I can't bear the thought of having been before you preaching the Word of God, pointing you to Christ, and then only to see that you're not in heaven with the rest of us when that day comes.
I don't want that! Ask someone on the street who God is and you're likely to get all sorts of ideas that are frankly made up out of thin air. Meanwhile, what he has actually told us about himself in his word goes unnoticed.
Such is the state of spiritual darkness in the world. But on this edition of the Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green lets the Lord speak for himself through Scripture as we conclude a message titled simply, Who is God? Hi, I'm Bill Wright. Today's lesson is part of a larger series titled Key Questions Answered, in which Don is tackling many of the big questions of our faith. Last time Don showed us that God is an eternal spirit, that he is creator of heaven and earth, and that he is great. Today we'll get three more sub points that underscore the greatness of our Lord.
So have your Bible handy as we join Don now, teaching God's people God's Word in the Truth Pulpit. So who is God? We've said that he's an eternal spirit, and that's totally foreign to our being. He's the creator of heaven and earth. He established the worlds before we, as a race, existed.
He's great! Well I want to help you think about God's greatness with three sub points here. First of all, God is omnipotent. In what way is God great? Well, first of all, he is omnipotent, by which we mean that he is all-powerful, by which we mean that he has the power to do whatever he pleases. It's not that God can do absolutely anything because God cannot lie, Titus 1-2 tells us.
He could never contradict his own promises. He has the power to do and to implement whatever he pleases, is what the doctrine of omnipotence means rightly understood. Jeremiah 32 verse 17 says this, Ah Lord God, behold you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm.
Nothing is too difficult for you. God overthrows nations. He raised Christ from the dead. He will banish the supernatural devil into perdition forever. He will bring an end to this present age and usher in a new heavens and earth.
Huh! He's so powerful, he is so great and mighty, that if you're a Christian, he overcame your stubborn rebellion against him and turned you into a lover of Christ. That's power! He pulled back the blinders from your self-deception and showed you the truth. He did a work in your heart that changed it from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. That's power!
That's greatness! God is great, by which we mean he's omnipotent. Secondly, God is omniscient. God is omniscient, omni, all, knowledge. God knows all things past, present, and future.
He can do that because he appointed the end from the beginning. He sustains the universe with wisdom. He has solutions to every problem and in a way that is totally unsettling, Scripture says that he knows our inner man. Turn over to Psalm 139. Psalm 139.
You see, you can talk about the greatness of God on this macro scale that we've been talking about at this level of the universe and the orbits of the heavenly bodies, and that's one level of greatness and power and majesty. But then you realize as you continue reading on in Scripture that it goes to this micro level of knowing us in perfect intimacy as well. We see that in the first four verses of Psalm 139.
Look at them with me. Psalm 139 verse 1. Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down and you are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, oh Lord, you know it all. When I was a new Christian and I first read that verse four, even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, oh Lord, you know it all, I started to talk real fast in case I could get just a little bit ahead of it.
That's totally useless. Look at that, beloved. He is intimately acquainted with all your ways. Before there is a word on your tongue, he knows it all.
He knows everything about you. For those of you that are earnestly seeking to walk with Christ and sometimes falter, God sees the big picture and is gracious toward that. Christian, God knows the worst about you and still loves you and still sent Christ to redeem you from some of the dark things that none of us would even want to hear about. God knew it all and still sent Christ to save you. How vast must his mercy be if he knows the worst about you and still sent Christ to redeem you.
He's intimately acquainted with all your ways. Your salvation could never have been about you meeting a standard because God knows you never met it to begin with. That's why he sent Christ, to be a substitute who would meet the standard on your behalf and shed his blood to take away the penalty of that which you had broken. Beloved, take heart in this omniscience of God knowing that he understands, he knows the best about you even when men reject you and misrepresent you. This is the refuge of our heart.
It's in his power, it's in his omniscience. We rest in that in the midst of a world that misjudges us and in a world where we have transgressed the command of God ourselves. When you hear truth like this, it becomes your responsibility to respond in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. The accountability that you have for hearing this truth is too vast, it's too great. People think, people think that the worst, hottest places of hell are going to be reserved for mass murders and child abusers and all of that. That's not true.
That is not true. Scripture says that the most severe punishment will be, Hebrews 10 29, for those who trampled underfoot the Son of God and regarded as unclean the blood of the Covenant and insulted the Spirit of Grace. The worst punishment is going to be for those of you that heard the gospel with clarity and turned away and rejected it. The guilt of that is incalculable to have the forgiveness of your sins laid out before you. The gracious tender call of Christ to come to me for salvation and for you to say, no that's not worthy of my time and attention.
No, I will go on my own way. That kind of guilt is incalculable. And those of you that are here today rejecting Christ, indifferent to the claims of the gospel, the greatest guilt in the universe is on your soul right now. I fear for you. I worry about you. My soul weeps over you and prays for you.
Some of you don't care. I can't, I can't calculate that. You see in the omniscience of God he knows there there's no secrets before him. He's great. He's omnipotent. He's omniscient. Thirdly, God is omnipresent. You should still be in Psalm 139. Psalm 139. God is omnipresent.
He is everywhere present in his creation even though he's separate and distinct from it. Psalm 139 verse 7. Where can I go from your spirit or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven you are there.
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold you are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there your hand will lead me and your right hand will lay hold of me. God is present. Our communion with God transcends physical boundaries. He is equally present at church, work, home, land, and sea. There's no place that we can go where God is not.
Christian, though your friends and family may reject you, you're never alone. David took Psalm 23, one of the great statements in all of Scripture is based on the omnipresence of God. David said in Psalm 23 verse 4, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil.
Why? For you're with me. You are right there with me, O God, so that even death doesn't frighten me. Even the hostility of man doesn't deter me. That's where the omnipresence of God takes you. God, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, these attributes which we have not given justice to, teach us that God is sovereign. God has the independence and the power to do as he pleases. He controls his creation so that his will is perfectly accomplished in all things.
His greatness drives us to worship, but his greatness does something else for us. Imagine, if you will, imagine that this great God with all power, all knowledge, and all presence, imagine if he was different than what he is. Imagine if he was someone capricious and arbitrary and hostile toward us. What then? That would drive us to utter despair.
That would drive a thinking man to suicide. If that were true, there's just no way to reconcile yourself to that kind of power, except for our final point this morning, which just adds another infinite, exponentially magnificent aspect to the character of God. We've said that he's an eternal spirit, and that's totally foreign to our being. He's the creator of heaven and earth. He established the worlds before we, as a race, existed.
He's great! And yet, point number four, God is good. God is good. For all that he is, all of the divine prerogative that he would have and do whatever he wanted to, the character of God is good. Yeah, God's greatness would cause us despair if he were harsh and vindictive, but God is good.
We could discuss many attributes. We could and should talk about his truth and his mercy and his grace, but I'm just gonna mention two aspects of the goodness of God as we wrap this up. First of all, God is love. God is love.
And when the Bible speaks of God's love, it's not talking about a sentimental, emotion, Hallmark greeting card kind of thing. God's love means that he works for the highest good of those upon whom he sets his affection. And you could look at so much scripture about this, but the thing that brings it into crystal-clear focus is found in 1st John chapter 4. What do we mean when we say that God is love? Well, 1st John chapter 4 is what we want to use to define that for us. 1st John chapter 4. What is the love of God?
How can we best define it? Well, praise be to God, we don't have to speculate. He's given it to us straight in his Word. He tells us where he wants us to go when we think about the love of God, and it's not about favorable earthly circumstances. That is virtually irrelevant compared especially to the glory of what we see here in 1st John chapter 4 verse 7. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this, here we go, he's getting specific now, by this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent his only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Verse 19, we love because he first loved us. What's the love of God?
Go to Calvary. See the Son of God sacrificing himself for your sins and mine, and see the preeminent display of the love of God. God's love is seen in the while we were still sinners, Christ hung on a cross to redeem us, to redeem everyone who would ever trustingly, savingly believe in him. The Son of God, God himself, this eternal spirit took on human flesh. What? To compel by force greater worship? No.
Did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. You know what that is, beloved? That's good.
That's the best. That such a sovereign God would love to the point of self-sacrifice on a cross for guilty sinners like you and like me. You know, you know, think with me for a minute. Everything that we've discussed here today is unsearchably great. It is incomprehensibly magnificent. That God is an eternal spirit is beyond our comprehension, and it's great. It's truly, truly great and awesome. The fact that he's the creator of heaven and earth is great.
I mean, it's just beyond our capacity to comprehend. The fact that he's great is great. All-powerful, all present, all-knowing, that's great.
I don't mean great because it's good for me. I mean that that's just great. That's unsearchable, how great that is. And then you come and you realize that you haven't even begun to exhaust his goodness with what we've already said. His goodness is unsearchably great. That great God loved us and took on human flesh and sacrificed his own life for our redemption. Everything about the answer to the question, who is God, is completely humbling, isn't it?
He's so much unlike us. That's humbling. And he was so good in our unworthiness to us and showed us this love. What is the love of God? It's Christ on a cross. That's the defining element of God's love for us, for you, for me. This is unsearchably great.
That manner of goodness, that manner of kindness, that manner of mercy that would give us eternally the joys of his presence, reconciliation to him, to be created to enjoy fellowship with and to see face to face this great God, that's just so good. That's just so good. You know how it goes in human circles. Some of you are guilty about this, in that you have things and you want to keep them to yourself.
You don't want to share them. God has all this glory and he's sharing it. He's welcoming us into the presence at the cost of his own life and blood.
You know, there just comes a point where you just run out of words. You can't adequately magnify that kind of greatness. You can't adequately magnify that kind of goodness. We're just lost in wonder, awe, and praise at the love of God. Finally, God is holy. God is good in his love. God is good in his holiness. Holiness has two senses. God is holy in the sense that he is set apart from everything else. Holiness also refers to his moral purity. He's so good that he's absolutely unstained by evil and sin.
Habakkuk 1 13 says, the prophet speaking to God says, your eyes are too pure to approve evil and you cannot look on wickedness with favor. And even his holiness has a direct impact on your life. 1st Peter chapter 1 says that that you are to be holy for he is holy. Because the standard of the perfect purity of God and his utter detestation of all evil is what we're to be like. The great pastor and theologian James Montgomery Boyce said this in this context, reflecting on the implications of the holiness of God for our own disposition and conduct. He said, and I quote, we must learn to hate sin or else we will learn to hate the God who requires a holy life from Christ's followers. End quote. The holiness of God means that we declare all-out war on that remaining indwelling sin in our lives.
It's not just to keep rules of conduct, it's tied in to the answer to the question that we're asking today. Who is God? He's holy. You know what? That means I need to be holy too. So who is God? Let's wrap it up here. God is an eternal spirit who is the creator of heaven and earth.
He is great and he is good. And if we were to walk out with a final point of application it would be this. The answer to the question who is God? The nature of God calls for reverence. Proverbs 1-7 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Do you fear him? Then stop wasting your life on sensual passions and trivial pursuits. Get serious. Examine yourself. In light of everything that we've said here, do you fear him? Let me tell you something.
Your life is the answer to that question. We do indeed serve a great and gracious God. He made heaven and earth and yet he still watches over his children one soul at a time.
It's amazing. Well we hope you'll plan now to be with us on our next broadcast as Don addresses the question of the Trinity. That's the next installment of our series, Key Questions Answered, here on the Truth Pulpit.
Right now Don's back here in studio with a few closing comments. Well friend I hope this message on the nature of God has brought you to a spirit of reverence in your heart. You know the Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and I would encourage you don't settle for a false substitute from teachers who just tell you what they think you want them to say. Search for the true God in his holy word and you'll find the fear of the Lord that leads you to wisdom and the knowledge of Christ. Well thank you Don and friend we invite you to visit thetruthpulpit.com where you'll find information about free CDs of any of Don's teaching and also a link to Don's Facebook page. Once more that's thetruthpulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright and we'll see you next time as Don Green continues to teach God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
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