Knowing God, pt. 1

“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. … Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” – J. I. Packer[1]

“No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. … But while the subject humbles the mind it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe.” – C. H. Spurgeon[2]knowing_god – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 Over the month of July, the youth group that God has entrusted to me to shepherd has spent every Wednesday’s evening at my home. Every week had a different theme night, like Superhero night or Lego night in which we would all dress up in silly homemade costumes and play games based upon the theme.

After the fun and games, one or two of the youth leaders would share how God brought them to saving faith in Jesus Christ. After that, I taught the youth through the attributes of God. It was a profitable study. I learned much about our great God and Savior and how to communicate the Bible’s truths about who God is in His revealed Word, the Bible. The students had to stretch their minds as they had never had this kind of in-depth study up to this point in their lives.

Today on this blog post and in my next post, I want to share, in summary, the fruit of that study. No, I am not going to go through the all the Attributes of God here and now. No, this will not be exhaustive in its content (good luck ever being exhaustive with this study anyway…we’re talking about the infinite God after all!). Yes, this will be helpful as you seek to know God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Here is how I will break this down:

(1) The Introduction to God – what do we need to know before we jump into a study about God’s attributes (only in this post)

(2) The Attributes – what are the attributes, where does the Bible point out this attribute, and how does it change my life (in this post and the next)

(3) Resources – resources for your further study and enjoyment of God (in this post and the next)

Now, again, this will not be exhaustive, but a summary. For me, the best way to process each of these four categories is in chart form. So charts are what I have made and charts are what you get to read. I trust this will be helpful.

 

The Introduction to God

(what you need to know before studying His attributes)

 

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: THE IMMANENCE & TRANSCENDENCE OF GOD THE NATURE OF GOD
(1) Only through the KoG can we enter eternal life (John 17:2) 

 

(2) Only through the KoG can we know ourselves

(3) Through the KoG we know the world

(4) Only through the KoG do we gain personal holiness (1 Pet 1:15-16)

(5) Only through the KoG can the church remain strong

(1)  Built into our consciousness (Rom 1:18-32). 

 

(2)  Revealed in General Revelation (Ps 19:1-6) & Specific Revelation (Ps 19:7ff)

(3)  Supported by various “Proofs

(4)  Assumed in the Bible

(1)  Immanence = God is wholly involved in His creation (Acts 17:27-28; Job 33:4 

 

(2)  Transcendence = God is wholly different from His creation (Isa 55:8-9; 6:1-5; Ps 113:5-6)

(3)  Together? Yes, Isaiah 57:15

(1)  God is Personal. He has Intellect, Will, Emotions, Relational 

 

(2)  God is Spirit (John 4:24; Deut 4:15-18). God has no body, does not occupy space, cannot age/decay, invisible.

(3)  God is a Trinity. God is one God, three distinct persons.

(4)  God is Holy. He is set apart, separate than anything in His creation. Holiness is the best way to describe all of God’s attributes

 The Attributes of God

(a review of who God is according to the Bible and how it changes my life)

 

  OMNIPRESENCE (all-present) OMNIPOTENCE (all-powerful, sovereign) OMNISCIENCE (all-knowing) OMNISAPIENCE (all-wise)
Definition “God is personally present at every point in the universe.” “God is able to do whatever He, in His perfect wisdom, has decided to do.” “God perfectly and exhaustively knows everything about himself and his creation: past, present, and future.” “God employs His perfect knowledge in the way best suited to manifesting His glory and accomplishing His purposes.”
The Bible says Ps 139:7-8, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 

 

Cf. Jer 23:23-24

Job 42:2, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” 

 

Ps 115:3, “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”

Cf: Ps 139:13-16; Isa 46:9-10

Prov 15:3, “ The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” 

 

Ps 139:4, “Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all.”

Cf. Ps 139:1-6; 147:4-5; Matt 10:29-30

Ps 104:24, “O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.” 

 

Eph 1:17, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, … give to you a spirit of wisdom.”

Cf. 1 Cor 1:21; Ps 111:10

Simply “No matter where I go, God is with me.” “Nothing is too hard for God.” “God knows everything absolutely.” “God’s decision is the best decision.”
Implication Practice the presence of God when tempted to sin by drawing on His strength and resources (cf. Eph 6:10-17). Practice the power of God by drawing on His strength and might in every circumstance. Practice the knowledge of God by letting His Word be your guide and teacher in everything. Practice the wisdom of God by knowing and living His wisdom revealed in the Bible (cf. 2 Peter 1:3).
Other Helpful info: God cannot approve of evil (Hab 1:13), lie (Titus 1:2), tempt people to sin (James 1:13), fail on His promises (2 Tim 2:13), do anything absurd or self-contradictory

NOTE: God’s omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnisapience is wonderful news that God knows all things, is everywhere at once, has the power do all that He pleases, and has the wisdom to bring about His perfect goals in the perfect ways.

  ASEITY                (Self-existence, Independence) ETERNAL  IMMUTIBILITY           (Never Changing)
Definition “God depends on nothing else for existence, but has eternally existed without any external or prior cause.” “God is not limited by the passage of time. He has no end, no beginning, and sees all time equally.” “God is unchangeable in his essence, character, and will.”
The Bible says John 5:26, “The Father has life in Himself.” 

 

Acts 17:24-25, “The God who made the world and all thing in it … He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things.”

Cf. Job 41:11; Ps 33:6-9; Col 1:15-17

Ps 90:1-2, “Before the mountains were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” 

 

Ps 90:4, “For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or a watch in the night.”

Cf: Job 36:26; Ps 9:7; 1 Tim 1:17; 2 Peter 3:8

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

 

Ps 139:4, In God “there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

Ps 33:11, “the counsel of the Lord stands forever.”

Cf. Ps 102:26; Num 23:19

Simply “Before anything existed, God existed.” “God is in the then, now, and forward always.” “God is dependable/faithful.”
Implication Practice the aseity of God by realizing He created your very existence and knows how to best live life. Trust Him and His truth throughout your life (Matt 6:33). Practice the eternality of God by taking our love off of this temporary evil world and humbly pursue the everlasting God and His everlasting truth (Ps 90:12; Mark 8:36). Practice the immutibility of God by trusting His love and promises in living a life fully devoted to Him (Ps 18:30-36).
Other Helpful info: – God clearly exists and acts in time also.

Resources

(for further study)

 A. W. Pink, The Attributes of God (free online)closed_bible

A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (free online)

 J. I. Packer, Knowing God

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 This is not the end!

Next time I post, I will give you what many people would refer to as the “Moral” Attributes of God (wrath, justice, love, etc.) as well as more resources to aid your study in studying God.

Until then, take what I have given you above and go learn about God by opening your Bible and learning of Him! What a blessing!

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[1] J. I. Packer, Knowing God

[2] C. H. Spurgeon, “The Immutability of God” accessed on July 7, 2015 (http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0001.htm).