God is __________.
How do you fill in that blank? Based on your experience or on the truth found in God’s Word?
The Bible should be the source of our convictions about God. In this message, Dr. Stanley reveals the God of the Bible: omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
Our image of God must be consistent with His Word.
Also this week: Why Our Needs Remain Unmet
This sermon was recorded before COVID-19. For the protection of our staff members and the community, we are currently following safety guidelines by practicing social distancing. We appreciate your understanding.
Your Convictions About God
Key Passage: Romans 1:18-22
Supporting Scripture: Genesis 1:1 | Deuteronomy 29:29 | Psalms 90:2 | Psalms 139:1-24 | Matthew 19:26 | John 3:16 | John 3:36 | 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 | 2 Corinthians 5:10 | Colossians 3:16 | 1 Timothy 6:15-16 | Titus 1:2
Who is God, and what is He like?
Some people imagine Him as a loving grandfather in heaven who’s waiting to bless them, while others think He’s a harsh judge sitting on His throne, ready to pour out punishment. There are also people who don’t even believe God exists because they want to live as they please rather than in obedience to His divine authority. However, the only way to truly know God and His attributes is to rely on the descriptions of Him that are found in the Scripture.
A right understanding of God is essential because it has eternal ramifications.
According to Romans 1:19-20, that which is known about God is evident within us, and His invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature are clearly on display through His creation. Therefore, we have no excuse. To deny His existence is to suppress the truth and bring ultimate disaster upon ourselves.
We all have convictions that govern our lives, and being certain about God’s identity should be one of them. A conviction is being so thoroughly convinced of the absolute truth of something that we are willing to take a stand for it regardless of the consequences. When we are convinced that God’s Word is true, we have a sure foundation for our convictions about God.
- God is an uncreated being. He existed before the beginning of time and is the Creator of heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1). Psalm 90:2 mentions His eternal existence, saying, “Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
- He is unchangeable. What a comfort it is to know that the Lord’s perfection, purposes, and promises never alter. If He has given us a promise in His Word, we can be certain that He will never change His mind.
- He’s omnipresent. This means that God is present everywhere. We don’t have to search and find Him. In fact, according to Psalm 139, we can never get away from His presence. No matter what we face, He is with us.
- God is omnipotent. He has all power: “With God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). However, the Lord never acts in a manner that is inconsistent with His nature. For instance, He cannot lie or be tempted by evil because He is absolute goodness, perfection, and truth (Titus 1:2).
- The Lord is omniscient. He has complete knowledge about everything, including past, present, and future events. Although we might want Him to share His knowledge with us, as finite beings we are incapable of comprehending the infinite vastness of God’s mind. According to Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us.” God doesn’t satisfy all our curiosity, but He has revealed what He desires us to know in His Word. And if we can’t find an answer in Scripture, we can leave our concerns with Him, trusting in His infinite knowledge and wisdom.
- God is invisible. Although Jesus was visible as God in human flesh, no human being other than Christ has seen the Father. Paul described Him as the “only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim. 6:15-16).
- God is love. This is not just what He does, but who He is—love is an essential aspect of His nature. The ultimate expression of His love for us was the act of sending His Son into the world to redeem sinners (John 3:16). In mercy, grace, and love, He reached down to save and give eternal life to all who believe in Jesus.
- The Lord is holy. This means He is separated from all sin, and His holiness is the pattern we are to follow. Although we can never live without sin as God does, we who are committed to Christ as our Savior and Lord should have a desire to live a holy life of obedience. Holiness is a lifestyle to which God calls us and for which He equips us through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. He gives us sensitivity to sinful attitudes and actions in our lives and prompts us to immediately seek forgiveness from God and request His strength to turn from that particular sin.
- God is righteous. He is the final standard of righteousness and always acts in accordance with what is right. Furthermore, righteousness is His desire for each of us, and He’s given us His Spirit to enable us to do what’s right.
- He is a God of wrath. This means the Lord hates sin and everything that is opposed to His moral character. According to John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” The wrath of God will never come upon those of us who have trusted Christ as our Savior because it is limited to those who defy the Lord and reject His Son.
- God is our judge. We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be recompensed for our deeds (2 Cor. 5:10). As Christians we have no need to fear God’s wrath because our judgment is for the purpose of rewards. We will be judged according to how we have lived and what we have done with the truth and the opportunities we’ve been given.
- The Lord is a rewarder. We each have a choice regarding how we build our lives on the foundation of Christ (1 Cor. 3:10-15). If what we have done is of no eternal value, it will be burned up in the judgment, but if our works are precious and everlasting, we will receive a reward. Even in the judgment, God’s love and grace will be evident to His children.
- God is to be worshipped. He is the Lord of the universe and our Savior, who is worthy of all honor and glory. Our worship of Him is displayed when we let His Word dwell in us richly and praise Him with singing from a grateful heart (Col. 3:16).
- If you had to write your own description of who God is and what He’s like, what would you say? How much of your perception of Him comes from His Word? How much comes from your experiences and how much comes the ideas other people have about Him?
- The same God who is characterized by love, holiness, and righteousness is also described as a judge who hates sin and deals out retribution. Do you have trouble reconciling these two aspects of His nature? How were all these characteristics displayed at the cross? What would the world look like if God never had wrath against sin? What comfort comes from knowing that He is a righteous judge?