50. Theology: The Doctrine of God
Purpose: A great deficit in Christian maturity is the simple fact that Christians don’t know doctrine. It is the purpose of these sessions under the heading of the doctrine of God to help you understand the fundamentals of doctrine. The beginning session is one that deals with the knowledge of God.
1. The disciple will learn that God is Spirit.
2. The disciple will learn that God is absolute in His being.
3. The disciple will understand that God has personality .
4. The disciple will see that God’s basic attribute is holiness and from this holiness flows His love, mercy and grace.
Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.
1. Discuss personal difficulties and sharing of prayer requests.
2. Discuss the topic, worksheet and questions.
3. Discuss new terms.
4. Mutual sharing of Scripture memory. Review memory work from previous sessions.
Theology is a system of the study of God and all that pertains to Him. The study of theology proper is a study of the existence and nature of God. Our study will be brief and will seek to acquaint you with basic concepts concerning the existence of God and His nature. It is not, of course, a complete study of His Person. Such a study would take enough books to fill the universe. But it is possible to know God and know about Him, and that is what this study is about.
I. The Existence of God
There are both natural and biblical approaches to the existence of God. Let's look first at some of the natural arguments. Read the verses that are listed and see if you can see what the argument for existence is.
A. Psalm 19:1
This verse teaches that ________________ shows us that God exists. We can therefore argue that since something exists, it must therefore have a ______________. The universe is an effect, which requires an adequate ______________ .
This is an argument from ______________ and ________________. It is called the cosmological argument.
B. Romans 1:18-20
As we look at the universe, we see systematic things about it that show more than simple cause and effect. See if you can identify from the verses above what this is. For instance what is "in" man?
What has God shown man?
A book has been written called Eternity in Their Hearts. This book, written by a missionary, suggests that all humanity possesses the knowledge of God in some form.
Genesis 1:27 says that God created man ____ _______ _______ ___________. Since man has a sense of what is moral—what is right and wrong, and because man is made in the image of God, it must be that God also must be moral and intelligent. These two arguments, teleological (divine purpose) and anthropological (from the nature of man), are arguments for His existence.
C. Let it be understood that the Scriptures both assume and argue the existence of God. But they do not set out to prove it.
II. The Nature of God
Definition: An attribute is something that makes God who He is. Some attributes are uniquely God’s and cannot be shared with other beings. Others, such as love can be possessed by humans. Let's look at some of the attributes of God.
A. Tri-personal Existence. What does this mean? "There is only one God Who in His unity, expresses Himself tri-personally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each member of the Godhead is coequal and one in sub-stance, but separate in subsistence."
B. Scriptural teaching.
1. From the Old Testament, there are intimations of this truth. Look at Genesis 1:1,2,26; and Isaiah 6:8. What are these?
2. Then from the New Testament, look up these verses and see how the tri-personal existence of God is taught.
a. John 6:27; Ephesians 4:6. How do these verses teach the deity of the Father?
b. Acts 5:3-4. Which person do these verses teach is God?
c. Hebrews 1:8; Romans 9:5. What do these verses lend to our understanding of the tri-personal existence of God?
d. What is taught in Matthew 28:19 about this subject?
C. God is not a man as we are men (as Mormons teach). The references in Scripture to eyes, arms, back, etc., are anthropomorphisms: words that are used to help human understanding, 2 Chronicles 7:14-16.
D. God is ___________________ , John 4:24. A basic quality of spirit life is seen in Luke 24:39.
What does this passage say about "spirit existence?"
III. The Classification of Attributes of God
For the purposes of this study, we have already said that an attribute is a characteristic of God. Some attributes are absolutes, meaning that they are attributable to Him and Him alone. None of these attributes are attributed to Satan, angels, or other created beings. Relative attributes, on the other hand, are shared to some extent with other beings. The following are attributes that are taught in Scripture.
A. Absolute attributes are those that cannot be communicated. These are characteristic of His very nature. An incommunicable ______________ is one that is related to the central nature of God. It involves Who He is.
1. God is_____________________, Psalm 90:2. What does this mean in your thinking?
2. God is ____________________, James 1:17. How is this to be harmonized with Genesis 6:6?
What personal implications for people is involved in this attribute of God?
3. God is ____________________, Psalm 139:7-12. What practical value is there for me in this truth?
4. Matthew 11:21 and 1 John 3:20 tell us that God is __________________. How is this truth helpful to me?
5. God is_________________, Revelation 19:6. This truth about the nature of God assures us that God is , 2 Chronicles 16:9.
B. Relative or personal attributes. Some of these are found in a limited or relative sense in man. But again, in an absolute sense, they are known only in God's character.
1. Central in the character of God is ________________, 1 John 1:5. What does Habakkuk 1:13, Leviticus 20:26 and 1 Peter 1:1 say that supports this truth?
All else that God is to us as His creatures must be consistent with absolute________________________. How is this illustrated in Romans 3:26 and 1 John 3:3?
2. Another relative attribute of God is ____________, Acts 17:31. What does Romans 2:11 say to elaborate this attribute?
Of what does this assure us? see 1 Corinthians 4:2-5.
3. Yet another characteristic of God is _____________________, Ephesians 2:4,5. Jeremiah 31:3 is an Old Testament verse that assures us of _____________.
4. John 14:6 records the statement that He is the way, the ___________ and the life. Romans 3:4 says that God is ____________ . What comfort is found for us in this reality?
List in order the attributes of God that we have considered in this session.
Which of these attributes of God is difficult for you to understand ? Why?
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. How are the attributes of God different from man's characteristics?
2. What, if anything, did Christ give up when He became a man?
3. What, if anything, did this do to the Trinity or triune existence of God?
4. React to this statement: "God is three Persons in one."
5. What comfort do you receive in the understanding that God is omnipresent?
6. If God is spirit, why does the Scripture refer to His eyes, arms, back, etc.?
7. What evidences exist for belief in a personal God?
Jehovah is our Creator who desires to have an intimate relationship with us. From this day, make a personal relationship with Him the chief goal of your life.
Related Topics: Discipleship