Summary: God is the God of Grace, Unmerited Favor
Over the past two weeks, we have discovered some of the many attributes of God, and this week we will wrap up our study.
So far, we discovered God's "Omni" attributes--Omniscience (all knowing), Omnipresence (ever and all present) and Omnipotence (all powerful) in our first message. Last week we discovered many of the attributes that oppose each other in our view as sinful man: Truth, Justice, Righteousness, Holiness, Perfection all stand in direct opposition to God's Mercy, Goodness and Love. The perfect love of God, shown through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, satisfies the requirements against us because of the crimes of sin which Jesus took upon Himself.
God's Veracity (He speaks the truth and is trustworthy), Faithfulness and Persistence keep us saved; God promises salvation to those that believe, and is faithful and persistent to see it through.
This week, we are going to explore the rest of our list of the Attributes of God, separated into three groups:
Time and Space:
The Critical Attribute:
Some of all of these attributes overlap, and there is some disagreement among scholars as to how many attributes there actually are (from nine to thirty two).
Heady stuff? In a sense yes, and we must remember that we will never really know everything about God on either side of eternity. However, we are given so much information that we can get to know God well enough to trust Him, to obey Him and to understand, at least on our level how everything fits together in God's plan for salvation
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him...God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 1:18, 4:24
*God's Being Part I: He's Not "The Man Upstairs"
We all have our pet peeves in life. I find few people, for instance, that like the "We Buy Any Car" commercial, the "1-800-MY- LEMON" commercials and so on. Likewise, there are some things that when it comes to God are like someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard, and one of them is when they refer to God as "The Man Upstairs", or "The Big Guy" or something similar that reduces God the Father to a mere man.
Quite honestly, I think that some people do this to make God a more manageable God. By that, I mean that if you can make God the Father into someone you can visualize as a man, then He is not as threatening. If we have learned anything so far in our Attributes study, it is that God is about as different to us as we are to a single celled organism viewable only under a microscope.
The First God's Being attribute: Spirit being.. In the verses above, we see that "no one has seen God at any time". God exists in a much different way than we do, and while we have a spirit within us, God IS spirit. Jesus is radically different because He is both man (flesh) and God (spirit being) at the same time.
God lives in a different plane of existence than we do. God exists, as we talked about two weeks ago, in all time frames and in all places at the same time. However, Jesus came out of eternity and into our time and space bodily, lived life like we did with two feet on the ground so that He could not only life like us and experience human life but to take upon the sin of the world on the cross, and the wrath meant for us would be spilled out upon Him on the cross.
For us to really worship God, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What does that mean? First, we must have a new spirit within us--that happens when we are saved. However, we are to worship Him in truth. God is truth, He never lies and all of God's truth that we need to know is written in the Bible. We break fellowship with God when we do not conduct our lives as He would have us live them, and if we worship Him in a way that is not according to His Truth in the Bible we worship in vain. If we see to reduce God to make Him more manageable, then we are not worshipping in truth no matter how "spiritual" we may feel.
So...please do not reduce God to "the Man Upstairs". I'd guess that God finds it more offensive than I do.
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " Exodus 3:14 (NKJV)