THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 1-27-02
LESSON TITLE: EXAMINING OUR GOD: "WHO IS GOD?"
What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God's Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
This morning we want to start our songs of praise with a hymn that reminds us of the magnificent God we serve. Wont you join in with the congregation at this time as we together sing, "For The Beauty Of The Earth!"
(SONG # 1)
Last week we began a study about our God and in our first lesson we considered the fact that there truly is a God. When we think about our God what comes to our mind?
This morning I want you to hear with me what David thought of, when he considered his God - as we read together from Psalms139, beginning in verse 7. There it says, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!"
Think about the many great truths King David proclaims to us in these verses! Facts like, God is God, He planned us, He made us, He is always with us, and He will not leave us. How precious is God to a true believer. Do we actually realize and believe how much God has done for us and how much He cares for us. We are no accident, God does care - because He made us His wonderful creation, formed in His image.
I think this is why the Hebrew writer made the following declaration at the end of his letter. There we read, "He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you,'" chapter 13:5. Yes, our God cares enough to always be by our side and to help us along - every step of the way.
The question is, do you have this kind of faith in your God? Do you know Him well enough to know that truly with His help you can do all things, Philippians 4:13? Why not choose to put the confidence you need to in your God so that He will lift you up and so that you will be a profitable servant in His sight!
Today we will again study God's Word by focusing on things related to "Examining our God!" This morning our specific topic of study will be "Who is God?" So stay with us after our next song and in a few minutes I will return with this lesson from God's Word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Alas And Did My Savior Bleed."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
This morning we want to look at in our lesson portion together "Who is God?" We were able to establish last week the evidences that prove that we should believe in God, that there is one and now we want to really understand a little bit more about who He is. What are some characteristics about God? What should we really think about when we think about who God is?
Because of that we want to begin now in the New Testament and then we'll move around the Bible looking at many different verses and concepts to understand truly who God is. What better place to look than the Bible? We might also clarify because we know the Bible is that which was given by God. It's His word. All scripture is given by inspiration of God as Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. As we look there though in Mark chapter 12, we find a discussion that was taking place between Jesus and some scribes and specifically one scribe is mentioned here as realizing that Jesus had reasoned well and actually had answered him in a good way and because of that we see there in verse 28 that he then asked another question and says, "Which is the first commandment of all?" In Matthew 22 and that area we find that this same record is given about how that we should first love the Lord our God and the second commandment is likened to it to love thy neighbor as thyself, but here, we find another thing that is said in connection with this. First of all in verse 29 as Jesus answered and said, "The first of all the commandments is here, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind, and with all of your strength. This is the first commandment. The second is likened to it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. In these two, we see the commandments are reiterated. But to start with, He said, "There is one God. There is one Lord. There is only one that we should look up to." So that's the one we want to talk about this morning, understanding who God is, trying to get to know Him better, what are attributes about Him, characteristics. Because even after Jesus said these things, the scribe in verse 32 went on to say, "Well said, teacher, you have spoken the truth for there is one God and there is no other but He." You see this man of the earth as well as Christ here again confirmed that there is one God and there is no other. There is only one God that we should follow and today you and I strive to be Christians and to follow that one God.
So why is it that there is such confusion maybe today? When you find so many religions and so many people teaching different things, all professing to follow God and believe in Jesus but yet they are divided on their beliefs. They do things different from what the Bible says as was delivered really by God. False teachings, false ideas, the lack of knowledge, the lack of study. All of these things here attribute to really an ignorance in relationship to understanding who God is and an ignorance in following Him as He would have us to. So as we ask the question "Who is God?", let's find some answers that would help us to know Him.
I know last week we talked about the creation there in Genesis 1:1, the idea that "in the beginning, God created the earth." That is , "the heavens and the earth." In this what greater power could we see in God than to actually create all things? And not only the earth as we might think of immediately when we look around us and see the beauties of nature again and all that we have, but again to look up in the sky at night and see the stars again and the moon, to look during the day and see the sun and the great clouds, and when it rains and then the storms that we might have, the power of God. You see, God is God and God is the powerful one, the creator of all as the Bible tells us. How do we know how powerful God is? Well furthermore, I think it's seen in how many days it took for Him to create all of these things that we see before us. The Bible tells us that in 6 days He created all that we know. He brought all things into existence. On the seventh day, He rested. Many today try to argue, "Well, these aren't days like you and I know" or they might say, "They are days that really are references to thousands or millions of years." Well I find that curious in the fact that Moses, the author who was inspired by God, actually clarified that the evening and the morning were the first day. I don't know about you but I get up in the morning and when I go to bed at night, I consider that a day and it seems like Moses, as he was inspired by God, seemed to have thought the very same thing. In six days. If God's powerful enough to do it over a thousand, why can't He do it in six? Have faith to understand that God is all powerful. He has the power that He needs not only to create the physical things of this earth, but also to even bring mankind into existence, to breathe into his nostrils the breath of life. Throughout the Old and New Testaments we see this glory and this praise continually given to God because of the great power again that He has and the great might and the wonders that were performed in His name and at His hand.
If you'll notice also in Romans chapter 1, we find here in the New Testament where Paul again confirms this great power of God. And if you'll notice with me verse 20 of chapter 1, he says there, "From since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse." If you'll look at the idea that is being discussed here, we're talking about those who really would receive the wrath of God because of unrighteousness. In other words, those who had the opportunity to hear that there was a God and then they rejected God. They didn't want to follow Him anyway even though they knew He was the creator and they saw the power in the things around them. This verse here, verse 20, is answering that situation. It's dealing with it and talking about the invisible attributes, the things around us, the many wonders of the word. Even though we weren't there in that day, we can find the proof through history and through scripture that again there is a God. The concepts, as it goes on to say here, that we can believe that "all things were made by Him and that by His eternal power," notice there eternal power, really without end. All powerful, here again the concept. Able to do anything. God has no limits with His power because He is again all powerful and we are then without excuse as they were here in the book of Romans chapter 1 to really reject God because we can see His power. Everyday we get up and we see the beauties of nature. We look at our children, our wife, we look at our family, we look at our co-worker, we see the awesome ability that God had to make a man. Again, all these things again are attributed to again that great power and that might of God. When we go out into again the day and we see the beauties of nature, and we see the wonders that God has even given us and the ability that we have to create the things that we have, the houses and the cars, again we see the power of God. The power of God working through man.
So yes, God is the creator of all and He is all powerful and able to do all things. But what else about God? We also see that God is eternal. In the verse we just read there in Romans chapter 1 and verse 20, notice it talks there about the eternal power. If something has eternal power, it itself has to be eternal. Doesn't it? So God is eternal. And really the psalmist helped us to understand that and you might look at Psalm chapter 90 and verse 2 because there it's talking about God and the power that He had, and not only His power but actually how He is everlasting. Notice there it says with me, "Before the mounts were brought forth or even you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you were God." There is another element given here about this concept of everlasting. Sometimes we might get the idea that everlasting is maybe just from now until no end. But what it says here "from everlasting to everlasting," so God had no beginning and no ending. He has always been in existence. God is. In Him is encompassed everything. He is the awesome mighty, all powerful creator of everything that we see, of all the universe and all that has ever existed and has ever been created. So yes, He is eternal. He is one who has the ability then to have planned things as the Bible tells us. In the book of Ephesians 3, it talks about how God planned things according to His eternal purpose. So God eternally has set all of these things in order. And today, we live in a time when God really has fulfilled many of those things that He planned even before He created the world as we know it today.
What about His knowledge? We also see that God's knowledge is great. He is the creator of all. He's all powerful. We just said that He's eternal. He has no beginning, and no end. Turn with me now to the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. Proverbs chapter 5 and here we find another concept that is added. Our God is one who is all knowing. In chapter 5 if you'll look with me in verse 21, we read the following, "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his past." You see Go knows everything. It says here that our ways are before God and God knows all our past. It doesn't say some of them. It doesn't say a little of them. It doesn't say a few of them. It says all of our past. God knows everything. He can know anything that He wants to know and why wouldn't He be able to when He Himself is the creator of all? He is the giver of all. In 1 John chapter 3 and verse 20, we find there again the same idea that God is greater than our hearts because why? He knows all things. That's what John said. God knows everything. He is all knowing. He can know anything He wants to and He has the power to know all because He is the creator of all. Now if you're all powerful, wouldn't that power also encompass the ability to know all things. To have all power would have again all knowledge. So again, God has the power. He has the knowledge. He is the creator. He is the giver.
And another great characteristic is that God is everywhere. We can be confident that even though we talk about a one God that God's presence is everywhere. Why? Because He is a great and a mighty God. We want to look back in the Psalms of David. We want to look at Psalm 139 and again the reason we many times look back to many of the prophets and many of these great men of old is because they were so poetic and they had such a great relationship with God and were able to help us understand more about our God. But if you notice there in the verses in Psalm 139, you might notice there as we looked at earlier some concepts that we can't go anywhere from the spirit of God, that we can't flee from His presence whether we are in heaven or hell, it says God is there whether it's the morning or the uttermost parts of the sea or on a mountain, God is there. Again, He holds our hand. He protects us. He cares for us. Again, God is everywhere. That's what David was trying to say. He always could have the confidence that God was there for him, that He was by his side, that He was walking with him and talking with him and working with him and helping him and caring for him and protecting him and guiding him. All of these things. Why? Because He was there. You see, God responds to our obedience by being with us, by helping us. That's His love towards us as He has already helped us so much. He commits to continue being with us and if you'll but do His will and I'll but do His will, then we'll find that God truly is there for us and that He does do all things.
What about God being perfect? Let's also consider that. God not only is everywhere at all times, but is a perfect God. He doesn't make mistakes. He doesn't sin as all mankind has, as you and I have. Everybody who has ever lived has sinned barring Jesus Christ. Let me remind you that Jesus was God as we read there in John chapter 1, verses 1 through 4. "Jesus was with God and He was God." So we see here that no normal man has ever lived that has not sinned. Sin is a part of life, but God is perfect. Now that's important because being all powerful and all knowing and the ability to be unchanged, to have all these things that we can really see that is truly important because if God wasn't perfect then we would be in a mess when He would have such power and abilities. But He is perfect. In fact, in 1 John chapter 1 and verse 5, John said that there is no darkness in God and He is the life. In fact, if you look at the discussion there in 1 John chapter 1, it's actually talking about how we can be "in the darkness, how we can be a part of sin and be away from God, but God is a light and he who is in the light and walking in the light, then we're with God." We have fellowship with God. So we find there that God has no part with the darkness, no part with sin, but again rather He is pure and perfect and holy. In Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 15, we have it said there that "He was the perfect example. He was the one that did not sin. There was no sin in Him although He was made a sacrifice for sin," that is our sins. "He never sinned and there was no sin in His life." So yes, God is perfect.
I mentioned a moment ago the concept that God is unchanging. We don't have to worry about God saying something in the Old Testament and then again in the New Testament and setting these things in order and saying, "here is what you must do" and then someday saying, "oh, I changed my mind. I'm going to come tell Ray a new idea, a new concept. I've changed my mind." God does not change. When God says something, He's perfect and He means it and we can rely on that according to His will. Now we know that because the Bible tells us in Hebrews 13 and verse 8 that "God is the same yesterday, today and forever." God is unchanging and we can count on Him to know that He is consistent, that His word is trustworthy and when He says we must do something today that tomorrow and the next day we should do the same and in the future until He comes again and when we do that, that yes, we will be found in His light. We'll be perfect like Him because the blood of Christ presents us that way.
And as you'll notice there also the idea that God is a spirit. Yes, we've looked at many ideas about our God, the ideas that help us to know who God is but ultimately when we think about God, He is not human. The Bible sometimes talks about the eye of God or the finger of God. John tells us in John 4 and 24 that "God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." "We are created in God's spiritual image" as we see there in Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2 as it talks about the creation of man. We are created in God's spiritual image. Why? Because He is a spirit. If He were of the flesh, He could be imperfect, but He is spiritual. In fact, in the book of Luke chapter 24 and verse 39 it says there that "A spirit does not have bones. It does not have something that is fleshly. But again a spirit is of another realm."
So we need to understand then that our God is a God who is spirit. We need to understand that our God is an all powerful, all knowing, all mighty God who is unchanging and who we can count on every time because He is everywhere at all times, and He is someone who is going to be there to protect and care and give us what we have need of and He is there for us because He loves us and He has created us in His own image so that we might be His workmen. His workmen showing forth the praise and the glory and giving forth all that He has asked us to do.
So I challenge you this morning to know who God is, to understand the great attributes of God so that when people ask us about our faith, that we might be ready to give an answer for that hope that lies within us with meekness and fear, so that we might be able to tell people that not only there is a God but that we might be able to tell people who God is so that they might follow Him and receive salvation as you and I.
(SONG # 3 - "Be not Dismayed!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.
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May we all study more to know who our God is, so that we may be able to tell those in this lost and dying world about the only being who can save them from eternal damnation!