Monday, July 10, 2017

Understand God Better to Better Understand Who You Are

Image result for john piippo redeemer
Redeemer Church, Monroe

(Here are some notes from my July 9, 2017 sermon, especially for my Redeemer family. Hope this helps!)
Yesterday morning at Redeemer I spoke on this:
When you get a greater revelation of who God is,
you get a greater revelation of who you are.
When you gain a greater revelation of who you are,
you are prepared to battle Satan, the real enemy of our souls. (Yes, I have always believed in Satan. Check this out, e.g. - Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted.

To grow in identity, discipline yourself to meditate on the attributes of God. Such as...   

God is Independent. (aseity; a se, “from himself”)
God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything.

Yet you and I and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy.

Acts 17:24-25 - “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.


God is Unchangeable (immutability)

God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations.

Malachi 3:6 – “For I, the Lord, do not change.”

James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.


God is Eternal (Timeless: without beginning or end – if something doesn’t have a beginning or an end, it would be timeless. It hasn’t existed for any number of years.))

Ps 90:2 – “Before you ever formed the earth and the world, from Everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

God sees all time equally vividly. Ps. 90:4 – Whether a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to you.

God is Omnipresent

God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places.

God created space; therefore, God is not limited by space.

Jeremiah 23:23-24 – Can a person hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Says the Lord.

God is a Spirit.
John 4:24 – God is spirit.

God exists as a being that is not made of physical matter – at all.

This means that God has no parts or dimensions (like, “How tall is God?”)

God exists as pure spirit, and this is the most excellent form of existence there is.

This means God is invisible. 1 John 4:12 – No one has seen God.

Didn’t Moses see God? Not his face. Which means: not his essence.

But one day, 1 John 3:2, We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. We will have spiritual bodies.

God is All-knowing (omniscience)

1 John 3:20 – God knows everything.

Jesus said the Father knows what we need before we ask him - Matthew 6:8.

God even knows how many hairs are on your head - Matthew 10:30. (In my case, it’s the final countdown…)

God gives us access to his knowledge, at times supernaturally. 1 Corinthians 12:8 – a word, or message of knowledge (one of the spiritual gifts).

God is All-powerful – able to everything that can be done

Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)  

Acts 1:8-9 – “You will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you." God shares his power with us.

God is Good

Psalm 119:68 - You are good and you do good; teach me your statutes.

God is the final standard of good. All that God is and does is worthy of approval.

If there is no God, goodness does not exist at all. See, e.g., atheist Richard Dawkins's admission of this in his book The Blind Watchmaker.

God is Love (omnibenevolent)

1 John 4:8 – God is love.

God’s love means that god eternally gives himself to others.

In an infinite understatement, I conclude that God is greatThere is no one like our God.

This tells me two things about you, and me, and our identity.
#1 - You and I were created in God’s image, after God’s likeness.

#2 – God has come to make him home in us. Jesus said, in John 14:23 - “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.         

That is… within you…  if you are a follower of Jesus…

                             … if your allegiance is to Jesus as Lord…,

                             …then Christ, the hope of glory, is in you.

When you walk into a room…  everything should change…

                             ..  because… 

… the almighty, all-knowing, necessarily existent, all-loving, everlasting, good, merciful, patient, kind, self-controlled, joyful, beautiful, spiritual, faithful, gracious, wise God who made all things and sustains all things…

          …lives in you!

One more attribute of God…  His Wrath.
God’s wrath means he intensely hates all sin. Someone has to hate sin, right?

God is like a good doctor who hates disease, and has come to eradicate it in you. I find that loving, and beautiful.

This was the mission of Jesus. 1 John 3: 8 sums it up this way: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

Yesterday morning I made an analogy between the movie "Wonder Woman," and the wrath of God. Wonder Woman...
1) came to understand her identity; and
2) was focused on her mission (to kill Ares, the Greek god of war).

Once we understand our identity, we will understand our mission.

Coming full circle (I hope!) - when we gain greater revelation of who God is, we will gain greater revelation of our identity, of who we are.

So, make it a habit to ponder and meditate on the greatness of our God.

If you want to go really deep in your understanding of God and his attributes, you'll find nothing better than Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, chapters 11-14.

I have also learned much about God by having a praying life. I share my thoughts in Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.