Tag: God

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Below, you will find the foundational statement of faith of all Reformed Christians. Officially codified in AD 390, this is a concise statement on the essentials of Christian Orthodoxy.

 

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead:

He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the Holy Ghost:

I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

And the life everlasting. Amen.

Foundations Lesson 5: The Holy Ghost

Foundations Lesson 5: The Holy Ghost

The Holy Spirit is a Person

In Greek, personal pronouns are used – He, Him, etc. Greek (parakletos) – “One called alongside to help”, Helper, Comforter, Counselor.

The Holy Spirit possesses attributes of personhood

Intellect. Romans 8:26: … the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Intercession requires intellect.

Emotions. Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

A Will. Luke 2:26: And it had been revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. To actively reveal something is an act of the will.

The Holy Spirit does things only a Person can do:

  • teaches and helps us to remember John 14:26
  • calls men to service (He speaks) Acts 13:2
  • convicts us of sin John 16:8
  • leads Romans 8:13,14
  • authors 2 Peter 1:19-21

being a Person, He can be affected by our actions or attitudes.

  • We can lie to Him            Acts 5:1-3
  • We can grieve Him          Ephesians 4:30
  • We can quench Him        1 Thessalonians 5:19
  • We can insult Him           Hebrews 10:29
  • We can resist Him            Acts 7:51
  • We can blaspheme Him   Mark 3:28-29
  • We are convicted by Him  John 16:7-11

The Holy Spirit is God Himself

In possessing the same essential qualities that Jesus does, He possesses all of the attributes of God:

Omnipresent                                  Psalms 139:7-10

Omnipotent                                   Luke 1:35

Omniscient                                    John 14:26; 16:12-13 1 Cor 2:10-11

Eternal                                           Hebrews 9:14

Holy                                     Romans 1:4

Creator                                          Gen 1:2, Job 33:4; Ps 104:30,

He is called God                                              Acts 5:3-4,  2 Cor 3:3, 17

fills                                                         Acts 4:8,  Eph 5:18

empowers  (epi)                                      Rom 8:13,  Gal 5:17,  Zech 4:6,

Acts 1:8

teaches                                                             John 14:26,  John 16:13,  Neh 9:20,

1 John 2:27

 

edifies                                                              Acts 9:31

He does not call attention to Himself and is ever present to glorify and testify of the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 16:13-14: However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you.

The Spirit of God is active today, convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

John 16:8: And when that One comes, He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment.

He regenerates

John 3:6-7: That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.

Seals Believers

Ephesians 4:30: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.

and sets the believer apart to a holy life.

Galatians 5:16: I say, then, Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of flesh.

At the moment of salvation, each believer is baptized with the Spirit into the body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:13: For also by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free, even all were made to drink into one Spirit.

To quote Dr. Stanley, at the moment of your salvation, you got all of the Holy Spirit that you are ever going to get.

and at the same moment is permanently indwelt by the Spirit.

John 14:16-17: And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, so that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him nor know Him. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and shall be in you.

 

At salvation the Holy Spirit sovereignly imparts at least one spiritual gift to every believer for the purpose of edifying and equipping the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:7-8: And to each hath been given the manifestation of the Spirit for profit; for to one through the Spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit.

As to the charismata (grace gifts/gifts of the Spirit)

The Gift of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself, and He is to be desired more than the Grace Gifts which He in His wise counsel bestows upon individual members of the Church to enable them properly to fulfill their function as members of the body of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit, although not always identifiable with natural abilities, function through them for the edification of the whole Church. These gifts are to be exercised in love under the administration of the Lord of the Church, not through human volition. The relative value of the gifts of the Spirit is to be tested by their usefulness in the Church and not by the ecstasy produced in the ones receiving them.

The purpose is to edify the whole Church

Problem (especially for Charismatics):  lack of knowledge of the Person of the Holy Spirit and the proper exercise of His gifts.

The gifts are ALWAYS to focus the believer on Jesus never to focus on the believer himself.

He gifts us by His sovereign will…and takes into account our unique personalities

Gifts complement each other, never compete with each other

The Cessation of the Sign Gifts

The biblical record shows that miracles occurred during particular periods for the specific purpose of authenticating a new message from God.

Moses was enabled to perform miracles to authenticate his ministry before Pharaoh (Exodus 4:1-8). Elijah was given miracles to authenticate his ministry before Ahab (1 Kings 17:118:24). The apostles were given miracles to authenticate their ministry before Israel (Acts 4:1016).

Jesus’ ministry was also marked by miracles, which the Apostle John calls “signs” (John 2:11). John’s point is that the miracles were proofs of the authenticity of Jesus’ message.

After Jesus’ resurrection, as the Church was being established and the New Testament was being written, the apostles demonstrated “signs” such as tongues and the power to heal. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Corinthians 14:22), a verse that plainly says the gift was never intended to edify the church.

As the “Gift of Tongues” seems to be the most common gift sought today, we will focus on it for our arguments

Evidence from Scripture

Is there biblical or theological evidence that tongues have ceased? Yes.

First, the gift of tongues was a miraculous, revelatory gift, and the age of miracles and, especially, revelation ended with the apostles. The last recorded miracles in the New Testament occurred around A.D. 58, with the healings on the island of Malta (Acts 28:7-10). From A.D. 58 to 96, when John finished the book of Revelation, no miracle is recorded. Miracle gifts like tongues and healing are mentioned only in 1 Corinthians, an early epistle and possibly one of the first penned by the Apostle Paul. Two later epistles, Ephesians and Romans, both discuss gifts of the Spirit at length—but no mention is made of the miraculous gifts.

By that time miracles were already looked on as something in the past (Heb. 2:3-4). Apostolic authority and the apostolic message needed no further confirmation. Before the first century ended, the entire New Testament had been written and was circulating through the churches.

John MacArthur makes an excellent point and adds a powerful question:

Charismatic believers insist that none of the gifts have ceased and non-charismatics insist that tongues have already ceased. Who is right and what is the implication?

By the time the apostolic age ended with the death of the Apostle John, the signs that identified the apostles had already become moot (cf. 2 Cor. 12:12).

Secondly, tongues were intended as a sign to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor. 14:21-22; cf. Is. 28:11-12). They signified that God had begun a new work that encompassed the Gentiles. The Lord would now speak to all nations in all languages. The barriers were down. And so the gift of languages symbolized not only the curse of God on a disobedient nation, but also the blessing of God on the whole world. (Here, in a sense, God reversed, or rather superceded, for a time, what He did at the Tower of Babel by confusing humanity’s languages.)

Tongues were therefore a sign of transition between the Old and New Covenants. With the establishment of the church, a new day had dawned for the people of God. God would speak in all languages. But once the period of transition was past, the sign would no longer be necessary.

Third, the gift of tongues was inferior to other gifts. It was given primarily as a sign (1 Cor. 14:22) and was also easily misused to edify self (1 Cor. 14:4). Case in point, the number of people who foolishly claim that all believers should expect this gift, or the even more dangerous teaching that one cannot truly be saved if He does not speak in tongues. The church meets for the edification of the body, not self-gratification or personal experience-seeking. Therefore, tongues had limited usefulness in the church, and so it was never intended to be a permanent gift.

Evidence from History

The evidence of history indicates that tongues have ceased. It is significant that tongues are mentioned only in the earliest books of the New Testament. Paul wrote at least twelve epistles after 1 Corinthians and never mentioned tongues again. Peter never mentioned tongues; James never mentioned tongues; John never mentioned tongues; neither did Jude. Tongues appeared only briefly in Acts and 1 Corinthians as the new message of the gospel was being spread. But once the church was established, tongues were gone. They stopped. The later books of the New Testament do not mention tongues again, and neither did anyone in the post-apostolic age.

Chrysostom and Augustine—the greatest theologians of the eastern and western churches—considered tongues obsolete. Writing in the fourth century, Chrysostom stated categorically that tongues had ceased by his time and described the gift as an obscure practice. Augustine referred to tongues as a sign that was adapted to the apostolic age. In fact, during the first five hundred years of the church, the only people who claimed to have spoken in tongues were followers of Montanus, who was branded as a heretic.

The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). To repeat and reinforce the point, here are six proofs {gotquestions.org} that it has already ceased:

1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.

2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned, although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy. The Greek word translated “prophecy” means “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future.

3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.

4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies (builds up/trains/molds) believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).

5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.

6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2. As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.

EQUALITY OF THE THREE PERSONS

We’ve studied Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One more of our claims needs to be addressed; that of the equality of the three:

“[God] is infinite and perfect, eternally existing in three equal persons.”

In what sense are they equal? They are all equally endowed with all of the attributes of Personhood and Deity. Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Father which constitutes him the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one.

John 1:18, John 15:26, John 17:11, John 17:21,  Zechariah 14:9

Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, neither Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others. (John 5:17-30, John 5:32, John 5:37, John 8:17,18)

Foundations 2: YHWH, the One True God

Foundations 2: YHWH, the One True God

From the outset, the Bible Assumes the Existence of God. Throughout the Scripture we see the assumption of the existence of God and the fact that He predates all things and is without cause. The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God; it simply assumes He is.

  • Genesis 1:1
  • John 1:1
  • Psalm 19:1
  • Psalm 90:2

God reveals His Name as I AM (Exodus 3:14). In Hebrew it is Ehyeh Aser Ehyeh. This can be translated as I am who I am, I will be what I will be, or even I am because I am. Though Biblical Hebrew does not have verb tenses, the English translation of the Name is in the Present Continuous Tense. This is an allusion to the fact that God is unbound by time.

The Bible defines God by what He is and what He does

  • El, Elim, Elohim, Eloah: deity (Genesis 1:1)
  • Adonai: my Lord (as of a servant to a master)
  • El-Elyon: the most high (Psalm 78:35)
  • El-Shaddai: Almighty God (Genesis 17:1)
  • YHWH (believed to be pronounced yah way but may also be pronounced as yah who vah hence the germaninc Jehovah as being the personal name of God): the personal name of God. This is the 2nd Person Derivative of the I AM WHO I AM name “to be, the one who causes to be, self-existent one” (Exodus 3:14)
  • YHWH-Jireh: the Lord will provide (Genesis 22:14)
  • YHWH-Rophe: the Lord that heals (Exodus 15:26)
  • YHWH-Nissi: the Lord our banner/protection  (Exodus 17:15)
  • YHWH-Shalom: the Lord our peace  (Judges 6:24)
  • YHWH-Raah: the Lord my Shepherd  (Psalm 23:1)
  • YHWH-Tsidkenu: the Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
  • YHWH-Shammah: the Lord is present  (Ezekiel 48:35)
  • YHWH Sabaoth-The Lord of hosts (Psalm 89:6-8,  James 5:4)
  • YHWH Mekkodishkim- The Lord who makes us holy/sanctifies (Exodus 31:130)
  • El HaNe’eman- The Faithful God: (Deuteronomy 7:9).
  • El HaGadol- The Great God: (Deuteronomy 10:17).
  • El HaKadosh- The Holy God: (Isaiah 5:16).
  • El Yisrael- The God Of Israel: (Psalm 68:35).
  • El HaShamayim- The God Of The Heavens: (Psalm 136:26).
  • El De’ot- The God Of Knowledge: (1 Samuel 2:3).
  • El Emet- The God Of Truth: (Psalm 31:6).
  • El Yeshuati- The God Of My Salvation: (Isaiah 12:2).
  • El Elyon- The Most High God: (Genesis 14:18).
  • Immanu El- God Is With Us: (Isaiah 7:14).
  • El Olam- The God Of Eternity (Genesis 21:33).
  • El Echad- The One God: (Malachi 2:10). “
  • Elah Yerush’lem- God of Jerusalem: (Ezra 7:19).
  • Elah Yisrael- God of Israel: (Ezra 5:1).
  • Elah Sh’maya- God of Heaven: (Ezra 7:23).
  • Elah Sh’maya V’Arah- God of Heaven and Earth: (Ezra 5:11).

Is there evidence for the existence of God outside of the Bible? Romans 1 points out that creation declares the glory of God. We also have the conscience, a moral compass so to speak that is built into every person.

The Trinity (This is an essential doctrine, meaning that the Church Fathers considered this a salvation issue)

The Lord God has revealed Himself as embodying relationship and association in that He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

  • Deuteronomy 6:4
  • Isaiah 43:10,11
  • Matthew 28:19
  • Luke 3:22

The terms “Trinity” and “persons” as related to God are not found in the Scriptures, but they are words in harmony with Scripture. These terms convey to others our understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God; He is distinguished from “gods many and lords many.” We therefore may speak of Lord our God who is One Lord, as a trinity or as one Being of three persons, and still be absolutely scriptural.

  • Matthew 28:19
  • 2 Corinthians 13:14
  • John 14:16-17

Distinction of Persons and Relationship in the Trinity
Jesus taught a distinction of Persons in the Godhead, which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We need to point out that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode, is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because it is never fully explained. This is, indeed, one of the great mysteries of the Christian Faith.

  • Luke 1:35
  • 1 Corinthians 1:24
  • Matthew 11:25-27
  • Matthew 28:19
  • 2 Corinthians 13:14
  • 1 John 1:3-4

Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
There is that in the Father which constitutes Him as the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not either the Father or the Son.

  • John 1:18
  • John 15:26
  • John 17:11
  • John 17:21
  • Zechariah 14:9

Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to being God; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Therefore no Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others.

  • John 5:17-30
  • John 5:32
  • John 5:37
  • John 8:17,18

Did the Church Fathers Believe in the Trinity? Yes. (as a reminder, when we refer to the “Catholic” Faith we do not mean the Roman Catholic Church; we mean the church universal). It was not without issue though. Two teachings arose quickly that were determined to be heretical by the Council of Nicaea, Arianism and Sabellianism. Interestingly enough to major groups exist today that continue to teach these heresies.

Arianism

The modern version of Arianism is also known as Jehovah’s Witnesses though Mormonism is also very Arian in its Christology.

Arianism developed around 320 in Alexandria, Egypt, and concerning the person of Christ and is named after Arius of Alexandria. This teaching was condemned by the First Council of Nicaea.

Arianism misunderstands references to Jesus’ being tired (John 4:6) and not knowing the date of His return (Matthew 24:36). Yes, it is difficult to understand how God could be tired and/or not know something, but relegating Jesus to a created being is not the answer. Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully human. Jesus did not become a human being until the incarnation. Therefore, Jesus’ limitations as a human being have no impact on His divine nature or eternality.

A second major misinterpretation in Arianism is the meaning of “firstborn” (Romans 8:29Colossians 1:15-20). Arians understand “firstborn” in these verses to mean that Jesus was “born” or “created” as the first act of creation. This is not the case. Jesus Himself proclaimed His self-existence and eternality (John 8:5810:30). John 1:1-2 tells us that Jesus was “in the beginning with God.” In Bible times, the firstborn son of a family was held in great honor (Genesis 49:3Exodus 11:534:19Numbers 3:40Psalm 89:27Jeremiah 31:9). It is in this sense that Jesus is God’s firstborn. Jesus is the preeminent member of God’s family. Jesus is the anointed one, the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

After nearly a century of debate at various early church councils, the Christian church officially denounced Arianism as a false doctrine. Since that time, Arianism has never been accepted as a viable doctrine of the Christian faith.  As we said, earlier, Arianism has not died, however. It is alive and well today and we at Exploring the Truth will vigorously oppose it until Christ returns to vindicate His Name.

Sabellianism (gotquestions.org)

One of the most hotly debated theological issues in the early Christian church was the doctrine of the Trinity. How do God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit relate to one another? How can there only be one God, but three Persons? All of the various early heresies resulted from individuals overemphasizing or underemphasizing various aspects of the Godhead. Ultimately, all of these false views result from attempts by finite human beings to fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-36). Sabellianism, Modalism, and Monarchianism are just three of the numerous false views and are very similar in nature.

Monarchianism had two primary forms, Dynamic Monarchianism and Modalistic Monarchianism. Dynamic Monarchianism is the view that Jesus was not in His nature God. It is the view that God existed in Jesus, just as God exists in all of us, but that God existed in Jesus in a particularly powerful way. Jesus was God because God inhabited Him. Modalistic Monarchianism, also known as Modalism, is the view that God variously manifested Himself as the Father (primarily in the Old Testament), other times as the Son (primarily from Jesus’ conception to His ascension), and other times as the Holy Spirit (primarily after Jesus’ ascension into heaven). Modalistic Monarchianism / Modalism teaches that God has simply revealed Himself in three different modes, and that He is not three Persons, as the Bible asserts. Modalistic Monarchianism / Modalism is also known as Sabellianism, named after Sabellius, an influential early proponent of the view. Yet another aspect of Modalistic Monarchianism / Modalism / Sabellianism is Patripassianism, which is the view that it was God the Father who became incarnate, suffered, died, and was resurrected. Patripassianism essentially teaches that God the Father became His own Son.

Sabellianism, Modalism, Monarchianism (dynamic and modalistic), and Patripassianism are all unbiblical understandings of the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity. It is impossible for us as finite human beings to fully understand an infinite God. The Bible presents God as one God, but then speaks of three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How these two truths harmonize is inconceivable to the human mind. When we attempt to define the indefinable (God), we will always fail to varying degrees. Dynamic Monarchianism fails in that it does not recognize the true deity of Jesus Christ. Modalistic Monarchianism / Modalism / Sabellianism / Patripassianism fails because it does not recognize God as three distinct Persons.

Ecumenical Creeds answered the heretics:

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.

Amen.

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Definition of Chalcedon

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.

The Athanasian Creed

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.

For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are three gods or three lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved must think thus of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

Master Outline Number 4: The Holy Spirit

Master Outline Number 4: The Holy Spirit

Outline Four: The Holy Spirit

THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

The Holy Spirit is God, and is equal to the Father and the Son. He is God the Holy Spirit, and is distinct from the Father and the Son. In the Genesis account of creation, He is seen actively engaged in the work of creation, along with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, He empowered men for service; but, when they were disobedient, He departed from them.

 

When David sinned, he prayed, “and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me”(Psalm 51:11).
In the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer, never leaving, filling and empowering him. A scriptural understanding of God the Holy Spirit will make you a better Christian and servant of God.

 

1        The Deity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4):  3) But Peter said, “Ananias, why has the Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4) “While it remained was it not your own?  And after it was sold, was it not in your own control?  Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

 

Notes: In dealing with Ananias, Peter revealed the Holy Spirit’s Deity (Acts 5:3a). In this Scripture it is very clear that the Holy Spirit is God, and He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existent with the Father and Son.

 

1)     His deity is also set forth in that He possesses divine attributes:

a)     He is everywhere present in the universe (Psalm 139:7-10)

b)     He has all power (Luke 1:35)

c)     He has all knowledge (I Corinthians 2:10-11)

d)     He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14)

2)     His deity is revealed, His name is coupled in equality with the name of the Father and the Son.

a)     In the baptism of the believer (Matthew 28:19)

b)     In the apostolic benediction (II Corinthians 13:14)

3)     His deity is seen in relation to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

a)     Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)

b)     He was anointed by the Holy Spirit for service – Acts 10:38.

c)     He was led by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1)

d)     He was crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14)

e)     He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:11)

f)       Jesus gave commandments to the apostles and the church through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2)

 

If Jesus needed to depend solely upon the Holy Spirit here on the earth, can we afford to do less?

 

2        The Emblems of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16):  16) John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you wit water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

Notes: It is difficult to impart truth by words. Frequently they reveal only a half-truth. The Bible used certain emblems when telling of the Holy Spirit, because they show more about Him. They are:

 

1)     Fire as an emblem (Luke 3:16). Fire speaks of His consuming, purifying power (Acts 2:3, Isaiah 6:1-7)

2)     Wind as an emblem. (John 3:8). Wind speaks of His depth in His mighty regenerating power.

3)     Water as an emblem. (John 7:37-39).

4)     Seal as an emblem (Ephesians 1:13) Seal speaks of His ownership; it is a finished, eternal transaction.

5)     Oil as an emblem (Acts 10:38 Oil speaks of His power to anoint for service.

6)     Dove as an emblem (Mark 1:10). The dove speaks of His gentle, tender, peaceful nature. We may know “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) only when fully surrendered to God.

 

3        Sins against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32):  31) “therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.  “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

 

Notes: This is a solemn study, because the Holy Spirit is God and can be sinned against by both the believer and the unbeliever. May He help you search your heart as you consider:

 

1)     The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This sin is committed by unbelievers. It is often called the “unpardonable sin.” It has no forgiveness. It was committed by the enemies of Jesus when they accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24) when Jesus cast them out by the “Spirit of God” (Matthew 12:28

2)     The sin of resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). This sin is committed by the unbeliever when rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

3)     The sin of grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32). This sin is committed by believers. He is grieved by us unless He controls our lives to the glory of Jesus Christ.

4)     The sin of quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) This sin is committed by Christians when known sin is allowed to go unconfessed (1 John 1:9; Isaiah 59:1-2)

5)     The sin of lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11). The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was deception. They tried to mock God (Galatians 6:7) The Holy Spirit can be sinned against, He is God.

 

4        The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14):  7)“Nevertheless I tell you the truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.  8 ) “And when He has come, He will convict toe world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment; 9) “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10) “of rightness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11) “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  12) “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  13) “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but what ever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14) “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you….”

 

Notes:  In instructing His disciples, regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “. . . for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will . . .”

 

1)     Convict men of the sin of unbelief (John 16:9)

2)     Convict men that Jesus is the righteousness of God(John 16:10; Romans 10:3-4)

3)     Convict men that the power of Satan has been broken(John 16:11)

4)     Regenerate the believer (John 3:5; Titus 3:5)

5)     Indwell the believer  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

6)     Seal the believer (Ephesians 1:13-14)

7)     Baptize the believer (Acts 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13)

8 )     Infill the believer (Ephesians 5:18 )

9)     Empower the believer (Acts 1:8 )

10) Lead the believer (Galatians 5:16-18 )

11) Administer spiritual gifts to the believer (1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, to remain with the church until it is complete and presented to the Lord Jesus at His coming. Just as Jesus Christ finished the work He came to do in the flesh, so the Holy Spirit will finish the work He came to do in the church.

 

5        The Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23):  22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 22) gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.

 

Notes: “The Fruit of the Spirit is love.” Only as we live in love can we fulfill the will of God in our lives. The believer must become love-inspired, love-mastered, and love-driven (2 Corinthians 5:14). Without the fruit of the Spirit (love), we are just a religious noise (1 Corinthians 13:1).
The Fruit of the Spirit is love,” and it is manifested in joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control:

 

1)     Joy is love’s strength.

2)     Peace is love’s security.

3)     Longsuffering is love’s patience.

4)     Kindness is love’s conduct.

5)     Goodness is love’s character.

6)     Faithfulness is love’s confidence.

7)     Gentleness is love’s humility.

8 )     Selfcontrol is love’s victory.

 

Against such there is no law.” A Holy Spirit-controlled man needs no law to cause him to live a righteous life. The secret of a Spirit-controlled live is found in dedication to God (Romans 12:1-2)
Put your all on the altar, and the Holy Spirit will fill your heart with the love of God (Romans 5:5)

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved

Master Outline Number Three: the Lord Jesus Christ

Master Outline Number Three: the Lord Jesus Christ

Outline Three: Jesus Christ

Christianity is unlike any other religion, because it is more than a religion–it is the story of the life of the Son of God. Christ is Christianity is Christ. He is the main subject of each book of the New Testament, and fulfills all the promises of God in the Old Testament. From His incarnation to His Second Coming (Revelation 17:14), He is the God-man, Christ Jesus in glory, exalted above all creatures, having “all power in heaven and in earth”. Matthew 28:18

During His earthly ministry, He claimed to be God in human flesh. He is what He claimed, or He is not. (Revelation 1:8). Before His claim can be denied, there are some things that must be accounted for:

  • • His virgin birth
  • • His holy, sinless life
  • • His many miracles
  • • His vicarious death
  • • His bodily resurrection

1        The Deity of Jesus Christ (John 1:1) 1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Notes: The deity of Jesus Christ, or His God nature, is established in the New Testament. Some of the facts are:

1)     He is called God by the apostle John (John 1:1)

2)     He is called God by the apostle Thomas (John 20:28).

3)     He is called God by God the Father (Hebrews 1:8).

4)     He claimed to be God in that He was with the Father before creation (John 17:5)

5)     He claimed to be God in that He was before Abraham. Abraham rejoiced to see My day…” (John 8:51-59)

6)     He received worship, and only God is to be worshipped(Matthew 14:33). Angels refused worship (Revelations 22:8, 9).  Man refused worship (Acts 10:25,26)

7)     He forgives sin (Mark 2:5-11). Only God can forgive sin.

8).     He is creator and maker of all things (Colossians 1:16)

9)     He is Sustainer of all things (Hebrews 1:3). Only God can control the universe.

10) He claimed to have “all authority … in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18).

11) He walked upon the blue waters of Galilee, commanded the winds and the waves, healed the sick, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cast out demons, made the lame to walk, turned water into wine, and fed five thousand with the lunch of a lad

2        The Humanity of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:3)  3)“concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,”

Notes: The Humanity of Jesus Christ is seen in His human parentage (Matthew 2:11)

1)     He developed as a normal human being (Luke 2:52)

2)     He was subject to all the sinless infirmities of the human nature:

         He hungered (Matthew 4:2)

         He was thirsty (John 19:28).

         He was weary (John 4:6)

         He wept (John 11:35)

         He was tempted (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus is man, and yet He is more than man. He is not God and man, but the God-man. He is God in human flesh. His two natures are put together in such a way that the two natures become united in one person, having a single consciousness and will.

3        The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ – (Luke 1:26-35) 26) Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27) to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  28) And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  29) But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  30) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  31) “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  32) “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  33) “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  34) “Then Mary said to the angel “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  35) “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Notes:  The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is without duplicate in history. It was by virgin birth that God became man, one person but two natures: God nature and the nature of man-man without sin (Hebrews 4:15). The union of the two natures became the God-man Christ Jesus.

1)     The first hint of the virgin birth is found in (Genesis 3:15). The One to defeat Satan was to be born of “the seed” of the woman. This is a biological miracle: there is no “seed” of the woman. From this, we are to understand that One was to be born of a woman without a human father (Luke 1:34,35)

2)     Isaiah prophesied of the coming Christ (Isaiah 7:14).

3)     Isaiah prophesied of Christ (Isaiah 9:6, 7). This means that God gave His only begotten Son who was with Him from eternity, and the Child Jesus was born of a virgin. God gave His Son “unto us.”

4)     According to prophecy, He was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

 

4        The Death of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:8).   And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Notes: The death of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 120 times in the New Testament and is spoken of many times by the prophets in the Old Testament.

1)     The death of Jesus Christ was Vicarious (Matthew 20:28). He was God’s substitute for sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21). On the cross, Christ was made sin for the sinner, the sinner is made righteous.

2)     The death of Jesus Christ was natural (John 19:31-37). By a natural death, we mean that His spirit and soul were separated from His body.

3)     The death of Jesus Christ was unnatural (Romans 6:23). By an unnatural death, we mean that since He was sinless, in that He “committed no sin” (1 Peter 2:22)

a)     -“had no sin” (1 John 3:5)

b)     -“knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

c)     –before He could die, He had to be “made sin for us.” Therefore, His death was unnatural.

4)     The death of Jesus Christ was preternatural (Revelation 13:8). By this, we mean that the death of Jesus was not an afterthought with God; it was the forethought of God.

5)     The death of Jesus Christ was supernatural (John 10:17, 18). Jesus said, “No one takes life from me.” Then He said, “I lay it down of Myself”. “I have power to take it up again.” This He did on the cross, after three days and three nights, He took life up again when He arose from the dead.

Only God in the form of man could die a vicarious, natural, unnatural, preternatural, and supernatural death.

5        The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:1-20): 1)Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2) And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3) His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. 4)  And the guards shook for fear of him, and became as dead men.  5)  But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  6) “He is not here; for He is raised, as He said. Come; see the place where the Lord lay.  7)  “And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”  8).  So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9)  And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  10) Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid, Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”  11)  Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12)  When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers.  13)  saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’  14)  “And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”  15)  So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. 16)  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.  17)  When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.  18).  And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  19)  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,  20)  “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Amen.

Notes:  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”(John 11:25). The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the doctrine of the disciples, the faith of the true believer, the courage of the martyr, the theme of every sermon, and the power of every evangelist.

Luke tells us that we have “many infallible proofs” of His resurrection (Acts 1:3). Let us look at some of these “infallible proofs”.

1)     After His resurrection He appeared first to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18).

2)     He appeared to the women returning from the tomb(Matthew 28:5-10)

3)     Then He appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34)

4)     To the Emmaus disciples (Luke 24:13-31)

5)     To the apostles, Thomas not present (Luke 24:36-43)

6)     Again to the apostles, Thomas present (John 20:24-29)

7)     To the seven by the Sea of Tiberius (John 21:1-23)

8).     To over five hundred brethren (1 Corinthians 15:6)

9)     He was seen of James (1 Corinthians 15:7)

10) He was seen again by the eleven apostles (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:3-12)

11) He was seen of Stephen, the first martyr (Acts 7:55)

12) He was seen of Paul on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6; I Corinthians 15:8).

 

Many of these eye witnesses died martyr’s deaths because they preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were glad to die for a living Christ. They had the “infallible proofs.”

When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all of His disciples “forsook Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). From this time until after His resurrection, the disciples lived in fear. They did not believe that He would rise from the dead (John 20:9). Without the Resurrection, the cross would have been the end of Christianity. After the death of Jesus, we see His disciples dejected, discouraged, and defeated. The death of Jesus meant the end. How do we account for the great change that came into their lives three days and three nights later? The only logical explanation is that they had the “infallible proofs” that He had risen from the dead, and was alive forevermore. They saw Him, talked with Him touched Him, and ate with Him.

Now look at some “infallible proofs” according to circumstantial evidence:

1)     The change that came into the lives of the disciples after the Resurrection-from fear to unlimited courage. They rejoiced in persecution (Acts 5:40-42)

2)     The early church began to worship on the first day of the week, the day of the Resurrection. It was not a law-it was spontaneous (Acts 20:7). For almost two thousand years, the church has worshipped on the first day. For the Christian, every Sunday is Easter

3)     The early Christians went everywhere with the word of the Resurrection (Acts 8:1-4)

4)     The empty tomb – for if Jesus is not alive, what happened to His body? The Roman guards were paid to say, “His disciples came at night, and stole Him away while we slept” (Matthew 28:12-13).

First, the disciples were afraid. If they stole His body, then how do you account for the fact that they all suffered, and most of them died martyrs’ deaths? Would not one of them reveal the hiding place to save his own life?

Second, no one was ever arrested or tried for stealing the body of Jesus. It is evident that the governing officials did not believe the story of the guards.

Third, the guards could have been put to death for sleeping while on watch.

Fourth, if they were asleep, how could they known who “stole” the body?

Fifth, had the enemies of Jesus moved the body, they could have produced it and ended Christianity!!

The linen clothes found in the empty tomb are proof of the Resurrection (John 20:1-10). Had anyone stolen the body, they would not have removed the linen clothes from a three day old dead body. When John saw the linen clothes, he knew that a miracle had taken place. Jesus came out of the clothes, and they collapsed without disturbing the folds. They were left in the empty tomb; and when John saw and believed that Jesus had risen from the dead.

6        The Ascension and Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9-11):  9) Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of sight.  10) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,11) who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go up into Heaven.”

Notes: After forty days of instructing His disciples, the risen Christ ascended up on high and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12). Two men brought the message of His second coming to the apostles (Acts 1:11). The message of the second coming of Jesus is so important, that it is mentioned over 300 times in the New Testament.

1)     He is coming to take His church to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; John 14:1-6)

2)     He is coming to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31-46)

3)     He is coming to save Israel (Romans 11:25,26)

4)     He is coming to sit upon the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33; Isaiah 9:6,7)

5)     He is coming to bring righteous government to this earth again, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20)

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Master Outline Two: God

Master Outline Two: God

Outline Two: God

GOD

The Bible reveals God as the only infinite and Eternal Being, having no beginning and no ending. He is the Supreme Personal Intelligence, and Righteous Ruler of His universe. He is life, and therefore, the only source of life (John 5:26).

Man is natural and cannot know God by wisdom (Job 11:7). God is a person and can be known only by revelation. In the Old Testament He revealed Himself to and through His prophets? In the New Testament He reveals Himself through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3)

 

1        The existence of God (Hebrews 11:6): 6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

Notes: The Bible nowhere attempts to prove or argue the existence of God. “For he that comes to God must believe that he is.”

The existence of God as a fact taken for granted by the writers of both the Old and New Testaments. “In the beginning God” (Genesis 1:1). The Bible opens by announcing the sublime fact of God and His existence. There are arguments for the existence of God; they are not conclusive but are food for thought:

Universal belief in God comes from within man. It is innate in man, and comes from rational intuition.

1)     The argument from “cause and effect.” Everything that began owes its existence to a cause. We have a watch; we must have a watchmaker. We have a building; we must have a builder. We have creation; we must have a creator. This creation could not have come into existence without an intelligent, personal creator, any more than the alphabet could produce a book without an author.

2)     The argument from anthropology. Man’s moral and intellectual nature argues for a moral and intellectual creator.  The Bible and the Christ that it reveals; His virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death and His bodily resurrection – all of this and much, much more – argue for the existence of God.

Notes: The Bible reveals God as personality.  He is called “the living and true God” – One possessing self-consciousness and self-determination.  His personality is shown in what He does, such as:

 

1)     God loves. “God so loved the world” (John 3:16)

2)     God hates.  “These six things the Lord hates” (Prov 6:16 OT)

3)     God cares.  “He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)

4)     God grieves. “He was grieved in His heart” (Gen. 6:6 OT)

Only a personality can love, hate, care and grieve; therefore God must be a living, eternal and personal being.

3        The Nature of God (I John 4:8): 8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Notes: God is described 4 ways in the Bible. Since God cannot be defined, they are incomplete. However, they do throw light upon the nature of God. They are:

1)     .“God is love” (I John 4:8). This is the nature of God in His divine compassion.

2)     .“God is light” (1 John 1:5). The nature of God’s divine character; there is no darkness in Him.

3)     .“God is consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). This is the nature of God in His divine holiness.

4)     .“God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). This is the nature of God in His divine essence.

The attributes of God reveal His nature. Do not think of His attributes as abstract, but as vital mediums through which His holy nature in unveiled – attributes ascribed to Him, such as:

1)     .Life is ascribed to God (John 5:26).

2)     .All knowledge is ascribed to God (Psalm 147:5).

3)     .All power is ascribed to God (Revelation 19:6).

4)     .Filling the universe with His presence is ascribed to God (Psalm 139:7-10).

God is everywhere but not in everything. If God were in everything, man could worship any object and he would be worshipping God. God is spirit. (John 4:24)

Notes: Grace is the love and mercy of God in action. Mercy is negative, and love is positive; both together mean grace. To show mercy in love is grace. God showed mercy in love when He sent His Son to bear our sins in His own body on the cross (John 3:16).

 

1)     The grace of God saves forever (Romans 8:38, 39).

2)     The grace of God is unconditional; that is, we are not saved if we “hold out unto the end”, or “fail not” or “do our best.” We are saved by the grace of God, apart from works.(Ephesians 2:8,9)

3)     The grace of God is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

4)     The grace of God makes no discrimination (Revelation 22:17).

5)     The grace of God justifies (Romans 3:23, 24).

6)     The grace of God makes every believer an heir (Titus 3:7).

7)     The grace of God teaches the believer how to live(Titus 2:11, 12).

 

The grace of God is nothing less than the unlimited love of God expressed in the gift of His Son, our Savior. It is the undeserved love of God toward sinners.

 

5        The Trinity of God (Matthew 3:16, 17): 16) “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  17) And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

Notes: By the Trinity of God we mean His tri-personal existence as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons in one God.

 

1)     The Father is recognized as God (1 Peter 1:2) and is all the fullness of the Godhead (John 1:18).

2)     The Son is recognized as God (Hebrews 1:8 – and is all the fullness of the Godhead in the flesh (John 1:14).

3)     The Holy Spirit is recognized as God (Acts 5:3,4) and is all the fullness of the Godhead acting upon man, convicting him of sin (John 16:7-11) and guiding the believer into all truth (John 16:12-15).

4)     The doctrine of the Trinity is not explained in the Old Testament, but is rather implied, (Genesis 1:26).

5)     The doctrine of the Trinity is revealed in the New Testament. In verses 16 and 17, we have Christ being baptized in water, the Father speaking from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. We are to baptize in the “name (not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

 

Even creation implies the doctrine of the Trinity.

 

1)     In creation, we have space, matter, and time in one creation.

2)     In space, we have length, width, and height in one space.

3)     In matter, we have energy, motion, and phenomenon in one substance.

4)     In time, we have past, present, and future in one time.

5)     In man, we have body, soul, and spirit in one man (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

6)     In the Holy Trinity, we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one God.

 

c. Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved