The Character of God
THEOLOGY ON FIRE Series #3
Intro. Theology On Fire: The goal is too spark hunger – NEXT WEEK …
Character of God [WHO HE IS]: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” (commonly attributed to Abraham Lincoln).
Two weeks ago: A word-for-word translation vs. thought for thought –
1. God is just [not fair]…“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NLT).
JUST – What is morally right.
Without a JUST standard – we have nothing to gauge action.
If God makes me love Him – that’s not love.
2. God is holy…“…you must be holy in everything you do, just as God—who chose you to be His children—is holy. For He Himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NLT).
NKJV: “As obedient children not conforming yourselves to former lusts.”
HOLY: that which resembles the character and nature of God.
“BE HOLY” – “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
My character is either going to resemble that of my Lord and Savior, or of my nemesis – Holy, or unholy! Godly, or ungodly. Broken and Humble, or Haughty and Arrogant.
Pride is why many don’t share their struggles – they have everything mastered.
HOLINESS affects everything – that’s why Repentance is a beautiful word.
Common question, “Why should Christians repent?” We Need Realignment
3. God is righteous…“Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness—righteous, holy, and true” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT).
NKJV – “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Throw off – cast away old thoughts and attitudes [the way we act]
Biblical commands when fighting for “righteousness”: Submit yourself to God and resist the devil. Endure temptation as a good soldier. Deny the flesh and be filled with the Spirit. Do not yield to temptation or make provision for it; crucify it…flee! Don’t be brought under the power of temptation. God will make a way to escape that you may be able to bear it. “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
When we minimize this we become Bipolar rather than a Soldier
4. God is faithful…“Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. And when you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).
Faith is tested when under pressure; it’s formed; it’s shaped.
Faithful – Loyal, Constant, True, Devoted, Steadfast, Dedicated, Committed: “I will never leave you”; “I am the solid Rock”; “I am committed to complete My work.”
5. God is love…“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (Jh. 3:16 NLT).
Love is not ignoring sin or encouraging it; its paying the price to be delivered.
He gave – He offered the solution. Who wouldn’t accept?
The problem is not with God, it’s with man.
6. God is merciful…“Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of Your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You” (Psalm 51 NLT).
Mercy – “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”
7. God is all-in-all: justice, holiness, & righteousness meet love and mercy and grace.
Do a work of renewal in my heart – don’t leave me.
Restore the joy of your salvation – I don’t care if you’re 15 or 85.
Make me willing: release the spirit of rebellion.