- Slides: 90
Theology Proper: What is God Like? A Study of the Attributes and Nature of God
WHY THE STUDY OF GOD IS IMPORTANT • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111: 10; Prov. 9: 10). The way to grow in the fear of God is to know God. The way to know God is to study His attributes. So, if we wish to live wisely in the world we will do well to know God (through the study and meditation of His attributes).
“A divine attribute is a property that is intrinsic in God by which God is distinguished or identified. By abstract thinking God may be conceived apart from His attributes; but He is known by His attributes, and apart from them He would not appear to be what He is. ” Walvoord, Chafer’s Systematic Theology.
WHY THE STUDY OF GOD IS IMPORTANT • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. • There is a danger in not knowing God. ü Not knowing God ü Knowing God will discernment. ü Knowing God will may lead to idolatry. will lead to sin. will lead to eternal death. stimulate spiritual produce rest and trust in Him.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. ” The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. (Ps. 46: 8 -11)
WHY THE STUDY OF GOD IS IMPORTANT • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. • There is a danger in not knowing God. ü Studying the attributes of God will allow us to know more about God, leading us to salvation and ultimately to knowing Him (not just about Him) more intimately, and sparing us from His eternal wrath.
“The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshipped. ” A. W. Pink, Attributes of God.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. … “For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. …
“…We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. ” Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.
HOW DO WE KNOW GOD EXISTS? • God’s existence is assumed by the • • • Scriptures (e. g. , Gen. 1: 1). Argument from cause (cosmological argument) Argument from design (teleological argument) [telos = “end”] Argument from man (anthropological argument) Argument from morality Arguments against God
Arguments against God • Atheism • Agnosticism • Polytheism • Pantheism • Deism
"It's not for lack of evidence that people turn from God; it's from their pride or their will. God is not going to force anyone into the fold. Love never works coercively. It only works persuasively. And there's plenty of persuasive evidence there. ” Norman Geisler, The Case for Christ; quoted in Servant.
HOW DO WE STUDY THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • The attributes are in harmony with one another. That is, they complement one another, work together with one another, are not in conflict with one another, and no attribute is superior or inferior to any other. All His attributes are always fully active. So, God can be just and loving without the one being in conflict with the other. This demonstrates the SIMPLICITY of God.
“The harmony of His being is the result not of perfect balance between the parts but of the absence of parts. Between His attributes no contradiction can exist. He need not suspend one to exercise another, for in Him all His attributes are one. All of God does all that God does; He does not divide Himself to perform a work, but works in the total unity of His being. ” A. W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
HOW DO WE STUDY THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • The attributes are in harmony with one another. • We recognize that all God’s attributes are infinite, i. e. , they are complete (not maturing or changing), they have always existed completely and always will exist completely. Thus, He is a unique, singular God. There is no one like Him and all other beings exist from, through, and for Him (1 Cor. 8: 6). This demonstrates the UNITY of God.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? “An attribute of God is whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself. …An attribute, then, is a part of God. It is how God is, and as far as the reasoning mind can go, we may say that it is what God is, though…
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? “… exactly what He is He cannot tell us. Of what God is conscious when He is conscious of self, only He knows. ‘The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. ’ [1 Cor. 2: 11] Only to an equal could God communicate the mystery of His Godhead; and to think of God as having an equal is to fall into an intellectual absurdity. ” Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes have nothing analogous in God’s created beings. ü INFINITY — “God is free from all limitations to His Being and attributes by the bounds of the spacio-temporal horizon of the universe. ” God is limitless, measureless and knows no bounds (Job 5: 9; 9: 10; Ps. 145: 3).
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes. ü INFINITY § ETERNALITY — God is without beginning or end; He is free from all succession of time; He is the cause of time.
Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Psalm 90: 2
“‘From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God, ’ said Moses in the Spirit. ‘From the vanishing point to the vanishing point’ would be another way to say it quite in keeping with the words as Moses used them. The mind looks backward in time till the dim past vanishes, then turns and looks into the future till thought and imagination collapse from exhaustion; and God is at both points, unaffected by either. ” A. W. Tozer.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes. ü INFINITY § ETERNALITY § IMMENSITY— He cannot be localized in one place. God transcends all spatial limitations; He is present in every point in space with His entire being.
“But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? ” 2 Chronicles 2: 6
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes. ü INFINITY ü SELF-EXISTENCE — “The ground of His existence is in Himself. ”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you. ’” God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. ’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. ’”(Ex. 3: 14 -15) “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (Jn. 5: 26) “…nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; ” (Acts 17: 25)
“I AM THAT I AM. Everything God is, everything that is God, is set forth in that unqualified declaration of independent being. Yet in God, self is not sin but the quintessence of all possible goodness, holiness and truth. The natural man is a sinner because and only because he challenges God’s selfhood in relation to his own. In all else he may willingly accept the sovereignty of God; in his own life he rejects it. …
For him, God’s dominion ends where his begins. For him, self becomes Self, and in this he unconsciously imitates Lucifer, that fallen son of the morning who said in his heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. …I will be like the most High. ’ [Is. 14: 13 -14]” Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes. ü INFINITY ü SELF-EXISTENCE ü IMMUTABILITY — “God undergoes no change in being, perfections, purposes and promises. ” God never grows, develops or differs with Himself
• Disclaimer #1: Immutability does not imply immobility. God is a God who is always in action in His relationship with man. But in His being, attributes, purpose and promises there is a complete absence of change. • Disclaimer #2: When Scripture says that God “changes” or “repents, ” it does not mean that God has changed. It is an expression of His permissive will in response to man’s fulfillment of a condition in accordance with His preceptive (decreed) will. Remember, God can do nothing that is inconsistent with any part of His nature.
• God does not change in relation to His • • being (Ex. 3: 14; Heb. 1: 11 -12) God does not change in relation to His perfections (Rom. 1: 23) God does not change in relation to His purposes (1 Sam. 15: 29; Dt. 28 -30) God does not change in relation to His promises (Num. 23: 19) God does not change (Mal. 3: 6; Js. 1: 17)
“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. ” (Mal. 3: 6) Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (Js. 1: 17)
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s INCOMMUNICABLE attributes. ü INFINITY ü SELF-EXISTENCE ü IMMUTABILITY ü UNITY — God is numerically one and is unique. All other beings exist of, through, and unto Him. God is not composite and is not susceptible of division into parts. The three persons of the triune Godhead are not parts of which the Divine essence is composed.
…yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Cor. 8: 6)
Theology Proper: What is God Like? A Study of the Attributes and Nature of God (Part 2)
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s incommunicable attributes. • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes are not experienced completely in man, but man does demonstrate something of God’s nature in him (Gen. 1: 27 a).
“There are many of the divine attributes that, if God had not created the world, never would have had any exercise — the power of God, the wisdom of God, the prudence and contrivance of God, the goodness and mercy and grace of God, the justice of God…” John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü HOLINESS — God is “set apart, distinct, ” that is, He is free from and set apart from sin. God’s holiness cannot and does not tolerate sin. His holiness refers both to the absence of sin in God and the presence of infinite purity in Him.
“but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY. ” 1 Pt. 1: 15 -16
“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. It stands apart, unique, unapproachable, incomprehensible, and unattainable. The natural man is blind to it. He may fear God’s power and admire His wisdom, but His holiness he cannot even imagine. ” Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü HOLINESS ü OMNISCIENCE — God is all (Latin, omni) knowing. His knowledge is perfect and complete, knowing all that is actual and all that is possible. And His knowledge is intuitive — it is immediate (not coming through the senses), simultaneous (not acquired through observation or reason), actual (complete), and according to reality.
God is omniscient • Ps. 139: 1 -6 — God knows all things that actually exist. • Mt. 11: 21 — God knows all the variables concerning things that have not occurred. • Dan. 2: 36 -43; 7: 4 -8 — God knows all things that will yet transpire.
“God sees you as much as if there were nobody else in the world for Him to look at. If I have as many people as there are here to look at, of course my attention must be divided. But the infinite mind of God is able to grasp a million objects at once and yet to focus as much on one as if there were nothing else but that one. ” C. H. Spurgeon.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü HOLINESS ü OMNISCIENCE ü OMNIPOTENCE — God can do anything that he wills to do and anything that is in harmony with His perfections.
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done? ’” (Dan. 4: 35) “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son. ” (Gen. 18: 14) “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; ” (Rev. 20: 2)
“Nothing is too hard for Him. If God were stinted in might and had a limit to His strength we might well despair. But seeing that He is clothed with omnipotence, no prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no passion too strong for him to subdue; no temptation too powerful for Him to deliver from, no misery too deep for Him to relieve. ‘The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? ’ (Psa. 27: 1). ” Pink, Attributes of God.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü HOLINESS OMNISCIENCE OMNIPOTENCE OMNIPRESENCE — God is everywhere present and everything is immediately in his presence.
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children. ’” (Acts 17: 24 -28) “…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ” (Mt. 28: 20) “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU” (Heb. 13: 5)
“Living becomes and awesome business when you realize that you spend every moment of your life in the sight and company of an omniscient, omnipotent Creator. ” J. I. Packer, Knowing God.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü ü HOLINESS OMNISCIENCE OMNIPOTENCE OMNIPRESENCE WISDOM — the perfection of God whereby He applies His knowledge to the attainment of His ends in a way which glorifies Him most. I. e. , how God applies His knowledge.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. ” (Rom. 11: 33 -36) “…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. ” (Eph. 1: 11 -12)
“Many today who profess to be Christ’s never learn wisdom, through failure to attend sufficiently to God’s written word. …What fools some of us are! — and we remain fools all our lives, simply because we will not take the trouble to do what has to be done to receive the wisdom which is God’s free gift. ” J. I. Packer, Knowing God.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü ü HOLINESS OMNISCIENCE OMNIPOTENCE OMNIPRESENCE WISDOM SOVEREIGNTY — “That perfection whereby He, in a most simple act, is His own faculty of self-determination, which, when extended to His creatures makes Him the ground of their being and continued existence. ”
God is sovereign • 1 Thess. 4: 3; Eph. 5: 17 — God’s preceptive will — which may be disobeyed. • Jn. 6: 37 -44 — God’s decreed will — which will always be accomplished • Dt. 29: 29 — “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. ”
“…ultimately, there are only two options. Either God is sovereign and has absolute control over the world and universe or God does not have sovereign control, and the world and universe carry on in defiance of His holy will. ” Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology.
“Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved. We may not know why (we may never know why), but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives. He is in no way surprised by it all. Before it ever touches us, it passes through Him. [Moreover], everything I incur is designed to prepare me for serving others more effectively. Everything. ” Charles Swindoll, Improving Your Serve.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü SOVEREIGNTY ü LOVE — “The perfection of the divine nature by which God is eternally moved to communicate Himself. It is not a mere emotional impulse, but a rational and voluntary affection, having its ground in truth and holiness and its exercise in free choice. ” [Thiessen] The object of God’s love is ultimately not people but Himself — that is, He loves people as an expression of His love for Himself and as the means for the greatest display of His glory.
“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. ” (Dt. 7: 7 -8) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. ” (Jn. 3: 16) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. ” (Jn. 13: 34)
“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ” (1 Jn. 4: 9 -11)
God’s Love — a summary • Dt. 7: 7 -8 — His love is not earned or merited, but is a gift of grace. • Jn. 3: 16; 13: 34 — He has love for all men, but a particular love for those who are His. • 1 Jn. 4: 9 ff — His love is the means by which we love others; the reception of His love necessitates the extension of love to others.
“We must understand that it is God’s very nature to love. The reason our Lord commanded us to love our enemies is ‘in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous’ (Matt. 5: 45; NASB). That passage and the verses in its immediate context refute Arthur Pink’s claim that Jesus never told sinners God loved them. Here Jesus clearly characterized His Father as One who loves even those who purposefully set themselves at enmity against Him. ” John Mac. Arthur, The love of God.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü SOVEREIGNTY ü LOVE ü JEALOUSY — The expression of God’s love so that He works with infinite power and authority to preserve the truth. With regard to Himself and the truth, He is jealous to preserve His name; with regard to His people, He works to preserve both them and His relationship with Him.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Ex. 20: 4 -5) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ” (1 Pt. 1: 3 -5)
The Jealousy of God summarized • Ex. 20: 4 -5 — God is jealous for His name • 1 Pt. 1: 3 -5 — God uses His power to protect the inheritance of His people • Hosea 1 -3 — God is jealous for the fellowship of His people.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü SOVEREIGNTY LOVE JEALOUSY GRACE — Grace is God’s unmerited and undeserving favor to those who are under condemnation (i. e. , all humanity). The great act of God’s grace is in his provision of salvation for lost humanity.
The grace of God — God’s grace can be distinguished from His compassion and mercy this way — • God’s compassion is that emotion that compels Him to have pity on those who are estranged from Him through sin. • In His mercy, God withholds that judgment which the sinner rightly deserves. • In His grace, God gives His salvation and imputes Christ’s righteousness to the undeserving sinner.
“being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…” (Rom. 3: 24) “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. ” (Rom. 9: 22 -24)
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” (Eph. 1: 7) “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ” (Eph. 2: 8 -10)
“You’ll never run into a stratum in God that is hard. You’ll always find God gracious, at all times and toward all peoples forever. You’ll never run into any meanness in God, never any resentment or rancor or ill will, for there is none there. God has no ill will toward any being. God is a God of utter kindness and cordiality and good will and benevolence. And yet all of these work in perfect harmony with God’s justice and God’s judgment. ” A. W. Tozer, The Radical Cross.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü ü SOVEREIGNTY LOVE JEALOUSY GRACE PATIENCE — The expression of God’s love in His bearing with (and withholding judgment of 0 those who persist in doing evil and disobeying God despite both God’s general and special revelation to them.
“…who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. ” (1 Pt. 3: 20) “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. ” (2 Pt. 3: 9)
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü ü SOVEREIGNTY LOVE JEALOUSY GRACE PATIENCE GOODNESS — “That perfection which prompts God to deal bountifully and kindly with all His creatures. ” This goodness is not an added quality, but of His very essence and infinite in scope. Nothing can be added to His goodness to make Him more good.
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. ” (Mk. 10: 18) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Mt. 7: 7 -11)
“When Christian theology says that God is good, it is not the same as saying that He is righteous or holy. …The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people. ” A. W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • God’s COMMUNICABLE attributes. ü ü ü LOVE JEALOUSY GRACE PATIENCE GOODNESS RIGHTEOUSNESS — As a complement to God’s holiness, God is right (His holiness) and always does what is right in relation to His people. His holiness is a consideration of His inherent purity; His righteous is a consideration of His inherently right actions.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH. ” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1: 17 -18) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ” (1 John 1: 9)
“Wrath in God must not be conceived of in terms of the fitful passion with which anger is frequently associated in us. But to construe God’s wrath as consisting simply in his purpose to punish sin or to secure the connection between sin and misery is to equate wrath with its effects and virtually eliminate wrath as a movement in the mind of God. Wrath is the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness. The reality of God’s wrath in this specific character is shown by the fact that it is ‘revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. ’” John Murray, Romans.
WHAT ARE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD? • INCOMMUNICABLE ü ü INFINITY SELF-EXISTENCE IMMUTABILITY UNITY • COMMUNICABLE ü ü ü ü HOLINESS OMNISCIENCE OMNIPOTENCE OMNIPRESENCE WISDOM SOVEREIGNTY LOVE JEALOUSY GRACE PATIENCE GOODNESS RIGHTEOUSNESS TRUTH
“God is omniscient; He knows everything. God is infallible; it is impossible for Him to fail. God is inerrant; He never errs. Not only does God not commit error, but He does not inspire error. God is neither the source of nor the inspirer of error. What comes from His divine mind is truth. What He inspires is truth. …If a book has errors, it is not the Word of God. If a book is the Word of God, it does not have errors. We cannot have a book that is both the Word of God and errant. ” Sproul, One Holy Passion.
THE TRINITY OF GOD • Definition — God exists eternally in three distinct and separate persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — yet those three Persons exist as one God. Some have even called this doctrine “Tri. Unity, ” attempting to emphasize the oneness of God.
THE TRINITY OF GOD · God is one in essence. This oneness is taught in Dt. 6: 4, affirming both the uniqueness and unity of God. “It means all three Persons possess the summation of the divine attributes but yet the essence of God is undivided. Oneness in essence also emphasizes that the three Persons of the Trinity do not act independently of one another. ” [Enns, p. 200. ]
THE TRINITY OF GOD · God is one in essence. · God is three in Person. That is, God does not exist in three different ways or modes, but He exists in three distinct Persons that are unified as one God (e. g. , Is. 48: 16; 61: 1). ü The Father is called God (1 Cor. 8: 6) ü The Son is called God (John 1: 1; Heb. 1: 8 -10) ü The Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5: 4)
THE TRINITY OF GOD · God is one in essence. · God is three in Person. • The three have distinct relationships. “The Father is not begotten nor does He proceed from any person; the Son is eternally begotten from the Father (John 1: 18; 3: 16, 18; 1 John 4: 9). …The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 14: 26; 16: 7). ” [Enns, p. 200. ] Yet these different relationships do not imply inferiority or superiority within the Godhead.
THE TRINITY OF GOD · God is one in essence. · God is three in Person. • The three have distinct relationships. • The three Persons are equal in authority. “The Father is recognized as authoritative and supreme (1 Cor. 8: 6); the Son is also recognized as equal to the Father in every respect (John 5: 21 -23); the Spirit is likewise recognized as equal to the Father and the Son (cf. Matt. 12: 31). ” [Enns, p. 200. ]
THE TRINITY OF GOD · God is one in essence. · God is three in Person. • The three have distinct relationships. • The three Persons are equal in authority. • The three persons are all active in the great acts of God in history and redemption —
THE TRINITY OF GOD • The three persons are all active in the great acts of God in history and redemption — ü ü ü ü Creation (Gen. 1: 1; Col. 1: 16; Ps. 104: 30) Incarnation (Lk. 1: 35) Christ’s baptism (Mt. 3: 16 -17) Atonement (Heb. 9: 14) Resurrection (Acts 2: 32; Jn. 10: 17 -18; Ro. 1: 4) Salvation (1 Pt. 1: 2) Indwelling of the believer (Jn. 14: 15 -23)
THE TRINITY OF GOD “…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ” (Heb. 9: 14) “…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. ” (1 Pt. 1: 2)
THE TRINITY OF GOD These truths combine to produce a picture of God wherein all the members of the Godhead work together, each in their own divine roles, to produce a people that are justified and sanctified to forever glorify the Son.
THE TRINITY OF GOD • Three common errors about the Trinity: ü Tri-theism —the 3 persons of the godhead are all God, but they were not one God. ü Modalism (Sabellianism) — there is one God, but He exists in three different modes or manifestations. ü Arianism — the Son is subordinate to the Father — they are not co-equal — leading to a denial of the deity of Christ.
THE TRINITY OF GOD “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. ” (Jn. 5: 22 -23)
“There is only one fountain of lasting joy — the overflowing gladness of God in God. Without beginning and without ending, without source and without cause, without help and assistance, the spring is eternally self-replenishing. From this unceasing fountain of joy flow all grace and all joy in the universe…Let everyone who is thirsty come. ” Piper, The Pleasures of God.