THERE IS NO ONE LIKE GOD.

the holy bibleI hear a lot of people describe their notion of who God is or what God is like. In Exodus 20:4 one of the Ten Commandments says that Israel was not to make any graven images to worship. I have not read of many people worshiping  graven images in America today. However, I do believe many are guilty of creating their own concept of God that is different from what the Bible teaches. Worshiping a false god is sinful whether it is made of gold or is a figment of your imagination. In this blog I want to share with you the seven natural attributes of God. Now it is important to understand that natural attributes describe God’s existence and not His character. I may write a second blog dealing with God’s moral attributes which teach us of His character. Here are some of God’s natural attributes.

SELF EXISTENCE.

The Bible offers no proof of God’s existence. It has been said a God who can be proven is no God at all. Genesis opens with the words, “In the beginning God…” God is self-existent. His existence is independent of everything else in the universe. Our existence depends on several things. God’s does not. Our planet’s existence is dependent upon several things such as the existence of the sun. God’s name, Jehovah, gives the idea of “the existing one” or “the self existing one.” I am glad our God is not dependent upon anything or anyone to remain or exist.

IMMUTABILITY.

The immutability of God is extremely important. This means God does not change. He is the unchanging God. This is important because God’s existence is necessary for everything else to exist and function properly. If God were to undergo change or cease to exist the universe we live in would come apart. Psalm 102:27 gives us the assurance God does not change, “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”

OMNIPRESENCE.

The omnipresence of God means God is present in all space and time. It is wonderful to know everyone around the world, in each hemisphere, at every moment of the day, is in the presence of God. God is present in hell as those who reject Christ are punished. This judgment is surely a sign of His presence. God is present in heaven where saints bask in His glory and love. Read Psalm 139:7-10, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10  even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. I choose to explain God’s omnipresence as “everything takes place in God’s presence.”

IMMENSITY.

God’s immensity means He is not confined to space and its laws. This is complicated so I am offering a short, concise thought. Countless books have been written about the immensity of God so this sentence or two will not do the thought justice. An object is confined to space. If an object is in a space it cannot be in another at the same time. We measure the greatness of an object by how much space they occupy. For instance, which is greater the Superdome or Cowboy Stadium? We determine that by the space they occupy. Here is the thing about God, He made the universe and all the space in it. Before there was space there was God. The rules of space do not apply to God. We speak of God being somewhere but God can’t be located on a map with a set of coordinates. Acts 17:24 says, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Omnipresence and immensity work hand-in-hand. There is no place you can say God is for the rules of space do not apply to Him but there is no place God can’t be found, everywhere is in His presence.

ETERNAL

Our God is eternal. This means God has no beginning and end and time is not happening for God. He does not live moment by moment. He has already experienced all of eternity past and eternity future and lives only in the present. It is a blessing to consider God is not growing older. He is the eternal God. Psalm 109:2 reads, “Before, the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. 

OMNISCIENCE.

The omniscience of God simply means God knows everything. I John 3:20 reads, “For if our heart condemn  us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things.” God does not have to wait on x-ray and scan results. He knows all things. God does not have to wonder if your heart is breaking, He knows all things. Because He knows all things He knows all things we need.

OMNIPOTENCE.

God’s omnipotence means God is all-powerful. Every now and then a preacher or theologian will speak of “the conflict of the ages” when describing Satan’s struggle against God. The truth is there is no struggle at all for God. He is all-powerful.  Genesis 17:1 records God speaking to Abram when He says, “I am the Almighty God.” God is almighty.” This is why with God all things are possible.

The next time you hear someone speaking of the “man upstairs” or some other slang, irreverent expression for God please remember His attributes and commit to worshiping Him accordingly.

Teenage Transgender Surgery Is None Of Parents’ Business?

insanityThe state of Oregon now allows youth, as young as 15 years of age, to receive sex change operations WITHOUT THE PARENT’S CONSENT. 

As if you did not need anymore proof that the citizens of the United States of America have lost their minds the state of Oregon gives you a cargo ship full of proof. Oregon has a statewide policy that allows 15 year old youths to receive puberty suppressing drugs and gender reassignment surgery without parental consent. These procedures are provided by taxpayer dollars. Below is a Fox News report on this ridiculous policy. I first read of Oregon’s policy on Denny Burk’s blog. I have included a link to his blog below as well. I want you to consider all of the dumb things we did when we were 15 years old and now Oregon has adopted this policy that will allow some children to become transgender without parental counsel or permission. Dr. Paul McHugh of John Hopkins, a medical facility that no longer does gender reassignment surgery, cites a study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden which found that 10 years after sex reassignment surgeries the transgendered suffered increasing mental difficulties and were 20 x’s more likely to commit suicide than the nontransgendered population. (1)

Denny Burk’s blog can be read here.

(1) Paul McHugh, “Transgender Surgery Isn’t The Solution,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2014.

DOES OPPOSITION TO SAME SEX MARRIAGE = LEGALISM?

Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments

The issue of same-sex marriage has taken up a lot of my reading over the last few weeks. People on both sides of this debate have spent a great deal of time defending their position. On one hand, the pro same-sex marriage argue from a position of doing what feels right and equal rights. On the other hand, the opposition to same-sex marriage argues from thousands of years of recorded history that marriage has always been between male and female. They also cite Scripture demonstrating God is opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. This is when the debate usually breaks down and name calling begins. Sometimes the Christian who is opposed to same-sex marriage based on Scripture is called “legalistic.” The point of this blog is to see if that is a fair accusation.

 

I. HOW LEGALISM ACCUSATIONS ARE USED TODAY.

The term legalism or legalist is thrown around today by people who have absolutely no idea what the term means. Some call others legalistic if they have deep convictions. For example, a person may have strong convictions that Sunday is to be a special day and for this reason may refuse to work on Sunday or eat out on Sunday. Many level accusations at such a person of being legalistic.

Some call others legalistic if they have convictions that are not explicitly stated in the Bible. For example, I personally have a conviction against going to the movies. I have not attended many movies in my adult life and the ones I did attend I am ashamed of. There is not a Bible verse prohibiting movies so many would call me legalistic. However, such an accusation is unfounded. I believe I understand the confusion of such accusations. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day based many of their practices on traditions not found in the Bible. They also were legalistic. However, one has nothing to do with the other. They were not legalistic because they had beliefs based on traditions and not the Bible.

Some accuse any who try to keep some of the Old Testament Laws as being legalistic. I know no believer who believes Christians should keep all Old Testament laws. However, many, myself included, believe there are certain Old Testament laws that are universal moral absolutes. We desire and strive to keep such laws. There are some who profess Christ that believe the Christian is bound by no law whatsoever. This is known as antinomianism. This is the belief that there are no moral laws that God expects Christians to obey. Antinomianism is made up of two Greek words “anti” meaning “against” and “nomos” meaning the law. This group is literally against the law. To the antinomianist anyone who tries to keep the Law is a legalist.

Most use the term legalism simply when someone is opposed to what they are for.

II. WHAT LEGALISM REALLY MEANS.

Legalism is a belief system where some try to merit salvation by keeping the Old Testament Law. Some trust in the Law for salvation. Paul could not have been more clear in Galatians 2:16, “know that a man is not justified by observing the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus  that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the Law, because by observing the Law no one will be justified.”

So in the environment we live today if you are opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage you may indeed be accused of being legalistic. Your reply should be, “No I am not legalistic. I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.” The claims of legalism are unfounded unless a person is attempting to keep the Law to merit God’s favor and their salvation.

An author I really respect and enjoy interacting with wrote a nice blog on legalism several years ago. I invite you to give it a read here – Gulf Coast Pastor.