Doctrine of God 0002 - Lesson 3

  1. THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD (Continued)
    1. His Greatness (Continued)
      1. Omniscience
        1. Definition: God is all-knowing. God has complete and eternal knowledge of all things.
        2. The character of God’s knowledge
          1. He is “a God of knowledge” (1 Samuel 2:3)
          2. His knowledge is infinite (Psalm 147:4; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20)
          3. His knowledge of the present is related to His omnipresence (Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:23-25).
        3. The scope of God’s knowledge
          1. Knowledge of all creation (Psalm 104:24; Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:12-13; Matthew 10:30)
          2. Knowledge of the hearts of men (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 94:11; Psalm 139:1-4; Proverbs 15:11; Proverbs 24:12; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Luke 16:15; Romans 8:27)
          3. Knowledge of the future (Deuteronomy 31:20-21; Isaiah 46:9-10; Acts 15:18)
          4. Knowledge of the possible
            1. Saul’s potential kingdom (1 Samuel 13:13-14) despite prophecy to the contrary (Genesis 49:10)
            2. What Keilah would have done (1 Samuel 23:10-12)
            3. What blessings Israel could have enjoyed (Isaiah 48:18-19)
            4. What deliverance destroyed cities would have had if they had had the miracles given to other cities in another time (Matthew 11:20-24)
        4. The picture of God’s knowledge
          1. God as light
            1. God identified as light (1 John 1:5); no darkness at all
            2. God connected with light (Psalm 27:1; 1 Timothy 6:16; James 1:17)
            3. Jesus Christ as light (John 1:4-5, 9; John 8:12; John 12:46)
            4. Light in the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 60:19-20; Revelation 21:23)
          2. The significance of God as light
            1. In His light we see the true light (Psalm 36:9)
            2. Through His light we see His righteousness (Micah 7:9)
            3. His light shows our works to be good or evil (John 3:20-21)
            4. His light will reveal the hidden things of darkness (1 Corinthians 4:5)
            5. Light is that which makes manifest (Ephesians 5:13)
          3. The application of God as light
            1. God has full knowledge of all things
            2. God is the only sure revealer of truth
        5. The relationship between God’s foreknowledge and God’s foreordination.
          1. Definitions
            1. Foreknowledge: God’s perfect knowledge of the future
            2. Foreordination: God’s ordering of future events so that they are absolutely determined by His will
          2. Three views:
            1. Calvinism: God foreknows all future events because He has foreordained all future events. In this view, the two concepts cannot be separated. God’s foreknowledge is the same as His foreordination. This doctrine denies the reality of man’s free will and makes salvation nothing more than a matter of God’s arbitrary choice.
            2. Arminianism: God foreknows all future events but has not foreordained all future events. This view is accepted by many who are Arminian in other areas of theology. This view accepts that there are many things foreordained by God, but rejects that all things are predetermined by the will of God.
            3. Socinianism: God has not foreordained all future events because He does not know all future events. Much about the future is open and unknown. This doctrine has been recently renewed and is called the open view of God. It teaches that the future is open to many possibilities—even in the mind of God. This doctrine limits the greatness of God and is an attack on His person as the absolute God.
          3. The answer to open theology/Socinianism
            1. The Bible clearly teaches the complete foreknowledge of God [see above]
            2. The very integrity of God is based on His perfect foreknowledge (Deuteronomy 18:18-22; Isaiah 41:21-23)
          4. The answer to Calvinism
            1. Foreknowledge is not the same as foreordination or predestination (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2)
            2. Foreknowledge is not of itself causative. That is, to know a future action is not the same as causing that future action to happen. Therefore, foreknowledge is not to be confused with the predetermined will of God. God does have a predetermined will, but it does not determine every action of created beings.
      2. Omnipotence
        1. Definition: God is all-powerful.
          1. He is able to do anything He wills.
          2. Since His will is part of His nature, He is able to do anything that is consistent with His own nature.
          3. The things God cannot do because of His nature
            1. God cannot look on iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13)
            2. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2)
            3. God cannot be tempted to sin (James 1:13)
            4. God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13)
          4. God cannot do things that are absurd or self-contradictory
            1. Examples would include making a square circle, making 2 + 2 = 6, or making a rock God Himself cannot move.
            2. These ridiculous challenges are sometimes made by skeptics against the person of God.
            3. However, these are not limitations of power but rather mental tricks.
        2. The character of God’s power
          1. As seen in the name Almighty
            1. Means to have all might and power
            2. Used only of God in the Bible
            3. Found 57 times in the Bible
          2. As seen in the direct statements of scripture (1 Chronicles 29:11; 2 Chronicles 20:6; Psalm 62:11; Isaiah 40:26; Daniel 4:35; Romans 1:20; Romans 13:1)
          3. As seen in His ability to do whatever pleases Him (Job 23:13; Psalm 115:3; Psalm 135:6)
          4. As seen in the fact that God can do all things (Genesis 18:14; Job 42:2; Jeremiah 42:17, 27; Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37)
          5. As seen in the heavenly praise: “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6)
        3. The scope of God’s power
          1. In creation (Jeremiah 10:12; Jeremiah 32:17)
          2. In preservation (Psalm 79:11; Hebrews 1:3)
          3. In providence (Exodus 9:16; 1 Chronicles 29:12; Job 36:22)
          4. In ruling (Psalm 66:7)
          5. In battle (Exodus 15:6; Psalm 66:3)
          6. In deliverance (Exodus 32:11; Deuteronomy 9:29)
          7. In redemption (Psalm 106:8; Nehemiah 1:10; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18)
          8. In eternal security (1 Peter 1:5)
          9. In resurrection (Psalm 49:15; Hosea 13:14; John 10:18; 1 Corinthians 6:14)
          10. In judgment (Nahum 1:3)
        4. The exercise of God’s power
          1. According to His will
            1. God does His work according to His will (Ephesians 1:4-11)
            2. The Bible student must discern between two kinds of the will of God in the scriptures:
              1. The predetermined will of God
                1. This is the will of God that has been determined by Him absolutely and will not change.
                2. This predetermined will is seen in prophecy (John 14:3) and in those cases where God has absolutely determined something to be a certain way.
                3. The predetermined will of God is something that cannot be resisted (Romans 9:17-23)
              2. The preferred will of God
                1. This is the will of God in that He desires it as an action of created beings but will not force on them.
                2. This preferred will is seen in our acceptance of God’s salvation (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).
                3. This preferred will is seen in the action of peoples and nations (Mathew 23:37).
          2. Through His word
            1. The power of the word
              1. The power in the word of a king (Ecclesiastes 8:4)
              2. The power of His voice (Psalm 29:4)
              3. The power of His word (Luke 4:32, 36)
              4. The power of His written word (Hebrews 4:12)
            2. The working of God’s word
              1. In creation (Genesis 1:1-3; Psalm 33:6, 9; Hebrews 11:3)
              2. In preservation (Hebrews 1:3)
              3. In the working of miracles (Matthew 8:8)
        5. The practical value of God’s power
          1. He is able to guide us (2 Samuel 22:33)
          2. We can know something of His power (Psalm 63:1-2: Ephesians 1:18-19; Philippians 3:10)
          3. He will strengthen us with His power (Psalm 68:35; Isaiah 40:29; Zechariah 4:6; Ephesians 6:10; 2 Timothy 1:7)
          4. By His power we fulfill His will (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 3:7, 20; Colossians 1:10-11)
          5. By His power He will establish us (Romans 16:25)
      3. Immutability
        1. Definition: God is always the same. He is unchanging and unchangeable.
        2. The scriptural proof of God’s immutability
          1. He does not change (Malachi 3:6)
          2. He is the same forever (Psalm 102:26-27)
          3. He has no variableness or shadow of turning (James 1:17)
          4. He does not repent (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29)
          5. The immutable God produces immutable promises (Hebrews 6:16-18)
            1. The immutability of His counsel
            2. The immutability of His oath
          6. Jesus Christ is the same forever (Hebrews 13:8)
        3. The problem of repentance
          1. The times of God’s repentance
            1. He repents (Genesis 6:6; 1 Samuel 15:11; Amos 7:3, 6; Joel 2:13; Jonah 3:9-10; Jonah 4:2)
            2. He changes His purpose (Exodus 32:10-14; Jonah 3:10)
            3. He turns from the fierceness of His anger (Deuteronomy 13:17; 2 Chronicles 12:12; 2 Chronicles 30:8; Jeremiah 18:8-10; Jeremiah 26:3)
          2. The tension found in 1 Samuel 15
            1. God repents that He had set up Saul to be king (1 Samuel 15:11)
            2. God is not a man that He should repent (1 Samuel 15:29)
            3. God repents that He made Saul king  (1 Samuel 15:35)
            4. This is not a mistranslation. The same Hebrew word is used for repent in each case. Unfortunately, many modern translations change the wording in order to remove the apparent contradiction. The seeming contradiction was clearly put there on purpose in order to help define the word.
          3. The meaning of the two kinds of repentance as they refer to the Lord
            1. As to His character or being, God never repents. He never changes who He is and He never has to apologize for what He says. He does not change as man changes.
            2. As to His response to man, God does repent. However, it is not God that has changed, but man. If a wicked man changes and turns to righteousness, then God will repent of the evil He would have done to him. However, this is not repentance in the human sense. God is still the same. He still rewards righteousness and judges wickedness. He is simply responding to changes made by the people involved.
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 23:23

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.