Doctrine of God 0002 - Lesson 2

  1. THE ESSENCE OF GOD (Continued)
    1. His Immensity
      1. Omnipresence, which will be considered under the attributes of God, refers to the presence of God in every part of the universe.
      2. Immensity goes further and means that God is more than can be contained in the entire universe (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6).
      3. Immensity shows God bigger than space as Eternity shows Him to be greater than time.
      4. Not only is God the God of the entire universe. He is the God of anything else that may exist. If there are any other universes, then God is the God of those universes as well. There is no escape from God.
    2. His Personality
      1. The meaning of personality
        1. To say that God has personality is not to say that He is a nice person to get to know. It means that He is a person. But again, this is not to make Him human in the least, but rather to distinguish Him from impersonal spirit or impersonal energy.
        2. Three qualities make up the essence of personality: self-consciousness, the psychological qualities of personality, and self-determination. God has all three.
      2. The personality of God
        1. Self-consciousness
          1. This is one of the most important qualities that sets humans apart from animals.
          2. Consciousness is the ability to think about something outside of the one thinking. Plants are not conscious since they cannot think about what another plant is doing. However, a dog can think about a cat that it sees walking across the lawn. The dog is the subject of thought and the cat is the object. A dog therefore is a conscious being.
          3. Self-consciousness is the ability of the thinker to think about himself. That is, the person is both the subject and the object of the thought at the same time. A dog (as well as all other animals) does not consider themselves as an object of thought. Therefore, animals are not self-conscious beings. However, humans do think about themselves. They consider how they appear to others, what their purpose in life is, what is lacking in their lives, and much more. Humans are self-conscious beings.
          4. God is self-conscious. He considers Himself and who He is (Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 45:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10).
        2. The psychological qualities of personality are three:
          1. Intellect: the ability to think. God has intellect (Exodus 3:7; Acts 15:18)
          2. Emotion: the ability to feel. God has emotions (Genesis 6:6; John 3:16)
          3. Volition: the ability to will or to make decisions. God has volition (Psalm 115:3; John 6:38)
        3. Self-determination
          1. This is the ability to act from an inner purpose and will and not from an outside force (as a stone might move when it is hit).
          2. In scripture, God is represented as speaking (Genesis 1:3), seeing (Genesis 11:5), hearing (Psalm 94:9), repenting (Genesis 6:6), being angry (Deuteronomy 1:37), and doing many other things that demonstrate His self-determining personality.
  2. THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
    1. His Greatness
      1. Omnipresence
        1. Definition: God is all-present. There is no place hidden or outside of His presence.
        2. The doctrine of the omnipresence of God can be subdivided into other doctrines:
          1. The immensity of God. He is greater in size than the universe (1 Kings 8:27).
          2. The transcendence of God. He is above the earth and the heavens and especially dwells in the highest heaven (Deuteronomy 26:15; Psalm 2:4; Psalm 11:4; Psalm 13:5-6; Psalm 115:3; Psalm 123:1; Ecclesiastes 5:2; Isaiah 63:15; Matthew 6:9; Ephesians 1:20).
          3. The immanence of God. He is present throughout the universe in every place.
            1. Both in heaven and in earth (Deuteronomy 4:39; Joshua 2:11; Acts 17:24-27).
            2. In all creation (Psalm 139:7-10)
            3. He fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:23-24)
            4. Even in hell (Job 26:6; Psalm 139:8; Proverbs 15:11). Though separation from the presence of the Lord is also a result of the judgment of God (Genesis 3:8, 23-24; Psalm 51:11) and hell (Matthew 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).
          4. The special presence of God. This could be called the spiritual presence of God. This is His presence in certain places and at certain times in a way that goes beyond His normal presence in all places (Exodus 33:3, 15).
        3. Forms of the special presence of God:
          1. In particular situations
            1. He descended to the earth (Genesis 11:5-7; Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:8).
            2. He walked in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8).
            3. He came down to Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:9, 11, 18, 20; Deuteronomy 33:2).
          2. In holy places
            1. In and around the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-5)
            2. In Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 12:11; Deuteronomy 14:23; 2 Kings 21:7; 2 Chronicles 6:6; Psalm 135:21; Isaiah 24:23)
            3. In the Tabernacle and the later Temple (Exodus 40:34-35; 1 Kings 8:10-11; Matthew 23:21)
            4. Between the cherubim (1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1; Isaiah 37:16).
            5. In the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:3)
          3. In Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9)
          4. In the midst of His people
            1. Old Testament (Exodus 25:8; Leviticus 26:11-12)
            2. New Testament (Matthew 18:20; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:15)
          5. Indwelling individual believers (John 14:17, 23; Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Corinthians 6:19)
        4. Practical lessons
          1. God is larger than space – His immensity.
          2. God is above space – His transcendence.
          3. God is present in all space – His immanence.
          4. God is spiritually present in special places and people.
          5. All of the above is part of the omnipresence of God.
          6. Sin diminishes the spiritual presence of God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Proverbs 15:29) but not the actual presence of God.
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.