On a monthly basis I participate in a young adults Bible study hosted by our church. The passion and hunger of the individuals involved make it one of the more exciting events I am privileged to take part in. Typically, in the weeks leading up to each Bible study we issue a request for any suggestions for potential study topics. This time around the suggestion was made that we discuss the character and nature of God (i.e. Theology Proper).
Theology Proper is a pretty hefty topic, one which could never be adequately covered in a single session. Sure you could fly through the topic touching on all the basics, but you would never appropriately transmit the depth and significance of the subject matter being discussed. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing the character of God. If you don’t have the character and nature of God right, can it really be said you are worshiping the right God? Failure to try and understand what God has revealed about Himself in the Bible can cause us to set up, chase after, and worship false gods.
Therefore, in an attempt to further our discussion, and to increase our understanding, I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts on God’s character and nature. However, as a prolegomena to our conversation on the attributes of God we must understand:
- God has revealed Himself through His creation (Rom 1:18-20) and through His Word (Matt 11:27). Although we can discern aspects of His nature and character from the things He has created, our observations can only be rightly understood if they are interpreted through the filter of His Word (1 Cor 1:21). Even though we can know God we can not fully or completely comprehend Him (Psalm 145:3).
- All of God’s attributes work together in perfect harmony. This is vital to our understanding, given the fact our human nature would lead us to ignore the severity of God and only focus on His kinder attributes (Rom 11:22). Sometimes scripture will emphasize different attributes at different times. Even though emphasis might have been given to a particular attribute they all exist and continue to work together in perfect harmony. Therefore, for example, His mercy isn’t trampled upon or ignored when God stands in judgement of sin.
- There are some attributes God shares with us and some that He does not. Traditionally, and respectively, these are referred to as Communicable and Incommunicable attributes. The incommunicable attributes of God tend to be the ones we have the most difficulty understanding given the fact we have no frame of reference or experience with them (i.e. Eternality or Omnipresence). The communicable attributes of God are easier for us to grasp given He chooses to share them with us. Although God shares these attributes with us we need to understand that we do not possess them to the degree God does. For example we have knowledge, but God is all knowing.
With all of these essentials out of the way we can begin our discussion on the nature and character of God. Let the fun begin.
More In The Series
9) Infinite God