October 21, 2017

The good news of the gospel!

God exists. This is obvious when we observe the created universe. The universe has both order and useful arrangement; from this we can imply that the Creator of the universe has intelligence, purpose, and will. As part of this created universe; as human beings, we are born with a conscience and are capable of free exercise of our will. We are all accountable to our Creator for our conduct.

God has revealed Himself through His word found in the Bible. The Bible carries with it the divine authority of God. It was written by 40 authors over a period of 1,600 years. From the Bible we can conclude that God is Spirit. He is alive and invisible. He has both self-consciousness and self-determination. He possesses intellect, sensibility, and will. His existence is not dependent upon anything outside of Himself. He is “uncaused.” His self existence is grounded in His nature; not His will. He is infinite in relation to time and space. All finite space is dependent upon Him. He is eternal. (Thiessen 75-78) God is omnipresent – present everywhere at once. He is omniscient – infinite in knowledge. He knows all things completely. He is omnipotent – all powerful. His will is limited by His nature. God cannot look with favor on iniquity. He cannot deny Himself. God cannot lie. He cannot tempt, or be tempted to sin. God is immutable. He is unchangeable in His essence, attributes, consciousness, and will. (Thiessen 80-83) God is holy. He is separate from and exalted above all of His creatures. He is separate from all moral evil and sin. God is righteous and just. God is loving, benevolent, merciful, and gracious. God is truth. His knowledge, declarations, and representations eternally conform to reality. He is the source of all truth. (Thiessen 84-87)

God is holy, and there is a separation (chasm or gulf) between Him and man. Human beings are born with a sin nature. We are born under both a physical and spiritual death penalty. God cannot be approached by sinful man. Jesus Christ came and became the mediator between God and man. Consider the following words that the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans – “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5: 1-9)

Reference:

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979.