Chapter 1

WHAT IS GOD LIKE?

(STUDY OF GOD)

I. DOES GOD EXIST?

    1. Naturalistic Arguments
    1. Cosmological (cosmos, "world")
    2. "The universe is an effect that requires an adequate cause, and the only sufficient cause is God." (Rom.1:20; Ps 19:1)

    3. Teleological (telos, "end").
    4. "The universe not only proves a maker but also a designer. There is observable purpose in the universe that argues for the existence of God as its designer." (Gen. 1:11-12, 14-15; Acts l4:15-17).

    5. Anthropological (anthropos, "man").
    6. "Since man is a moral and intellectual being, he must have had a maker who is also a moral and intelligent being. Man’s moral nature, religious instincts, conscience, and emotional nature argue for existence of God" (Ps 94:9, Acts 17:28-29; Rom 2:14-15).

    7. Ontological (on, "being").

"Man has the idea of the Most Perfect Being. This idea includes the idea of existence, since a being, otherwise perfect, who did not exist would not be as perfect as a perfect being who did exist. Therefore, since the idea of existence is contained in the idea of the Most Perfect Being, the Most Perfect Being must exist" (Rom 1:19; Deut 32:3-4).

    1. Biblical Arguments
    1. David - states that God has revealed His existence in the world around us (Ps 19:1-6).
    2. Isaiah - declares that the universe is by the hands of God and not idols (Isa 40:19-26).
    3. Jesus - taught that a sustained creation points to an all-powerful God (Mt 6:26).
    4. Paul - argued that the rain and change of seasons witness to the existence of God (Ac 14:15-17).
  1. HOW HAS GOD REVEALED HIMSELF?
    1. God reveals Himself (Rom.11:33-34; l Cor.2:9-11; Dt.29:29 ; Jn.17:3; Phil.3:7-10).
    2. God reveals Himself through General Revelation
    1. Nature (Job 12:7-10; Ps 8:3-4)
    2. History (Gal 4:4; 1 Cor 10:11)
    1. God reveals Himself through Specific Revelation
    1. His Son (Jn 1:18; Heb 1:1-3)
    2. His Word (Ps 19:7-11).

III. WHAT IS GOD LIKE?

    1. Definition of Attributes of God
    1. Also called the "Perfections of God."
    2. That which is inherent and ascribed to the qualities of the Person of God.
    3. "An attribute is a property intrinsic to its subject and by which the subject is distinguished or identified." Ryrie
    1. Classifications.

"Most systems of classifying the attributes are based on the fact that some attributes belong to God alone (e.g., infinity) and some are found in a limited and relative sense in man (e.g., love); thus, incommunicable and communicable; absolute and relative; immanent and transitive; constitutional and those pertaining to personality."

C. Attributes of God (Incommunicable)

1. Omniscient - [All knowing; Lat.- omnis = all, scientia = knowledge]

a. Defn. – (infinite and perfect knowledge) "God knows everything, things actual and possible, effortlessly and equally well". - Ryrie.

b. Scripture - Isa.46:10; Acts 15:18; Ps.147:4

2. Omnipotent - [All powerful; Lat. - omnis = all, potentia = power]

a. Defn. – (infinite and unlimited power) "God is able to accomplish anything He designs or desires, and it will not be contrary to His nature".

b. Scripture - Gen.1:1; Gen.18:14; Eph 3:20

3. Omnipresent – [Everywhere present; omnis = all, praesens = present]

a. Defn. – (Present everywhere all the time) "God is everywhere present with His whole being at all times".

b. Scripture - Gen.16:3; 1 Ki.8:27; Jer.23:23-24.

c. Ps.139

1) Omniscience (1-6)

2) Omnipresence (7-12)

    1. Omnipotence (13-16)
    2. Omni – Response (23-24)

4. Eternal - [always existed]

a. Defn. - "God is without beginning or end……God is free from all succession of time though He is the author of it". - Gibson

b. Scripture - Ps.90:2; Gen.21:33; Ex.3:14; Rom.16:26

    1. Immutable - [never changes]
    1. Defn. - "God is not capable or subject to change……God never becomes greater or lesser, better or worse, ... never develops or improves, evolves or gets older". – Gibson
    2. Scripture – 1 Sam 15:29; Mal.3:6; Ps.33:11; James 1:17
    1. Freedom
    1. Meaning – God is independence from His creatures and not limited by anything. So then, what God has done for his creatures was done not out of obligation, but out of love and compassion.
    2. Scripture - Isaiah 40:13-14.
    1. Sovereignty
    1. Meaning - God is the supreme ruler.
    2. Scripture - Eph 1:11; Rom 8:28-29; Rom 9:19-20

D. Attributes of God (Communicable)

1. Holiness - [to be set apart; Heb. - quadash; Grk. - hagios]

a. Defn. - "God is set apart from all uncleanness, impurity and is completely moral in all things". - Gibson

b. Scripture - Isa.6:1-3; Ps.99:1,3,5,9; 1 Pet.1:14-16

2. Righteousness/Justice [rightness, judicially right]

a. Defn. - (righteousness) - "God’s laws and actions are exactly right". - House

"The legal term that refers to Divine government...". Gibson. (justice) - "God does not show favoritism; He has moral equity".

b. Scripture - Ps.11:7; 19;9; Acts 17:31; Rom.3:26; 4:5,6

3. Truthfulness - [truthful, genuine] -

a. Defn. - "God cannot act out of His character or deceitfully". -Gibson "The quality of God that guarantees that He is genuine as God". "Truth means agreement to that which is represented". - Ryrie

    1. Scripture - Num.23:19; Titus 1:2; Jn.17:17

4. Love [self-sacrificial giving]

a. Defn. - "The quality in God which moves Him to give of Himself and His gifts...". - Gibson

"God seeks the highest good of humans at His own infinite cost". - House

b. Scripture - Ps.103:17; Jn.3:16; Rom.5:8; Rom.8:35-39 (cp. Jn.21:15-17)

IV. WHAT DOES GOD CALL HIMSELF?

    1. Primary OT Names.
    1. Jehovah (YHWH).
    1. Origin
    1. Too sacred to pronounce. So, they would pronounce "Adonai".
    2. Combined consonants YHWH + vowels of Adonai = Jehovah
    1. Meaning = "The Self-Existent One"
    2. Root signifies "existence" and "development" (action). Together = "The Active Self-Existent One". (He actively exists and relies upon no one but Himself.)

    3. Scripture - Ex.3:14; 34:5-7
    4. "LORD" - (All capitals)
    5. Characteristics

It is a name of relationship between the true God and His people an, when used, emphasizes God’s holiness, hatred of sin, and love of sinners.

f. Compound Names

    1. Jehovah Jireh - the Lord will provide (Gen. 22:13-14).
    2. Jehovah Nissi - the Lord my banner (Ex. 17:15).
    3. Jehovah Shalom - the Lord is peace Judg. 6:24).
    4. Jehovah Sabbaoth - the Lord of hosts (1 Sam. 1:3).
    5. Jehovah Maccaddeshcem - the Lord your Sanctifier (Ex. 31:13).
    6. Jehovah Raah - the Lord is my Shepherd (Ps. 23:1).
    7. Jehovah Tsidkenu - the Lord our righteousness (Jer. 23:6).
    8. Jehovah Shammah - the Lord who is present (Ezek. 48:35).
    9. Jehovah Elohim Israel - the Lord God of Israel (Jud 5:3).
    10. Qadosh Israel - the Holy One of Israel (Isa 1:4).

2 Elohim

a. Introduction

1) First name in the Bible (Gen.1:1)

2) Plurality of Attributes

3) Plurality of Persons (Gen.1:26,27; 3:5)

4) 2,570 times in O.T.

b. Meaning (Reverential Strong One)

1) Derivative of Power = Strong One

2) Derivative of Fear = Reverence

"He is the Strong One who is faithful to all of His covenants and is to be reverenced and feared because of who He is." - J.B.Jackson

c. Scriptures - Genesis 1; Isa.45:18; Gen.28:10-15; Ps. 86:15

d. Compound Names (Prefix and Suffix el = God)

    1. El Elyon - translated the Most High (lit., the strongest strong one, Isa. 14:13-14).
    2. El Roi - the Strong One who sees (Gen. 16:13).
    3. El Shaddai - Almighty God (Gen. 17:1-20).
    4. El Olam - Everlasting God (Isa. 40:28).

3. Adonai

a. Plural - of majesty like Elohim.

b. Meaning - Lord, lord, master, owner.

    1. Scripture - Gen.39:2; 42:30,31 Ex.21:1-6 (relationship among men); Ex.4:1O,13; Isa.6:8-11 (relationship between God and man)

V. WHAT IS THE TRINITY?

    1. Definition.
    2. There is only one God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three eternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence.

    3. Proof.
    1. Evidence for Oneness (God is one)
    1. This is not the belief that Scripture describes three Gods but that those three Persons make up one God.
    2. Scriptures - Gen.1:1; Dt.6:4; Isa.43:14,18,21,22; 1 Cor.8:4-6; Tim.1:17
    1. Evidence for Threeness (Three distinct Persons)
    1. The Father is God (John 6:27; Eph. 4:6).
    2. Jesus Christ is God (Heb. 1:8).
    3. The Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4).
    4. The three Persons are associated equally and as one (Matt. 28:19, "name"; 2Cor. 13:14).
    1. Evidence for the Triunity (Three but One)
    1. Great Commission (Mt 28:19)
    2. Manifestation of the Three (Mt.3:16-17)

VI. THE FATHER

    1. The Particular Relationships of the Father.
    1. Father over all creation (Acts 17:29).
    2. Father of the nation Israel (Ex. 4:22).
    3. Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 3:17).
    4. Father of believers in Christ (Gal. 3:26).
    1. The Particular Works of the Father.
    1. Author of the decree (Ps. 2:7-9).
    2. Author of election (Eph. 1:3-6).
    3. Begetter and sender of Christ (John 3:16).

4. Disciplinarian of His children (Heb. 12:9).