Summary: While comprehending the ineffable is a task beyond human ability, through the Spirit of God our souls who yearn for Him can be close to Him. This first part of this series will look at the infinity, immensity and goodness of God.
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
PART1: INFINITE, IMMENSE, GOOD
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
“Lord how great is our dilemma, in thy presence silence best becomes us but love inflames our hearts and constrains us to speak. Were we to hold our peace the stones would cry out, yet if we speak what shall we say? Teach us to know that we cannot know for the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God. Let faith support us where reason fails and we shall think because we believe not in order that we may believe.”
A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
To touch the untouchable, know the unknowable, comprehend the uncomprehend able is dare we say a task that is truly beyond human ability. Since God is not exactly like anything or anyone created, describing the ineffable is in a sense truly beyond both thought and language. Any description of God by using what we already know, i.e. what has been created, never really describes God and runs the risk of making God in our image and not the other way around. This does not mean that we who are created in the likeness and image of God are unable to know anything about Him. 1 Corinthians 2:11 states the Spirit who knows all things about God has inspired the writers of Scripture to convey the attributes of God by using “like” terms so that we might receive a minimal understanding of our Creator. While these comparisons are not to be taken as literal and exact representations of God, Paul says they are valuable for they remain an act of self-disclosure by His Spirit. “That God can be known by the soul in tender personal experience while remaining infinitely aloof from the curious eyes of reason constitutes a paradox best described as darkness to the intellect but sunshine to the heart” (Frederick W. Favour). Deep calleth unto deep and though polluted and landlocked by the Fallen nature, the soul senses its origin and longs to return to its Creator.
The yearning of the soul compels us to ask the question: what is God like? If we mean in Himself then there can be no answer but if one means what has God disclosed about Himself that inspired reason can comprehend then there is much that can be known. For the soul that truly thirsts for God what a joy it is to sit and listen to His Spirit reveal the truth concerning Him! Those things that have been revealed and are true of God we call His attributes (not to be confused with traits or characteristics for these terms relate only to creation). While many theologians try to number His attributes, the goal of this series is not to correctly identify an exact list that cannot be known but instead to invite you to learn the truth that God revealed concerning Himself for just ten of His attributes. These attributes have been revealed through nature, Scripture and through the Holy Spirit. As you read this series I want to encourage you to learn more about these attributes through prayer, meditation and the reading of God’s holy word. After all, to think correctly concerning God requires one to bask in His revelation concerning Himself. This series will be broken up into four sermons the first of which will focus on God’s attributes of infinity, immensity and goodness.
ATTRIBUTE 1: INFINITY
“God is infinite! That’s the hardest thought I will ask you to grasp. You cannot understand what infinite means, but don’t let it bother you—I don’t understand it and I’m trying to explain it! “Infinite” means so much that nobody can grasp it, but reason nevertheless kneels and acknowledges that God is infinite. We mean by infinite that God knows no limits, no bounds and no end. What God is, He is without boundaries. All that God is, He is without bounds or limits.”
God is so much more than the one that Christians often make up from their own imaginations. The god that the human mind often conjures up is often one that is loving, kind and supportive. One that does not believe in justice if we do something wrong but does so when others offend us. The kind of god that one can call upon as a personal best friend that never questions, or limits our words, thoughts or deeds but instead is always approving of any path one chooses in life. Like the boy in the picture many want to create a god that will allow one’s imagination to create and recreate a world that bows to our will! This of course is not the “infinite, perfect, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, infinitely boundless, perfect God” that Created and holds all things together (Colossians 1:16). A god made up from one’s imagination is no better than those who from their stiff necked (Acts 7:51) attitude refused to retain the knowledge of God as their Creator (Romans 1:28) and ended up worshipping idols of god and silver (Psalms 115:4) that are truly worthless!