Christian Worldviews 102: Who God Is

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The Bible

Theology (knowledge of deity) is how we understand God

Understanding and knowing God starts with theology and the Bible

  • Feelings and sentiments can be misguided or inaccurate to the truth

The term “theology” has received a bad reputation with some Christians

  • Theology is the only way to understand God
  • The eternal and infinite nature of God requires us to think philosophically
  • Therefore, theology is philosophy applied to understand God

God has many clear attributes

God is forever the same

God is self-existing (Exodus 3:14, Psalm 90:2, John 1:1-5, John 5:26, Colossians 1:15-17)

God is eternal (Psalm 102:12, Hebrews 13:8)

  • Infinity is immeasurable from its vastness, but eternity is entirely separate from time

God doesn’t change, even from outside influences (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17)

  • God is unlike any other being in our experience (Psalm 113: 5-6, Isaiah 55:8-9, Isaiah 57:15, John 8:23)

God is love

God’s attributes define love (Deuteronomy 7:7-8, John 14:31, Romans 5:5-8, Romans 8:35-39, 1 John 4:8-16)

God’s love has multiple portions

  • God is good (Exodus 34:6-7, Psalm 25:8, James 1:17)
  • God is very gracious (Psalm 145:17, Romans 3:24, Romans 5:15, Romans 5:20, Ephesians 4:7, Hebrews 4:16)

God is nearby and actively involved (Jeremiah 23:23-24, Acts 17:27-28, Haggai 2:5)

Only God has the right to deliver judgment

God is holy (Exodus 3:5-6, 1 Samuel 2:2, Psalm 99:2-3, Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8)

  • Holiness is a synonym for perfect purity

God is righteous (Genesis 18:25, Psalm 19:7-9, Psalm 145:17, Jeremiah 9:24)

  • Righteousness is like holiness or goodness but requires proving itself with action

God knows everything (Ezekiel 11:5, Psalm 147:5, Acts 15:18, Romans 2:6, Romans 11:33, Hebrews 4:13, 1 John 3:20)

God is fair and just (Genesis 18:25, Exodus 34:6-7, Nehemiah 9:32-33, Psalm 99:4, Romans 1:32, Romans 9:14-33, 1 Peter 1:17)

God is merciful (Psalm 6:4, Romans 9:23-24, Ephesians 2:4, Titus 3:5, Hebrews 4:16, 1 Peter 1:3)

God is all-powerful (Psalm 115:3, Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 19:26, Mark 14:36, Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:11, Hebrews 1:3)

God is all-present (1 Kings 8:27, Job 11:7-9, Psalm 90:1-2, Psalm 139:7-10, Jeremiah 23:23-24)

  • God isn’t in everything as much as that He can be anywhere when He wants

God is a Trinity of three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

(Matthew 12:31, John 16:3, John 16:8, Acts 5:3, Acts 7:51, Acts 8:39, Acts 10:19-20, Romans 8:26-27, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, 1 Corinthians 12:11, Ephesians 4:30, Hebrews 10:29)

All three persons of God are male

  • Some metaphors express female attributes, but very rarely (Matthew 23:37, Luke 15)

God’s characteristics are different from His actions

God can be wrathful, but it’s not His nature and therefore only comes through responding to others

The Trinity shows that love always requires a giver and a receiver

God has many “roles”

God is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Deuteronomy 10:17, 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16)

God is the Great Physician (Psalm 103:3, Matthew 14:14, James 5:16)

God is the Great Lawyer (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Luke 16:17)

God is the Great Teacher (Job 35:11, 1 Corinthians 1:27)

God is the Great Artist (Job 37:14-16, Psalm 96:11-12, Ecclesiastes 3:11)

God is the Great Recordkeeper (2 Samuel 14:11, Luke 21:28)

God’s attributes mean He can’t have a few traits

God isn’t “tame” or weak

God isn’t self-contradicting or fickle

God isn’t conventional or predictable

We can’t know everything about God

God created us in His image, but we aren’t God (Genesis 1:27)

  • Our finite nature makes us unable to understand God fully (Psalm 103:15-16)

We can’t wrap our minds around the idea of the Trinity

One God is three unique individual persons who are all the same God (Matthew 28:19, Luke 1:35, John 14:16-17, John 14:23)

The Bible shows their separate relationships

  • Jesus and the Father
    • Jesus is distinctly different from God (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 4:25-26, John 8:24, John 10:30, 1 John 5:7)
    • At the same time, Jesus is the same as God (Isaiah 7:14, Luke 2:21, Colossians 2:9-10, Hebrews 1:8, 1 Timothy 3:16)
  • Jesus and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20, Romans 8:9)
  • The Father and the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, John 15:26)

We can’t compare any appropriate example to the Trinity

  • Some people use water (solid, liquid gas) or light (adding primary colors to make white) but they all fail to compare accurately
  • The best description of the Trinity is like three interconnected relationships most closely resembling a family

Jesus is God

Jesus claimed to be God (John 8:58, Mark 2:1-12, Mark 2:28, Mark 14:60-64)

  • Jesus consistently stated it very clearly but also very indirectly

Jesus is also fully man (Matthew 16:3, Matthew 20:28)

We don’t know how Jesus is entirely man and fully God

  • He couldn’t have risen from the dead if He wasn’t God
  • He couldn’t have died if He wasn’t a man

The unique attributes of a Christian lie exclusively in what they believe about Jesus

  • Every Christian must believe in Jesus’ divine humanity for His message to hold any validity
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