These notes are from the Doctrine Class yesterday, 19th February 2012.
Q4 What is God?
Answer: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
Sing Ps 102:25-27 1st version in Christian Worship.
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town
And beats high mountain down.
God is Immutable – Unchangable
Adds a gilt-edge to all the other attributes…
The love-songs of the world are littered with ‘forever’ and promises that I’ll ‘always be there for you’, Only Aorist tense – once and forever Rom5
Helen Mirran – said that her sister and the Queen were her ‘only constants’.
David – one day triumphs over goliath, another, scrabbling before Achish, despairing of his life,
Every second, we decline – how far can anything travel inside earth’s atmosphere and under the influence of gravity? What are the limits of ballistics?
Trace a line – we always decay from that line.
Even the Angels are subject to change:
Jude 1 v 6 “For God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for …
If God could change, how could be God? He cannot improve, (Tozer p67)
Alex was teaching us abotu the Trinity last week – how can we understand Christ’s incarnation? Does it represent a change in God?
TW says it’s like a cloud covering the sun, but I think it’s more like a dawn or sunset where the clouds are magnificent and glorious because of the sun behind them.
The pastor touched on it this morning… he and Thomas Watson split this into the essence of God and His Decrees
What does the bible mean when it uses the word repent of God? e.g. Jonah 3:10 ‘The Lord repented of the evil that he said he could do unto them’
He may will a change, but not change his will, his sentence but not his decree. (Watson)
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?
We can spend too much time being perplexed over questions about sovreignty and responsibility and not enough time rejoicing and basking in the consequences – He is ever kind, faithful, etc.
But if God’s decree be unchangeable, and cannot be reversed, to what purpose should we use the means of grace? Our efforts towards salvation cannot alter his decree.
The decree of God does not affect my endeavour; for he that decreed my salvation decreed it in the use of means, and if I neglect the means I reprobate myself. No man argues thus: God has decreed how long I shall live, therefore I will not use means to preserve my life, I will not eat and drink. God has decreed the time of my life in the use of means; so God has decreed my salvation in the use of the Word and of prayer. As a man who refuses food murders himself, so he that refuses to work out his salvation destroys himself. (Watson)
Just as Is 40, the youths grow weary,
28Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
but also, even as the sandals of the Israelites did not fade… Deuteronomy 29:5
5And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.
What and if the Lord gives the ability to endure, rest ur soul on God’s immutibility…
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love (Hebrew – Ahavat Olam): therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
I’m not able to be at the Doctrine Class tomorrow so, Lord willing, Jeff Gilbert is leading the meeting on the subject of ‘Sacrifice’, as part of a series on ‘The Atonement’. His notes are downloadable from this link
The bookstall has one copy of the book by Leon Morris which Jeff has recommended. Have a look and snap it up – we can order more.
Just to mention that the rota for the year is pretty much complete, with the exception of the meetings either side of the conference. More news on that anon.