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Living With God
(A Systematic Theology)
John L. Brackin M.Div., M.R.E., D.Min

Existence of God

Week 1                 Day 1
Learning Goals:
        You will be able to:
1. explain why you believe God exists.
2. match five scripture references that prove God exists.

We are basically religious. Even the most primitive people worship some god.
Question 1
How do we know mankind is basically religious?___________________________

Why we believe in God is explained in two ways. Religion is born in man’s heart, mind and life.
Religion is a creation of the individual need to believe there is something beyond this life.
This view is called naturalistic. It says religion is a fantasy. It does not believe in a living God.
Belief in God is seen as superstition. Those who do not believe in a living God are naturalistic.
Question 2
Define the naturalistic understanding of belief in God.

The second view of why we believe in God states that worship of God came about because God
revealed himself to us. Worship is born because God ordered it. This explanation is called Theistic.
Christians are theistic. We believe God revealed himself to mankind.
Question 3
Define the theistic understanding of belief in God. ____________________________

We can not prove God exists the same way we prove one plus one equals two. Our conclusions are based
on wise probabilities. We can not prove the sun will rise tomorrow but from past experience we can say
it will rise tomorrow. Likewise from the evidence around us we can say God exists.

Question 4
Which of these statements is correct?
  We can say God exists because:
( ) We have pictures and statues of Him in the church
    ( ) We can see the evidence around us that God exists.
( ) We were told by someone more educated than ourselves that
God is real

There are several arguments that support the existence of God.

COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: This reason to believe in God is based
upon the design of the world. The world is to complex to have happened by accident.
No one believes a watch could make itself. A watch did not come about accidentally.
A watch is to complex. The universe is even more complex. It takes an intelligent being to place the earth
just far enough from the sun so it will not burn up or freeze. It takes an intelligent being to make
the air perfect for all animals to breath. This intelligent being is God. To look at the earth and say
there is no God is like looking at a watch and saying there is no jeweler.

ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: Humans have an idea of an infinite and perfect being.
Where did this idea come from? We are finite and imperfect. This idea says such a perfect being must exist
as a person and not a mere thought.

MORAL ARGUMENT: We have an understanding of right and wrong.
We are basically selfish. We want our own way. Our inborn understanding of good and bad causes us
to believe justice will prevail Since mankind has been unsuccessful in having right always win,
it is believed that a higher authority will judge. This higher authority is God.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ARGUMENT: This reason for believing in God comes from
the fact that men’s lives have been changed because we have experienced Jesus as Lord.
When a “bad” man suddenly becomes “good” because he has met Jesus we have
to admit some force caused the change. Christians claim Jesus is God. God changed the man.
Question 5
Match the following:

1. Cosmological Argument        a. Men’s lives have been changed by meeting Jesus.

2. Teleological Argument b. A higher authority will judge right and wrong

  1. Ontological Argument c. Only an intelligent creator could have designed the World

4. Moral Argument   d. Man has an idea of an infinite and perfect being
because God has revealed himself.
5. Personal Experience         e.
The world must have a creator. God is the Creator

The correct answers are: 1.e 2.c 3.d 4.b. 5a

When deciding on belief in God there is no room for indecision.

If you agree that God exists
          1. he does. Then you have gained eternal life.
          2. he does not exist, you have lost nothing. (There is the possibility of gain if a good moral life is valued
            more than an immoral one.
If you say God does not exist
          1. he does. Then you have lost eternal happiness.
          2. he does not exist, you have lost nothing

Therefore, if the odds are a billion to one, the reasonable person will bet his or her life on God’s existence.
Question 6
Why does the reasonable person bet his or her life on God’s existence?

The Bible never attempts to prove God’s existence. The existence of God is accepted in the first verse
of the Old Testament. Genesis 1:1 tells of the creativity, power and intelligence of God.
Question 7
Genesis 1:1 tells of the ______________, __________, and __________ of God.

Question 8
The Bible tries to prove God’s existence. True______ False________

When Hebrews 11: 6 says faith is necessary for all to know God, it assumes God’s existence is
known by all people. Psalm 14:1 boldly states, “Fools say to themselves, ‘there is no God’”
No one but a fool will deny the existence of God. To say there is no God is to be a fool according to Scripture.
Question 9
List five scripture references that prove it is safe and intelligent to say there is a God.

The Nature of God
Week 1                   Day 2

Learning Goals:        
You will be able to:
  1. five personality traits of God that show ways God is like man.
  2. explain how God is different from man.
  3. underline several common names used for God in the scripture.
  4. how the false gods of pagans and the Christians God are different

Baptists believe in one and only one true and living God. It is impossible to define God. To define is to limit.
However, it is possible to describe God.
Question 1
Why can’t we define God?

The Bible says the false god’s of the pagans and the Lord God of Israel are very different
(read Jeremiah 10:10-16).
Idols are things. They have no life or personality. They can not walk, talk, and do good or evil.
They are made by the hands of man. God is wiser than the men who make idols. God has life
(Acts 14:15, I Thessalonians. 1:9, Psalm 94:9-10). God is described as a personality. He repents (Genesis 6:6), grieves, (Genesis 6:6), is angry (I Kings 11:9), is jealous, (Deuteronomy 6:15), l
oves (Revelation 3:19), and hates, (Proverbs 6:16).
Question 2
Tell how the false gods of the pagans and the Lord God of Israel are different

Study these passages carefully. The reason why images were forbidden was because no one
has ever seen God. We do not know how God looks. Nothing on earth resembles God

Compare the false gods of pagans and the Lord God of Israel

False Pagan gods           Lord God of Israel
No Life or personality       Alive, personality
Can not walk, talk, or do good or evil
Loves, repents, grieves,
No emotions Can be Angry, Jealous
Has no wisdom/made by man       All Wise/Created man
Finite Infinite
To say God is personal means He is like us in many ways. We have seen some
of the ways God is like us. God is also transcendent. Transcendent means to be above other things.
It means to be superior. So God is also unlike us in many ways.

We will now look at some of the ways God is different from man. God is holy. Holy did not originally man good.
Its basic meaning was to be separate. God is the separate one, the different one. He is different from all creation.
He is different from man also.
Question 3
Define Holy ___________________________________________________________

Since God is a living personal God, He can act in human lives.

Man did not create the world. God created the world. This means that God is not of the world.
He existed before the world. God is unique. He is responsible for the existence of everything in creation.
This means God existed fore anything else.

Transcendence means that God is free. He is not limited by time and space. He is also free from any limitation
of power and knowledge. He never lacks power of knowledge to accomplish his desires.
Question 4
Fill in the blanks:
Transcendence mans that God is _______________________________________

God is not limited by ________________________ and ____________________

God is free from any limitation of ___________ and _______________________

God never lacks power and knowledge to accomplish his ___________________

Check your answers against the statements in the preceding paragraph.

When we say God is personal we mean He is real, living, and active. When we say God is transcendent,
we mean He is holy, creator, and free.
Question 5
That God is real, living and active means God is ___________________________
That God is holy, creator and free means God is ___________________________

God is called many different names in the Bible. The various names God called himself helps us understand
more about his personality.
Elohim: This is the first name the Bible uses to refer to God.
(Genesis 1:1). It is the general name for deity and was used for the true God and for false pagan gods.
It occurs over 2,000 times in the Bible.
Theos, El: The New Testament equivalent of Elohim means strength.
El occurs 250 times in the New Testament.

Jehovah: This is the name most often used for God. It distinguished Israel’s God from false gods.
The Hebrew form is Yahweh. God revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush as Jehovah (Exodus 3:14).
“I AM THAT I AM”. Jehovah is God’s redeeming name. All the names given to God
in the scripture denote personality.
Those combined with the name Jehovah especially help us understand God’s personality.

        Some examples are:

    Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord will provide (Gen. 22: 13-14)
    Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord that heals (Exodus 15:26)
    Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord our banner (Ex. 17:8-15)
    Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord our peace (Judges 6:24)
    Jehovah-Ra-ah: The Lord my shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
    Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
    Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is present (Ezekiel 48:35)

It is interesting to notice that Jesus name means Jehovah is salvation.

Question 6

List three names God calls himself in the Bible.

Question 7
What does Jesus name mean?

Attributes of God
Week 1                     Day 3
Learning Goals:        
You will be able to:
  1. and describe seven natural attributes of God in order to be able to introduce God to other people.
  2. and describe the four moral attributes of God in order to show how God thinks, and acts.
  3. Circle the two most important attributes of God for man.

Attributes are the characteristics or qualities of God. In the past, theologians
have drawn up long lists trying to help us get a better picture of God. One of the best lists was developed
by E.Y. Mullins. He lists seven natural and four moral attributes.

The seven natural attributes are:
        1. Self-existence: God exists
by reason of what He is himself. He is eternal in being. (Gen1:1, Isa. 57:15)
        2. Immutability: God does not change
His character, nature, or purpose. He is active, progressive, free to choose, and He experiences both joy and sorrow.
However, He even when he changes His methods, He never changes in His nature or purpose.
(Deut. 4:26-38, Jer. 31:31-41, Matthew 21:33-45, II Peter 2:4-10)
        3. Immensity: God is superior to space.
He is the God of the universe. No human concept can contain God. (Romans 11:33-36)
  1. Eternal: God has no beginning or end. He is related to events in time, yet He is not confined to time.
    Past, present and future are one to Him.
  2. Omniscience: God has all knowledge. He knows all things, simultaneously.
    His knowledge is immediate, without the processes of thought, reason, or inference. His foreknowledge
    of events does not mean that He predetermined them. He knows the workings of His natural, physical, moral
    and spiritual laws which work towards definite ends. We are free to choose but we are also responsible
    for our choices. God knows these choices beforehand, but he does not predetermine them.
  3. Omnipotence: God possesses all power. He can do anything in keeping with His nature
    and purpose. The only limits to His power are self-imposed. He can not lie or act contrary to His own laws, character, and purposes. These limitations are evidences of God’s power, not His weakness.

Miracles are acts of God contrary to our knowledge of natural law. Miracles are not contrary to
God’s knowledge of such. God works miracles in accord with His benevolent will and purpose.
Thus miracles are not only possible but expected.

Question 1
Attributes are the ________________ or ___________________ of God

Question 2
List and describe the seven natural attributes of god as listed by E.Y. Mullins

The four moral attributes of God are:
1. Holiness: Holiness connotes God’s supreme moral excellence. (Isaiah 6:3)
Remember the word “holy” carries the idea of separation or exaltation. When used for persons
or things, it means separated for God’s service. Because God is holy, he demands holiness
in his people. (Leviticus 11:44)
2. Righteous: This is God’s self-affirmation on behalf of right as opposed to wrong.
As a righteous God, He can not ignore or condone evil. Righteousness demonstrates what God is in His nature.
It tells us what God demands in man. It shows us what grace He bestows on those who believe in Christ.
(Romans 3:26, 10: 1-13, II Corinthians 5:19)

3. Truth: God is the source and basis of all truth. He is the measure by which all thoughts
and acts shall be judged. Truth, whether in science or religion, is in harmony with God. All truth is of God.
Any error is a departure from God’s nature. (John 17:17) Jesus answered man’s eternal search
for truth when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6). Jesus is the incarnation
of truth (John 1: 14-17) 14:6). In Him dwells all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).

4. Love: Love is the attribute which affects all God’s relationships with us.
In love God seeks the complete involvement in our lives. He wants the greatest good for all of us.

Question 2
List and describe the four moral attributes of God as described by E.Y. Mullins

That God is righteous and loving seem to be the most important attributes of God. His righteous love means
He will always do what is right.
Question 3
Circle the two most important attributes of God from the list below:

Holiness Eternity Self-existence Immutability Immensity

Omnipresence Omniscience Love Omnipotence Truth   Righteous