INTRO: It is interesting and instructional to note the verbs associated with God in scripture. Verbs are action words. And God has and does act! In our lesson this morning we will see a verb, however, which may be more descriptive and profound than some of the action words which tell us of how God has acted. The great God verb of which I speak is the verb is. God is or I Am (Ex 3:14).
I. GOD IS - EXISTS
A. Here, of course, is a great, present controversy
1. there are certainly many who take issue
2. some deny His existence; some declared Him dead
3. Ps 14:1 ... God does exist
B. Consider: Intelligent causation
1. cause and effect ... effects demand causes
2. earth, universe, etc. are effects ... but their order, exactness, design insist on intelligent cause
3. Heb 3:4 a house is an effect caused by intelligence - it is characterized by order, plan, design, exactness; so, man built .... universe has same qualities; so, God built - Ps 19:1
C. Gen 1:1 identifies the intelligent cause as God
1. the natural world declares intelligent cause
2. the first words of the Bible identify the Intelligent Cause as God!
3. thence, the Bible tells us of God: Who He is - How He is - His interest in creation, etc.
II. GOD IS - HIS NATURE
A. 1 Pet 1:14-16 God is holy
1. absolutely perfect - absolutely consistent
2. He is separate from all that is evil, unjust
3. nothing evil can abide in His presence or with Him
(cf 2 Pet 2:4)
4. thus, His people must be holy - renouncing sin, conforming to image of Christ, growing in grace and knowledge
B. God is light 1 Jno 1:5
1. in scripture light is good - dark is evil
2. in God there is no darkness .... no trace of evil
3. and people who are His must walk, live in the light - so,
1 Jno 1:6,7
4. note Acts 26:18 and the blessings of light
C. 1 Jno 4:8-11 God is love
1. His love is demonstrated in so many ways
2. obviously, the greatest was the giving of His Son
3. and, because His love is consistent with His holiness, one who is to receive the benefits of His love must conform to His will - so, 1 Jno 5:3
4. this love is no emotional, maudlin love ... it is demanding,; it is sacrificial; it is serving
D. 1 Cor 10:13 God is faithful
1. note Dan 9:4 Keeping the covenant ...
2. God is the God of great promises ... and, unlike man, He is able to keep His promises
3. what God promises, we can enjoy!
4. Jas 1:17 says it so well! not fickle
E. 2 Cor 9:8 God is able
1. Dan 6:20-23 is thy God ... able?
2. two things to note: He was known to be a faithful servant of God and he believed in his God - Rom 11:33
4. but I rejoice in this simple fact: God is able
CLOSE: God is! No two more significant words are in human speech. Everything in life issues from this simple statement: God is.
Cecil A. Hutson
27 February 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)