God the Father (1-9-16)
Dear Church Family and friends who are joining us as we study God’s word in 2016:
This is our first “Saturday Study” of our 2016 Bible Reading Plan.
Each week, we will read about a new key figure from the Bible’s narrative and then do a Bible study on them each Saturday.
I pray that this 52 week journey, as we study 52 key figures of the Holy Scriptures, is a helpful way for you to grow in the full scope of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, and to help you see God’s redemptive work through time to save for himself a people while putting his glory on display which is to be praised. I am praying for you as you dig into God’s word each day and week. May 2 Timothy 3:16-17 be true for each of us, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work”
Love, your Shepherd.
Who is God?
Our Catechism answer is:
“God is the almighty Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of everything. He is perfect and the standard by which all things are measured.”
The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God; rather, it rightly assumes His existence from the very beginning. What the Bible does is reveal the nature, character, and work of God.
Without good biblical insight, many people think of God as any various being conceived of having special powers.
If you are God, is this a definition that suits you? No WAY!
It is vague and not specific. It says that you are conceived or made up!
This definition of God is, in other words, a something-out-there god!
The problem is a vast majority of Americans say they believe in God
– a something-out-there god –a cosmic grandpa –a 911 service in the sky
This is why we are desperate for God’s holy word to rightly reveal to us who he really is.
Today, I want to help us understand:
- Who God the Father is within the Holy Trinity
- His name
- His attributes
- His purpose
- The takeaways we can apply to our everyday life regarding God the Father.
- God the Father within the Holy Trinity of the Godhead.
On Monday, we read in Deuteronomy 6:4 that, “The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”
This verse is known as the Shema.
It’s the cornerstone verse that every Jewish child would memorize and live by. The Lord is one!
- The Scriptures teach us there is one God…not many gods! One God.
2 Corinthians 13:14 says “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Here, we see in one verse testimony of all three persons of the Holy Godhead.
The glorious Father, His beloved Son and the life-giving Holy Spirit.
It is within the eternal existence of the Holy Trinity that we have the source of all true beauty, joy, goodness, holiness and love. To belong to God, is to participate in this circle of divine fellowship. It is the goal of all existence. It is the meaning of life.
Did you know?:
-The word Trinity is never found in scripture.
-The word Trinity= tri-unity or three in oneness.
-It is used to summarized the teaching of scripture that there is one God who eternally and equally exists in three persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
So, God the Father is one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity that make up the Holy Godhead.
He is coequal in essence and eternity with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Yet his actions and roles within the Godhead are different than that of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
To better understand God the Father let’s first look at…
- God’s Name
Turn with me to Exodus Ch. 3-
Exodus 3:13 “Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?'”
What you need to understand about the religious system in Egypt in that day is a belief in many gods.
These are “little g” little pretender Gods- a god of soil, of fertility, of the sun, of death.
So, Moses is asking, how do I describe you to those who believe in many gods? Which god will they think you are?
Now listen to God’s answer…
Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.'”
“I am who I am” is taken from a Hebrew word that means, “to exist”.
What God is telling Moses is…. I exist, I am REAL!
In this, God is totally slamming the entire religious system and putting to correct shame all the little g, man-made gods.
He makes no excuses, no explanation. He is as straightforward as he can be. I AM!
Whether you figure me out or not or whether you acknowledge me or not! I AM.
Next, God says: Exodus 3:14b “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
- So, God’s name is I AM.
Exodus 3:15 “God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “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, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.’”
The LORD (all CAPS) L O R D !!!!!!!!!!
The LORD = four Hebrew consonants (YHWH). This was so sacred that Jews wouldn’t even pronounce them.
- Our modern word for God’s name is “Yahweh”.
- So, if you see the LORD in all caps in the Bible, this is a sign that it is in reference to the one true God.
This is the name of God! YAHWEH!
It is not a name to be taken lightly! àIt is full of power and wonder!
It is a name describing his eternal power and unchangeable character.
In a world where values, morals, and laws change constantly, we can find stability and security in our unchanging God.
This name is used 6800 times in the Old Testament!
Now think of the difference between knowing him as GOD and knowing him as Yahweh- “HE IS”!
- When God reveals his name, He is not only letting us get to know him, He is proclaiming who he is.
So, when he says, I AM he is saying, “I am huge, I am it, I am vast, I am who I am!”
No matter what you think or have been told. I AM!
God says in Isaiah 45:5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.”
- God’s Attributes
In our Thursday Reading in Psalm 136, we read many statements about God and his attributes followed by the proclamation that “His steadfast love endures forever”.
To study and review the attributes of God is a way to better understand him. Here is a list of some of the key attributes of God. It is important to note that not one of these is higher or more of an attribute of God. Each one is a critical and a central part of who God is.
Goodness: All that God is and does is perfectly good and He alone is the final standard of good. There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in Him. Nothing can be added to it to make it better. (Psalm 34:8, Psalm 145:9, Psalm 25:8, Matthew 7:7-11, Romans 8:28-29)
Grace: God gives unmerited favor to the guilty and unworthy that He has chosen. This includes blessings such as regeneration, faith, reconciliation, and eternal life. (Ephesians 1:2-14, Romans 11:6, Romans 3:10-12, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 4:16)
Immutability: God, in His being, perfections, purposes, ordinations, and promises, does not change in any way. He has always been and will always be exactly the same. (Numbers 23:19-20, James 1:17, 1 Samuel 15:29, Exodus 3:14, Acts 14:15)
Impassibility: God does not experience emotional changes either from within or effected by His relationship to creation. He remains unchanged and unchanging both prior and subsequent to creation. (Numbers 23:19-20, Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, 1 Samuel 15:29, Exodus 3:14)
Omnipotence: God is able to do all His holy will. He is all-powerful. (Psalm 33:9, Isaiah 46:10, Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 19:26, Job 42:2)
Omnipresence: God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with His whole being. Nothing in the universe exists outside the presence of God. (Psalm 139:7-10, Jer 23:24, Deut 4:39, Heb 13:5, Revelation 14:10)
Omniscience: God has perfect, complete knowledge. He never learns, nor does He forget. He knows all things that exist and all things that could have existed. God cannot grow in knowledge, understanding, or wisdom. (Job 37:16, Psalm 147:5, Isaiah 46:9-10, Romans 11:33-34, Matthew 11:21, 23)
Spirituality: God is spirit. He exists as a being that is not made of any matter, has no parts or dimensions, and is more excellent than any other kind of existence. That is to say, He is an immaterial, invisible, and infinite being that is fundamentally distinct from material, visible, and finite creatures. (Jn 4:24, 1 Tim 1:17, Matt 1:23, Col 1:15)
Truthfulness (Faithfulness): God does not lie. All His knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth. He keeps all of His promises. (Isaiah 40:8, Numbers 23:19, John 14:6, John 17:17-19, 2 Timothy 2:15)
Holiness: God is distinct, separate, in a class by Himself (He is “set apart”). He is morally pure (without any sin), and He is holy in relation to every aspect of His nature and character. (Ex 15:11, 1 Sam 2:2, Rev 4:8, 1 Peter 1:14-16, 1 John 1:5, Ps 99:3)
Love: God is love and in this He gives Himself for the blessing and salvation of undeserving sinners. (1 John 4:8, Ephesians 5:1-2, John 15:9-11, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 1:2-6)
Wrath: By His holiness, God decreed eternal punishment against sinners and justice against evil. It is the eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. (Romans 1:18, Psalm 5:5-6, Psalm 11:5, Psalm 7:11, Revelation 14:9-10)
Justice: Based on God’s own perfect righteousness and holiness, He deals with all things rightly and completely. He hates sin and always judges perfectly. (Job 34:12, Deuteronomy 32:4, Psalms 9:7-8, Romans 12:19, Romans 3:26)
Wisdom: God possesses wisdom perfectly and has decidedly ordained all things perfectly, including the best ways to accomplish His decisions. (Job 12:13, Isaiah 55:9, Romans 11:33, Romans 11:36, Acts 2:23)
Sovereignty: All things are under God’s rule and control and nothing happens without His direction. Providentially, He is a God who works, not just some things, but all things after the counsel of His own holy will. God’s purpose is all-inclusive and is never thwarted. It is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things but that He does so always and without exception. God is the supreme being who answers to no one and who has the absolute right to do with His creation as He desires. (Ps 115:3, Eph 1:11, Dan 4:35, Ps 139:16, Is 45:7)
- God’s Purpose
On Wednesday we read Job 38:1-21. Here, God brings a strong correction to Job’s mind about Job in comparison to God. Essentially saying, where were you, little man, when I, the one true God, made all of creation? Go back and read it again. It is a powerful heart check for us all. In Romans 11, we have a similar statement saying,
Romans 11:33-26 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?’ 35Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ 36For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
What is God alone due? The answer is: GLORY!
We use the phrase glory of God so often that it can begin to lose its deserved awe.
God’s glory is like the sun in the sense that it is no less blazing and no less beneficial just because people ignore it or don’t have a full idea about how radiant it is.
So, what is the glory of God?
The glory of God is the holiness of God put on display.
It is the infinite worth of God made manifest. His importance above all else.
Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
When the holiness of God fills the earth for people to see, it is called glory.
Holy means “set apart from what is common.” In speaking of God’s glory, God’s infinite value shines.
God’s glory is the radiance of His holiness, the out-streaming of His infinite value.
“The glory of God” is a way to say that there is an objective, absolute reality to which all human wonder, awe, veneration, praise, honor, acclaim, and worship is pointing. God alone is truly worthy of our worship and wonder forever!
Romans 11:36 “For to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
the glory of God is the ultimate purpose of everything that Exist!
What is included in “all things”?
- God is ultimately for God’s glory:
God is God-centered!
It is important that we see how scripture teaches that the primary reason that God acts and saves is “ultimately” for His sake and His glory and not ours.
- The universe and everything in it is ultimately for God’s glory:
The glory of God is the goal of all things.
Psalm 96:1-3 “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
What this helps us with is to understand that the things of life-the every day things we have come to enjoy- these things he has created and entrusted to us are to be enjoyed so that we will see him as central to it all and give him praise.
So, as I ride my motorcycle down the windy country road and feel the cool wind in my face, I have that experience so that I will see His hand central to me having that experience and give Him praise.
God gave us food and wine, not so we could guzzle it down and gorge ourselves on it, but rather as we take a bite of good food or we take a sip of great wine, something would occur in the deepest parts of our soul where it didn’t terminate on the thing we are consuming, but rather stir in us an awe and a joy for its ultimate creator…resulting in worship of God’s name.
God reigns over all things and is the reason why all things exist.
Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
- Practical Take-Aways:
A twentieth century writer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us.” What that boils down to is this: who you believe God to be and what He is like is the single most important factor in your life.
In Monday’s reading of Deuteronomy 6:1-25, we were given a very practical way to fear, obey and worship God.
Open your Bibles and look with me again at these most central commands of God in the Shema:
Deuteronomy 6:2,13-14– We are to live in a righteous fear and reverence for who God is at all times.
Deuteronomy 6:5– We are to love God above all others in life.
Deuteronomy 6:2, 17, 25 – We are to walk in obedience to his commands as our way of honoring him.
Deuteronomy 6:2, 7– We must disciple those entrusted to our care- to pass down generation to generation the truths of God and truths about God.
We have a great victory to look forward to based on what God has ordained and Christ has accomplished on our behalf.
In our Friday reading in Revelation 21:1-8, we got to see into the future reign of God over the new heavens and new earth.
We who repent and trust in Jesus alone will enjoy and worship God forever and ever.
“1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ 6 And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.’”
– Revelation 21:1-8
By His grace and for His glory,
Pastor Joshua Kirstine
Olive Drive Church