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Over the past year, the Lord has been growing, teaching, and challenging our family in so many ways! We are responding to the Lord's leading and are expanding our family through the adoption of a precious baby!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Knowing the Love of our Life - Attributes

Even though we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know TRUE things about God…
all that Scripture tells us about God is TRUE”[3]

Read Psalm 139
What does this passage reveal about who God is, His qualities and attributes? Psalm 139:17 – How precious are God’s thoughts to us? If they are so precious to us, would we not meditate on them day and night, just as we would if they were a love letter from our truest love? (Psalm 1, Psalm 119)

I’ve spoken of God’s “attributes”, but what are “attributes”? How do we confuse God’s attributes with the acts of God? Give examples. When speaking of God’s attributes, these are qualities that distinguish who God is, not what he does. However, God’s attributes (who God is) directly affects God’s actions. God’s attributes are true for all the Persons of the Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These differ from properties, things that each Person of the Trinity does. God’s attributes are permanent and intrinsic; they are inseparable from the being and essence of God.
“An attribute is true of ALL of God in ALL of His being” (Stan Norman). 

·        Incommunicable verses Communicable Attributes of God–
o       Incommunicable: We can’t “catch” these attributes, they are the attributes less shared by us (eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence)
o       Communicable: We can display and attain these attributes to an extent…not perfectly. (goodness, love, mercy, holiness, justice)

·        Sometimes people say that heaven sounds boring. How does the fact that God is incomprehensible, yet knowable help to answer that objection?[1]
Ø      Read David's words in Psalm 139:6 – we will never be able to know “too much” about God
- Thus, we will never tire in delighting in the discovery of more and more of His excellence  and the greatness of His works!
Ø      People think they will find out all of the unanswered questions and mysteries of the world and of God in heaven—is this really in accordance with God’s incomprehensible character?
Ø      Read Psalm 145:1-3
·        Do you want to go on knowing God more and more deeply for all eternity? Why/why not? Would you like sometime to be able to know God exhaustively? Why/why not?[2]

·        If God is incomprehensible and we will never know enough, shouldn’t we be continually growing (day-to-day, our entire lives) in our knowledge of God?

·        In view of knowing God, would you describe your present relationship to God a personal relationship?

·        How is it similar to your relationships with other people, and how is it different? What would make your relationship with God better?

Think about how well we think we "know" different people in the social media... whether it is a facebook/twitter/blogger friend, a celebrity/athlete, or a historical figure we've studied extensively. We have a far greater privilege than just knowing facts about who God is – we can speak to God in PRAYER, He Speaks to us through His WORD, We can commune with God in His PRESENCE, we can sing His praise, He dwells among us and within us to bless us (John 14:23)
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
24but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

Romans 11:33 Doxology
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom andi knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”j
35“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”k
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Join me over the next few weeks/months for a study on the attributes of God. Several of the attributes will include: God's unity, independence, constancy/unchangeable, eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, power, sovereignty, knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness, faithfulness, goodness, providence, holiness, wrath, love & mercy, righteousness & justice
Main resources include: Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem, Attributes of God, by A. W. Pink, Systematic Theology notes from my favorite professor, Dr. Stan Norman

[1] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 152.
[2] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 153.

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