BIBLE STUDY GUIDES

LESSON 6 - The attributes of God

In our lesson this week we look at some of the attributes of God.

We can do no more than take a quick glance at some of His qualities.

The knowledge of God is ". . . . as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." (Job 11:8-9) Yet in spite of the fact that we can never "find out the almighty unto perfection" (Job 11:7) Yet it is our privilege and our duty to find out as much about God as He has revealed about Himself. This is an absolute necessity for we can only develop a relationship with God as we learn to love and trust Him. Yet, how can we trust somebody when we do not know the kind of person he is? Would a woman be willing to marry a man if she doubted that he would be able to take care of her and of any children they might have? In a similar way, millions of people in the world have no confidence in God and will not place their trust in Him because they do not know, or do not believe that He is able or willing to help them in their particular situation. Ignorance of God in every case is the reason for unbelief and the corresponding ungodliness which prevails in the church and the world.

            

Part 1: Omnipotence

                                                                                               

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. (Isa 40:26)

"God calls upon men to see Him in the wonders of the heavens. "Lift up your eyes on high," He says, "and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might," Isaiah 40:26. God would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God's love and care and power." _ Counsels to Teachers, p.456

 

What event in the time of Joshua illustrated God's power over the forces of nature? Joshua 10:12,13

"This mighty miracle testifies that the creation is under the control of the Creator. Satan seeks to conceal from men the divine agency in the physical world--to keep out of sight the unwearied working of the first great cause. In this miracle all who exalt nature above the God of nature stand rebuked. "At His own will God summons the forces of nature to overthrow the might of His enemies--"fire, and hail; snow, and vapor; stormy wind fulfilling His word." Psalm 148:8. When the heathen Amorites had set themselves to resist His purposes, God interposed, casting down "great stones from heaven" upon the enemies of Israel. We are told of a greater battle to take place in the closing scenes of earth's history, when "Jehovah hath opened His armory, and hath brought forth the weapons of His indignation." Jeremiah 50:25. "Hast thou," he inquires, "entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?" Job 38:22, 23. _ Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 509

 

What truth concerning God's power did Jesus seek to impress upon His disciples? Matt. 19:26

"There are miracles to be wrought in genuine conversion, miracles that are not now discerned. The greatest men of the earth are not beyond the power of a wonder-working God. If those who are workers together with Him will be men of opportunity, doing their duty bravely and faithfully, God will convert men who occupy responsible places, men of intellect and influence. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, many will accept the divine principles. . . ." _ Lift Him Up, p.293                   

           

Key Thought

Since all power belongs to God I may safely place myself in His care, concerning myself only with trusting and obeying Him in all things.                    

                                                                                               

Part 2: Eternity

                                                                                               

For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. (Deut 32:40)

One of the outstanding attributes of the true God is that He lives forever. He has always existed and He always will. No doubt we have all considered the question, especially when we were children, "where did God come from?"

Today, as adults we know that this is a vain question. God was always there. This is something which we are not required to understand, and it is unlikely that we could understand even if it were explained to us. However, it is the great truth which gives stability and patience and purpose to our existence because we realize that since we are dealing with a Being such as this, nothing that is of earth can nullify with His purposes for our lives. Though we may have to wait paitently for the fulfillment of His promises, they will surely be fulfilled and since our lives are a part of His life, we can afford to wait until He sees fit to bring them to pass. Is Christ as old as God the Father? In other words has He always existed? Did He ever have a beginning? Prov. 8:22-30 The Scriptures declare that Christ is "the only begotten son of God." He is begotten, not created. As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if we were told.

The prophet Micah tells us all that we can know about it in these words, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin.

“There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning." _ Christ and His Righteousness - Is Christ a Created Being? by E.J. Waggoner

 

What truth concerning God's existence do heavenly beings continually keep in mind? Rev. 4:8

The eternity of God is brought out in several different ways in the Bible. In the book of Revelation the heavenly beings speak of Him as the One who "was and is and is to come," the One who exists in the past, the present and the future. This is a title which is used exclusively with reference to God, the One seated on the throne and suggests that in the sense of absolute eternity, only the One seated on the throne has always been in existence. Please read Revelation 1:4,5 and you will see that this title is used with reference to God the Father as opposed to Jesus Christ, as well as the "seven spirits which are before the throne.                     

                                                                                               

Key Thought                                                                         

           

Through faith in the Son of God men may obtain a life which measures with the life of God.                        

                                   

Part 3: Infinitude

                                                                                               

Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jer 23:23-24)

The word "infinite" refers to a condition in which there are absolutely no limits. We often use this word because it is a part of our vocabulary. However, it is only when it is used with reference to God that this word may be used accurately because all things are limited in some way, with the exception of God. In His wisdom, His power, His knowledge, God has absolutely no limits. This concept is truly an awesome one but all that we have learned about God compels us to acknowledge that it is true.

How did the apostle Paul express the infinitude of God's nature and being? Acts 17:27,28

Paul attempted to impress on the minds of the Athenians the fact that God was not difficult to find. They had no reason for thinking that He was unavailable or that getting to know Him would be a difficult process because, He was not far from "every one of us." "In Him we live and move and have our being." This is an interesting phrase and especially in light of the point Paul was trying to make. How can we be said to live in God? How can we be said to move in God? A fear of pantheism has led some to deny the fact that God is Himself present in all places. However, while pantheism teaches that everything is a part of God, the Bible teaches that God is present in all places. In other words, there is no place where we can go that God is not there. This does not mean that we worship places and things because God is present, but rather, that we can worship God and recognize His presence no matter where we may be. With what words did king Solomon reveal the truth that God is a being without limits? 1 Kings 8:27 God promised Solomon wisdom above any who were before him or who would come after him. (1 Kings 3:12). Undoubtedly his statement concerning the infinity of God was a revelation of the wisdom which God had bestowed upon him. Solomon's declaration that "the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee" was a revolutionary declaration in those days when many of the Israelites worshipped a severely limited God who was only accessible to them in the temple at Jerusalem. Solomon recognized that God, the Person was limitless in every respect and that though He chose to reveal, or manifest His presence in various places, in reality, He was literally present everywhere.               

                                                                                               

Key Thought

In serving a God who is infinite I have the assurance that my little problems are of little consequence; I may be contented in all circumstances.              

                       

Part 4: Self-existence

                                                                                               

For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (John 5:26)

"In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality, the life which is exclusively the property of God. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life. Physical life is something which each individual receives. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Life-giver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. "I lay it down of myself" (John 10: 18), He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as His personal Saviour. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). This is the open fountain of life for the world." _ Selected Messages, bk.1, p.296-7

 

How does the first verse of the Bible emphasize God's self-existence? Genesis 1:1

The Bible tells us simply that in the beginning God created all things. The minds of men have vainly sought to search into the question, "what was there before the beginning." The only possible answer is, "before the beginning there was God." All things came from God and all things exist by the power of God, but God Himself has no source, no origin, no beginning. God is, and that is all that we can really say on the matter. By what revealing name did the angel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, identify Himself to Moses? Exodus 3:14 When Jesus, the "angel of the Lord" appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He came as the representative of His Father, the Almighty God. He came with the authority of the Father and revealed to Moses God's name of Jehovah, or Yahweh. This name is loosely translated to mean, "I AM," and suggests the self-existence of the God to whom it applies. What could God say to explain Himself to humanity? How could He explain His existence? Before this awesome God man must bow in humility and confess his nothingness. All that we can understand concerning the existence of God is revealed in the name by which He made Himself known to Moses. He is the great I AM. He is and that is the end of the matter. All things in the infinite universe have a source, had a beginning. But of God, it can only be said that He is.                    

                                                                                               

Key Thought

Pride cannot remain in the heart of the one who recognizes the greatness of God and sees his littleness by comparison.                      

                       

Part 5: Immutability

                                                                                               

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Mal 3:6)

Because God is absolutely perfect, He cannot change. If God were to change, then He would have to change from a state of perfection to a state of imperfection. It is easy to understand then, why the Bible insists in many places that God is a Being who is immutable, that is, a Being who cannot change. This means that we can always depend on His mercy, His justice, His love, His concern etc. We do not have to concern ourselves with the question, "I wonder if God is in a bad mood or a good mood today?" or, "I wonder if God still loves me?" We may always be absolutely sure of where westand with God, because His word clearly reveals the kind of Person that He is, and this never changes. In spite of his rebellion against God, what characteristic of God was well known to Balaam? Num. 23:19 Balaam knew that in spite of Balak's persistence and in spite of His (Balaam's) own intense desire to receive Balak's reward, God could not be bribed, pleaded with or in any way persuaded to change His principles. What He had said was what He would do. He had blessed Israel and He would not reverse it.

 

What certainty may we embrace as we seek salvation through Christ? Heb. 13:8

"With the continual change of circumstances, changes come in our experience; and by these changes we are either elated or depressed. But the change of circumstances has no power to change God's relation to us. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and He asks us to have unquestioning confidence in His love." _ In Heavenly Places, p.120

"Jesus has not changed. With Him there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still loves and pities the erring, seeking to draw them to Himself, that He may give them divine aid. He knows that a demon power is struggling for the control of every soul striving for the mastery; but Jesus came to break the power of Satan, and to set the captives free. He will provide strength from above, that we may see and resist the temptations of the enemy. Through communion with God we may have divine discernment; but Satan ever seeks to hinder men from engaging in prayer. He seeks to fill their time with business or pleasure, or to lead them into such evil that they will have no desire to pray." _ Bible Echo, March 1, 1893              

                                                                                               

Key Thought                                                             

Those who become like Christ will also become, like Him, unchangeable in their principles and approach to life.                

                                   

Part 6: Self-Sufficiency

                                                                                               

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Rom 11:34-36)

God has no dependence on any being in the universe. He does not need any creature or thing in order to survive. We cannot advise Him, counsel Him or convince Him of a wiser course. He Himself is the source of all wisdom and power. In Himself He has all that He needs. All depend on Him for ALL things, but He Himself depends on no one.

What declaration of God emphasizes the fact that He needs nothing from any creature in the universe? Ps. 50:12

Many primitive religions and unfortunately, even the Jews to a great extent, had the idea that the sacrifices which they offered to God were for the purpose of appeasing Him. They had the feeling that He had a need for the flesh and blood of animals, for the smell of the incense, for their offerings of money, and as a result, they came to believe that in offering these things they were really helping God and doing Him a favour. It is this kind of attitude which leads to self-righteousness in our religion. Men are led to think that God needs them and that because they "help" God (whether by their works or their gifts), then this makes them good and brings them into favour with God. However, as we recognize that everything belongs to God, then we will recognize our utter dependence on Him and our complete nothingness and insufficiency. This is the only safe attitude which a Christian may take.

What is the only appropriate gift to give to our God who Himself is the possessor of all things? Ps. 116: 12,13; 1 Chr 29:14

David recognized what many today fail to recognize. All that we can do to please God really is to take what He gives to us. We cannot really give to the one who owns and posseses all things, but we may show our need of Him by humbly taking the salvation which He offers to us. In fact, this is the only thing which will please God for it is only in this relationship with God that we will recognize His total claim on our lives and return His gifts to Him with a truly grateful and honest heart. We can never really give anything to God. All things come from Him and belong to Him by right. However, we may acknowledge His ownership and reveal our love and appreciation for Him by voluntarily returning to Him that which He has placed in our hands.             

Key Thought                                                                         

We can give nothing to God. All we can really do is show appreciation for what He has given to us.  


Restoration Ministries

Restoration Ministries is dedicated to the promotion of the truths contained in the word of God. In particular to the restoration of those truths which have been cast down to the ground and trampled underfoot by the papacy, and adopted by her daughters.

Our purpose is to motivate men and women to commit themselves wholly to the task of personal preparation for the coming of the Lord, and to the taking of the final warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Website: www.restorationministry.com

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