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“Knowing God” Lesson 8: “God and the Universe” (Eastside Baptist/Wed PM/March 5, 2014)

 

God and the Universe

v  Universe = whatever is created or all that is not God.

v  Includes everything that God has made, whether material or immaterial, living or inanimate, including intelligent and moral beings.

 The Decree of God

v  God’s decree involves his eternal plan or purpose in creating, sustaining, and guiding the universe.

v  Strong: “that eternal plan by which God has rendered certain all the events of the universe, past, present, and future.”

v  Hodge: “The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his own will, whereby for his own glory He hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.”

 

1. God’s plan is singular. 

v  One all-inclusive and comprehensive purpose, plan, and will.

v  All individual plans/decrees are united under one eternal purpose.

v  Only the actual not potential.

 

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, (Eph. 1:11, NIV)

 

according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Eph. 3:11, NIV)

 

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, NIV)

 

2. God’s plan is freely made. 

v  God’s plan arises from his own will and good pleasure.

v  He is under no coercion to act by any outside influences.

v  He freely plans and does what is pleasing to him and brings him glory.

 

Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?  Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?  (Isa. 40:13-14, NIV)

 

3. God’s plan is eternal. 

v  God’s plan has been purposed from all eternity.

v  There was never a time when there wasn’t a plan.

v  God’s plan is eternally contemporaneous and simultaneous

 

He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. (1 Pet. 1:20, NIV)

 

He has saved us and called us to a holy life-- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, (2 Tim. 1:9, NIV)

 

"Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone. (Isa. 37:26, NIV)

 

4. God’s plan is changeless. 

v  Just as God’s plan is freely made without outside influences, God’s plan is not altered or hindered by outside influences or events.

v  God has no plan B, only one perfect, changeless plan.

 

This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. (Acts 2:23, NIV)

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (Jas. 1:17, NIV)

 

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 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.' (Isa. 46:9–10, NIV)

 

5. God’s plan is universal. 

v  God’s plan comprehends all things (entities, actions, events, etc.) that come to pass, whether good or bad, righteous or sinful, necessary or contingent, humanly purposed or fortuitous.

 

The LORD works out everything to its proper end-- even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Prov. 16:4, NIV)

 

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, NIV)

 

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, (Eph. 1:11, NIV)

 

Stability of the Universe

Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. (Psalm 119:90, NIV)

 

Rise and Fall of Rulers

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1, NIV)

 

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?" (Dan. 4:35, NIV)

 

Length of Life

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16, NIV)

 

A person's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (Job 14:5, NIV)

 

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, (Heb. 9:27, NIV)

 

Circumstances of Life

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. (Prov. 16:9, NIV)

 

Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (Jas. 4:13–15, NIV)

 

Free Acts of People

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20, NIV)

 

The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!" (Lk. 22:22, NIV)

 

From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. (Isa. 46:11, NIV)

 

For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph. 2:10, NIV)

 

Salvation of Believers

he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- (Eph. 1:5, NIV)

 

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, exiles …, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood... (1 Pet. 1:1-2, NIV)

 

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:30, NIV)

 

Perdition of the Ungodly

"A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message-- which is also what they were destined for. (1 Pet. 2:8, NIV)

 

What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-- prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory--even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:22-24, NIV)

 

Seemingly Insignificant Details

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (Prov. 16:33, NIV)

 

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  (Matt. 10:29-30, NIV)

 

6. God’s plan is unconditional. 

v  God’s plan is not contingent on anything else.

v  Hodge: “its execution does not depend upon anything that has not itself been decreed.”

v  God’s plan encompasses the ends and the means.

 

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, (Eph. 1:11, NIV)

 

For from him and through him and for him are all things. (Romans 11:36, NIV)

 

7. God’s plan is certain. 

v  God’s plan is not contingent or merely possible.

v  God’s decree renders events certain. All that God plans will come to pass.

 

For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (Isa. 14:27, NIV)

 

8. God’s plan preserves human accountability. 

v  God’s eternal, unchangeable, certain plan is compatible with the free choices of human beings and their accountability for their actions.

v  Certainty does not mean compulsion.

 

The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!" (Lk. 22:22, NIV)

 

9. God’s plan is centered in Jesus Christ.

v  Christ’s Redemption, Resurrection, and Reign are at the center of God’s plan for the universe.

 

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Heb. 1:1–3, NIV)

 

10. God’s plan is directed toward God’s glory. 

v  The ultimate purpose of all that God does is to bring him honor and glory.

v  Everything in the universe flows from him and returns to him for his glory.

 

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Eph. 1:4-6, NIV)

 

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?" For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:33–36, NIV)

 

Two Aspects of God’s Will

v  Decreed Will (Secret)

Ø  What God has purposed/planned to do and will happen.

 

v  Prescriptive Will (Revealed)

Ø  What God has commanded and expects to be obeyed.

 

Implications

v  Not fatalism

v  The means as well as the ends

Ø  The causes and the effects

v  Unknown until after the fact

v  Consistent with human responsibility

v  Encourages human participation

Listen Now:


“The Godly Line of Seth” – Genesis 5:1–32 – (Eastside Baptist/Sun PM/March 2, 2014)

1 This is the written account of Adam's family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.  2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them "Mankind" when they were created.  3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.  4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.  5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.  6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh.  7 After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters.  8 Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.  9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan.  10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters.  11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.  12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel.  13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters.  14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.  15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared.  16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters.  17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.  18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch.  19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.  20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.  21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.  22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.  24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.  25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech.  26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters.  27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.  28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son.  29 He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."  30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters.  31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.  32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.  (Genesis 5:1-32, NIV)<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-5, NIV)

Main Idea: Humanity’s only hope for deliverance from the curse of sin and death is through the promised seed of the woman, Jesus Christ.

1. Every human being bears the image of God.

This is the written account of Adam's family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them "Mankind" when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. (Genesis 5:1–3, NIV)

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:26–28, NIV)

2. Every human being bears the marred image of God and suffers under the curse of sin and death.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died. (Genesis 5:6–8, NIV)

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5, NIV)

Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. (Psalm 58:3, NIV)

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned– (Romans 5:12, NIV)

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19, NIV)

3. Every human being has a responsibility to walk in humble obedience before their Creator.

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.  Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.  (Genesis 5:21–24, NIV)

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: "He could not be found, because God had taken him away." For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5, NIV)

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 14–15, NIV)

Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD. (Genesis 4:26, NIV)

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25–26, NIV)

4. The only hope for deliverance from the curse of sin and death is through the promised seed of the woman, and descendant of Noah, Jesus Christ.

When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son.  He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."  (Genesis 5:28–29, NIV)

Main Idea: Your only hope for deliverance from the curse of sin and death is through the promised seed of the woman, Jesus Christ.

Listen Now:


“Abiding in the Word of Life” (John 6:60­–71) (Eastside Baptist/Sun AM/March 2, 2014)

47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.  48 I am the bread of life.  49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.  50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.  51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."  52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"  53 Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.  57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.  58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."  59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.  60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"  61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?  62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!  63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you-- they are full of the Spirit and life.  64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.  65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them."  66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.  67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.  68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."  70 Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!"  71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (John 6:47–71, NIV)

1. Sometimes those who initially profess faith in Jesus Christ walk away and abandon Christ.

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52, NIV)

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"  61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?  62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!  63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you-- they are full of the Spirit and life.  64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.  (John 6:60–64, NIV)

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:66, NIV)

2. Those who abandon Christ demonstrate that they were never truly his followers.

Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. (John 6:64, NIV)

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.  24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.  25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. (John 2:23–25, NIV)

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. (John 8:31, NIV)

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18, NIV)

22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist-- denying the Father and the Son.  23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  25 And this is what he promised us-- eternal life.  26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. (1 John 2:22–26, NIV)

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. (1 John 2:19, NIV)

Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!" (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (John 6:70–71, NIV)

While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. (John 17:12, NIV)

3. True faith is abiding faith, because it is accomplished by a supernatural work of God’s grace that does not fail.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. (John 6:56, NIV)

He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them." (John 6:65, NIV)

All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37, NIV)

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. (John 6:39, NIV)

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:40, NIV)

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6:44, NIV)

4. True, abiding faith remains in Christ because he is the Word of life.

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:66–69, NIV)

Main Idea: Not all that appears to be faith is really faith; true, grace-wrought faith abides in Jesus the Word of life.

Listen Now:


“Knowing God”

Lesson 7: “The Goodness of God” (Eastside Baptist/Wed PM/Feb. 26, 2014)

The Attributes of God

v  God’s attributes are his essential characteristics or the necessary parts of his nature.

v  God’s attributes can be classified according to those of his greatness and those of his goodness.

v  The key difference between the two kinds of God’s attributes is the word “share.”

v  God’s greatness cannot be shared or imitated; God’s goodness can be shared or imitated by human beings.

The Attributes of God’s Goodness

v  God’s attributes of goodness are those qualities that express God’s character in relationship to his creatures.

v  By grace, in dependence on the Spirit, and in a finite way, we can emulate these qualities.

1. God is holy.

Separate from Creation

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isa. 6:1–3 NIV)

Separate from Sin and Evil

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1 Pet. 1:15–16 NIV)

2. God is truthful.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (Jn. 17:3 NIV)

in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, (Tit. 1:2 NIV)

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Jn. 14:6 NIV)

3. God is loving.

God’s Will to Love

The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deut. 7:7–8 NIV)

God’s Love & Other Attributes

The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Ps. 33:5 NIV)

God’s Love Is Sacrificial

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. (Jn. 3:16 NIV)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn. 4:9–10 NIV)

God’s Love Is Unconditional

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8 NIV)

God’s Love Is Eternal

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jer. 31:3 NIV)

4. God is righteous.

I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!  He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.  (Deut. 32:3–4 NIV)

5. God is faithful.

Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. (Ps. 119:90 NIV)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Co. 10:13 NIV)

6. God is merciful.

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  (Lam. 3:22–23 NIV)

because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven  79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."  (Lk. 1:78–79 NIV)

7. God is gracious.

God’s Common Grace

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  (Matt. 5:44–45 NIV)

God’s Saving Grace

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast.  (Eph. 2:8–9 NIV)

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (Rom. 11:6 NIV)

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. (Rom. 4:4–5 NIV)

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Rom. 3:24 NIV)

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring-- not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. (Rom. 4:16 NIV)

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. (Eph. 1:4–8 NIV)

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“What Is Your Family Tree?” - Genesis 4:17-26 - (Eastside Baptist/Sun PM/Feb. 23, 2014)

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Gen. 3:15 NIV)

16 So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.  17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.  18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.  19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.  20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock.  21 His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes.  22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah.  23 Lamech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.  24 If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times."  25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him."  (Gen. 4:16–25 NIV)

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him." (Gen. 4:25 ESV)

26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD. (Gen. 4:26 NIV)

Main Idea: All the technological and cultural advancements that human beings can produce will never remedy our sinful condition; only the grace of God in Christ can remedy our spiritual death and depravity.

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“Feasting on the Bread of Life” - John 6:47-59 – (Eastside Baptist/Sun AM/Feb. 23, 2014)<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.  48 I am the bread of life.  49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.  50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.  51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."  52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"  53 Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.  55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.  57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.  58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."  59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. (Jn. 6:47–59 NIV)

1. The bread that Jesus offers is heavenly and eternal, and can only be seen with spiritual eyes.

I am the bread of life. (John 6:48, NIV)

But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:50–51, NIV)

For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." (John 6:33, NIV)

At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?" "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6:41–44, NIV)

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you-- they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them." (John 6:63–65, NIV)

2. The bread that Jesus offers is himself, which must be broken in vicarious sacrifice.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51, NIV)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29, NIV)

Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6:53–54, NIV)

3. Everyone who receives the bread of Jesus’ sacrifice in faith is granted eternal life.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51, NIV)

Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. (John 6:53–54, NIV)

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:40, NIV)

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:58, NIV)

For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. (John 6:55, NIV)

4. True faith in Jesus is an abiding faith that looks to him for the only bread that can truly satisfy.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:56–58, NIV)

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. (John 8:31, NIV)

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4, NIV)

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15:6, NIV

 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35, NIV)

Main Idea

Ø  Jesus, the bread of heaven, has been broken in sacrifice, and all who feast on him in abiding faith have eternal life and joy.

 

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“Knowing God” (Eastside Baptist/Wed PM/Feb. 19, 2014)

Lesson 6: “The Greatness of God”

The Attributes of God

v  God’s attributes are his essential characteristics or the necessary parts of his nature.

v  God’s attributes can be classified according to those of his greatness and those of his goodness.

The Attributes of God’s Greatness

v  God’s attributes of greatness have to do with those qualities that are God’s and God’s alone.

v  Human Beings can in no way emulate or copy these.

v  God’s attributes of greatness are his qualities of infinity.

1. God is self-existent.

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exod. 3:14 NIV)

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (Jn. 5:26 NIV)

2. God is perfect.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deut. 32:4 NIV)

3. God is all-powerful.

Power in Creation

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.  He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. (Ps. 33:6–9 NIV)

Power in Control of History

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. (Acts 17:26 NIV)

For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God's words are fulfilled. (Rev. 17:17 NIV)

Sovereignty in Lives of People

"I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. (Job 42:2-3 NIV)

4. God is all-knowing.

Complete Knowledge of Creation

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Ps. 147:4 NIV)

Knowledge of Potential Events

"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (Matt. 11:21 NIV)

Knowledge of Smallest Details

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matt. 10:30 NIV)

Knowledge and God’s Will

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matt. 10:29-30 NIV)

Knowledge of Past, Present, Future

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 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.' From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. (Isa. 46:9–11 NIV)

5. God is all-present.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Ps. 139:7 NIV)

"But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! (1 Ki. 8:27 NIV)

6. God is all-wise.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?" For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Rom. 11:33–36 NIV)

7. God is eternal.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.  (Ps. 90:1-2 NIV)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." (Rev. 1:8 NIV)

8. God is unchanging.

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. (Ps. 33:11 NIV)

"I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. (Mal. 3:6 NIV)

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“Great Sinners but a Greater Savior” - Genesis 4:1-16 – Cameron Jungels - Sun PM, Feb. 9, 2014

(Eastside Baptist, Sun PM, Feb. 9, 2014)

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."  2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.  4 And Abel also brought an offering-- fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,  5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.  (Gen. 4:1–5 NIV)

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. (Ps. 51:16–17 NIV)

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Mic. 6:7–8 NIV)

 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. (Heb. 11:4 NIV)

This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. (1 Jn. 3:10–12 NIV)

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Gen. 3:15 NIV)

Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. (1 Jn. 3:13 NIV)

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?  7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it."  8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.  9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"  10 The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.  11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.  12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."  13 Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear.  14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."  15 But the LORD said to him, "Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.  16 So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. (Gen. 4:6–16 NIV)

14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.  15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.  16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 Jn. 3:14-18 NIV)

Main Idea: It is only the grace of God in Jesus Christ that can release us from the bondage of our own depravity.

to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Heb. 12:24 NIV)

Main Idea: It is only the grace of God in Jesus Christ that can release us from the bondage of our own depravity.

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“Taught by God” - John 6:41-48 -

32 Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  34 "Sir," they said, "always give us this bread."  35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.  37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."  41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."  42 They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"  43 "Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered.  44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.  45 It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.  46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.  47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.  48 I am the bread of life.  (Jn. 6:32–48 NIV)

1. Spiritual truths cannot be seen with physical eyes.

At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?" (John 6:41–42, NIV)

2. Spiritual truths must be revealed and taught by God.

"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. (John 6:43–45, NIV)

All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace. (Isa. 54:13, NIV)

Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see

the kingdom of God unless they are born again." (John 3:3, NIV)

Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:5, NIV)

"This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD.  (Jer. 31:33–34, NIV)

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  (Ezek. 36:26-27, NIV)

3. Everyone taught by God comes to see who Jesus truly is and believes.

It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. (John 6:45, NIV)

All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37, NIV)

No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. (John 6:46, NIV)

I am the bread of life. (John 6:48, NIV)

4. Everyone who believes in Jesus receives eternal life and the satisfaction of their soul.

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life. (John 6:47-48, NIV)

For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:40, NIV)

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35, NIV)

Main Idea: Spiritual truths must be spiritually revealed. Those who are graciously taught by God see Jesus for who he really is, believe, and receive eternal life.

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“Knowing God” (Eastside Baptist/Wed PM/Feb. 5, 2014)

Review

v  The Existence and Self-Revelation of God

v  God as a Personal Being

v  God as a Triune Being

Lesson 5: “The Immanence and Transcendence of God”

Immanence and Transcendence are aspects of God’s nature that have to do with his relationship to the world.

1. The Immanence of God

What is God’s Immanence?

v  God’s nearness to the world and its creatures.

v  “God’s presence and activity within nature, human nature, and history.” – M. Erickson

God’s Presence and Nearness

Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD. (Jer. 23:24, NIV)

27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (Acts 17:27–28, NIV)

God’s Spirit and Creation

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. (Gen. 1:2, NIV)

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Gen. 2:7, NIV)

God’s Spirit Sustaining all things

as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, (Job 27:3, NIV)

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4, NIV)

14 If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, 15 all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust. (Job 34:14-15, NIV)

29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. 30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. (Ps. 104:29-30, NIV)

God’s Providence in all Creation

45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matt. 5:45, NIV)

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-- you of little faith? (Matt. 6:25-30, NIV)

Immanence out of Balance

v  God becomes inseparably linked to creation.

v  His nature as a personal, relational being, distinct from creation becomes lost.

v  Pantheism

v  Liberalism

v  Panentheism

v  Process Theology

Applications of God’s Immanence

v  Mindful of God’s works in ordinary providence

v  God’s use of unbelieving people and entities

v  Care and concern for creation

v  General revelation

v  Gospel opportunities

2. The Transcendence of God

What is God’s Transcendence?

v  God’s “distance,” distinctiveness and “otherness” from creation

v  “God is separate from and independent of nature and humanity.” – M. Erickson

God’s Transcendence above creation

Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, 6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? (Ps. 113:5-6, NIV)

But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. (Jn. 8:23, NIV)

God’s exalted knowledge

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa. 55:8-9, NIV)

God’s Holiness (Set-apartness)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isa. 6:1-5, NIV)

Transcendence and Immanence

For this is what the high and exalted One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isa. 57:15, NIV)

Transcendence out of Balance

v  When transcendence is emphasized, to the exclusion of immanence, we lose the dynamic activity of God, personally and intimately in the world he created and guides.

Applications of God’s Transcendence

v  God who is greater than humanity, source and foundation of truth, beauty, and goodness.

v  Incapable of full description or comprehension

v  Salvation is not a human work

v  Creator-creature distinction: we will always be created beings, even after glorification.

v  Reverence is an essential component of worship.

v  We pray to a transcendent God who can do the supernatural.

Keeping it in Balance

v  God is both immanent and transcendent. Both are a part of his nature as God.

v  Over-emphasizing immanence tends toward pantheism.

v  Over-emphasizing transcendence tends toward deism or agnosticism.

24 "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 human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' (Acts 17:24-28, NIV)

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