Summary: God is 1) Eternal 2) Immortal 3) Invisible and 4) The only God—
Have you ever begun something and immediately, you realized that the scope was so grand that you were really in for it? I came to the realization this week when this was the first thing I saw when looking into the concept that God is Spirit:
Quote: “So far we have seen that God is a real being who is perfect, necessary and unlimited, but nothing has been said about the fundamental nature of that being. Invoking the language of substances, we note that things that exist independent of mind are made of one of two types of substance (or of both). Some things are immaterial and others are material. Some being are made of both, but the immaterial part isn’t composed of matter and non-matter, and the material portion is not a mixture of matter and non-matter”. (John S. Feinberg “No One Like Him” Crossway Books. 2001. p. 214)
My reaction: “What”? I suddenly thought I was watching an episode of Star Trek, hearing a Scottish accent of the anti-matter reactor with the dilithum crystals. This was going to be a long week.
How do we as temporal, mortal, visible, beings, bound by time, mortality, the visible environment and physical pace, come to grips with an eternal, immortal, invisible single Spiritual God?
As Paul has been outlining the Gospel, who he was and the grandness of God’s plan, he broke out in a doxology of praise like we looked at last week with Romans 11:33-36. (Such Pauline doxologies appear also in Rom. 1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 16:27; Gal 1:5; Eph. 3:21; Phil 4:20; and 1 Tim. 6:17.) This is an overwhelming praise in seeing the grace of God flowing from His character. The Lord’s gift of mercy and Paul’s experience of need caused his heart to swell with praise. Paul ascribes four characteristics to God and then offered him honor and glory.( Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (2001, c1992). Vol. 34: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (77). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)
We are shown that:
1) God is Eternal
As properly recognizing the source of all blessing he begins his praise to the King of (the eternal) ages
• literally, “a kingdom of all ages.” This is a phrase that picks up on the theme of eternal life in v. 16. The term denotes God as the ruler of all ages from creation and pictures him as literally the King of the ages.( Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (2001, c1992). Vol. 34: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (77). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.)
• God rules in past, present, and future.
• God had no beginning and will have no end. He exists outside of time, though He acts in it (MacArthur, J. (1995). 1 Timothy (32). Chicago: Moody Press.).
Exodus 15:18 The LORD will reign forever and ever."
• The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT) translates Ex 15:18, “The Lord shall reign for ages and beyond them.”
Psalm 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.]
• The comfort and assurance for us is that God did not just create this world and abandon it, nor is He a God who saves and leaves people to their own devices. He is in control (dominion) endures throughout all generations.
There are three huge gates that lead into the Cathedral of Milan. Over one gate there is an inscription in marble (under a beautiful flower bouquet) that says, “The things that please are temporary.” Over the second gate, there is a cross with this inscription: “The things that disturb us are temporary.” However, over the central gate, there is a big inscription saying, “Eternal are the important ones.”( Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
We are shown that: 1) God is Eternal and that He is:
2) Immortal—The oldest manuscripts read, “incorruptible.” The Vulgate, however, and one very old manuscript read as English Version (Ro 1:23).
Please turn to Romans 1
Those who are agnostics, claim that there is just not enough evidence to know if God exists, and there is so much disagreement about His attributes.
The Character of God is in one sense clearly visible to all and understood
Romans 1:18-23 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (ESV)