Summary: This sermon looks at Pauls message and identifies 15 things he says God is.
Life can be pretty hectic. Family, church, work, school, sports, and hobbies can all seem to overwhelm us at times. I feel most likely the problem is that we live life as though everything revolves around us. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the most important person in the universe nor are you. However there is one who is and He is for good reason. Paul had an opportunity to share the good news with a group of people at Antioch. Although we won’t see their response until next Sunday it will become clear that they thought it was all about them. Paul’s message however pointed those who listened to the One it is really all about. Let’s take a look at who HE is.
1. Personal v.17a – God chose the people of Israel to be His people. Time and time again we see Him interacting personally with His creation. It began in the garden and continues to the end of time. Jesus word of encouragement that “I am with you always” should always remind us that He is personal.
2. Deliverer v.17b – Paul reminds them that it was God who brought them out of Egypt. He is the one who did the delivering. They could not have done it on their own. Only God could deliver them. Just as only He can deliver us.
3. Patient v.18 – You know, God could have simply destroyed those who were disobedient to Him. He didn’t though. Paul says He “put up with their ways”. I am so thankful that God is patient, putting up with our ways.
4. Just v.19a – So often it seems as though the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. God however is just and He will bring judgment on those in the past, present and future.
5. Generous v.19b – God is the giver of all good things. Here He is keeping His promise to give Israel cities they did not build and land they have not labored for.
6. Righteous v.20 – God is truly righteous and He desires that we be like Him. Therefore He gave judges to administer judgment according to His law.
7. Tolerant v.21 – Many times we ask for the wrong things in life. Israel wanted a king when God desired that they look to Him as King. God allowed them to have one even though it was not what He desired for them.
8. Faithful v.22 – In spite of our failings and disobedience God always points us back in the direction He desires for us. Here He provided a king after His own heart.
9. Savior v.23 – Jonathan Edwards said that one cannot be saved until he has experienced the terror of being lost. God did not have to provide a Savior but in His infinite love and mercy He chose to be that Savior for us.
10. Holy v.28 – He is completely other than we are. Scripture says His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. There is cause for death in us but there was none in Him. He is Holy.
11. Resurrection v.30 – Few passages underscore the significance of the resurrection like I Corinthians 15. Without the resurrection we would have no hope, only wishful thinking.
12. Merciful v.34 – Here Paul quotes Isaiah 55:3, the sure mercies of David is the term used to describe God’s everlasting covenant with us. Praise God that we are the recipients of His mercy and not His judgment.
13. Forgiver v.38 – Guilt is a powerful thing but with forgiveness comes release. God is the great forgiver. He gave His Son for us while we were still His enemies (Rom. 5:8).
14. Justifier v.39 – The thought of being justified against the righteousness of Christ boggles the mind. Yet that is exactly what takes place for those who are in Christ.
15. Awesome v.41 – I think this word is used for way too many things that truly aren’t awesome. This verse declares to those who despise God that they wouldn’t believe what God had done for them even if it were declared to them. Sadly we don’t recognize God for who He really is. The very mention of Him should inspire awe and fear. He is truly awesome.
So when we begin to focus on what “we” have done or get our priorities out of line, let’s remember who He is and I am sure everything will come back into it’s proper perspective.