Christian Theo U5/U6

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We know that God exists because:

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We know that God exists because:

  1. Inner sense of God – all people have a deep inner sense that God exists, that he is the creator

  2. Yes, the scripture – assumes God exists

  3. By HIS CREATIONS – only someone like God can create humans and rain and fruitful seasons

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Knowability of God

  1. We can never fully understand God because God is infinite and we are limited 

    1. God is INCOMPREHENSIBLE

  2. But we don’t need to know EVERYTHING about God for us to know what kind of being he is – he is good, loving, and merciful and gracious and we can have PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS with him

    1. Like Mr. Nelson!

    2. Not being able to fathom him is how we will never run out of things to learn about him

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Incommunicable attributes of God

 attributes that God does not share or communicate to others

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Even if they are communicable (shared with us), we are never ….

FULLY EXEMPLIFYING of the trait as much as God (ex. wisdom)

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Independence

  1. God does not need us or the res of creation for anything

  2. Yet we and the rest of creation glorify him and bring him joy

    1. God WANTS us to build a relationship with him and would like us to follow him, but he gave us free will to choose and not force

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Unchangeableness/immutability

  1. God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises

  2. BUT he acts and feels emotions and feels differently in response to different situations (both infinite and personal)

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Why can’t God change?

  1. If God DID change (for the better), he was not the best possible being when we first trusted him

  2. But if God could change for the worse, then what kind of God might he become? (not 100% good)

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Eternity

  1. God has no beginning, end of succession of moments in his own being

  2. Sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time  

    1. 3000 years is relevantly and vividly the same to him because it’s continuous for him

    2. BUT he sees and acts in time

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Omnipresence

  1. God does not have size or spatial dimensions, and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places

    1. CANNOT be contained in a space – he exists in an infinite. Uncontained space

    2. God can be present to punish, sustain, or to bless EVERYWHERE AT ONCE

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Unity

  1. God is not divided into parts, yet we see different attributes of God emphasized at different times 

    1. Different attributes are emphasized at different times because we can’t comprehend it all at once

    2. Not one attribute is more important than the others

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Incommunicable attributes

IIEOU

  1. Independence

  2. Immutability

  3. Eternity

  4. Omnipresence

  5. Unity

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Communicable attributes have 5 main categories:

  1. Attributes describing God’s being

  2. Mental attributes

  3. Moral attributes

  4. Attributes of Purpose

  5. “Summary” attributes”

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Attributes regarding God’s being

Spirituality and invisibiliity

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Spirituality

God exists as a being that is not made of any matter, has no parts or dimensions, is unable to be perceived by our bodily senses, and is more excellent than any kind of existence

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Invisibility

God’s total essence and all of his spiritual being, will never be seen by us, but God still shows himself to us through visible, created things (burning bush)

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Knowledge/omniscience

God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple eternal act

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What does it mean that God knows all things possible and actual?

THIS MEANS God knows everything that exists, everything that happen, and everything that may happen

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God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple eternal act – what does he mean by simple and eternal act?

  1. Simple act – Not divided in parts

  2. Eternal act – Knowledge never changes or grows

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Wisdom

God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals

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Wisdom is communicable but…

Although it is communicable (we can ask for wisdom when we need it, can come from living a life pleasing to God) we cannot fully share God’s wisdom and we won’t know why something happened or why God allowed it

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Truthfulness/faithfulness

  1. He is the true God (REAL AF)

  2. all his knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth.

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Why is truthfulness/faithfulness communicable?

Communicable in that we can imitate it by striving to have true knowledge about God and his world

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Goodness

God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval

Goodness is All that God is worthy of approval – but only GOD APPROVES so he is self-approving

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Mercy

God’s goodness towards those in misery and distress

  • Not getting something you do deserve

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Grace

God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment

  • Getting something that you don’t deserve

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Love

God eternally gives of himself to others (love is patient kind)

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We can imitate his love (patient and kind) by:

  1. Loving God in return

  2. Loving others in imitation of the way God loves

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Holiness

  1. He is separated from sin and devoted to seeking his own honor 

    1. Seeking his own honor: devotion to the good of God’s glory

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Jealousy

God continually seeks to protect his own honor

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Why is God’s jealousy justified?

  1. He wants worship to be given to himself and not false gods because he knows only he can fill the spiritual void in our hearts

  2. He deserves this because the world was created for his glory but he should not need to share it

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Wrath

God is a God that loves us and wants us to worship him, but to love someone is to hate things that cause us harm and lead us the wrong way

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Patience

He waits to execute the wrath in order that yet more people may be saved

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Why is God patient?

Delay of his execution is for the purpose of leading people to repentance 

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Attributes of purpose

will and omnipotence

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Will

attribute of God whereby he approves and determines to bring about every action necessary for the existence and activity of himself and all creation

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Omnipotence

  1. means that God is able to do all his holy will

    1. BUT God cannot do anything that would deny his own character (all his holy will)

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Perfection

God completely possesses all excellent qualities and lacks no part of any qualities that would be desirable for him

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Blessedness

  1.  God delights fully in himself and in all that reflects his character 

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Beauty

God’s beauty is the attribute of God whereby he is the sum of all desirable qualities

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Beauty vs. Perfection

  1. Perfection means that God does not lack anything desirable

  2. Beauty means God has everything desirable

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Attributes describing God’s being

  1. Spirituality

  2. Invisibility

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Mental attributes

  1. Knowledge/Omniscience

  2. Wisdom

  3. Truthfulness/faithfulness

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Moral attributes

  1. Goodness (mercy grace)

  2. Love

  3. Holiness

  4. Righteousness/justice

  5. Jealousy

  6. Wrath

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Attributes of purpose

  1. Will

  2. Omnipotence

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Summary attributes

  1. Perfection

  2. Blessedness

  3. Beauty

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Chief end of men

to glorify god and to enjoy him forever

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Revealed will

God’s declared will concerning what we should do or what God commands us to do

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Secret will

Has to do with his decreeing of events in the world, his hidden decrees by which he governs the universe and determines everything that will happen

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