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  Doctrine of God:  A - C - T - S

     Attributes


It cannot be possible for a finite mind to either comprehend or define an infinite intellect.  It is decidedly safer to discuss the attributes of God that He has chosen to reveal to us.


GOD IS ETERNAL

"Eternality" is the state of not being subject to the progression of time. Eternality, as an aspect of the infinite, is an attribute of God that is at the core of His existence.  Simply put, "God is."  As God Himself testifies:  "I am He; I am the first and I am the last" (Isaiah 48:12).  "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,'" says the Lord God, 'Who is and  Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty'" (Revelation 1:8).  "I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6).

And -- as others testify about Him -- "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the Earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God"  (Psalm 90:2).  "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen" (1 Timothy 1:17).  "God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To Him be honor and might forever, Amen" (1 Timothy 6:15-16).


GOD IS EVERYWHERE AT ALL TIMES


The concept of God's "omnipresence" is even more difficult to grasp than that of His eternality.  Even as God exists outside the parameters of time, so He exists without being limited by location.  Indeed, "location" is not a category that can be used in relation to God.  He is not bound by the laws of physics, because He created the laws  of  physics.  He  is  everywhere because He is.

"Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there" (Psalm 139:7-8). "'Am I only a God nearby,' declares the LORD, 'and not a God far away?  Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the LORD.  'Do not I fill Heaven and Earth?' declares the LORD'" (Jeremiah 23:23-24).   "The eyes  of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).   "God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find  Him, though He is not far from each one of us"  (Acts 17:27).

GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING

God's "omniscience" (all knowing) flows naturally from His existence outside the boundaries of time and space.  But, more importantly, it renders Him someone that we can trust above all others.  If we turn to Him for help, it  will come through the will of a Being that knows the beginning from the end.  Accordingly, our help will often provide us with experiences that we do not yet know that we are going to need, healings for hurts that only He is aware of,  and Heavenly rewards that we could not possibly have imagined. 

"I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please" (Isaiah 46:10).  "Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit" (Psalm147:5).  "For God is greater  than our hearts, and He knows everything" (1 John 3:20).  "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13).

GOD IS ALMIGHTY


Of all the attributes that God has revealed to us about Himself, His limitless power is the one that makes people the most uncomfortable.  It's no wonder that God is often demoted as having either limited power or a limited interest in mankind.  Just as often, God is removed to a safe distance by being depersonalized. With a nebulous vocabulary, God is often caricatured as "love," as "a higher spirit," or as "consciousness." But, within the pages of Scripture, God is revealed, without qualification, as being all powerful -- literally, having power without limits.


"Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of water and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns'" (Revelation 19:6).   "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the Earth by your great power and outstretched arm.   Nothing is too hard for you" (Jeremiah 32:1).  "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'" (Matthew 19:26). "The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the Earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets" (Psalm 50:1).  "O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in Heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you" (2 Chronicles 20:6).

GOD IS SOVEREIGN

The reality of God's sovereignty is an over arching principle of both Scripture and human history.  God is sovereign over nations and kingdoms, but He is also sovereign over each individual life -- even over people who have not yet accepted Him.  God . . . "determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him" (Acts 17:26-27)


Christians experience God's sovereignty working within their burdens and sorrows; to give them wisdom, to teach them compassion, and to provide for their personal benefit --sometimes in ways that they'll never know until they get to Heaven.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). 


God's sovereignty also enables Christians to find and complete the work that God has uniquely prepared for them to accomplish -- and thereby store up for themselves treasures in Heaven that our loving Father earnestly  wants  us  to  have.   "For   we  are God's  workmanship,  created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for  us  to  do"  (Ephesians 2:10).  "In  his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).  "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21).  "The LORD reigns, He is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength.  The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved" (Psalm 93:1).  "He rules forever  by  His  power,  His  eyes  watch  the  nations — let  not  the  rebellious  rise  up against   Him" (Psalm 66:7).  "God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen" (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

GOD IS HOLY

Christians see holiness as being absolute purity, perfection and love.  As such, it is applied uniquely to almighty God.  "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you — majestic in holiness, awesome   in    glory    working    wonders

(Exodus 15:11).  "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen" (1 Timothy 1:17).   "Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy" (Psalm 99:9).  "And they were calling to one another:  "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole Earth is full of His glory" (Isaiah 6:3).  "Who will not  fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name?  For You alone are  holy. All nations will come and  worship before You, for your righteous acts have been revealed" (Revelation 15:4).  "He provided redemption for His people; He ordained His covenant forever — holy and awesome is His name" (Psalm 111:9).  "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy'" (Leviticus 19:2).

GOD IS JUST

God's judgements are righteous and absolute.  His rewards are bestowed without regard to position; and His penalties are the same.  The just penalty for man's sinfulness required a perfect sacrifice that none but God could ever  satisfy.  However, being a God of love, He paid the price Himself, and then invited everyone to share in His rewards.

"Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike.  Far be it from you!  Will not the  Judge of  all the  Earth  do right?" (Genesis 18:25).  "For the LORD is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see  His face"  (Psalm 11:7).   "The LORD . . . is righteous; He does no wrong.  Morning by morning He dispenses His justice, and every new day He does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame" (Zephaniah 3:5).

"God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding  of  His  blood  --  to be received by faith.   He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had  left  the sins committed beforehand unpunished -- He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:25-26).  "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10). 

GOD IS LOVING 

God is both the author and the prime exemplar of love.  In fact, He gave us the penultimate example of love in all of human history.  By allowing Himself to be nailed to a cross, He gave us a gift of love that we can celebrate through all eternity.  "God is love, whoever lives in God lives in love and God in Him" ( 1John 4:16).      

 

“How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us that, we should be called the Children of God!” (1 John 3:1)."Love is patient, Love is kind.   It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.   It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking.   It is not easily angered; it  keeps  no  record  of wrongs.  Love does not delight  in  evil  but rejoices with the truth.    It always  protects, always  trusts, always  hopes,  and always perseveres.  Love never fails"   (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

"'Master, which of the commandments is the greatest?'   Jesus answered him, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.  This is the first and  greatest  commandment and the second is like it.   “Love your neighbor as  yourself"'" (Mark 12:29-31).  "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).  "To  Him who  loved us and  has freed us from our sins, by His blood” (Revelation 1:6).


 

Creator

Of all the statements made in Scripture, none is more straightforward; more stark in its clarity, than the simple contention that God created all things.  "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth" (Genesis 1:1).  "This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:  I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the Earth by myself" (Isaiah 44:24). "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made  the  heavens  and  the Earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you" (Jeremiah 32:17).


As creator, God not only created the cosmos, but He created life itself in all its variety.  "The God who made the world and everything  in it is  the  Lord  of  Heaven and  Earth" (Acts 17:24).  "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of Heaven and Earth" (Acts 17:24).   "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the Earth, the sea, and all that is in them" (Exodus 20:11).   "For this is what the LORD says — He who created the heavens, He is God; He who fashioned and made the Earth, He founded it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited — He says: 'I am the LORD, and there is no other'" (Isaiah 45:18).

 

Then, He made man after His own likeness; a higher form of life to have dominion over the Earth, and to have a loving relationship with God Himself -- as a child would have with a Father.  Man had a soul, and therefore had contact with two dimensions, the physical and the spiritual.  "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, in Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.  'So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them'" (Genesis 1:26-27).

"Have we not all one Father?  Did not one God create us?" (Malachi 2:10).  "It is I who made the Earth and created mankind upon it.  My own hands stretched out the heavens; marshaled their starry hosts"   (Isaiah 45:12).

God's  intention was  to enjoy His relationship with man for all eternity.  But man chose to disobey God;

resulting in a spiritual  death,  and  a separation  between  man and God.  "The woman  said to the serpent,  'We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, "You must not  eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die."'  'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman.  'For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'"(Genesis 3:2-5).


"But for those who are  self-seeking  and who  reject  the  truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and
anger"  (Romans 2:8).   "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction" (Galatians 6:8).


Seeking to restore His relationship with man, God sent His Son as a sacrifice, and offered forgiveness to all those who would receive it.   "Consequently,  just  as the result of one trespass was condemnation for allmen, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18 -19).  "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25).  "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,  that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). 

God's sacrifice, in the person of Jesus Christ, was an act of redemption. Accepting the ultimate sacrifice for our sins allows us to become new creations; and -- when we die -- to go to Heaven to live with God for all eternity. "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness  and  holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).  "Therefore, if  anyone  is  in  Christ  he  is  a  new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).  "Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4).

 

As new creations, our new life in Christ is fully realized -- fully received -- at moment of death; when we enter into a perfect relationship with God.  "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world (Matthew 25:24).  "Neither can they die anymore: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:36).  "To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sin by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father" (Revelations 1:6).

 

Finally, Heaven and Earth will pass away, and God will create a new Heaven and a new Earth. Those who have accepted God's forgiveness of their sins, will receive a new body, created in glory, to live with God forever in perfect communion with our Creator.  "Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first Heaven and the first Earth had passed away" (Revelation 21:1).  "But in keeping with His promise, we are looking forward to a new Heaven and a new Earth, the home of righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).  "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:44).  "For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" (1 Thessalonians 4:16).


                               THE KALAM COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

                               1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.   

                               2. The universe began to exist.            

                               3.  Therefore, the universe has a cause.  

                              (Christians would contend that the "cause" is

                              Almighty God).  

  

                                                       THE TELEOLOGICAL (DESIGN) ARGUMENT

                                                       1. All design implies a designer. 

                                                       2. Great design implies a great designer. 

                                                       3. There is a great design in the universe. 

                                                       4. Therefore, there is a great designer of the universe.



Triune

The word "Trinity" is used to teach what God has revealed about His nature and His being.  When Christians speak of God, they are speaking of the one God who is revealed in three persons:  The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. 


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?


In specific terms, the doctrine of the Trinity is as follows: 

          1.  There is only on God.

          2.  Within the divine nature of the one God, there exists three eternal persons:  The Father,                  The Son and The Holy Spirit.

          3.  Each person within the divine nature is eternally distinct.

 


Let's Take a Closer Look:                                      

1.  THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD

"I  am  He.   Before   me  no  God  was formed,  nor will  there  be one  after  me"  (Isaiah 43:10).   "Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the Earth; for I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:2).  "See now that I myself am He!  There  is no God besides me.  I put  to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal and none can deliver out of my hand" (Deuteronomy 32:39).

2.  WITHIN THE DIVINE NATURE OF THE ONE GOD, THERE EXISTS

THREE ETERNAL PERSONS: 

THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

The Father is called God


"Grace and  peace to  you  from 
God  our  Father and The Lord Jesus Christ
(1 Corinthians 1:3).  "You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior" (Psalm 89:26).


The Son is called God
 
                 

"But about the Son
He says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom" (Hebrews 1:8)
.  "While we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).


The Holy Spirit is called God

 

"You have lied  to the  Holy Spirit . . . You have  not  lied to  men but  to God"  (Acts 5:3-4). "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 3:2).

3.  EACH PERSON WITHIN THE DIVINE NATURE IS

ETERNALLY DISTINCT

 

"If I did judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone.  I stand with the Father, who sent me.  In your own law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid.  I am one who testifies for myself, my other witness is the Father, who sent me"(John 14:26).


"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything  I  have  said to  you"
(
John 14:26).

"As soon as Jesus
was baptized, He went up out of the water.  At that moment Heaven was opened,
and He saw The Spirit of God  descending like a dove and lighting on Him.  And a voice from Heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased'" (Matthew 3:16-17).

Finally, Matthew 28:19 records Jesus commending the Trinity to His Disciples as He commissions them to spread the Gospel to the nations of the Earth.  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."


Accordingly, Christianity is strictly monotheistic.  When Christians speak of God, they are speaking of the one, almighty God -- revealed in three persons -- who created the heavens and the Earth.

God Created

 

"Then God said, 'Let us make men in our image, in our likeness'" (Genesis 1:26).

 
The Father Created

 

"Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people?  Is He not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?" (Deuteronomy 32:6).

The Son Created

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation.  For by Him [Jesus] all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible,  whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him" (Colossians 1:15-16).

The Holy Spirit Created


"Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of  the  deep, and the  Spirit of God  was hovering over the waters" (Genesis 1:2).  "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath  of  the Almighty gives  me life" (Job 33:4).


 

           Spirit


GOD IS SPIRIT

A look into Scripture give us a clear description of the appearance and substance of God.  A frequently visited verse, known for its clarity is found in the book of John.  "God is spirit and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

 

While we can't be sure what a spirit is, we can be sure what a spirit is not.  As Jesus said, "A spirit does not  have  flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39).


Since God is Spirit, those who are born of the Spirit -- having  a  personal  relationship  with Jesus Christ -- can and should be in constant communion with God.

GOD'S SPIRIT IS INVISIBLE

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the one and only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever, Amen" (1 Timothy 1:17).  "He is the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15).    But, God is a unique spirit, and cannot be categorized with either angels or loved ones who have preceded us to Heaven. God is One.  He is the only One.  "No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only, who is at the Father's side has made Him known"(John 1:15).   "God who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light whom no one has seen or can ever see" (1 Timothy 6:16).


GODS'S SPIRIT IS UNLIMITED


God is also unlimited in His capacity.  God can only be seen as limited by His nature.  For example, God cannot lie.  But it would be a mistake to seek to define God in ways that He has not revealed to us.  We simply cannot fathom His glory.  "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of Heaven and Earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He himself gives to men, life, and breath, and everything else" (Acts 17:24-25).   "No  one is  like  you, O LORD,  You  are great, and your name  is mighty in power" (Jeremiah 10:6).  "To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the Earth and everything in it" (Deuteronomy 10:14). "Can you fathom the mysteries of God?  Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?  They are higher than the heavens -- what can you do?  They are deeper than the depths of the grave -- what can you know?  Their measure is longer than the Earth and wider than the sea" (Job 11:7-9).

 

 

 

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