (John 5:26)-“For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself…”
  • ALL KNOWLEDGE (Psalm 147:5)-“Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is infinite”
  • ALL POWER (Rev 19:6)-“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
  • EVERYWHERE PRESENT (Psalm 139:7-10)-
    “Where can I go from Your Spirit?
    Or where can I flee from Your presence
    If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
    If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
    If I take the wings of the morning,
    And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    1Even there Your hand shall lead me,
    And Your right hand shall hold me.”
  • ETERNALITY (Deutoronomy 33:27) – “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” (Psalm 90:2) –“even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
  1. His Grace

Ephesians 2:8,9- “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves. It is the gift of god: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Grace is the love and mercy of God in action. Mercy is negative, and love is positive; both together mean grace. To show mercy in love is grace. God showed mercy in love when He sent His Son to bear our sins on the cross (John 3:46). To the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and returning redeemer:

  • The grace of God saves forever (Romans 8:38-39)-“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • The grace of God is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9)-“And He said to me,‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
  • The grace of God makes no discrimination (Revelation 22:17)-“And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
  • The grace of God justifies (Romans 3:23,24)-“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”
  • The grace of God makes every believer an heir (Titus 3:7)- that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
  • The grace of God teaches the believer how to live (Titus  2:11,12)-“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
  • The Grace of God is nothing less than the unlimited love of God expressed in the gift of His son, our Savior. It is the undesired love of God towards sinners. Acceptance brings eternal joy and heavenly citizenship. Rejection leads to eternal fiery doom. The choice is ours to make. A decision is inevitable. May God help you to receive His amazing grace for now and for eternity.
  1.   The Trinity

By the Trinity of God, we mean his tri-personal existence as Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three distinct person in one God.

  • The father is recognized as God and is all the fullness of the Godhead invisible (1 Peter 1:2) “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: grace unto you and peace be multiplied”
    (John 1:18)-“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[a] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
  • The Son is recognized as God and is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested in the flesh (Hebrews 1:8) –“But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your king”
    (John 1:14)-“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  • The Holy Spirit is recognized as God and is all the fullness of the Godhead acting upon man, convicting Him of sin, and guiding the believer into all truth (Acts 5:3-4) –“You have not lied to men but to God.”
    (John 16:7-11)-for conviction (John 16:12-15)-for truth “He will guide you into all truth”.

The doctrine of the trinity is not explicit in the Old Testament but is rather implied, (Genesis 1:26)-“And God said, let us make man in Our image, after our likeness (A tripartite creature: body, soul, and spirit). The doctrine of the trinity is revealed in the New Testament (Matthew 3:16-17) -“We have Christ being baptized in water, the Father speaking from Heaven and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove upon the on. We are also commanded by our resurrected risen Savior to baptize in the Name (not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), also (1 John 5:7).

Illustrations of Trinity

  • In Creation: We have space, matter, and time in one creation.
  • In Space: We have length, breadth, and height in one space.
  • In Matter: We have energy, motion, and phenomena in one substance.
  • In Time: We have past, present, and future in one time.
  • In Man: We have body, soul, and spirit, in one man.
  • In a Triangle: We have the trinity of sides and the trinity of angles in one triangle
  • In a Plant: We have roots, stem with leaves, and flowers for fruits in one plant.
  • In the Holy Trinity we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one God.

REVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Does the Bible ever attempt to prove the existence of God?
  2. What spiritual attribute  attribute is necessary in order to “please” God?
  3. The Bible reveals God as a ______________________.
  4. List four attributes of God’s personality:
    (i) _________________________________________________
    (ii) ________________________________________________
    (iii) ________________________________________________
    (iv) ________________________________________________
  5. Who is the Trinity?