Knowing About the God of the Bible.

Knowing About the God of the Bible/ 72-003 (Exodus 3:14)/ The Doctrine of God-Part 3.

And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you!” (Exodus 3:13–14, AMP)

Lesson Outline: [Who He is].

  1. He is a personal God.
  2. He is a holy God.
  3. He is a merciful God.
  4. He is a just God.
  5. He is a jealous God.
  6. He is a faithful God.
  7. He is a truthful God.

Heart Questions: Who is the God of the Bible? How do we come to knowledge about the God of the Bible?

HE IS A PERSONAL GOD.

This not only means He is knowable personally but that He is a person. Let’s review: Last time we saw that all the members of the Trinity are persons. God therefore is never ‘it’ but ‘He’.

[1] When we are discerning the God of the Bible we are referring to Him essentially in two ways:

  • As Elohim, which refers to His power and transcendence, i.e., that He is ‘way out there’, beyond our reach (1 Kings 8:27).
  • As Yahweh, which refers to His personal being (‘I AM THAT I AM’) and immanence, i.e., close at hand (Exodus 3:14). This aspect of God became clearer when He was revealed by Jesus as the Father (Matthew 6:9; 11:27).

In Hebrew as in English, this name “I AM” ’is a form of the verb “to be,” and implies that its possessor is the eternal, self-existing One (DA 469). “Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” (John 8:58, AMP)

“God’s self-revelation of His name focuses on being and existence, not particular characteristics. Grammatically, the phrase can be translated in a present (“I am that I am”) as well as a future sense (“I will be whatever I will be”). It links to the promise of God’s presence in Ex. 3:12.”

“Divine presence (not merely existence) may be the most important aspect in this particular context. Moses and Israel are concerned about the God who—apparently—had been silent for a long period. The English word “LORD” is based on four Hebrew consonant letters, whose possible pronunciation was “Yahweh.” Jewish scribes considered it so holy that they did not include the vowels of the word for “LORD,” in order to avoid saying God’s name. A close relationship exists between these four letters and the verb “to be.” [Jon L. Dybdahl, Ed., Andrews Study Bible Notes, (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2010), 77].

[2] The God of the Bible is seen as essentially masculine.

  • All persons of the Trinity are referred to as ‘He’.
  • When God made Adam the latter was in God’s own ‘image’ (Genesis 1:26), hence Adam was masculine not feminine.
  • Woman was made for man and from man (Genesis 2:22–23).
  • Any attempt to make God feminine is contrary to the plain revelation of Him in the Bible.

HE IS A HOLY GOD.

“God said, Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5, AMP) “For I am the Lord your God; so consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; neither defile yourselves with any manner of thing that multiplies in large numbers or swarms.” (Leviticus 11:44, AMP)

[1] The character of God is the standard of Holiness. Holiness springs from God. What is God’s holiness? It is the moral excellence that unifies His attributes. Holiness is expressed through His actions, setting Him apart from all others.

A good synonym for holiness is ‘otherness’, which means:

  • God is wholly ‘other’ (Exodus 9:14).
  • There is nothing beside God that is quite like him (Exodus 15:11).

[2] “The holiness of God is not to be conceived of as one attribute among others; it is rather a general term representing the conception of His consummate perfection and total glory. It is His infinite moral perfection crowning His infinite intelligence and power.… Infinite moral perfection is the crown of the Godhead. Holiness is the total glory thus crowned” (A. A. Hodge). In Scripture, holiness as applied to God is first, His moral purity (Lev. 11:44; Ps. 145:17), and second, His divine majesty (Isa. 6:3; Ps. 22:3; Rev. 4:8). – [Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms, 2002, 211–212].

[3] God is without any sin, fault or defect (see Deuteronomy 32:4).

  • He hates sin (Exodus 20:1–17; Psalm 7:11).
  • He is incapable of error (2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30).

[4] This is why man needs a substitute (Habakkuk 1:13).

  • The sacrificial system was introduced to show not only God’s mercy but also the seriousness of sin (Hebrews 10:1).
  • The substitute must be without spot or blemish (Exodus 12:5; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22).

[5] This is why His people are to be holy (1 Peter 1:16).

  • Conversion leads to holiness (Ephesians 4:22).
  • Sanctification (the process of being made holy) is required of each of us (1 Thess. 4:3).

[6] God’s holiness is incomparable! Moses asks a very important question: “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11, NKJV) prophet Samuel add: “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:2, NKJV).

[7] God’s holiness is exhibited in His character (Ps 22:3; Joh 17:11); His Name (Isa 57:15; Lu 1:49); His Words (Ps 60:6; Jer 23:9); His Works (Ps 145:17); and His Kingdom (Ps 47:8; Mt 13:41; Re 21:27; 1 Co 6:9, 10)

HE IS A MERCIFUL GOD.

[1] God forgives iniquity and transgression and sin

[2] Since God id “forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin,” it means that He has chosen not to punish us immediately.

  • “And God said, I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim My name, the LORD, before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy and loving-kindness on whom I will show mercy and loving-kindness.” (Exodus 33:19, AMP)
  • “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, AMP)

[3] Jesus Christ is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world–“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:19–20, NKJV)

  • In eternity past, before Adam and Eve sinned, God planned the redemption of sinners through Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 2:23; 4:27, 28; 2 Tim. 1:9).
  • God is love, God is life. It is the prerogative of God to redeem, reconstruct, and restore. Before the foundation of the world the Son of God was given to die, and redemption is the mystery that was “kept in silence through times eternal” (Romans 16:25, R.V.). [In Heavenly Places, p. 291].
  • “God had a knowledge of the events of the future, even before the creation of the world. He did not make His purposes to fit circumstances, but He allowed matters to develop and work out. He did not work to bring about a certain condition of things, but He knew that such a condition would exist.” (SDA BC 6:1082).

[4] The plan of redemption was revealed in Genesis 3 — “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”” (Genesis 3:15, NKJV)

  • “After cursing the physical serpent, God turned to the spiritual serpent, the lying seducer, Satan, and cursed him. bruise your head … bruise His heel. This “first gospel” is prophetic of the struggle and its outcome between “your seed” (Satan and unbelievers, who are called the Devil’s children in John 8:44) and her seed (Christ, a descendant of Eve, and those in Him), which began in the garden. In the midst of the curse passage, a message of hope shone forth—the woman’s offspring called “He” is Christ, who will one day defeat the Serpent. Satan could only “bruise” Christ’s heel (cause Him to suffer), while Christ will bruise Satan’s head (destroy him with a fatal blow). Paul, in a passage strongly reminiscent of Gen. 3, encouraged the believers in Rome, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20). Believers should recognize that they participate in the crushing of Satan because, along with their Savior and because of His finished work on the cross, they also are of the woman’s seed. For more on the destruction of Satan, see Heb. 2:14, 15; Rev. 20:10.” [John MacArthur Jr., Ed., The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed., (Nashville, TN: Word Pub., 1997), 20–21].

[5] God’s mercy was extended to His people, called the ‘chosen’ or ‘elect’ (Psalm 33:12; Romans 8:33). They were known from the foundation of the world (Acts 13:48; Ephesians 1:4).They were chosen by sheer grace not works (Romans 9:11–15; 2 Timothy 1:9).

[6] God’s mercy is revealed in the gospel –“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” (John 3:16, AMP)

God’s mercy is called a “righteousness revealed” (Romans 1:17). God’s mercy is assured to us by faith alone (Romans 4:5).

HE IS A JUST GOD.

Keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but Who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:7, AMP)

[1] This means justice or fairness–“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and loving-kindness and truth go before Your face.” (Psalm 89:14, AMP)

  • This is not man’s view of fairness (Isaiah 55:8–9).
  • But what God calls righteousness (Psalm 9:8).

[2] This means He must punish sin (Exodus 34:7).

  • He will not clear the guilty (Numbers 14:18).
  • All the world is guilty before God (Romans 3:19).

[3] God punishes sin in a number of ways, for example:

  • By letting man continue in sin (Romans 1:26ff.).
  • By sending calamity (Deuteronomy 32:35).

[4] God’s immediate promise to punish sin is by death.

  • But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, AMP)
  • For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, AMP)

[5] God’s ultimate punishment for sin is done in one of two ways:

  • By the sacrifice of blood (Exodus 12:13).
  • By everlasting hell (Matthew 25:41).
  • NOTE: “Everlasting fire” is described elsewhere as “unquenchable fire” (Mt 3:12) and “hell fire.” All three refer to the fires of the last day that will devour the wicked and all their works (2 Peter 3:10–12; Rev. 20:10, 14, 15).

[6] God’s temporal punishment is called chastening, or disciplining— “For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.” (Hebrews 12:6, AMP)

  • It does not come to the non-Christian (1 Corinthians 11:32).
  • It is for true Christians only (Hebrews 12:7–11).

HE IS A JEALOUS GOD.

You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me,” (Exodus 20:5, AMP) “I am the Lord; that is My name! And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8, AMP)

3 Quick Points:

  • He will tolerate no rival (Exodus 34:14).
  • He hates any form of idolatry (Deuteronomy 4:23–24; 6:14ff.).
  • He is jealous for His people (Zechariah 1:14; James 4:5).

HE IS A FAITHFUL GOD.

They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23, AMP) “God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, AMP)

3 Quick Points:

  • He will never leave us or forsake us (Mat. 28:20; Heb. 13:5).
  • He will supply all our need (Phlp. 4:19).
  • He will make a way of escape in trial or temptation (1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Pet. 2:9).

HE IS A TRUTHFUL GOD.

By two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].” (Hebrews 6:18, AMP)

4 Quick Points:

  • He requires truth in our dealings with Him (Psalm 51:6).
  • His Son is truth (John 14:6).
  • His Spirit is truth (John 14:16–17).
  • His Word is truth (John 17:17).

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION:“Keeping mercy and loving-kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.(Exodus 34:7, AMP)

Heart Question: Are There Degrees of Sin? Does God see all sins as the same? In other words, one sin isn’t worse than another, is it? How does this text teaches us about a Merciful God?

Level #1 (SIN): Sin means “to miss the mark” and is a general term for falling short of God’s standard. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Sins can be intentional or unintentional (Numbers 15:27). Sin is not just doing something wrong but also failing to do what is right (James 4:17).

Level #2 (TRANSGRESSION): Transgression means to intentionally disobey or to willfully trespass a command. David was referring to this kind of sin when he wrote, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1). Transgression is connected to a trespass, which is a willful violation of the law. The Law was given to show us how we transgress (Galatians 3:19).

After David sinned he prayed, “According to the greatness of your compassion blot out my

Transgressions” (Psalm 51:1) and “blot out all my iniquities (Psalm 51:9). To “blot out” means to obliterate or wipe out letters and words with ink as to render them invisible or indistinguishable.

The idea is to erase the transgression that is written in God’s book of debts. Through the death of Jesus on the cross He blotted out our transgressions. Colossians 2:14 says, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

Level #3 (INIQUITY):  Iniquity is a perversion of the truth and a twisted attitude that premeditates and makes plans to commit sin. Iniquities are second nature tendencies that drive us to repeatedly commit sin and defile our character. These perverse attitudes apparently can be passed down from one generation to another.

Exodus 20:8 says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.”

Micah 2:1 says, “Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds.” David planned to commit adultery with Bathsheba and plotted to kill her husband Uriah. After he repented, David cried out to God, “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).

Gossip, slander, cursing, and criticism are iniquities. James 3:6 says, “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body.” Many words that we speak can cause roots of iniquity to flourish.

Iniquity leads to rebellion, no fear of God, unnatural affections, and a depraved mind (Romans 1:28-32). “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Sam. 15:23).

Rebellion against godly authority is an iniquity that angers God. An abomination is the worst kind of iniquity. The word is used exclusively to describe things that are disgusting, loathsome and absolutely intolerable—things that are unacceptable to God. Some notable abominations are listed in Proverbs 6:16-19, 12:22, 16:5, Leviticus 18:22, 26-27, Deuteronomy 7:25,

25:16, 27:15.

John Gill commenting on Ex. 34:7 — “forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin” — says this:

  • “The word used signifies a lifting it up, and taking it away: thus Jehovah has taken it from the sinner, and put it on his Son, who has borne it, and made satisfaction for it; and in so doing has taken it quite away, so as to be seen no more; and, through the application of his blood to the conscience of a sinner, it is taken away from thence, and removed as far as the east is from the west; from whence it appears, that it is in Christ, and for his sake, that God forgives sin, even through his blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and satisfaction; and this forgiveness is of all sin, of all sorts of sin, original or actual, greater or lesser, public or private, open or secret, of omission or commission, of heart, lip, and life.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible)

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: Beloved, here is the good news. Jesus died for all Sins, Transgressions, and Iniquities

Jesus sacrificed His life to forgive all our sins, transgressions, and iniquities. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5–6, AMP)

On the Cross of Calvary, Christ was “regarded as a criminal” and numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore [and took away] the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors (the rebellious).” (Isaiah 53:12, AMP)

I want to suggest to you that we were all “rebellious” and hustle toward God. But praise the Lord because of His mercy, He devised a plan before the foundation of the World to reach us, and save us. “But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” (Romans 5:8, AMP)

Beloved, no matter how depraved your heart may be today, no matter how many sin you might have, Jesus’ death on the cross was/ is sufficient to cover all your sin. Would you listen to His call now? He says –“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, AMP)

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do?  [1] Confess Jesus as the Lord and Savior, as the only Lamb of God (John 1:29); [2] Repent all your evil deeds/ thoughts: —iniquity, transgression and sin; [3]Ask the Lord to be cleanse you and make you whole.

Remember: the only sin that God cannot forgive is the final rejection of the Holy Spirit’s drawing to repentance (Matthew 12:32). May the Lord Bless you. Amen.

Have a Good Day: “He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own—His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—” (John 1:11–12, AMP)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Core Doctrines/ Godhead/ Lesson # 3.