5. Theology Proper—The Study of God: His Character and Ways
All Christians look forward to the day—or at least they ought to—when faith will give way to sight and we will see Christ personally (1 John 3:2-3). But what about the “hear-and-now”? Well the truth of the matter is that God has given us a taste of heaven and his presence now. The shame of it all is that we don’t recognize this truth as often as we ought to. This article is meant to encourage you to draw near to God and experience the future now! This is exactly what Paul hoped his Roman audience would enjoy, and by extension, us too! The article discusses the issue of justification in 5:1 as well as the concept of peace and what that really means. The bulk of the article deals with rejoicing in tribulation and the perseverance, character, and hope which flow from such experiences.
1. In 5:1, the apostle talks about justification. How does this state come about and what does he mean by “having been justified….?”
2. What does Paul mean by “peace”?
3. In what sense is our experience of God through our Lord Jesus Christ?
4. What does God develop in us during trials? How important, then, is character to spiritual experience?
5. What is the image behind the “pouring out” language of 5:5? How does this keep us from becoming disappointed?
The Article: Survey of Bible Doctrine: God
This article is an outline-survey of basic truths relating to theology proper and a biblical understanding of God. The article surveys general and special revelation and the important difference that exists between the two. The traditional arguments advanced for the existence of God are covered as well. We want to introduce you to these arguments since you will undoubtedly not go too far in your studies before you run into them. The traditional Reformed method of distinguishing the attributes of God based on those which are communicable and those which are incommunicable is followed in this survey. Some important names of God are discussed as well as the important doctrine of the Trinity.
1. What are the two avenues of revelation according to Scripture? How are they similar? Different?
2. According to Romans 1:19-23 how do men typically treat the revelation God gives them through nature? What is the result?
3. What are four arguments for the existence of God? How do they relate to each other?
4. What does communicable and incommunicable mean in reference to the attributes of God? Do you like this categorization? Why or why not?
5. What are some of God’s names? What is the function of a name? Describe the Trinity: What do we mean by “three-in-oneness”?