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SENIORS… Why are there so many different opinions and definitions of God? What process do most people use to decide which “God” is the right God?. SENIORS… Monday start-up
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Why are there so many different opinions and definitions of God?
What process do most people use to decide which “God” is the right God?
Pray with your Tribond 2-3 minutes– have the person with the longest last name pray first, the person with the shortest last name pray last
WHAT MAKES GOD “GOD”?
1. Aseity is God’sindependence
(Latin “a se” = “from himself”)
2. God is self-existent, He does not nor could not rely on someone or something to exist
God is the only absolutely independent being. His existence and well-being is not dependant upon any being or circumstance. He is the final and primary cause of all things. Therefore, there is no cause that precedes him. He is in need of nothing.
3. God brought about creation to bring Himself glory and joy, but this does not diminish His independence
Do you agree or disagree?
We can never fully comprehend God:
Psalm 139:6, 17-18; 145:3
We can know some facts about God and therefore know God personally:
God’s aseity in the Scriptures
1. God is infinite with respect totime
2. God has no beginning or end- He is in all times at all times
3. God does not experience a succession of moments in His own being
4. God sees events in time and acts in time, but this does not diminish His eternality
1. Immutability is God’sunchangeableness
2. God does not nor could not change in His being, His purposes, or His promises
3. God feels emotionsand acts differently in response to different situations, but this does not diminish His immutability
God does not know the future and can change His mind
1 Samuel 15:10-11
Responding to “Open Theism”
1 John 3:20
Review with your Tribond the attributes of aseity, eternality, and immutability.
How does God demonstrate these attributes (what does He do to show that He possesses aseity, etc…)?
Two pray Tuesday. In your Tribond have one person pray for the school and another pray for the country
1. God is infinite with respect to space
2. God is present with His whole being at every point in space at all times
3. God is without size or spatial dimensions
4. God acts differently in different places, but this does not diminish His omnipresence
If God is omnipresent, is He in hell?
(Omni “all”, potens “powerful”)
1. God is infinite with respect to power
2. God possesses all power to do His holy will- He is not limited to doing only what He has actually done, but He is capable of doing even more
(Omni “all”, potens “powerful”)
3. It is not entirely accurate to state “God can do anything”-God cannot will or do anything that would deny His own character or attributes-(ex: God cannot lie, be tempted, cease to exist, cease to be God)
(Omni “all”, scientia “to know”)
1. God is infinite with respect to knowledge
2. God’s knowledge is perfect and absolute from all eternity
(Omni “all”, scientia “to know”)
3. God is intuitive- He does not learn, He simply already knows!
4. God knows all things actual and all things possible
What does Psalm 56:8 and Psalm 142:3 tell us about God’s knowledge of our troubles? And what does He do with our cry for help?
In light of Psalm 139:12-15, how should we respond when we fall into the trap of thinking God made mistakes when He made you?
1. God decides and approves all that He is and does
2. God is the final reason for everything that happens to His creatures
3. Distinctions exist within the aspects of God’s will:
Group 2 prepare. Everyone else get out your Bible and preview Acts 17:24-25 at your desk.
Prayer Request- Something 9-11 related probably.
Contemplate the concept of God being eternal. What are your natural responses to this attribute of God (positive or negative)?
In your Tribond pray over the theme in your life.
“Fall into His story.”
1. God is a being not made of matter or materials- He cannot be perceived by bodily senses
2. God is distinct from this world- He does not have the properties of matter nor is He dependant upon matter
3. God is invisible- He does not have size or dimension
What does John 4:24 mean when it says that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth?
1. God’s power and knowledge are applied with discipline and restraint
2. God’s ways achieve the most appropriate and benevolent end
What is the difference between being smart and being wise?
In light of Colossians 2:2-3, and 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, do you think it would be possible for one who despises Jesus Christ to be truly wise? Why or why not?
1. Veracity describes God’s truthfulness and faithfulness
2. God is the true God- all His knowledge and words are the final standard
3. God will always do what He has said and He will fulfill every promise
4. God knows things as they really are- all truth is God’s truth
Contrast Proverbs 6:23 with 6:24. What do we learn about truth from this and what do we learn about flattery?
What are the two unchangeable things in Hebrews 6:17-19?
1. God is the source of all that is good in the universe
2. God is the final standard of all that is good
Name the good things in your life that you take for granted each day. Which of these are lessened when taken for granted?
What good can I do for God from which He may derive benefit? Is there anything that a creature can do from which God is benefited?
1. God eternally gives of Himself to His creatures
2. God directs His goodness toward His creatures in a personal way
3. God acts deliberately, intelligently and sacrificially in His will towards His creatures- love is not just an emotion
Characteristics of God’s love:
It has been eternally shared among the members of the Trinity (Jn. 3:35; 14:31)
It is a love for all His creation (Jn. 3:16)
It is ultimately displayed in the sending of His Son (Rom. 5:8)
It rejoices in salvation of His creation (Isa. 62:5)
It motivates us to love Him (1 Jn. 4:19)
What is the strongest act of love done for you by another person?
What is the strongest act of love you could demonstrate for a person you were dating? How do you know this?
1. Grace is God’s goodness toward those who do not deserve it (unmerited favor)
2. God demonstrates His grace in two different ways: “common grace” and “special grace”:
- “common grace” refers to the aspects of God’s grace directed to all humanity
(sustaining life, providing needs, restraining evil, etc…)
Acts 17:25, 2 Peter 3:9
- “special grace” refers to the free gift of eternal salvation applied to those who believe in Christ
Romans 5:1-2, 9:15-16
3. It is only through God’s grace that an individual can experience salvation
What problems do you see in a works based method of salvation?
Why is a works based method of salvation not compatible with the character and attributes of God?
Why does humanity seem to prefer works based salvation schemes? What do you see as the root of these reasons?
1. Mercy is God’s compassion toward those who don’t deserve it
2. God’s mercy and lovingkindness are closely related
3. God demonstrates mercy when He takes pity upon the helpless condition of humanity and withholds His just punishment
4. God demonstrates mercy when He offers comfort to those in misery and distress
Why is it when a person in authority grants “mercy” to an individual, others can call it injustice?
Are their situations where being merciful to another person is not the best for that person?
1. Longsuffering is God’s patience in dealing with evil
2. God demonstrates longsuffering by bearing with the on going disobedience of His creatures
Why could the longsuffering of God bring out contempt in some people? What is the cure for their contempt of God?
How can an understanding of God’s patience help us become more courageous?
1. God is separated from all sin and evil, devoted to seeking His own honor
2. God’s holiness can be described from two standpoints: “essential holiness” and “ethical holiness”:
- “essential holiness” refers to God being separate from His creation, for there is no one else like Him
- “ethical holiness” refers to God being without sin, for He is morally perfect (lacking nothing in character)
3. Holiness and love are the primary motivations observed in Scripture to explain God’s actions
Think of areas in your life with which you should not be involved. Why is it so difficult to permanently walk away from those things?
What can help us to “set down the things that so easily encumber us” (Heb. 12:1-2)?
1. God always acts in accordance with and conforms to His perfect nature
2. God is the final standard of what is right- He is righteous altogether
3. God’s justice refers to His righteous actions directed toward humanity
How is it that the most “righteous” person in one culture or generation may be considered “common” in another culture or generation? (This is speaking at the human level)
What does this say about the changes within cultures or generations?
Why is James 4:17 so revealing about our nature as people?
Take turns sharing with your Tribond, youngest to oldest:
Which attribute of God fascinates you the most? Why?
Which communicable attribute of God (the ones from the project) do you struggle with the most? Why?
No time for RPSLS to pray. Volunteer to pray
Three Views of God’s Sovereignty
Everything that happens, happens because God, who is the ultimate first cause in all things, caused it to happen.
Everything that happens, happens because God allowed it to happen.
1. God is not divided into or composed of parts
3. No one attribute of God is more important or greater than the others, for He is infinitely perfect in all of His attributes
4. God is both numerically and uniquely one, yet different attributes of God are emphasized at different times
Even though we clearly do not measure up to God’s perfect atributes, what ways can we still influence other believers to live godly lives?