Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: "In the beginning, God..." God introduces Himself that mankind might know Him and honour Him as God.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” [1]

Allah? Vishnu? A god within? Jesus? Who is God? The Apostle has taught us, “Although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” [1 CORINTHIANS 8:5, 6]. There can be only one true and living God. At the outset of the message we must confess a singular truth—all we know concerning God is what He has revealed. Since God is infinite and transcendent, we can know nothing about Him except that which he chooses to reveal.

My ideas and your highest thoughts shall fade to dim memories held briefly by those who know us. Nothing of your suppositions or speculations will remain. Such thoughts are humbling; such thinking confronts us with the necessity of making wise choices if we hope to have any lasting impact resulting from this life. I must carefully consider what I do and how I live; I must take care to attach myself to the eternal and the unending if I will make a lasting contribution. I cannot depend upon the latest fad to keep my memory alive. The name of Mary Quant is not even in contemporary history books; but she did make quite the fashion statement during the 1960s. Some years past a group of church members laughed heartily as a teen said that he considered the compositions of the Beatles to be classical music. Mr. Lennon’s assertion notwithstanding, the popularity of the Beatles never did eclipse that of Jesus Christ.

In order to introduce God, I invite you to begin at the beginning. Here, in the first verse of the Bible, God introduces Himself. This is a marvellous opportunity for us to discover something of the character of God as He reveals Himself to mankind. Turn in your Bibles to the first verse of the Word of God, GENESIS 1:1.

I KNOW THAT GOD IS OMNIPOTENT. Omnipotent is one of those big words which is poorly understood. It speaks of that which is “all powerful.” To say that God is omnipotent is to say that God can do anything. We meet an omnipotent God in the opening verse of the Bible. There, we are informed that “God created the heavens and the earth.”

Omnipotence speaks of unlimited authority. Jesus claims unlimited authority. Before He ascended into glory before the watching eyes of His disciples, the Son of God stated, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” [MATTHEW 28:18]. To the Jews who probed for any weakness He might display, He affirmed, “As the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgement” [JOHN 5:26-29].

In presenting Himself as the “Good Shepherd,” Jesus spoke of the authority He possesses. “I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” [JOHN 10:7-18].

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