Wednesday, December 09, 2009

“Doctrine of God” by Evans: index of lessons and basic truths

Notes: (1) “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Rev. William Evans, Ph.D., D.D. is a well-respected reference material for Bible students, pastors, missionaries and laymen. You can read the entire book from Google (click the picture of the book cover), or download the complete zipped e-book. (2) Surf to the general index of lessons and online quizzes from Evans.

Lessons: Doctrine of God

  1. Existence of God a fact taken for granted
  2. Universal belief in the existence of God
  3. Cosmological argument for God
  4. Teleological argument for God
  5. Ontological and anthropological arguments for God
  6. Congruity argument for God
  7. Argument from Scripture
  8. Spirituality of God (part 1)
  9. Spirituality of God (part 2)
  10. Personality of God vs. Pantheism
  11. God’s personality as proved by His relation to the universe and men
  12. Unity of God vs. Polytheism
  13. Doctrine of the Trinity vs. Unitarianism
  14. Omniscience of God
  15. Omnipotence of God
  16. Omnipresence of God
  17. Eternity and immutability of God
  18. Holiness of God
  19. Righteousness and Justice of God
  20. Mercy and Loving-kindness of God
  21. Love of God

Basic truths
: Doctrine of God

Existence of God a fact taken for granted

[1] God’s existence is taken for granted by the writers of Scripture.

[2] God has revealed Himself generally to mankind through creation and conscience.

[3] God has revealed truth about Himself specifically. The Bible is the only means of special revelation today.

[4] Special revelation is that revelation of God that speaks directly to who He is, His will, and His ways. That revelation comes by way of the Lord Jesus Christ and His word: the Scriptures. This revelation is a potentially saving revelation of God. The Holy Spirit uses the word of God in the lives of some to effect the new birth. That’s why Paul said in Rom. 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation…” (from Worldviews: God Explains it All - Part II, by Dr. Paul J. Dean)

Universal belief in the existence of God

[ 1] “Man everywhere believes in the existence of a supreme Being or Beings to whom he is morally responsible and to whom propitiation needs to be made.”

[2] “This universal belief comes from within man.”

[3] “The fact that all men everywhere believe in the existence of a supreme Being or beings to whom they are morally responsible, is a strong argument in favor of its truth.”

Cosmological argument for God

[1] “No theory of an ‘eternal series’ can account for this created universe. No matter how long a chain you may have, you must have a staple somewhere from which it depends. An endless perpendicular chain is an impossibility.”

[2] “Man exists; but he owes his existence to some cause.”

[3] “Man is an effect; he has not always existed.”

[4] “That the first Cause must have been an intelligent Being is proven by the fact that we are intelligent beings ourselves.”

Teleological argument for God

[1] Design proves that there is a designer.

[2] Design in nature is “the result of a superintending and originating intelligence and will.”

Ontological and anthropological arguments for God

[1] Man’s “idea of an infinite and perfect Being” argues for the “existence of an infinite and perfect Being”.

[2] “Man has an intellectual and a moral nature, hence his Creator must be an intellectual and moral Being, a Judge, and Lawgiver.”

[3] “Man has an emotional nature; only a Being of goodness, power, love, wisdom and holiness could satisfy such a nature.”

[4] Conscience in man is an argument for “existence of a Moral Governor to whom we are responsible.”

Congruity argument for God

[1] “Belief in a self-existent, personal God is in harmony with all the facts of our mental and moral nature, as well as with all the phenomena of the natural world.”

[2] Atheism does not explain the “facts of our mental and moral nature” and the “phenomena of the natural world”. It makes “history and our moral and intellectual nature an imposture and a lie.”

Argument from Scripture

[1] “The history of the Jews, prophecy, is not explainable minus God.”

[2] “Scripture does not attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes, and declares that the knowledge of God is universal.”

[3] “God’s eternal power and divinity can clearly seen and perceived through the evidences of His handiwork which abound on every hand.”

Spirituality of God (part 1)

[1] “God must be worshipped in spirit as distinguished from place, form, or other sensual limitations (4:21); and in truth as distinguished from false conceptions resulting from imperfect knowledge (4:22).”

[2] “God has nothing of a material or bodily nature.”

[3] “Images were forbidden because no one had ever seen God, and consequently could not picture how He looked, and, further, there was nothing on the earth that could resemble Him.”

[4] “God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, without passions, and therefore free from all limitations; He is apprehended not by the senses, but by the soul.”

Spirituality of God (part 2)

[1] “The image of God in man consisted in intellectual and moral likeness rather than physical resemblance.”

[2] “God is said to have hands, feet, arms, eyes, ears; He sees, feels, hears, walks, etc. Such expressions are to be understood only in the sense of being human expressions used in order to bring the infinite within the comprehension of the finite.”

[3] “Throughout the ages the invisible God has manifested Himself in visible form.”

[4] “The Angel of the Lord is identified with Jehovah Himself.”

[5] “The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is undoubtedly the second person of the Trinity.”

[6] “None but the Son has really seen God as God, as He really is.”

Personality of God vs. Pantheism

[1] Pantheism: “Everything is God, and God is everything; God is all, all is God. Thus God is identified with nature and not held to be independent of and separate from it. God is, therefore, a necessary but an unconscious force working in the world.”

[2] “True religion may be defined as the communion between two persons: God and man. Religion is a personal relationship between God in heaven, and man on the earth.”

[3] “Personality exists where there is intelligence, mind, will, reason, individuality, self-consciousness, and self-determination.”

[4] “All the names given to God in the Scripture denote personality.” For example, Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord will provide (Gen. 22:13, 14).

[5] “A sharp distinction is drawn in the Scriptures between the gods of heathen and the Lord God of Israel (See Jer. 10:10-16).”

[6] “God is to be clearly distinguished from things which have no life; he is a living Person.”

[7] “Attributes of personality are ascribed to God in the Scriptures: God repents (Gen. 6:6); grieves (Gen 6:6); is angry (1 Kings 11:9); is jealous (Deut. 6:15); loves (Rev. 3:19); hates (Prov. 6:16).”

God’s personality as proved by His relation to the universe and men

[1] “The relation which God bears to the Universe and to Men, as set forth in the Scriptures, can be explained only on the basis that God is a Person.”

[2] “Deism maintains that God, while the Creator of the world, yet sustains no further relations to it. He made it just as the clock-maker makes a self-winding clock: makes it and then leaves it to run itself without any interference on His part.”

[3] “He is the Creator of the Universe and Man. “Gen. 1:1, 26; John. 1:1-3.

[4] “The uniformity and accuracy of natural law compels us to believe in a personal God who intelligently guides and governs the universe.” (Heb 1:3, Col. 1:15-17)

[5] “The physical supplies for all God’s creatures are in His hand: He feeds them all. What God gives we gather. If He withholds provision we die.” (Psa. 104:27-30)

[6] “God has His hand in history, guiding and shaping the affairs of nations.” (Psa. 75:6, 7)

[7] “God’s care is described in detail: The sparrows, the lilies, the hairs of the head, the tears of His children, etc.” (Matt. 6:28-30; 10:29, 30; Gen. 39:21, with 50:20; Dan. 1:9; Job 1:12)

Unity of God vs. Polytheism

[1] “Polytheism: belief in a multiplicity of gods.”

[2] “Tri-theism: there are three Gods--that is, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are, specifically, three distinct Gods.”

[3] “Dualism: there are two independent divine beings or eternal principles.”

[4] “The Scriptures assert the Unity of God (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 44:6-8; 45:5, 1 Tim. 2:5, 1 Cor. 8:4)”.

[5] “The fundamental duty of life, namely, the devotion of the entire being to the Lord, is based upon the Unity of God.”

[6] “No other truth of the Scripture, particularly of the Old Testament, receives more prominence than that of the Unity of God.”

[7] “A multiplication of Gods is a contradiction; there can be but one God. There can be but one absolutely perfect, supreme, and almighty Being. Such a Being cannot be multiplied, nor pluralized. There can be but one ultimate, but one all-inclusive, but one God.”

[8] “The doctrine of the Unity of God does not exclude the idea of a plurality of persons in the Godhead. There are three persons in the Godhead, but one God.”

[9] “The Hebrew word for God (Elohim) is used most frequently in the plural form. God often uses plural pronouns in speaking of Himself, e. g., Gen. 1:26, Isa. 6:8, Gen. 3:22.”

Doctrine of the Trinity vs. Unitarianism

[1] “The doctrine of the Trinity is a doctrine to be believed even though it cannot be thoroughly understood.”

[2] The Old Testament teaches the doctrine of the Trinity:
First: In the plural names of the Deity; e. g., Elohim.

Second: Personal pronouns used of the Deity. Gen. 1:26; 11:7; Isa.6:8.

Third: The Theophanies, especially the “Angel of the Lord.” Gen.16 and 18.

Fourth: The work of the Holy Spirit. Gen. 1:2; Judges 6:34.
[3] The New Testament teaches the doctrine of the Trinity:
First: In the baptism of Christ, Matt 3:16, 17.

Second: In the Baptismal Formula, Matt. 28:19.

Third: Apostolic Benediction, 2 Cor. 13:14

Fourth Christ Himself teaches it, John 14:16.

Fifth: The New Testament sets forth a Father who is God, Rom. 1:7, a Son who is God, Heb. 1:8, and a Holy Spirit who is God, Acts 5:3, 4.
Omniscience of God

[1] “The Natural attributes of God are Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Eternity.”

[2] “The Moral attributes of God are Holiness, Righteousness, Faithfulness, Mercy and Loving-kindness, and Love.”

[3] “By Omniscience is meant that God knows all things and is absolutely perfect in knowledge.” Job 11:7, 8; Isa. 40:28; Job 37:16; Psa. 147:5; 1 John 3:20; Rom. 11:33

[4] “God’s knowledge is absolutely comprehensive.” Prov. 15:3, 5:21

[5] “God has a perfect knowledge of all that is in nature.” Psa. 147:4; Gen. 15:5; Isa. 40:26, 27. Matt. 10:29

[6] “God has a perfect knowledge of all that transpires in human experience.” Prov. 5:21; Psa. 139:2, 3, 4; Exod. 3:7, 19; Matt. 10:29, 30; Isa. 48:18

[7] “God has a perfect knowledge of all that transpires in human history.” Acts 15:18

[8] “God knows--from, all eternity to all eternity what will take place.” Isa. 46:9, 10; 48:5-8

[9] “We must not confound the foreknowledge of God with His foreordination. The two things are, in a sense, distinct. The fact that God foreknows a thing makes that thing certain but not necessary. His foreordination is based upon His foreknowledge. Pharaoh was responsible for the hardening of his heart even though that hardening process was foreknown and foretold by God. The actions of men are considered certain but not necessary by reason of the divine foreknowledge.”

Omnipotence of God

[1] “The Omnipotence of God is that attribute by which He can bring to pass everything which He wills. God’s power admits of no bounds or limitations.”

[2] Scriptural declaration of the omnipotence of God, in general: Job 42:2

[3] “God’s slightest word, once uttered, is a standing law to which all nature must absolutely conform. Everything in the sky, in sea, on earth is absolutely subject to His control.” Genesis 1:1-3, Psa. 107:25-29, Nahum 1:5, 6

[4] “All human actions, whether present or future, are dependent upon the will and power of God.” Daniel 4 and Acts 9, Exodus 4:11, James 4:12-15, Luke 12:16-21

[5] “The heavenly inhabitants are subject to His will and word.” Dan. 4:35, Heb. 1:14

[6] “Even Satan is under the control of God. Satan has no power over any of God’s children saving as God permits him to have.” Job 1:12, 2:6; Luke 22:31, 32; Rev. 20:2

Omnipresence of God

[1] “By the Omnipresence of God is meant that God is everywhere present. This attribute is closely connected with the omniscience and omnipotence of God, for if God is everywhere present He is everywhere active and possesses full knowledge of all that transpires in every place.”

[2] “We must guard against the pantheistic idea which claims that God is everything, while maintaining the Scriptural doctrine that He is everywhere present in all things. Pantheism emphasizes the omnipresent activity of God, but denies His personality.”

[3] “God is everywhere and in every place; His center is everywhere; His circumference nowhere. But this presence is a spiritual and not a material presence; yet it is a real presence.”

[4] Scriptural statements of God’s omnipresence: Jer. 23:23, 24; Psa. 10:1-14; Psa. 139:7-12; Job 22:12-14; 26:2; Jonah 2:2); Acts 17:24-28

[5] “We may summarize the doctrine of the Trinity thus: God the Father is specially manifested in heaven; God the Son has been specially manifested on the earth; God the Spirit is manifested everywhere.”

[6] The comfort of the doctrine of omnipresence: “The omnipresence is not only a detective truth--it is protective also. After dwelling on this great and awful attribute in Psalm 139, the psalmist, in vv. 17, 18, exclaims: ‘How precious are thy thoughts to me..... When I awake I am still with thee.’ By this is meant that God stands by our side to help, and as One who loves and understands us (Matt. 28:20).”

[7] The warning of the doctrine of omnipresence: “Under the government of God no sinner can escape the eye of the judge. Thus the omnipresence of God is detective as well as protective. ‘Thou God seest me,’ should serve as warning to keep us from sin.”

Eternity and immutability of God

[1] “The word eternal is used in two senses in the Bible: figuratively, as denoting existence which may have a beginning, but will have no end, e. g., angels, the human soul; literally, denoting an existence which has neither beginning nor ending, like that of God. Time has past, present, future; eternity has not. Eternity is infinite duration without any beginning, end, or limit--an ever abiding present.”

[2] “By the Immutability of God is meant that God’s nature is absolutely unchangeable. It is not possible that He should possess one attribute at one time that He does not possess at another. Nor can there be any change in the Deity for better or for worse. God remains forever the same. He is without beginning and without end; the self-existent “I am”; He remains forever the same, and unchangeable.”

[3] Scriptural statement of the Eternity of God: Hab. 1:12; Psa. 90:2; Psa. 102:24-27; Exod. 3:14; Rev. 1:8.

[4] Scriptural statement of the Immutability of God: Mal 3:6; James 1:17 1 Sam. 15:29

[5] Does God Repent?
“The repentant attitude in God does not involve any real change in the character and purposes of God. He ever hates the sin and ever pities and loves the sinner; that is so both before and after the sinner’s repentance. Divine repentance is therefore the same principle acting differently in altered circumstances.”

“God’s character never changes, but His dealings with men change as they change from ungodliness to godliness and from disobedience unto obedience.”
Holiness of God

[1] “In the visions of Himself which God granted men in the Scriptures the thing that stood out most prominent was the divine holiness. This is clearly seen by referring to the visions of Moses, Job, and Isaiah. Some thirty times does the Prophet Isaiah speak of Jehovah as ‘the Holy One,’ thus indicating what feature of those beatific visions had most impressed him.”

[2] “The holiness of God is the message of the entire Old Testament. To the prophets God was the absolutely Holy One; the One with eyes too pure to behold evil; the One swift to punish iniquity.”

[3] “Our view of the necessity of the atonement will depend very largely upon our view of the holiness of God. Light views of God and His holiness will produce light views of sin and the atonement.”

[4] Scriptural statements setting forth the fact of God’s Holiness: Isa. 57:15; Psa. 99:9; Hab. 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16; John 17:11

[5] “This attribute of holiness is ascribed to each of the three persons of the Trinity: God the Father, is the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 41:14); God the Son is the Holy One (Acts 3:14); God the Spirit is called the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).”

[6] “An evil God, one that could commit evil would be a contradiction in terms, an impossible, inconceivable idea.” Job 34:10

[7] “God is absolutely clean and pure and free from all defilement.” Lev. 11:43-45

[8] “God is entirely apart from all that is evil and from all that defiles both in Himself and in relation to all His creatures.”

[9] “By the holiness of God is meant the consummate holiness, perfection, purity, and absolute sanctity of His nature. There is absolutely nothing unholy in Him.”

[10] “God’s holiness manifests itself in the hatred of sin and the separation of the sinner from himself.” Prov. 15:9, 26; Isa. 59:1,2

[11] “God’s holiness is seen in that He loves righteousness in the life of His children to such a degree that He gave His only begotten Son to secure it. The Cross shows how much God loves holiness.” Prov. 15:9; John 3:16

[12] Practical deductions from the doctrine of God’s Holiness.
First, we should approach God with “reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28). … There is too much hilarity in our approach unto God.

Second, we shall have right views of sin when we get right views of God’s holiness. Job 40:3-4; 42:4-5. … We confess sin in such easy and familiar terms that it has almost lost its terror for us.

Third, that approach to a holy God must be through the merits of Christ, and on the ground of a righteousness which is Christ’s and which naturally we do not possess. Herein lies the need of the atonement.

Righteousness and Justice of God

[1] “Holiness has to do more particularly with the character of God in itself, while in Righteousness and Justice that character is expressed in the dealings of God with men.”

[2] “Legislative holiness: the imposing of righteousness laws and demands and may be known as the Righteousness of God.”

[3] “Judicial holiness: the executing of the penalties attached to those laws.”

[4] “The attributes of the Righteousness and Justice of God may be regarded as the actual carrying out of the holy nature of God in the government of the world. So that in the Righteousness of God we have His love of holiness, and in the Justice of God, His hatred of sin.”

[5] “Justice, as an attribute of God, is devoid of all passion or caprice; it is vindicative not vindictive.”

[6] “Scriptural statement of the Righteousness and Justice of God: Psalm 116:5; Ezra 9:15; Psa. 145:17; Jer. 12:1. These scriptures clearly set forth not only the fact that God is righteous and just, but also define these attributes. Here we are told that God, in His government of the world, does always that which is suitable, straight, and right.”

[7] “God’s retributive justice: punishing the wicked.”

[8] “God’s remunerative justice: rewarding the righteous.”

[9] How the Righteousness and Justice of God is revealed:
In the punishment of the wicked: Psa. 11:4-7; Exod. 9:23-27; Dan. 9:12-14 and Rev. 16:5, 6.

In forgiving the sins of the penitent: 1 John 1:9

In keeping His word and promise to His children: Neh. 9:7, 8

In showing Himself to be the vindicator of His people from all their enemies: Psa. 129:1-4

In the rewarding of the righteous: Heb. 6:10; 2 Tim. 4:8
Mercy and Loving-kindness of God

[1] “Mercy is usually exercised in connection with guilt; it is that attribute of God which leads Him to seek the welfare, both temporal and spiritual, of sinners, even though at the cost of great sacrifice on His part.” (Eph. 2:4; Rom. 5:8)

[2] “Loving-kindness is that attribute of God which leads Him to bestow upon His obedient children His constant and choice blessing.” (Rom. 8:32)

[3] Scriptural statement of the mercy and loving-kindness of God: Psa. 103:8; Deut. 4:31; Psa. 86:15; Luke 15:11-32

[4] How the Mercy and Loving-kindness of God are manifested.
In general: We must not forget that God is absolutely sovereign in the bestowal of His blessings (Rom. 9:18; Psa. 86:5).

Mercy--towards sinners in particular: Luke 6:36; Matt. 5:45; Isa. 55:7; Prov. 28:13 and Psa. 51:1; 2 Pet. 3:9; Neh. 9:31

Loving-kindness towards the saints, in particular: Psa. 32:10; Phil. 2:27; Psa. 6:4; Psa. 21:7
Love of God

[1] “Christianity is really the only religion that sets forth the Supreme Being as Love. The gods of the heathen are angry, hateful beings, and are in constant need of appeasing.”

[2] Scriptural statements of the Love of God: 1 John 3: 16; 4:8-16; John 3:16). “The love of God is of such a nature that it betokens a constant interest in the physical and spiritual welfare of His creatures as to lead Him to make sacrifices beyond human conception to reveal that love.”

[3] The objects of God’s Love.
Jesus Christ, God’s only-begotten Son, is the special object of His Love (Matt. 3:17; Matt. 17:5; Luke 20:13). “The love of God is broader than the measure of man’s mind. God desires the salvation of all men.”

Believers in His Son, Jesus Christ, are special objects of God's Love (John 14:21-23; 16:27; 17:23).

God loves the world of sinners and ungodly men (Jh 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 Tim 2:4)
[4] How the Love of God reveals Itself.
In making infinite sacrifice for the salvation of men (1 John 4:9, 10). The Cross of Calvary is the highest expression of the love of God for sinful man. He gave not only a Son, but His only Son, His well-beloved.

In bestowing full and complete pardon on the penitent (Isa. 38:17; Eph. 2:4,5)

In remembering His children in all the varying circumstances of life (Isa. 63:9; 49:15, 16)

No comments: