Category: Theology

The Names of God Reflected in Psalm 23

The Names of God Reflected in Psalm 23

The Old Testament gives us the many names of God and each one of them has its own meaning. But do you know that Psalm 23 reflects the compound names of Yahweh God (or Jehovah God), the covenant-making God of Israel?

Jehovah – Jireh

means “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14).

The name literally means “The Lord Who Sees,” or “The Lord Who Will See To It.” When we have a personal or special need, we long for the One who will provide. Jehovah-Jireh means the Lord who will see to it that all my needs and yours are met.

Jehovah-Jireh

Jehovah-Jireh knows our every need because He sees. If the Lord was able to meet Abraham’s need by providing a ram caught in the thicket that was offered in place of Isaac, He’s also able to meet our needs in just the right time. The name Jehovah-Jireh assures us that our Heavenly Father is able to provide any need we have.

Jehovah – Shalom

means “The Lord is peace” (Judges 6:24).

When Gideon thought that he would die because the Angel of the Lord visited him, God spoke to him and said, “Peace be with you; do not fear for you shall not die.” This made such a great impression on Gideon that he built an altar to the Lord and gave it the name “Jehovah Shalom” (Judges 6:22-24)

The Hebrew word “shalom” translated as “peace” does not only speak of the absence of noise, strife or conflict; it speaks of wholeness, completeness, soundness, and welfare (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).

One of the many problems we encounter today is the problem of anxiety. Medical experts say that most major disorders of the mind are those related in some way to anxiety. In fact, people who suffer from chronic anxiety often end up physically ill.

Jehovah-Shalom

True and ultimate peace is found in God alone, and this comes to us when we focus our lives on God and trust Him. Are you weary and troubled? Why not place your trust in Jehovah-Shalom and He will keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3)?

Jehovah – Rapha

means “The Lord who heals” (Exodus 15:26).

It was in the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites that God first revealed His name as Jehovah-Rapha. After crossing the Red Sea, Moses led them into the Wilderness of Shur where they went three days without water (Exodus 15:22). Apparently, the Lord was testing their faith.

Eventually, they came across the waters of Marah, but they could not drink them for they were bitter. So they complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we to drink?” Moses then cried to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree, which when he cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet (Exodus 15:23-25).

Jehovah-Rapha

The Lord does not only heal waters, He heals people too. If the Lord was able to heal the waters at Marah so the Israelites could drink, He is also able to heal us from any disease. When we’re weak, Jehovah-Rapha will renew our strength, the same way He did for David (Psalm 23:3 NLT).

Living in a stressful and chaotic world, the name Jehovah-Rapha speaks to us and our needs today. Yes, we are confronted with new problems every day that often times our body just wants to give up and give in. But we can count upon the Lord to heal and renew our strength. Jehovah is the Great Physician who not only heals the physical and emotional needs of His people; He also heals their spiritual needs.

Jehovah – Tsidkenu

means “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).

When the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were carried into captivity, it would seem that the promises of God would never be fulfilled. However, God spoke through Jeremiah of the day when a righteous king would return to set up His righteous kingdom on earth, and to reign and judge.

To call the Lord Jehovah-Tsidkenu is to say that all He does is righteous and He is the source of all that is righteous and good. This name applies not only to the Father but to Jesus as well. He is our Jehovah-Tsidkenu; He covers us with His righteousness that allows us to stand before His presence (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jehovah-Tsidkenu

The Lord led David down the paths of righteousness during his reign as king and He will do the same for us if we allow Him to shepherd us. It is God’s desires for His children to live a righteous and sanctified life.

Jehovah – Shamma

means “The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35).

One of the purposes of the Millennial Kingdom is that God might fulfill His promises to His people. During this time, Israel will again trust the Lord, obey Him and worship in His Temple. And the city of Jerusalem will be given the name Jehovah-Shammah to indicate that the once-departed glory of the Lord had returned.

Jehovah-Shamma

In Psalm 23, David relates that the Lord did not leave him in the dark valley. God stayed beside him and calmed his fears. In the same way, God promises the believers that He will always be there for them; that He will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

Jehovah – Nissi

means “The Lord is my banner” (Exodus 17:15).

Only once does the name Jehovah-Nissi appear in the Bible, in Exodus 17:15. After the Israelites defeated the Amalekites, a powerful and warlike group of people, Moses built an altar to the Lord and named it Jehovah-Nissi.

Moses recognized that the Lord was Israel’s banner under which they defeated the Amalekites. For as long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

Jehovah-Nissi

The revelation of the name Jehovah-Nissi has to do with warfare, and this warfare involved God’s very own. Christians today are involved in warfare; they war against the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:17), against principalities and rulers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:11-12).

The great news is, the Lord our banner desires to give us victory. But we need to maintain a healthy prayer life. We are involved in a spiritual battle every day and the way to fight these battles is to be prayerful at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As quoted by a character in the movie “War Room,Christians must fight their battles on their knees.

Jehovah – M’kaddesh (or Jehovah – Mekoddishkem)

means ‘The Lord who makes you holy” or “The Lord who sanctifies you” (Leviticus 20:8).

The name Jehovah-M’kaddesh is used 7 times in three chapters in Leviticus, the book of life that explains how a people already been redeemed must walk and worship. God wanted the Israelites to consecrate themselves and be holy (Leviticus 20:7).

God’s requirement hasn’t changed; He demands holiness. Although we cannot be holy in and of ourselves, our Jehovah-M’kaddesh will sanctify us daily as we live for Him.

Jehovah-M'kaddesh

The anointing of oil symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. The Holy Spirit not only empowers believers to live the victorious Christian life and equips them to be effective in their ministry, but He also enables them to live holy and sanctified lives.

*Related Article: Bible Study on Psalm 23

Conclusion

We learn in the Bible that names serve a variety of functions. Interestingly, God often changed the names of people in order for Him to use them more effectively for His own purpose. We also learn that God has several names, some of which are reflected in the contents of Psalm 23.

But why is it important for us to know God’s names and their meanings? Knowing the meaning of each name that God uses for Himself is important because they reveal to us an aspect of His character to help us get to know Him better.

What name or names of God in this Psalm do you most relate to? Please do share it by leaving your comments below.

Is God in Complete Control of Everything?

Is God in Complete Control of Everything?

One of the areas Christians often struggle with has to do with trusting God’s hand in every situation. When things do not happen the way we want them to, we immediately assume that God is silent. But the Bible assures us that God is in complete control of everything.

In theology, this doctrine is called “Divine Providence.” It is the means by which God directs all things – seen and unseen, good and evil, animate and inanimate – toward a worthy purpose. We may not always understand the reason behind every event that transpires in the world and in our lives personally and individually, but God wants us to trust Him because He always works things out for our good.

In just about every book in the Bible, we see God’s Providence at work. God has a hand in everything and He is never OUT OF CONTROL. We also see this taught in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

The verse says, “all things,” which means ALL things – whether good or bad. It may seem to us like evil is tearing the world apart, but if we look at it from God’s perspective, we realize that it is actually playing a secondary role for God to carry out His greater purpose. God allows things for a reason and His plan is always good.

God’s Providence in the Life of Joseph

The Joseph Narrative contained in Genesis chapters 37 and 39-50 is one of the best illustrations of God’s providence. When we read through these chapters, we see that Joseph is the central human character at nearly every point.

Who is Joseph? And how did God use every detail in his life to fulfill His plan? Joseph was the 11th among the 12 sons of Jacob, he was the first son of Jacob with Rachel, he had a younger brother named Benjamin and he was Jacob’s favorite and most loved among all his sons.

A. Joseph Sold by His brothers

Out of hatred, Joseph’s brothers conspired to kill him when he followed them to Shechem and into Dothan pasturing their flocks (Genesis 37:18-20). They hated Joseph for three reasons: 1) he reported to his father the bad things that they were doing (Genesis 37:2), 2) he was their father’s favorite son and made him a coat of many colors (Genesis 37:3-4), and 3) he told them his dreams of arrogant superiority (Genesis 37:6-8, 9-10).

“Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph – a beautiful robe.” – Genesis 37:3

But God used Reuben, their eldest brother, to deliver him out of their hands (Genesis 37:21-22). Eventually, they sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for 20 shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28), who in turn sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard (Genesis 37:36).

B. Joseph becomes a Successful Administrator in Egypt (Genesis 39)

While in Egypt, Joseph worked for his master Potiphar and became a successful administrator. Why? Was it because he was smart and possessed extraordinary administrative skills? Not really!

The Bible clearly identifies the reason. Joseph succeeded in everything he did because the Lord was with himthe Lord was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2-3) and for Joseph’s sake, the Lord blessed Potiphar’s household and all that he had (Genesis 39:5).

Unfairly jailed, Joseph rose to inmate administrator (Genesis 39:19-20). Why? Again, the Bible leaves no doubt as to who is responsible for Joseph’s success. The Lord was with Joseph in the prison; He showed him mercy and gave him favor in the sight of the warden, who put him in charge of all the other prisoners and everything that happened in the prison (Genesis 39:21-23).

“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison … the Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” – Genesis 39:21, 23

The inspired narrator pointed to God as the One working things out for Joseph. It’s all God. God is in complete control of everything that‘s happening in the life of Joseph. Whatever managerial skills Joseph might have had clearly played a secondary role in God’s intervention in his life.

C. Joseph Interprets Two Dreams (Genesis 40)

When we read that Joseph was thrown into prison, we would think that it’s the end of the narrative. But God isn’t finished yet, not by a long shot. When Pharaoh’s chief cup bearer and chief baker who were put in prison by their master each had a dream, Joseph interpreted it for them. However, the chief cup bearer who was restored to his former position as Joseph predicted forgot all about him (Genesis 40:23).

D. Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams and was Made the Ruler of Egypt (Genesis 41)

Two full years had passed when Pharaoh had two dreams that no one could interpret; not even the magicians and wise men of Egypt. And that was when the chief cup bearer remembered Joseph who was still in prison. He told Pharaoh about Joseph who interpreted his and the chief baker’s dreams.

Pharaoh sent for Joseph and asked for the interpretation of his two dreams, which are about the 7 years of plenty that are about to come followed by 7 years of famine. Because of the wisdom that God gave Joseph to interpret his dreams, Pharaoh made Joseph ruler over all Egypt, second in rank to him.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” – Genesis 41:41

During the 7 years of prosperity, Joseph gathered and stored an immeasurable amount of grain in Egypt. So when the 7 years of famine began, people all around the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.

E. Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt

While in Canaan, Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt. So he sent his sons, except Benjamin, to Egypt to buy grain. After 13 years, Joseph came face to face with his brothers once again. But they did not recognize him.

After several trips to Egypt, Joseph’s brothers settled there. Their father Jacob also went to Egypt, along with all his descendants, livestock and goods, and they all settled in Goshen.

God’s Greater Purpose in the Life of Joseph

The entire process of Joseph’s fall and rise to power was God’s doing. His release from prison because of his God-given interpretation skills, his exaltation to power and the opportunity to help his family during the famine all point to God’s providence.

The focus in the narrative was on God, and He can accomplish what He wills. Even the evil intent of Joseph’s brothers toward him was used by God to fulfill His purpose. As he said to his brothers, “Am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20).

The chain of events that took place was part of God’s bigger plan for Israel as a nation. God sent Joseph to Egypt ahead of his family in order to make way for the preservation of the Canaanites and Egyptians together with them during the time of famine. How did God get Joseph to Egypt? By allowing his brothers the freedom to sin.

As it turned out, Egypt was where God built up and multiplied His people. God prepared them there for the exodus and conquest that He would use to give them the land that He promised to Abraham – the land that’s flowing with milk and honey: Canaan.

Conclusion

God is in control of everything. In the same way that God worked in the life of Joseph, and used even his mistakes and allowed him to experience misfortunes in order to accomplish His purpose, God is also working in the life of every believer who loves Him to carry out His will.

Whatever you’re going through, know that God will use them all for your own good. He can even turn the bad things into blessings for you. God called all believers for a purpose and He will accomplish it. We can make many plans but in the end, it’s the Lord’s purpose that will prevail (Proverbs 19:21).

Understanding the Personality of the Holy Spirit

Understanding the Personality of the Holy Spirit

While it is a fundamental revelation that the Holy Spirit is a Person, there have been a lot of misconceptions about the Holy Spirit. The personality of the Holy Spirit has been misunderstood, attacked and reduced to merely an inanimate force such as electricity which is very powerful but completely devoid of any sort of life, or Divine life.

As a Bible-believing Christian, I believe that the Holy Spirit is a living Person, for He can be approached or shunned, trusted or doubted, loved or hated, adored or insulted. The Bible makes it very clear that the Holy Spirit is a Person, in the sense that the Father is a Person and the Son is a Person.

The Holy Trinity

 

The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and Son to indwell and guide believers and being God, He is equal to and in no way inferior to the other two.

An encounter with young JW’s

One Saturday morning while I was writing an article about John 3:16 as it relates to the doctrine of salvation, a group of young of Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking at our door to give a copy of their latest Watchtower Magazine.

I really had no intention of inviting them in for sharing or discussion, but seeing how young they were (one of them just completed a college degree while the other two are still in school) made me curious to know how prepared they really are to defend what they believe in case somebody would try to challenge them.

The Watchtower

Since the cover of the Watchtower magazine is about the greatest gift one could ever receive, I asked them what the best gift they’ve received so far was. To be honest, I was a bit surprised when they said that the greatest gift they have received was Jesus Christ, who was sent by the Father.

I then took that as a sign to dive right in on the topic of the Trinity. According to them, Jesus is the Son of God but He’s not God. Then I asked what they believe about the Holy Spirit. As expected, they said that the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force through which God does His works.

Proofs from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is a Person

So why do I believe that the Holy Spirit is a person?

1) The Bible uses personal pronouns in referring to the Holy Spirit.

In the Greek language the pronoun for “spirit” is ordinarily in the neuter gender. However, in several instances such as in John 15:26, John 16:7-8 and John 16:13-15, the Greek masculine pronoun He ( “skeinos”) is used of the Holy Spirit 12 times.

The same use of the masculine maybe observed in the use of the relative pronouns in Ephesians 1:13-14, and in such a connection and supporting the thought of personality. The use of personal pronouns in relation to the Holy Spirit in Scripture is sufficiently frequent to justify a conclusion that He is a Person.

“He is introduced as a person so often, not merely in poetic or excited discourse, but in simple narrative, and in didactic instructions; and his personality is sustained by so many collateral proofs, that to explain the use of the personal pronouns in relation to him on the principle of personification, is to do violence to all the rules of interpretation.” – Charles Hodges

2) The Holy Spirit is a person for He possesses certain personal characteristics.

All the distinctive characteristics of personality, knowledge, feeling and will, are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible. When we say that the Holy Spirit is a person, we’re not saying that He’s human like us with a physical form; having hands, feet, eyes, nose and so on.

When we say that the Holy Spirit is a person, we mean that He is not merely an influence or power that God sends into our lives but that He is a being who knows, feels and wills; for anyone who has these three characteristics is a person.

“If you deny the Trinity, you’ll lose your soul. If you try to explain the Trinity, you’ll lose your mind.” – Augustine

During our Bible sharing and discussion on Facebook regarding the doctrine of the Trinity, I was trying to explain that the concept of “God as one in being and three in person” is not a contradiction, when a Unitarian accused me of reducing God’s nature into a mere human by saying that He is a Person. Needless to say, I was shocked!

a) Knowledge

In 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, knowledge is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not just some kind of illumination that comes into our minds, but He is a Being who knows the deep things of God and who teaches us what He Himself knows.

The Holy Spirit possesses knowldege

b) Feelings

Love is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Romans 15:30. The Holy Spirit is a person who loves as tenderly in the same way that the Father and the Son Jesus Christ do. Sadly, while we think of the love of the Father and the love of Christ every day of our lives, only a few of us meditate upon the love of the Spirit.

“Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.” – Romans 15:30

We kneel down everyday looking up into the face of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, thanking them of their great love. But how often do we kneel down and thank the Holy Spirit, considering that we owe our salvation not only to the love of the Father and the love of the Son but also to the love of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit loves

The Holy Spirit does not only love but can also be grieved (Isaiah 63:10 & Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit is a person who not only dwells in our hearts to observe all that we say, do and think but He is a person who is grieved by anything we think, do and say that is impure, selfish or evil in any way.

The Holy Spirit can be grieved

We also read in Matthew 12:31-32 that the Holy Spirit can be blasphemed. Only a person can be blasphemed; you cannot blaspheme an influence or power. We are told further that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin.

c) Mind and will

Mind is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:27. The world translated “mind” here is a comprehensive word that includes the ideas of feeling, thought and purpose.

We also read in 1 Corinthians 12:11 that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person who uses us according to His will; He is not a mere influence or power which we are to use according to our wills.

“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” – 1 Corinthians 12:11

* Furthermore, the Holy Spirit can be insulted (Hebrews 10:29), lied to (Acts 5:3) and blasphemed (Matthew 12: 31-32).

* The Holy Spirit is a person because He thinks, feels, purposes, knows, wills, loves and grieves. He is certainly not merely an influence, for He has the abilities of intelligence and emotions which are foreign to inanimate objects.

3)The Holy Spirit does things that only a person can do.

a) Teaches

We read in John 14:26 & John 16:12-14 that the Holy Spirit, who is called the Spirit of truth, teaches and guides the believer into all truths. In these passages, the Holy Spirit is set forth as teacher of the truth who personally comes to us to teach us the truth, not a mere illumination that enables our mind to see the truth.

b) Guides

The Holy Spirit is represented in Romans 8:14 as our personal guide who takes us by the hand to direct and lead us into doing things that are pleasing to God. We see this In Acts 16:6-7, we see the Holy Spirit taking command of the life and conduct of a servant of Jesus Christ when He did not permit Paul and his companions to preach in Asia and Bithyna. We also see the Holy Spirit calling men to work and appointing them to office in Acts 13:2 and Acts 20:28.

c) Comforts

We are told in John 14:16-17 that the Holy Spirit is to be “another Comforter” who would take the place of our Savior Jesus Christ who has gone back to be with the Father. The word translated “comforter” means so much more than just the word itself and that is why the revisers found a great deal of difficulty in translating the Greek word.

The Greek word “parakleetos” means one who stands by your side as your helper, counselor, comforter and friend. Jesus Himself had been the parakleetos to His disciples; the one who stood by their side

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” – John 14:18

When Jesus was about to leave the disciples, He said that He would not leave them orphaned (John 14:18), but that He would pray the Father to send them another Comforter to take His place. It wouldn’t have made sense for Jesus to say this if the One who was going to take His place was only an influence or power and not a person.

Conclusion

The Scriptures make it plain that the Holy Spirit is a Person. I honestly think that most of us believe this. But do we really treat Him as a person in our real thoughts and in our practical attitude towards Him? Do we regard Him as a real person as Jesus Christ, worthy of our love, adoration and surrender? Do we constantly walk in conscious fellowship with Him?

Understanding the doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is of the highest importance because if we think of the Holy Spirit only as an impersonal power or influence, we will be constantly thinking about how to get hold of and use Him. But if we acknowledge the Holy Spirit as a divine Person, we will be constantly thinking about how He can get hold of and use us.

The Holy Spirit not only walks by our side every moment of every day; He dwells in our hearts and lives and is always ready to take complete possession of our lives. Being fully submitted and surrendered to the Holy Spirit is the secret of a real Christian life, a life of fullness, joy, power and liberty.


Recommended Resource: 

Understanding the Personality of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit’s Work in You – eBook

By Fuchsia Pickett

Dr. Fuchsia Pickett reveals the character of the Holy Spirit in understandable language. He is here to take possession of you and to work out God’s plan and predestined will in you, for you, and through you. Learn to acknowledge the Person of the Holy Spirit and thank Him for His love. (128 pages)

God’s Natural and Moral Attributes

God’s Natural and Moral Attributes

One day, my friend asked me if it’s possible for someone who willfully rejects God to be forgiven of his sins and be welcomed into heaven when he repents and receives Christ as Lord and Savior on his deathbed. If a person keeps putting off surrendering his life to God because he thinks he has all the time to do that a few seconds before his death, will God forgive him when he asks?

I said, “Yes, as long as he is sincere, God will forgive him and will welcome him into heaven.” This is because of the very nature of God, His character that is constant. God is a loving, forgiving and merciful God and He will never change regardless of who or what we are. The only problem I see in this scenario is that, what if that person won’t get the chance to repent and dies instantly?

Attribute

An attribute refers to the quality, property or unique characteristic of something. When we speak of God’s attributes, we are talking about those characteristics that help us to understand who He truly is. God’s natural and moral attributes are the inherent characteristics that are closely associated with or belonging to Him.

A. God’s Natural Attributes – are those permanent qualities which belong to His nature; those qualities without which He would not be God.

1) Eternity – God is eternal.

To be the true God He must have neither beginning nor ending. Even before this world came into existence, God has existed from time everlasting (Psalm 90:2); He is above the conditions of time and space. As an absolute self-existent being, He sustains no such relations to time and space as those sustained by every finite being.

To God there is no time, past, present or future while we all exist under relations of time and our existence passes through successive moments. What to us is eternity, past and present, is the same to God. The eternal attribute of God is explained in His self-existence; He never began to be, He never can cease to be.

2) Immutability – God is unchangeable.

God is so constituted that He cannot change; He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Psalm 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). While all creatures change, God is perpetually the same. God has never been changed in His essence, not even in His incarnation. God remains everlastingly, eternally, the one unchanging God.

God’s immutability is so vitally important because it is this attribute that enables us to depend on God to be God. It is because of God’s unchanging nature that we can be certain of all His promises. We are assured as we lie down at night and wake up in the morning that God loves us and His mercy endures forever.

3) Omnipotence – God is all powerful.

Power is certainly an attribute of God; to lack this attribute, He could not be God. God is omnipotent in creation (Genesis 1:1-3; Isaiah 44:24), omnipotent in salvation (Jude 24-25) and omnipotent in the resurrection (John 10:17-18).

But it is important to note that although God has the power to do anything, He cannot do anything that is contrary to His nature. For instance, God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). God can do anything according to His infinite ability, but will do only those things that are consistent with Himself and that is why He cannot lie and tolerate sin.

4) Omnipresence – God is present everywhere at once.

The Bible teaches that in every place in the universe God is present; He is not limited by space (Psalm 139:7-9). There is no place in the universe that is away from God’s presence.

How can God be in more than one place at a time? God is a spirit (John 4:24) and is not limited by time and space. While it is true that God is in all space, His existence does not occupy or fill space in the sense of excluding anything from it, nor in such a sense that its existence is a condition of His existence.

The fact that God is present everywhere is a source of comfort for all believers because wherever the believer goes, he finds himself in the protection of God’s presence. We may experience God’s presence at any time and at any place because He has promised to be with us always (Isaiah 43:2; Hebrews 13:5).

5) Omniscience – God is all knowing.

Omniscience means the actual and necessary knowledge of all objects, actual or possible. Omniscience is intended infinite knowledge. When we say that omniscience is a natural attribute of God, it means that God does not obtain knowledge by study, reflection or experience, or that He obtains knowledge at all; but that all knowledge is absolutely necessary of Him.

The Bible is pretty clear that God knows everything, He searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts (1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 94:11). What a comfort that God knows everything about us and had a plan for our lives even before we were born. God does not only know our past but He knows all about our future.

B. God’s Moral Attributes – are sometimes described as the communicable attributes of God. It means something corresponding to them is to be found in men and women.

1) Holiness – God’s holiness primarily means that He is separated from sin.

God Himself is the Most Holy One (Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 99:3, 5, 9; 22:3). To be holy means to be free from all defilement and to be pure. The Bible teaches that God is holy, and a part of the manifestation of this holiness is His hatred of sin and His separation from sin, from the sinner and from all that is evil.

God’s holiness provides the pattern for His people to follow. He commands us to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). As new covenant believers, we are to strive for holiness because without it we cannot see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). We are also exhorted to be separate from the dominating influence that comes from close association with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) and to grow in holiness.

2) Love – God is not full of love but He Himself is love.

This attribute of God shows that it is part of His nature to give Himself in order to bring about blessing or good for others. The love of God is manifested toward the Son and all believers in particular. God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

We imitate this communicable attribute of God by first loving Him in return and secondly by loving others the way God loves them (Matthew 22:37-38). We love God by obeying His commandments and doing what pleases Him (1 John 5:3), and we will do this because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

3) Faithfulness (Truthfulness) – to be faithful means to be safely trusted, reliable and dependable. God is faithful for He is honest and never changes, He will always do what He has said and fulfill what He has promised (Numbers 23:19; 2 Samuel 7:28).

God can be relied upon and He will never prove unfaithful to those who trust what He has said. Every word of God proves true (Proverbs 30:5; John 17:17). God’s word are truth in the sense that they are the final standard by which truthfulness is to be judged. Whatever conforms to God’s word is true and what fails to conform to His word is not true.

We can imitate God’s faithfulness by striving to have true knowledge about God and by allowing the Scriptures to guide us in our observation and interpretation of the natural world. As God’s children we are to imitate God’s truthfulness in our reaction to truth and falsehood. Like God, we should love truth and hate falsehood.

4) Goodness – this can be understood to mean “worthy of approval.”

Luke 18:19 says, “No one is good but God alone” which makes God the final standard of good. God is the source of all good in the world (James 1:17). The Bible says that God only does good things for His children (Psalm 84:11) and His goodness is closely related to several other characteristics of His nature such as love, mercy, patience and grace.

By doing only good things, that is, those that God approves, we are imitating God’s moral attribute of goodness. As we have the opportunity, let us do good to all men especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:10). Moreover, when we realize that God is the definition and source of all good, we will come to realize that God Himself is the ultimate good that we seek (Psalm 73:25-26).

5) Peace – God’s peace are His actions characterized by order and not confusion.

Since God Himself is the God of peace, those who walk with the Lord have peace (Romans 15:33; 1 Thessalonians 5:23), but those who walk in wickedness do not have peace (Isaiah 48:22; Isaiah 57:21). Paul also lists peace as the third element of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

“God’s peace means that in God’s being and in His actions He is separate from all confusion and disorder and yet He is continually active in innumerable, well-ordered, fully controlled, simultaneous actions.” – Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

When we truly understand God’s peace, we can imitate this attribute of God not only as part of the fruit of the Spirit but also as it relates to self-control. The more we draw closer to God the more of His peace we can enjoy.

6) Righteousness and Justice – are the qualities of God in which He always does what is right because He is incapable of doing anything which is wrong. Righteousness and justice are the carrying out of God’s holiness and the expression of it in the government of the world.

Christ’s death to pay the penalty for our sins showed that God was truly righteous. God’s righteousness and justice are manifested not only in His wrath when He punishes the wicked and demands justice for sin but also when He keeps His words and fulfills all His promises.

Again, whatever that conforms to God’s moral character is right because God is the final standard of righteousness. There can be no standard outside of God by which justice and righteousness are measured. We imitate the righteousness of God by not seeking to find revenge against those who sin against us (Romans 12:17-21). Instead, let us suffer the injustice of men that God might bring our enemies to repentance and salvation.

Conclusion

God is a balanced being. God is loving, holy, merciful, yet just and righteous. God’s love allows Him to forgive sin and show mercy to a repentant sinner. But the holiness and justice of God demand that sin must be punished to the full extent of the law.

So how can God be loving and just at the same time? How can He at the same time both be merciful and just to a guilty sinner? The answer can only be found in Calvary. Calvary was the expression of both the wrath of God against sin and the mercy of God toward the guilty sinner.


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