God is Complex

Today’s Lesson

Read Genesis 1:2, Isaiah 55:11, Exodus 33:14 & 22

God has revealed Himself to be complex. Just as humans have hearts, brains, and limbs, God reveals that there are different parts to Himself. God is a spirit (John 4:24), nevertheless there is a part of God that is called the Holy Spirit (see Genesis 1:2). God’s word proceeds from God, carries out God’s will, and returns to God (see Isaiah 55:11). God’s presence (Exodus 33:14) and glory (Exodus 33:22) are also extensions of Himself.

The complexity of God is hardly comprehensible to us human beings, nevertheless God has chosen to reveal it to us in the Bible, and with good reason. The complexity God reveals about Himself is the foundation for what God would later reveal about Himself in the New Testament: that God is triune.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Why is it important that our understanding of God’s nature be completely based on what the Bible reveals about God’s nature?
  2. What do you understand about the doctrine of the Trinity?
  3. What Scriptures would you use to teach the doctrine of the Trinity?

Prayer Sample

Lord, you are marvellous! You exceed our understanding! How great you are! How beautiful you are! I praise you and worship you for who you are.

I humbly and meekly trust your word. I trust what you have revealed about yourself. Continue to teach me more about yourself so I can continue to praise you and fall in love with you. Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

 

God Is Love

Today’s Lesson

Read Isaiah 63:9 and 1 John 4:8.

The biblical statement God is love does not mean God is a feeling or a value. God is a person: a transcendent person, but nonetheless a person. What God is love means is that love is a dominant (if not the deminant) attribute of God.

People often have a difficult time believing that the God of the Bible is characterized by love. They resent that He has allowed suffering in the world and that He has dealt harshly with particular people groups (for example, the inhabitants of Sodom and Canaan).

We should consider, however, that God does not supsend his righteousness, holiness, and justice to bestow his love; in Him, love exists in harmony with these attributes. God is love; God is perfect love.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What is love? How do you define love?  How do you demonstrate love?
  2. Can you be angry with someone and yet love that person? Is it ever right for you to stop loving someone?
  3. How do love and justice contradict each other? How do love and justice harmonize with each other?
  4. Why is it important for us to remember that God is love? Why would God want us to know that He is love?

Sample Prayer

I believe you are love, God. I believe that love, righteousness, holiness, and justice exist in harmony in your own being, and that you keep them in proper balance, for you are perfect. I accept who you are, and I praise you for who you are.

Thank-you, Lord God, for shedding your love over me when I turned to Jesus Christ, your Son, whom you gave to humanity for love, to save us all from our sins so we would know that you love us with a boundless love (John 3:16).

Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

 

God Is Merciful

Today’s Lesson

Read Exodus 34:6 and Ezekiel 18:23.

God is merciful and gracious. Even though He punishes the wicked because God is holy and just, God would rather see all human beings repent so He would forgive them and grant them grace (1 Timothy 2:4).

In fact, God is so merciful, He has postponed judgement over all human beings so we all have time to repent (2 Peter 3:9). He has also undertaken the task of leading human beings unto repentence before the time of judgement is come (Romans 2:4).

God is merciful: He wants to forgive humanity (John 3:17).

Questions for Reflecion

  1. If God is merciful, why does He punish the wicked? Why does He require people to repent instead of forgiving them without requireing repentance?
  2. Does God’s mercy contradict His righteousness, holiness, and justice?
  3. Do you need God’s mercy and grace? Why do you need His mercy and grace?
  4. What is the difference between God’s mercy and God’s grace? How is God patient?

Sample Prayer

I thank you, Lord, for being patient and leading me to repentance. I thank you for being merciful to me and forgiving me my sins. I thank you for being gracious unto me and giving me salvation, even though I don’t deserve it.

I acknowledge Lord that you are merciful, gracious, and patient. I rejoice in you for it! Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

God Is Just

Today’s Message

Read Genesis 18:23-25, Deuteronomy 32:4, 41

God is just; God is a just judge. He punishes wickedness and puts an end to it. He renders unto humankind according to their works: the wicked He destroys, and the righteous He spares.

God judged the world with a flood (Genesis 6:17), He judged cities with fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:24), He drove out wicked nations before His people (Deuteronomy 18:12), He judged His own people (2 Kings 21:12), and He will judge every soul who ever lived (Daniel 12:2-3, Isaiah 45:23).

Questions for Reflection

Some people challenge the doctrine that God is just. What challenges do they present, and how would you respond to their challenges?

In the past, God judged the world, Sodom, the Canaanites, and Israel. Do you think God continues to judge peoples and nations?

There will come a time when God will judge every human soul who has ever lived and who will ever live. This includes you. How can you prepare for that time of judgement?

Sample Prayer

Lord God, I recognize that you are the judge of all the Earth, and I recognize that your judgement is just and severe. You seek to destroy all wickedness, and you will destroy all those who oppose you, the righteous God.

I tremble before you, and I tremble not only for myself but for my loved ones, my nation, and all humankind: for we are all sinners, we all fall short of your glorious righteousness.

Thank-you, Lord, for warning us all. Thank-you for giving us hope of salvation through Jesus Christ, whom I humbly receive in my heart. Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved. 

God Is Holy

Read

Read Leviticus 11:45 and Isaiah 6:3.

God is holy. He is separated from imperfections (Leviticus 22:19-25), uncleanness (Leviticus 7:21), and sin (Isaiah 6:5). When something imperfect, unclean, or sinful stands before Him, it is judged and destroyed (Leviticus 10:1-11), unless God graciously chooses to purify it (Isaiah 6:7).

Reflect

  1. How do God’s holiness and humanity’s sinfulness conflict with each other?
  2. If God is holy, why are human beings (which He created) not holy?
  3. Can God extend grace and forgive the imperfections and sins of humanity? How is this consistent with His holiness?

Pray

Woe of me, for I am a sinner, I am imperfect, and I unclean; whereas you, o God, are holy, holy, holy. Forever, you are perfectly and infinitely holy.

I praise you for your holiness, for who you are: how wonderful and pure, how awesome and beautiful, how fearsome and worthy of my complete devotion.

I praise you also because you, King, Lord of Hosts, are gracious; and in your great graciousness, which is equally eternal, perfect, and infinite as your holiness, you can purify me as you deem necessary so I be not consumed by your presence.

I recognize that you have chosen to purify me through Jesus Christ, your Son. I thank-you for Him. Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved. 

God Is Righteous

Read

Read Psalm 11:7.

God is righteous. He always does what is right (Daniel 9:14), and He never does wrong (Zephaniah 3:5). He loves righteousness; He judges iniquity; He seeks the friendship of those who are righteous. Thus, God is righteous in what He does, and God is righteous in what He loves. God is perfectly righteous.

When God created the heavens and all who dwell in them, and when He created the Earth and all who dwell in it, He created everything and all according to His own righteous character, and He gave them instructions to keep them in His righteous ways.

He created them according to His own righteous character: He did not make reference to any other standard over Him because there is no standard over Him. Righteousness stems from the character of God.

Reflect

God always does what is right; He is perfectly righteous. Are you, or anyone you know, righteous as God is righteous?

Society disagrees with many of God’s standards revealed in the Bible. If society disagrees with God, who is wrong, the perfectly righteous God or society?

Read Daniel 9:7. If God is righteous and we human beings are sinners, is it right for God to judge our sins? What are we supposed to do before God’s judgment?

Pray

Forever Lord, you are righteous. You are perfectly righteous; you are infinitely righteous. All your ways are righteousness. But I am a sinner and a transgressor of your righteous Law. Transform my heart, change my mind, cause me to love righteousness so I can follow your ways; and teach me, Lord, your ways.

Thank-you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who has made atonement for all my sins, and all the sins of humankind; and who has revealed to us that you, oh righteous Lord, forgive. Amen.

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.

God Is Sovereign

Read

Read Isaiah 46:9-10 and Psalm 115:3.

When God decided to create the universe and the world, He did not have to seek anyone’s permission; when He decided to create life and humankind, there was no principle over Him to direct Him. Guided by His own eternal wisdom and infinite righteousness, He does as He pleases. There is no one or nothing over Him: God is the ultimate authority.

God’s rule over everything and all is so absolute, a bird does not fall to the ground without God willing it (Matthew 10:29). Even human volition is subject to God’s sovereignty (Exodus 10:1, Proverbs 21:1).

Reflect

  • If God is sovereign, why is His creation able to rebel against Him?
  • If God is sovereign, why do people have such a hard time accepting God as Lord of their hearts?
  • What is the fate of all those who rebel against the sovereign God?
  • How can we live in harmony with God’s sovereignty? What are the benefits of this?

Pray

O God, you alone are God! There is no one like you. You are the ultimate authority, Lord and King over everything that exists.

Those who rebel against you do so to their own demise: they dwell in a land of drought, famine, and darkness; they kick against a goad.

I humbly submit to your rule, my King and my God. I recognize you as Lord of my life and of my heart. Teach me to live in harmony with your rule over me, teach me to submit to your authority throughout everywhere I find it (there is no place where you don’t rule).

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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.