Tuesday, June 19, 2012

walking through the gospel: week 2: God, Eternal and Loving Creator

We are in week two of our study, Walking Through the Gospel. Last week we talked about the Bible- and why we believe it, and this week we get to talk about our God, the Creator of the universe.

Does that make you feel crazy excited? It does me! :D

{side note: isn't it just completely amazing that we get to study God publicly? We are so blessed to have the freedom to just talk about Him and read about Him- no censors, no fear of being caught. Ahhh! Thank you Lord!}

The deity of God is at the heart of everything we believe. {deity meaning He the ultimate king of everything- the one who can control all things.}

It's important to know who He is- it shapes every part of what we believe. For instance, if we believe that he just created the world and left it alone {as some do}, then we would think that He didn't control each day of our lives- we would have to believe that everything would happen randomly, because God left it to it's own.

Instead, it is a comfort to know that He is over all things, because nothing happens outside of His control- every detail is under His care. Isn't that awesome?

So who is God?

1.  He is the creator of all things.

The very first chapter of the Bible tells us of the world being created by the very words of God. He simply spoke and brought everything- the heavens, earth, water, light, night, day, animals, plants and trees- into existence. He brought all of the world into being in six days.

He formed man in His own image- which means that He made man to be a reasoning, emotional being with a will unlike any other creature on the earth.

Genesis 1:
26Then God said, “Let us make manh in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

28And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

2. He is ruler of all things.

God knows everything and is present over all His creation at all times- it's what we call omniscience, and omnipresence. He is over all things.

I love the way the Psalm says it best:

Psalm 103:19
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

There is one God who rules the universe. His kingdom rules over all, and His throne is in the heavens.

1 Corinthians 8:6
6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Again, there in 1 Corinthians, it tells us again of the story of creation- there is one God, our Father, from whom are all things. He brought everything into existence- and knows everything. And because He created us, it is for Him and His purpose that we exist.

3. He is Father.

In the verse above, He is called father. He is referred to as "father" many, many times in the Bible.

This is important to catch. As we looked at Genesis 1, you might have noticed He said "let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

This "our" is what we call the Trinity. When He says "our" image, God is referring to Himself, His Son, and His Holy Spirit- what we know of as God existing in three persons. They are one, together.

This is understandably hard to wrap your mind around. I have believed for 25 years, and it's still so much bigger than I can understand. :) God exists in three persons- each of which we will talk about in detail over the next few weeks individually, but let's say for now that God is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and the Holy Spirit is like the divine agent, and they work together with one will.

Keeping what we call the Trinity in mind, we call God the Father because we are His children. Jesus referred to Him as Father countless times in the New Testament, and even told us to pray to Him as Father:

Matthew 6:
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.a

10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,b
on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,c
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.d

The fact that we are His children and He is our Father makes our relationship with God so different. Did you see in verse 8 that He knows all things before you ask Him? That's the provision of the Father- He cares for us, and knows our needs! He is our loving provider of all things.

Matthew 6:
31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

4. He is love.

Our Father provides for His children, because He is full of love, goodness, mercy, and grace.

Psalm 145:
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

The Bible is filled with descriptions of God, and the more we study, the more we can learn about His nature. He is only good, and can do no evil. His mercy is everlasting- which means that it does not run out. He is the epitome of love.

1 John 4:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

His ultimate love was shown through {or made manifest by} Him sending His Son to die for our sins.

Ahh, there's so much there!! But He loves us so dearly, so very dearly, that He gave up His Son to be crucified on a cross that we might live instead of die apart from Him!

Oh, isn't that amazing????

5. He is eternal.

He has always been, and will always be. This is another incredible thing that humans cannot fully understand. Eternity is a hard thing for us to grasp, but my favorite imperfect illustration that kind of gives you an idea is this:

Imagine you stretched out a string across an entire football field. Go to the center of it and find one atom, and that's the span of our life in view of eternity. God has existed for more than the football field before and after our little atom.

Psalm 90:
Lord, you have been our dwelling placea
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”b
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

and His goodness has been as long as He has:
Psalm 100:6

For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Ahh, isn't that amazing? God, the Creator of the universe, loves and cares for you- His love endures forever, and His provision for us far exceeds what we can ever imagine.

He LOVES you. 

He loves YOU!

And that's the best news we could ever hear!! Oh, we don't deserve His wonderful love, and He gives it to us anyway! Thank you, thank you Lord, for your love. We bless your name, oh creator, and giver of all things! :D


So, tell me, does knowing who God is change the way you live your life each day?


next week:
Man, Sin, and the Fall
you can download the study guide to prepare for next week

previous posts in the walking through the gospel series:

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