Our Great and Awesome God: “I Am the Lord, That Is My Name”
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28)
Meditation: Who Are You, Lord?
The Example of Paul in Acts 22:8, 10
1. Read Acts 21:1-22:21. Where is Paul and what is happening?
2. After his encounter with the risen Christ, what two questions did Paul ask (see Acts 22:8, 10)? The first part of this lesson focuses on the first question and the second part focuses on the second question.
God Loves You
1. Read 1 John 4:8. What does John say about the essential nature of God?
2. What’s wrong with reversing John’s statement in 1 John 4:8 and saying that “love is God”?
3. What do the following verses teach us about the love of God?
a. 1 John 4:10
b. Isaiah 49:15-16 (cf. Exodus 28:9-12)
c. Ephesians 1:4-5, 2:4-5
d. Romans 8:38-39
Our God is a Holy God
1. Read Isaiah 6:1-6. What did Isaiah see in 6:1-2?
2. How were the Seraphs in v. 3 referring to God?
3. What did Isaiah experience in v. 5? What did God do through the Seraphs in vv. 6-7?
4. What is the testimony of the Psalmist in Psalm 99:9?
5. What did Peter say about God in 1 Peter 1:15-16? What OT passage is he using to make his point?
6. One of Isaiah’s favorite titles for God concerns God’s holiness. Read Isaiah 1:4; 12:6; 41:20, etc. Isaiah refers to God this way over twenty five times. What is the title and what do these verses teach you about God’s holiness?
7. Why is it important that we as individuals, and the church as a whole, not lose sight of the holiness of God? Why is it critical for our spiritual and moral lives that we learn to esteem God as holy and one who hates sin?
8. Why is it important to keep both the love of God and the holiness of God in the proper tension? How does the cross relate to both God’s love and his holiness?
Our God Is A Trinity
1. Read Ephesians 1:2. How does Paul refer to the Father?
2. Read Titus 2:13. How does Paul refer to Jesus (cf. Philippians 2:6)?
3. Read Acts 5:3, 5. How does Peter refer to the Holy Spirit?
4. Read Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29. According to these texts, how many Gods are there?
5. What can you conclude from the Biblical evidence about God? Answer: He is numerically one, but subsists as three distinct persons. He is One in essence (i.e., all members of the Trinity possess the attributes of deity), three in subsistence (there are three distinct persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). We will look at this in greater detail in coming lessons. In summary, then, we can say that the Bible does not support tri-theism (three different gods) nor does it support modalism (one God in three different forms), but it supports trinitarianism: three persons in One Godhead. Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and note the Trinitarian nature of God’s saving acts.
He Is Always at Work in Your Life
1. Read John 5:17. In terms of bringing salvation to people and setting them free from sin, what did Jesus say about his father and himself? Does this give you comfort?
2. How does Paul in Romans 8:28 echo the teachings of Jesus in John 5:17? Meditate on each word in Romans 8:28 and then thank God for his unceasing commitment to you.
Meditation: What Would You Have Me Do, Lord?
In this lesson we learned that our God is loving and holy. He loves people, but he hates sin. We have also seen that God is a trinity of persons, all of whom are rightly to be regarded as deity or God. The psalmist said, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise. No one can fathom your greatness” (Psalm 145:3). We should respond in the same way that Isaiah responded, by falling down on our knees and worshipping God (cf. also Romans 11:33-36)!
How does the fact that God is loving and holy help you to trust him implicitly? How does his love relate to the difficult things he brings into your life? How does his holiness relate to his truthfulness about who he is and what he says he’ll do? How does it relate to who he says we are and his plan for us?
Now that you have studied God’s love and holiness, what does it mean for you to obey God in every area of your life? How is obedience related to trust (discussed above)?
Read 1 John 2:5. How do we express our love to God? How does this relate to 1 John 2:15-16?
The primary focus of our worship and love to God is to grow in holiness. Read 1 Peter 1:15-16 again. Then read Hebrews 12:14 and 2 Corinthians 7:1. What does it mean to be holy and how does that relate to being loving? Why is it important to be holy according to Hebrews 13:14?
Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. How did God’s love for Paul affect him? According to 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, what did he do (cf. Rom 1:16)?