Summary: The concept of the Trinity and the names of God.
The God We Worship - Introduction Acts 17:22-25
INTRO.: The concept of theology is one we often avoid because it sounds scholarly. Yet, it is a subject touching each of our lives. The word simply means "knowledge of God." We all have a theology. Some are carefully thought out. Others are completely thoughtless. Even the statement, "God does not exist" is a theological statement.
So, theology is important. It can be profound and complicated and some theologians spend a lifetime studying Gad. But, there are some very simple truths we can all understand if we apply ourselves.
I want to spend a few Sundays thinking about some very basic theology. I want us to think together about what God is like and what He does.
We start this morning with God, the Father. Then we will speak of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
I. The Bible tells us God is One. Deut. 6:4
A. This was the foundation verse to the Old Testament Jewish believer.
1. There were two words in ancient Hebrew that meant "one."
2. One, "ephod," meant one made up of many. It was used to refer to a week, made up of seven days, the nation Israel, made up of 12 tribes, and a married couple who become one flesh.
3. The other word, which means one alone never refers to God.
4. So, we conclude God is One made up of three.
B. We call this The Trinity or Godhead. Gr. "Theotes".
1. Variously translated in the NIV. Acts 17:29 - divine being. Rom. 1:20 - divine nature. Col. 2:9 - Deity. II Pet. 1:3, 4 - divine power, divine nature.
2. A very difficult concept to grasp. How can God be One and yet Three?
3. Humans are a trinity. Body, soul, spirit. "May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless." I Thess. 5:23
4. We don’t understand our own nature. How can we hope to understand God fully?
5. Just accept what God has revealed and try to learn of things we can understand.
C. The importance of being able to distinguish the three figures in The Godhead.
1. It helps us understand the Bible. Ex. 33:11 says God spoke to Moses "face to face." John 1:18 says, "No one has ever seen God." The second phrase of Jn. 1:18 explains.
2. God and Christ are said to dwell in the believer and yet are in Heaven. They dwell in the Christian through their representative, the HS.
II. Let us ask the question of Moses: "Who is God?" Ex. 3:13, & learn something of His nature from His names:
A. He chose to answer Moses’ question by giving the name "Jehovah," the self-existent One.
1. This means He was neither created nor born, nor does He depend on anyone for His existence. He had no beginning and will never have an end.
2. He has always been the same and always will be. This provides certainty and stability every human spirit seeks.
3. This name was so sacred the Hebrews wouldn’t pronounce it for fear of taking the Lord’s Name in vain in violation of the commandment in Exod. 20:7. When this Name appeared in the Scriptures, the Jew would read another Name
B. They might substitute the Hebrew name "El" "The Mighty One." Seems more like a title than a name.
1. This is the most common name for God and frequently used in the plural, "Elohim" to indicate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. A title fitting for the Creator of the universe.
C. The name "Adon," meaning Lord or Master is seen clearly in Exod. 23.
1. There is a long list of uncompromising commands. Not requests or suggestions, they are orders.
2. Verse 13 contains a stern warning. God is speaking as their Ruler.
3. In 17, the word "Adon" (Lord or Master) is used. NIV translates it "Sovereign" as an adjective. Not an adjective, but a noun. "LORD." God is stressing His authority in ordering every Jewish male to report to Him 3 times a year.
D. When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, besieged Jerusalem, Isaiah asked the question of II Kings 19:22: "Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!"
1. "Holy One" means one set aside. One separated from sin and corruption. Wholly apart from men and their misdeeds.
2. Isaiah’s favorite name for God is "The Holy One of Israel." He is the One venerated and exalted above all others by God’s people.