“Bible Basics – Lesson 7 – God”

Posted: November 17, 2017 in Bible Basics, Billy Pietsch, Christian Life, Devil / Satan, Heaven, Hell

 

“A Caricature Of God?”

Several years ago when our late son, Bill came to visit us in California, we took him to the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  While we were walking around we came across an artist who was drawing caricatures of people for a few dollars.  So we had a caricature drawing of him made.  It didn’t take long for the artist to finish his work and we still have a humorous memento of our late son.

Self Portrait.  Unlike that caricature of our son, God gave us a self portrait of Himself in the pages of the Scriptures.  Within it’s pages we also have His autobiography.  By careful study of His Word, we can come up with a pretty good picture of God as to who He is and what He is like.  It wouldn’t be like the picture that the little boy was drawing at school.  When the teacher asked him what he was drawing, he said, “It’s a picture of God.”  The teacher replied, “But Billy, no one really knows what God looks like.”  To which the boy responded by saying, “They will know what He looks like when I am done.”

Viewpoint.  When you think about God, what comes to your mind?  As A. W. Tozer said in his book, The Knowledge Of The Holy, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Believe it or not, our perception of God will have a big part in the way we think, feel, act, and react.  Are you open to getting a better view and understanding of God?

Attributes.  In our last article we considered who God is.  We pointed out that the Scriptures tell us that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17).  In His Word God tells us that He is good, righteous, omniscient, omnipotent, truth, holy, and love.  God’s adversary, the devil would like for us to believe that these things that God says about Himself are not true.

Good.  He Himself is happy and delights in the happiness of others (Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17; Luke 18:19).  The devil told Eve that God was withholding something good from her by forbidding her and Adam from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6). After all, if they ate this fruit, they would be like God knowing good from evil.  This was true.  But the part about their dying wasn’t true.  If they ate of this fruit they wouldn’t have to bother God anymore each day by asking Him what would be beneficial (good) or detrimental (evil) to their well being.  His words appealed to her and she made the choice to eat the fruit and then she gave it to her husband, Adam and he ate the fruit too.  But rather than it’s being something that resulted in their happiness, it brought on them sadness and eventually physical death as they came to realize that they had been stripped and became aware of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7).  Violating God’s command resulted in not only their physical death but also their immediate spiritual separation from fellowship with God.  Furthermore, it caused their nature to become a sinful nature (disposition).  This sinful nature has been passed down to all of us through a stream of flesh (Romans 5:12).  None of us is exempt from this sinful nature.  We’re all born with one (Psalm 51:5).  No one has to tell a child to be bad.  It’s automatic.  This is why Jesus told the religious leader, Nicodemus that he needed to “be born again from above” if he wanted to have eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life – John 3:1-15).  Do you have “eternal life” as a present possession (1 John 5:11-13)?  Do you have “abundant life” (John 10:10)?  Do you know how you can have these qualities of life?  If not, we’re here to help you secure them.

Righteous.  God always does what is right (Psalm 71:19; 112:10; 119:142; 145:17 ).  The devil would have us believe that God is fickle, vindictive, cruel, and unstable.  No, God is righteous and has given clear instructions as to what He wants His creatures to believe and do in each dispensation (See our “Dipsensations Chart”).  If we violate the rules there are serious consequences. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; See Genesis 2:17).  The God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Savior who provided salvation for all mankind (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; l Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2), but He is also the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  Someday everyone of us will stand before Him to have our works evaluated to determine our degree of pleasure in God’s presence or our degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Hebrews 9:27).  The devil would like for people to believe the lie that man can become a god (Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:11), and that heaven and hell aren’t real places to which people go. Some of his false teachers want people to believe in another Christ and another gospel that involves the universal salvation of all men (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1 ff). Consider the heresy that is taught in John Lennon’s song “Imagine there’s no heaven or hell….”  It saddens my heart that so many people have fallen for this lie from the devil. Have you?

Omniscient.  God knows everything.  There is nothing hidden from Him.  He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He knows the number of hairs on our heads, when the sparrow falls, and the names of all the stars He created (Matthew 10:28, 29; Psalm 147:4).  He knows the hidden motives we have (1 Corinthians 4:5:Hebrews 2:14).  This truth can be scary to those who are doing evil but pleasant to those who are suffering unjustly (2 Timothy 3:12), knowing that God will do the right thing in the end and take just vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19, 20).  The devil would have people believe that God doesn’t know everything because, they say, that would violate man’s free will.  This heresy is known as “the open view of God” and is being taught in some churches today.  It glorifies man (humanism) and diminishes God (Romans 1:25).

Omnipotent God is all powerful and can do anything He determines to do except those things that would be contrary to His nature and essence (Genesis 18:4; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17).  God can’t/won’t make a rock too big for Him to move.  God’s power was displayed to the spirit beings when He created the heavens and the earth (Job 38:7; Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:1).  But the greatest demonstration of His power was displayed when He raised Jesus Christ bodily from the dead (Philippians 3:10).  By His bodily resurrection from the dead, God the Father let mankind know that He was satisfied with God the Son’s payment for all our sins (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).  The devil would like for us to think that we can thwart God’s decree – His determinative will (Ephesians 1:11; John 6:37).  We can’t.  But we can and often do resist His desirous will for our lives to our own detriment.  We can grieve and quench God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Are you doing these things?  If you are, don’t be surprised if you life is in shambles.  “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).  Are you trying to fool others and deceiving yourself (2 Timothy 3:13)?

Truth God always speaks and tells the truth about Himself and about His creatures – spirit beings and human beings (John 14:6; 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Titus 1:2).  His Word records the lies that the devil and men utter and many of the evil deeds that His creatures do.  Some of this truth about man’s vial character and deeds have caused some folks to relegate His Word to a class of literature that is inappropriate for some people to read, especially children.  The devil challenged the truthfulness of God’s Word when he said to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’ (Genesis 3:1-5)?”  Did He really mean what He said?  He was the first one who interpreted God’s Word allegorically and tried to deceive Eve into believing him rather than God?  Have you fallen for the devil’s lies?  Do you have a distorted, caricature view of God, yourself, the devil, and mankind in general?  What method do you use to interpret the Scriptures – the normal or the allegorical method?

Holy.  God maintains His moral excellence and demands of others a moral excellency identical to His own (Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 145:21; Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16).  Mankind naturally pursues the sinful desires that come from his sin nature.  All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of something good (Galatians 5;19-21).  Even after a person is saved and participates in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he/she still retains their sinful nature and has the potential to engage in these sinful practices (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff).  The Christian who tries to carry out a life of sin will have his/her physical life terminated prematurely (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17).  God usually takes other disciplinary measures before terminating His rebellious child’s physical life (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 10:30).  He can’t/won’t take His eternal life from His child (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39).  Are you His child or still the child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10)?  The devil would have us believe that God doesn’t really know or care how we live as believers (Psalm 10:11).  He wants us to believe that God will overlook our sinful behavior.  But the Scriptures tell us that “whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5 ff).  If a “professing Christian” seems to get by without discipline when he/she sins, this one is illegitimate and not a true child of God (Hebrews 12:8).  What about you?  Don’t presume on the mercy and grace of God (Romans 3:8; 6:1)?

Love.  God seeks the highest well being of the objects of His love (1 John 3:16, 17; 4:8; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13).  His love for sinful mankind was demonstrated when One of the equal members in the Godhead volunteered to come down to this earth (John 3:16; Hebrews 10:7, 9), to add to His deity a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:5-11), to live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46), and then to die as a substitute for our sins and rise again bodily (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18).  The devil and his crowd would like for us to believe that God was/is a dirty bully for sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins.  But Someone in the Godhead needed to do this so mankind wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (John 3:16-18; Matthew 25;41, 46).  Have you responded to God’s love, mercy, and grace and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as the One who died for your sins, who was buried for three day, and then who rose again bodily on the third day?  Are you relying on Him alone to save you or are you relying on your good works or your faith plus your good works to save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?  Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  If so, what would it be?  How secure are you? The devil doesn’t mind your knowing the truth about God and His love for you and His offer of salvation. But he’ll tell you have plenty of time to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The Scriptures tell us that our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

Test.  What is your honest perception of God?  Be honest.  Does it line up with the Scriptures or have you come up with an idol in your mind that is unworthy of the true and living God?  Are you trusting in the wrong Christ (Matthew 24:5)? By adjusting your thinking to God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8, 9), you will be well on your way to a better quality of life if you respond properly to God and receive the gift of eternal life from Him by faith (John 1:12; 14:1-3).  You may choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior to your eternal regret and sorrow.  Unbelief in Him is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:8-11; Acts 26:28). You cannot ignore Jesus without suffering dire consequences (John 3:18, 36: Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

Help.  We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  If you have questions, we’ll try to answer them if we can.  “If you continue to think as you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.  Is that what you really want?”  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We’re also on Facebook live and on Youtube where we have audio/visual presentations for the glory of God and for the your good (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10).

Outline:  http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Godhead.pdf

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

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