Summary: This is the third message in a series on basic Christian doctrine. It provides the foundation for a proper understanding of the doctrine of God. (05-02-04)
*Outlines, fill-in-the-blank sheets, and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations are available. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Truth Detectors [Episode 1]
“The Truth About God”
A young woman brought her fiancé home to meet her parents for thanksgiving dinner. After dinner, her mother told her father to find out about the young man. The father invited the fiancé to his study for a talk.
"So what are your plans?" the father asked the young man. "I am a biblical scholar," he replied.
"A Biblical scholar. Hmmm," the father said. "Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?"
"I will study," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us."
"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asked the father.
"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replied, "God will provide for us."
"And children?" asked the father. "How will you support children?"
"Don’t worry, sir, God will provide," replied the fiancé.
The conversation proceeded like this, and each time the father questioned, the young idealist insisted that God would provide.
Later, the mother asked, "How did it go, Honey?" The father answered, "He has no job and no plans, and he thinks I’m God!"
* “Who Will Provide?” From sermoncentral.com, contributed by Andrew Chan.
That sounds like a lot of fathers I know … and what I might even sound like some day. A father who does his job right carries a big load.
But that’s not what we’re here to learn about today. I want to shift our thinking from an earthly father to a Heavenly Father … God, our Creator. Maybe some of you in this room today don’t have a Heavenly Father … you have a Creator, you have a judge, but you don’t have a God who is your Father … a relationship of spiritual family. Hopefully, when we are finished with our study today, you will have a better understanding of who God is, what He is capable of , and how much He loves you. But … as we continue in our study called Truth Detectors, and as we seek to better understand the basics of Christian doctrine and faith, you need to remember our starting point. (Do Clapping Exercise)
In essential beliefs we have unity.
There are some things which cannot be compromised. We must have unity in these areas. Our essential beliefs are defined in our Statement of Faith.
So as we talk about God, we need to begin with our doctrinal statement regarding God, taken from our church’s statement of faith.
Our Statement Regarding God
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
That is a very short statement, but it is packed full of doctrine and some awesome Bible truths. Let’s take a deeper look at those as we seek to better understand who God really is and how He relates to us.
I heard about a man who was talking to God. He asked God how long a million years was to Him. God replied, “It’s just like a single second of your time, my child.” So the man asked, “What about a million dollars?” The Lord replied, “To me, it’s like a single penny.” Then the man gathered himself up and asked, “Well, Lord, can I have one of those pennies?” And God said, “In a minute.”
Taken from Michael Hodgin’s 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, p.297.
That story gets us thinking about our first Bible truth …
God has always existed. He is eternal. He has no beginning. He has no end. He has always been, and He will always be. A million years is as a fleeting moment to God. He exists outside of time … he is eternal.
Most of us have some trouble getting our minds around that concept. We simply can’t think eternally. We can’t even remember what happened last week. Think back to the horror of September 11, 2001. We all thought that was something we would never forget … but isn’t it amazing how so many people seem to have forgotten already?
Sometimes I think the only thing that we can do eternally is stay mad … stay ticked off … at somebody. We’re really good at that!
But as we seek to truly grasp a proper understanding of the doctrine of God, we have to begin with this simple truth … God is eternal. No beginning … no end. He simply is. And what’s really interesting is that …