05: Foundational Frameworks Part 5 (July 2, 2017)

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 05

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the Eternal, Sovereign Creator; all that He creates is good.

Genesis 1:26-31. “Image and Likeness” -Man’s Significance
“Image” -selem- “Representation.” Mostly used to describe an idol made into an animal or person.
“Likeness” -demut- “Similar Appearance.” See also Gen 5:1-3. Man is like a mirror reflecting an object, but is not himself that object.

Man is also significant because of his:
1. “enlivening”- “breath of life,” Genesis 2:7, God is the Life-Giver!
2. “commissioning”- “dominion, rule” Genesis 1:26, 28.
Man does NOT have aseity, eternality, or omnipotence!
Q: How is man in the “image and likeness” of Elohim?

  1. MIND- The intellect is God’s design. He has created us with a conscience, a capacity for logic, and the ability to reason.
  2. FEELINGS- Emotions are a gift from God. They are part of proper communication. The capacity to love would be impossible without God making it so.
  3. WILL- God allows us to make decisions. Our preferences serve to characterize us, whether good or bad. Mankind is not a robot. Sin is the evidence & result of free choice.
  4. BODY- While God is Spirit (John 4:24), the “image and likeness” spills over into our physical form, while our makeup is clearly from the earth (adama, Gen 2:7). God knew that His Son would one day inhabit flesh. It had to be properly designed for the purposes the Father intended in supplying salvation for the world (Acts 4:28).

 

Q: What is a “divine institution?”
A God-ordained system that was mandated before the Fall.

Divine Institution #1- FAMILY
Under the heading of “MAN” (adam) are the categories of “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Though Genesis 2 speaks of the separate formation of man and woman, it is clear that God wants to make a point in this opening chapter. The only inferiority in play is between the Creator and His creation, not between man and woman. Each is given a role to fulfill, not a right to rule over the other.
This God-mandated co-equality is an affront to the male chauvinist (using “dominion” as an excuse) and the ardent feminist (who calls for “equality” but does not look to the Bible as the standard for their cause).

Man in Relation to God- The temptation is to:
1. compare God to something that we already know (for the sake of reference and clarity), or
2. make up our own ideas about Him apart from His self-revelation.
BOTH OPTIONS ARE IDOLATRY! They are misrepresentations!

“If we insist upon trying to imagine Him, we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts; and an idol of the mind is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand.” -A.W. Tozer

Isaiah 40:18-28. God is wholly (& holy) other. Different and “set apart.” Any frame of reference that we would resort to will falsely represent the Creator unless that reference is from Scripture. God tells us how to think about Him! *Compare to Psalm 8:3-9.

 

04: Foundational Frameworks Part 4 (June 25, 2017)

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 04

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God is the only Eternal, Sovereign Creator.
Angels are creatures, created good, as servants of God.

Isaiah 45:18-19. The Creator has purpose in creating! His Word is truth and it apparent for all to see (creation contains information).

The Basics of Bible Study

  1. Prayer- Without the Spirit’s illumination there will be no transformation.
  2. Observe, Observe, Observe- Marking the “who, what, when, where, why, and how,” identifying verbs, and noting repetition help in establishing the subject, object, and motivations for any text. You can never “over-observe.” You will always find new insights!
  3. Interpretation- “What was the author’s meaning when he wrote this passage?” If we don’t have that, we do not have the Word of God. The more time spent in observation, the better our interpretation. Context and key words are critical! Cultural barriers, genres, and the parties involved clarify the author’s original intent in writing.
  4. Application- The Bible was not meant to inflate heads, but to change lives, and only Bible changes people. This is not always found in our actions (although that is important), but will always be found in our thinking. The Bible tells us about reality (truth) and should influence our thinking every time. With right thinking comes right action.

Genesis 1:1-25. Time to observe, observe, observe….

03: Foundational Frameworks Part 3 (June 18, 2017)

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 03

Responses from Homework? “To you, who is God?”

Foundational Truths: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.
God also reveals Himself as the only Eternal, Sovereign Creator.

The Supernatural is as real as the Natural. Christians are scared of the Supernatural and interpret most Scripture according to the Natural. This means that many are only addressing half of reality! 

Genesis 1:1/Psalm 33:8-9. Only Elohim creates by speaking.
Ex Nihilo- “out of ________________” creation. Everything we know is made up of parts that make the whole. Not so with God. He simply spoke, and what was not was. He needs nothing! In creation, His omnipotence, eternality, and aseity are on display!

Psalm 103:19-21. God’s sovereignty is on display. Heaven is where His throne is established. The angels are God’s servants. He is the Creator, they are the creatures. Blessings are pronounced on those who do His Word (will).

Job 38:4-7. Angels existed before the creation of the Earth and were witnesses to the creation of the Earth. Their response was worship!
    There are 2 designations mentioned:
1. Morning Stars- Gives the sense of luminous beings.
2. Sons of God- Job 1:6-7; 2:1-2; Gen 6:2; Used of angels. This designation can also be used of men (Matt 5:9; Luke 3:38; 20:36). As always, CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING.

Colossians 1:16. “All things” are created through Jesus Christ. Paul covers “heaven” and “earth” pointing us to Genesis 1:1. Various rankings of angels are mentioned. Christ is the Creator, not a creation (as the Gnostics believed). See also Ephesians 6:12.

Ezekiel 28:11-19. This is difficult to interpret because of the back and forth that seems to be taking place between the King of Tyre and the Adversary of God. Again, CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING. What is most prominent here is the TIME & LOCATION in v. 13.

Psalm 82:1-8. This psalm has shaken a lot of people, but we MUST allow for the Scriptures to give us our theology.
v.1- God presides over a council of Elohim (this concept can also be seen in 1 Kings 22:19-22 and Deuteronomy 32:8-9).
*GOD’S ASSESSMENT
v.2- These elohim are overseers of nations and kingdoms. They have “judged” them unjustly, allowing for the wicked to prosper.
*GOD’S EXHORTATION
v.3 & 4- God encourages these elohim to “defend, do justice, deliver, and free”- note the verbs. He is calling them to change their governance.
*GOD’S EVALUATION
v.5- God notes the character of these elohim. The “foundations of the earth are unstable” because of the corrupt character of the elohim that are presiding over them (See Exodus 12:12; 15:11).
*GOD’S JUDGMENT
v.6 &7- God reminds them of the privileged position they have as the “sons of God” (“children”). He then pronounces judgment for their refusal to heed His counsel (these angels will “die like men”).
*GOD’S VINDICATION
v.8- God will inherit all of the nations back from the elohim that exercised corrupt oversight.

 

02: Foundational Frameworks Part 2 (June 11, 2017)

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 02

Foundational Truth: The Bible is God’s self-revelation.

PROVERBS 1:7. The non-negotiable starting point of right thinking.

“When one considers that basic to right action is right thinking and that basic to right thinking is right thinking about what God is like, it begins to become transparently clear that our generation, or any other, will never begin to solve its problems until it corrects its ideas about God.” -Earl Radmacher, 1978.

What we think about God becomes our ultimate foundation.

The greatest question that anyone will ever ask is “Who is God?” As His special revelation to us all, God speaks through His Word.

CREATOR

GENESIS 1:1. “Elohim”- occurs 2,750+ times for the Creator. A plural name with a singular meaning, as seen in the use of singular verbs surrounding it. This can also be a generic term for angels, demons, or pagan deities. CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING.

  • Within Elohim, there is plurality in Persons but unity in Essence, or Divine Nature. Divine is WHAT God is. The Persons deal with WHO. In Essence/Nature, there is unity. In Persons, there are differing roles. We call this the Trinity.

An attribute is “a property which is intrinsic to its subject.”

Omnipotent- “All-powerful.” Fully-able in all righteousness.
Eternal- “Has Always Existed.” He is the uncaused Cause.
Aseity- “Self-Sufficient.” He needs nothing. Not dependent. 

God’s act of creation is a historical event recorded for our benefit.

SOVEREIGN

PSALM 119:89-91. God is sovereign.
There are 2 views of what “sovereignty” means regarding God.

  1. Many hold that God meticulously controls every thought and action of His creation and that nothing occurs outside of His “hidden will.” This would include every sin committed by man.
  2. Others hold that God is the ruler of all things and that all glory is due Him, but created beings are free to accept or reject His will for their lives and are thus responsible and accountable before God for their rejection of Him. 

When faced with differing views, Scripture must give us our theology. We must never impose our theology on Scripture.

The character, attributes, and sovereignty of God are vehemently opposed to man.

JEREMIAH 9:23-24. Man is ALWAYS looking for a God-substitute. “Boasting” is the exposure of the heart!
God provides a divine directive- We must understand who God is, and who God is finds consistency in what He takes pleasure in.

The greatest enemy of affirming a sovereign God who is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is ______________________!

Homework: Ask three people outside of Grace Bible Church
“To you, who is God?”

 

01: Foundational Frameworks Part 1 (June 4, 2017)

FOUNDATIONAL FRAMEWORK. PART 01

Recent Survey of “Born-Again Christians”:
_______ believe that God is the Creator & Ruler of the Universe.
_______ believe that Jesus lived a sinless life.
_______ believe it is possible to earn their way into Heaven.
_______ reject the notion that they have a personal responsibility to share the Gospel.

Q: What does this tell us about the Church?

  • The Bible is __________________. It is made up of many books with one congruent message and theme throughout!

God has a message for all of creation: ISAIAH 45:22

  • God is a __________________. He desires to be known. The Bible is His self-revelation.

In reading the Bible we learn:
     WHO God is, WHAT He is like, HOW He interacts, WHAT He expects, WHAT He has done, WHAT He thinks.

  • ___________ Studies cannot be properly understood if they are isolated from the _________________.

The walls of a house are only as good as the foundation.

  • The Bible must be understood ____________________.

This approach brings balance.
HEBREWS 1:1-2
The Bible is a _________________ Revelation.
This is God’s design for understanding in history.

The sheer make-up of the Bible is incredible when considered!
       ______ Books
       ______ Different Human Authors
       ______ Years in Scope
       ______ Different Continents
       ______ Different Languages
       ______ Consistent Theme, with no errors or contradictions
         Q: What can be deduced from such astonishing facts?

___________ Revelation- “Observed Surroundings & Conscience”

___________ Revelation- “God’s Written Word”

  • The Bible is “God-breathed.” This is also known as _____________.
    2 TIMOTHY 3:16

  • The Bible is divine truth. “Truth” must be two things to be true.

1. ____________- Understandable when compared to our existence. It is logically comprehensible.

2. ____________- Agreeable in its various parts without any contradictions. Harmonious.

If the Bible is TRUE, it must necessarily be __________________

Through His Word, God speaks to us, telling us about the true nature of Himself and how He perceives mankind. Because we hold the TRUTH in our hands, that alone makes it worth our time and effort in studying it every day.