Summary: This lesson teaches the ten essences (divine attributes) of God, and how we as believers can use this knowedge as a problem-solving rationale.
THE ESSENCE OF GOD: A Biblical Rationale for Knowing God and Solving Our Problems (Rom. 1:19-20)
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Jesus Himself tells us about the importance of studying His word in John 8:31-32:
31 "... If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. " NAS
In John 15:7, Jesus tells us this:
7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. NAS
And in John 4:24, Jesus says that:
24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." NAS
Let’s take a moment to quietly confess our sins to God, so that we "abide" in fellowship with Him and so are led by the Holy Spirit when we study God’s word. 1 John 1:9 promises us, that if we name our known sins to God, He always forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, even from the unknown sins we forgot or didn’t even realize we committed.
With this forgiveness, we are able to worship God "in spirit" by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and "in truth" by studying His word. Let’s pray.
Thank you, Father, for always restoring your children when we admit our sins to you. May your Holy Spirit teach us your word as we study it now. We ask these things in Jesus Name. Amen
I’m sure that at some time, most of you have had an experience similar to the one I’d like to share today.
I went to a picnic one summer with some unsaved friends, and at some point in the conversation, one of them asked,
"Frank, you’re religious" (Ooh, I just grimace when someone calls me that!).
"Let me ask you a question. Nobody I’ve asked this question to, knows how to answer it." ("Well," I thought smugly, "then you’ve certainly come to the right place!")
She continued, "If God can do anything, can He make a rock so big that He Himself can’t lift it?"
Many of you have probably heard this question before. A lot of unbelievers seem to think that this is some kind of clever, complicated question to ask, with no real or easy answer. It’s usually asked by unbelievers to "trip us up" as Christians.
I simply replied without hesitation, "No, God can not make a rock so big that He Himself can’t lift it. Any rock God can make, He can also lift."
She then gave me the usual response, "But I thought God can do anything!"
"No," I replied. "He’s all-powerful, but that doesn’t mean that he can do anything."
Surprised by my answer, she then asked, "What do you mean? Can’t God do everything?"
"Of course not," I said to her. "For instance, He can’t lie, die, or cry!"
"What do you mean by that?," she asked further.
"Well, because God is perfect truth, He can’t lie. Since He’s eternal, He can’t die. Because He knows everything and can’t be caught "off guard" by some event, He can’t cry. By the very fact that He IS God, there are lots of things that He can’t do, even things that we as human beings can. He can’t use one of His attributes in a way that would violate any of the other attributes that make Him God. That’s why, even though He can make any sized rock, because He is all-powerful, He would then be able to lift it."
I continued, "That’s also why, even though God is love, He can’t simply ignore sin and let everyone into heaven as many unbelievers like to think. He is also perfect justice. A loving God MUST demand a punishment for sin, because He is also a perfectly just God. The good news is that His perfect love sent Jesus to die for all sins, so that His perfect justice is satisfied."
My friend really didn’t seem to understand my response and explanations to her question, and in a way that’s not surprising. 1 Cor. 2:14 tells us that the natural or unsaved person can’t understand the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned. An unsaved person is still spiritually dead. Only a born-again believer can comprehend these things.
Assuming that you are all born-again, I’d like to talk about the Essence Of God today. I want to teach concerning those divine characteristics that make God who He is, how those aspects of his character all work together. I also want to show how we can use our understanding of God’s nature as a rationale, as a spiritual logic to respond to our life problems and challenges in a Biblical way.