Theology: The Study of God; (based on Charles F. Baker, “A Dispensational Theology,” chapter 18 p.134-144) 9/18/16
What is God like? This is a question that men and women have pondered through the ages. Our human minds cannot fully comprehend the infinite God, but the Lord invites us to seek Him so that we might come to know Him in a deeper and more personal way. One author defines the attributes of God as:
“…those distinguishing characteristics of the divine nature which are inseparable from the idea of God and which constitute the basis and ground for his various manifestations to his creatures.” (A.H. Strong “Systematic Theology,” p.244)
1. What words would you use to describe the character of God?
2. It is important to study all of God’s attributes, set forth in Scripture. What problems might we run into if we were to emphasize one aspect of God’s character ignoring others?
3. There are many different ways we could classify God’s attributes, but we will talk about those qualities God s______________ with us and those that are u______________ to Him.
4. How are we able to reflect God’s character more and more in our lives? How should we respond to the reality that God is so different from us in so many ways?
God is completely self-sufficient. He doesn’t n_______________ the universe, or anything in this world, to make Him whole.
- Acts 17:24-25; Job 41:11; Psalm 50:10-12
- Will human beings ever become totally independent in this sense?
God never changes with respect to His p________________, purposes, or promises.
- Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; 13:8; James 1:17; Numbers 23:19
- Change is usually for the better or worse, but God is perfect.
- While God doesn’t change, His dispensations do (Promise, Law, Grace, Kingdom).
- What about passages where God appears to have changed His mind? (i.e. Jonah 3:10)
- If God did change, would that make you feel more or less secure?
God had no b________________ and will have no e________________.
- Psalm 90:2; 102:12; Isaiah 46:10; Exodus 3:14; John 8:58
- God reigns forever, and His kingdom will have no end, He does not age or grow old
- We are bound by time, processing events as they occur, but God is not limited
- How does this attribute give us hope for the future?
The Lord is e__________ all the time, His presence fills the universe
- Psalm 139:7-10; 1 Kings 8:27; Deuteronomy 10:14; Acts 17:28; Psalm 16:11
- We should not think of God as having size or dimensions, He is immeasurable, greater than we can imagine, and not limited to a physical body as we are
- God’s presence is expressed in different ways at different places (i.e. to bless or judge)
- Do we need to visit some special place to draw close to God? If the Lord feels far away, does it mean He has left us alone?
God is all-p_____________ and fully able to accomplish His holy will
- Psalm 24:8; Jer. 32:17, 27; Job 42:2; Matt. 19:26; Eph. 3:20; Luke 1:37; Rev. 1:8
- The Lord will not do anything that is inconsistent with His character
- God’s sovereignty is the power He exercises over creation as ruler of heaven & earth
- People often ask, if God can do anything why does He not end suffering or injustice in this world? How might you respond to that question?
God k_____________ all things, actual & possible, past present, future
- 46:10; Ps. 139:1-2; 147:5; Heb. 4:13; 1 John 3:20; 1 Sam. 23:11-13
- God’s wisdom is infinite, He knows our thoughts and the motives of our hearts, He can even see what would have happened under different circumstances
- There are many problems we can’t figure out, but is there anything that stumps God?
- Does God’s knowledge of our failures and mistakes change His love for us?