Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why the Attributes of God Matter

Scripture: Isaiah 6.1-7; Rev. 4-5; Rom. 8.28; Rom. 9; Gen. 1-4; Matt. 1.18ff; Rom. 8; Acts 2; Ex. 3.13-15; Job 1; Rev. 19-22; Ps. 75; Prov. 16.4, 9, 33; Prov. 15.3; Ex. 34.6; Ps. 139
Translation: Ex. 3.13And Moses said to God, “Look, I’m going to the sons of Israel, and I’ll say to them, ‘The God of your fathers sent me to you.’ And they’ll say to me, “What is His Name?’ What should I say to them?” 14And God said to Moses, “I am who I am. And as I said you should say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM sent me to you.’” 15And God said again to Moses, “You should say this to the sons of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, sent me to you.’ This is My Name forever. And this is how I’ll be remembered from generation to generation.”
Exodus 34.6And Yahweh stood in front of him and shouted, “Yahweh—Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and great in loyalty and faithfulness! 7Showing loyalty to thousands [of generations], taking away guilt, rebellion, and sin, and He never ever leaves [sin] unpunished, bringing the sin of the fathers against the sons and against the sons of the sons to the third or fourth generation!”
Isaiah 6.1During the year King Uzziah died, I saw my Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up, and the edges of His robe filled the Temple. 2Saraphim were standing above Him. There were six wings, six wings for each one: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he was flying. 3And this one shouted to this other one and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy is Yahweh of Armies! All the Earth is filled with His glory!” 4And the foundations of the thresholds shook because of the sound of the one who was shouting. And the house was filling with smoke! 5And I said, “Woe to me, because I’m ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I am living among a people of unclean lips! Indeed, my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of Armies!” 6And one of the seraphim flew over to me and in his hand was a live coal, with tongs he had taken it from on top of the altar. 7And he touched it on my mouth and said, “Look, this has touched on your lips, so your guilt is gone and your sin is covered.”

Proverbs 15.3Yahweh’s eyes are in ever place, watching evil people and good people.
Proverbs 16.4Yahweh made everything for His purpose, even a wicked person for the day of evil.
Proverbs 16.9The human mind plans its path, but Yahweh establishes its steps.
Proverbs 16.33The lot gets thrown into the fold of the garment, but all of its decisions are from Yahweh.
Rom. 8.28And we know that for those who love God all things work out for good, for those who are called according to plan, 29because He also predestined those He pre-knew to be conformed to the image of His son, so that He could be the Firstborn among many brothers, 30and those He predestined, those same people He also called. And those He called, those same people He also made righteous. And those He made righteous, those same people He glorified!

1.      Outline
a.       What is Our God like?
                                                              i.      God is Holy
1.      He is unique
a.       Ex. 3.13-15
b.      Isa. 46, esp. v.9
2.      He is Transcendent and Immanent (Separate and Present; Above and With)
a.       Gen. 1-4
b.      Acts 2
c.       Rev. 4-5
3.      He is glorious
a.       Ex. 19-20
b.      Isa. 6.1-7
c.       Matt. 17.1-7
d.      Rev. 4-5
                                                            ii.      God is Self-Existent
1.      Ex. 3.13-15
2.      Rom. 9 (God is the Potter, His existence is assumed, no one/thing makes Him)
                                                          iii.      God is Infinite
1.      In knowledge
a.       Knowledge
                                                                                                                                      i.      Prov. 15.3
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Acts 4.
                                                                                                                                  iii.      John 21.17b
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Ps. 139.1-18
b.      Intelligence
                                                                                                                                      i.      Isa. 55.8-9
c.       Creativity
                                                                                                                                      i.      Gen. 1-2
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Rev. 21-22
2.      In power
a.       Eph. 3.20
b.      Rev. 1.8
c.       Rev. 4.8
d.      Rev. 19-22
3.      In presence
a.       Ps. 139.7-12
4.      In goodness
a.       Overall
                                                                                                                                      i.      Ps. 119.68
                                                                                                                                    ii.      James 1.17
b.      Love
                                                                                                                                      i.      1 John 4.8
c.       Justice
                                                                                                                                      i.      Isa. 61.8
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Luke 18.1-8
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Rom. 3.26
                                                                                                                                  iv.      Rev. 19-20
d.      Mercy
                                                                                                                                      i.      Ex. 34.6
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Eph. 2.4
e.       Grace
                                                                                                                                      i.      Rom. 9
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Eph. 3.7
f.       Compassion
                                                                                                                                      i.      Ex. 34.6
g.      Patience
                                                                                                                                      i.      2 Pet. 3.9
h.      Loyalty
                                                                                                                                      i.      Heb. 13.5
                                                          iv.      God is Unchanging
1.      Ps. 102.25-27
2.      Heb. 13.8
3.      James 1.17
                                                            v.      God is Sovereign (His character in action): (Prov. 16.4, 9, 33; Rom. 9; Rom. 8.28; Job 1-2; Isa. 46.10-11)
1.      He is in control of all things
2.      He is bring His plan about
b.      Our Response to Our God
                                                              i.      Connect (relationally)
1.      When we see how awesome and great our God is we should find ourselves drawn to truly know and connect with Him. Our desire to have a thriving relationship with Him should be strengthened
                                                            ii.      Worship
1.      Awe
a.       As we saw in Isaiah and Revelation, seeing God for Who He is pulled Isaiah and John in to awe and worship. There is a majesty and magnificence to God that leaves us in awe, amazed at God’s perfection, His beauty, His Holiness
2.      Joy
a.       Yet, it also results in joy, we have the God that we can trust and that can save us—that has saved us! We have the God Who is crazy creative and powerful! We have the God Who knows us inside and out and still loves us!
                                                          iii.      Trust
1.      For eternal life/future
a.       Because God can save us, we can trust Him to do so ultimately speaking, we can trust Him for a life that never ends
b.      Yet we can also trust Him with the future, with the things that we can’t know or foresee, the things that could worry us, because we know that He is Holy and Righteous and Just. We can trust Him to give us a calling, a job, a husband/wife, children, friends, provision, etc.
2.      For daily life/the present
a.       We can trust Him in the midst of difficult circumstances, whether that is financial hardship, parents that are fighting, siblings that are driving you crazy, tests and papers stressing you out, because He is both in control of all of it and with you in the midst of it! He is using it for your good
3.      For the past
a.       Trust that God knew what He was doing and planning. Maybe you have had something miserable, or unspeakably evil happen to you, or maybe you’ve done something that makes you so ashamed you can’t talk about it, even that Yahweh will use for your good, not merely something that is good for the plan of God, but something that can even become good for you!
                                                          iv.      Repent
1.      Yet, when we look at the holiness of God, we should see that we do not reflect that perfect moral purity perfectly, in fact sometimes it is so maimed and corrupted in our lives, that no one would ever think that we are even a Christian. But that should bring us to respond like Isaiah, who confessed his sin and failure, along with that of his whole community
                                                            v.      Imitate
1.      Seek to reflect God by…
a.       loving those who don’t deserve it
b.      living Holy lives
c.       creating new things, enjoying art, forging relationships
                                                          vi.      Hope
1.      We hope in Christ for His return and salvation
2.      We hope in difficult circumstances, because we trust God’s Sovereign Plan
3.      We hope for more opportunities to worship God in Spirit and in truth
4.      We hope for Holy Lives marked by repentance, because it is a richer life and a life of worship
2.      Discussion Questions
a.       Why do you think it is the Holiness of God that the angels celebrate in heaven? Why not His love, or His justice, or His power?
b.      Why is it important that God is self-existent? What would it mean if He wasn’t?
c.       What would you tell someone who is struggling to see or understand God’s goodness?
d.      Why is it important that God never changes, that He is the same forever? Would it be easier or harder to trust Him if He changed whenever He wanted?
e.       Image you or someone you love is going through a really tough situation. How could you try to comfort them with God’s Sovereignty or any of His other attributes?
f.       Reflect on God’s Holiness how you as an individual better reflect His Holiness? What our about our community, how could we better reflect His holiness as a group? Where do you and we need to repent?

g.      Pray a prayer of worship to God for Who He is, try to incorporate aspects of awe and joy into your prayer. 

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