porter barrington bible study
God – Lesson 2
The Bible reveals God as the only infinite and Eternal Being, having no beginning and no ending.
He is the Supreme Personal Intelligence, and Righteous Ruler of His universe. He is life, and therefore, the only source of life (John 5:26).
Man is natural and cannot know God by wisdom (Job 11:7). God is a person and can be known only by revelation. In the Old Testament He revealed Himself to and through His prophets? In the New Testament He reveals Himself through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3)
- The existence of God (Hebrews 11:6): 6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
a) The Bible nowhere attempts to prove or argue the existence of God. “For he that comes to God must believe that he is.”
b) The existence of God as a fact taken for granted by the writers of both the Old and New Testaments. “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible opens by announcing the sublime fact of God and His existence. There are arguments for the existence of God; they are not conclusive but are food for thought
c) Universal belief in God comes from within man. It is innate in man, and comes from rational intuition.
i) The argument from “cause and effect.” Everything that began owes its existence to a cause. We have a watch; we must have a watchmaker. We have a building; we must have a builder. We have creation; we must have a creator. This creation could not have come into existence without an intelligent, personal creator, any more than the alphabet could produce a book without an author.
ii) The argument from anthropology. Man’s moral and intellectual nature argues for a moral and intellectual creator. The Bible and the Christ that it reveals; His virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death and His bodily resurrection – all of this and much, much more – argue for the existence of God.
2. The Bible reveals God as personality. He is called “the living and true God” – One possessing self consciousness and self-determination. His personality is shown in what He does, such as:
a) God loves. “God so loved the world” (John 3:16)
b) God hates. “These six things the Lord hates” (Prov 6:16 OT)
c) God cares. “He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)
d) God grieves. “He was grieved in His heart” (Gen. 6:6 OT)
Only a personality can love, hate, care and grieve; therefore God must be a living, eternal and personal being.
3. The Nature of God (I John 4:8): 8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God is described 4 ways in the Bible. Since God cannot be defined, they are incomplete. However, they do throw light upon the nature of God. They are:
a) “God is love” (I John 4:8). This is the nature of God in His divine compassion.
b) ”God is light” (1 John 1:5). The nature of God’s divine character; there is no darkness in Him.
c) “God is consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). This is the nature of God in His divine holiness.
d) “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). This is the nature of God in His divine essence.
4. The attributes of God reveal His nature. Do not think of His attributes as abstract, but as vital mediums through which His holy nature in unveiled – attributes ascribed to Him, such as:
a) Life is ascribed to God (John 5:26).
b) All knowledge is ascribed to God (Psalm 147:5).
c) All power is ascribed to God (Revelation 19:6).
d) Filling the universe with His presence is ascribed to God (Psalm 139:7-10).
God is everywhere but not in everything. If God were in everything, man could worship any object and he would be worshipping God. God is spirit. (John 4:24)
5. Grace is the love and mercy of God in action. Mercy is negative, and love is positive; both together mean grace. To show mercy in love is grace. God showed mercy in love when He sent His Son to bear our sins in His own body on the cross (John 3:16).
a) The grace of God saves forever (Romans 8:38, 39).
b) The grace of God is unconditional; that is, we are not saved if we “hold out unto the end”, or “fail not” or “do our best.” We are saved by the grace of God, apart from works.(Ephesians 2:8,9)
c) The grace of God is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
d) The grace of God makes no discrimination (Revelation 22:17).
e) The grace of God justifies (Romans 3:23, 24).
f) The grace of God makes every believer an heir (Titus 3:7).
g) The grace of God teaches the believer how to live (Titus 2:11, 12).
h) The grace of God is nothing less than the unlimited love of God expressed in the gift of His Son, our Savior. It is the undeserved love of God toward sinners.
6. The Trinity of God (Matthew 3:16, 17): 16) “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17) And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
By the Trinity of God we mean His tri-personal existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons in one God.
a) The Father is recognized as God (1 Peter 1:2) and is all the fullness of the Godhead (John 1:18).
b) The Son is recognized as God (Hebrews 1:8 – and is all the fullness of the Godhead in the flesh (John 1:14).
c) The Holy Spirit is recognized as God (Acts 5:3,4) and is all the fullness of the Godhead acting upon man, convicting him of sin (John 16:7-11) and guiding the believer into all truth (John 16:12- 15).
d) The doctrine of the Trinity is not explained in the Old Testament, but is rather implied, (Genesis 1:26).
e) The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in the New Testament. In verses 16 and 17, we have Christ being baptized in water, the Father speaking from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. We are to baptize in the “name (not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
Even creation implies the doctrine of the Trinity.
a) In creation, we have space, matter, and time in one creation.
b) In space, we have length, width, and height in one space.
c) In matter, we have energy, motion, and phenomenon in one substance.
d) In time, we have past, present, and future in one time.
e) In man, we have body, soul, and spirit in one man (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
f) In the Holy Trinity, we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one God.