Understanding who God is Part II
“God is Love”
Bible Study 03/25/09
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
God revealed his love to us through Jesus Christ.
I. God is love:
a) This means God shows us unmanageable infection, because he created all things. Unlike us, he does not create stuff and later not love it. He loved us so much, knowing we were going to sin, he made arrangements to reconcile us back to himself. God knew what we were capable of and loved us in spite of ourselves. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love. 1 John 4:8 (NLT)-We are loved because God loves us. This is why some people that try to be in relationship with us, aren’t capable of loving us properly. It is impossible for them to be in proper relationship with us if they don’t have a proper relationship with God.
b) God already made arrangements before the foundations of the world. The manifestation of God sent to us as Jesus was preordained.20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you. 1 Peter 1:19-20 (NLT).
c) God demonstrated to us that the love of God cannot be measured when he sent his son. In comparison to all of our issues, all we can conclude is that God must love us. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)
d) God commanded his love towards us. While we were still sipping, dipping, and creeping, Christ died. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 (NLT) The truth is we look at ourselves and can’t stand ourselves sometimes, but Jesus loves us in spite of ourselves. He wrapped himself in flesh and came down to help reconcile us back to him.
II. God is Holy:
a) God is pure, cannot sin, nor does he tolerate sin. God is holy, and is infinite in his fullness of purity. God never runs out of being pure. He is not influenced by our thoughts. God is just pure. If we are in relationship with him, then we have the ability through him to be holy. We can’t be holy apart from him. Lots of times we associate being holy with what we wear Example: The church in back in the day felt that they couldn’t’ wear makeup, women couldn’t wear pants, and women couldn’t go into the pulpit and etc… If you would notice some of the same people that believed this so critically saw their women end up pregnant just like the folk that they looked down upon. It is not what you wear that makes you Holy. It is who you are that makes you holy.
b) Glory is a collision between the supernatural and natural. 1 In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. 3 In a great chorus they sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3 (NLT)-The only way you can experience the glory of the Lord is worship. This is what the seraphim were doing when they sang “Holy, holy holy”. Worship involves surrender. When you worship what you are really saying is, “I see you Lord and I surrender. Take out of me what is not like you.” When we are a worshipper, we are in pursuit of holiness.
c) Jesus came down and became sin for us. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor 5:21 (KJV). Jesus did not know any sin, yet he came into a world of sin that we might be made the righteousness with God through him. We are made righteous through our relationship with God. We are only measured by our relationship with him. God is Jehovah. God is just plain Holy.
III. God is wisdom:
a) God cannot make a mistake. How many of us have made a mistake and misinterpreted what God wanted to do? In other words we questioned what God said. We asked, “God are you sure?”God can’t make a mistake. All of his acts are done in wisdom. His acts are motivated by ultimate good. Ex- 5yrs ago Bishop asked God to intensify his anointing. He said he wanted to be a different kind of leader. What he didn’t anticipate is what God allowed to happen before what he asked for would be manifested. He asked questions like what did his house catching on fire have to do with intensifying his anointing. God told Bishop that those storms that God allowed in his life were necessary to get him to what he asked for. Did God consult Bishop when he placed the stars in the sky? God said since he didn’t consult him for this, then he must be capable of managing things himself. Bishop had to understand that everything God allowed to happen was done in wisdom. This means we must understand that our acceptance of what God allows is understanding of how God works.
b) God said ask, he is right here! 28 Bread grain is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it. He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn’t pulverize it. 29 The LORD Almighty is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom Isaiah 28:28-29 (NLT). We have very hard heads, but strong minds. Our mind tries to figure things out. In fact, as some people read this, some people’s minds are spinning trying to figure things out. We have to try and not lean on our own understanding, but in all ways acknowledge him. This is why you can’t sleep at night. You are trying to figure things out that God has already worked out. God is working on your situation. 24 O LORD, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures. Psalms 104:24 (NLT)–Everything God did, he did in his time. God will not give you things before you are ready. He knows the right season to give you what you asked for.
IV. God is Just:
a) God demands righteousness. Judgment is the application and fairness to moral situations. He has nothing to do with societies thinking. What would we do if we were God for a day? We would ask God to get the people that wronged us, before we allowed the sun to rise in the morning. There is a category in church called the pew police. These are those who want to tell on others. They want the Pastor to go and punish folk that they feel are not living righteous. The judgment of God is not interpreted by our way of thinking. God has the best in mind when he brings judgment on us. God judges us out of love for us, not out of the need to punish us.
b) God brings judgment down in righteousness. 15 He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. Psalms 33:15 (NLT); 14 Your throne is founded on two strong pillars—righteousness and justice. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants. Psalms 89:14 (NLT). There are some folk that think you should have gotten worse consequences than you got for things you have done that they thought was not righteous. The way to understand God’s justice is to appreciate his goodness. God’s goodness is what leads us to repentance. It is his goodness that turns people’s life around. Example: Bishop believes he is a centrist . He is not as liberal or conservative as most Pastors. He explains he is down the middle when it comes to interpreting God’s word. For example, Bishop still believes the institution of marriage is between a man and woman. Some conservative ministers may say different going by a word for word interpretation. If you interpret like that, then you are supposed to pluck an eye out an eye if you offend someone. Want a patch? Some Christians are so legalistic that there is no way anyone could live up to what the word says. People don’t come to church to get beat up. People know they are going to hell if they don’t live right and don’t have to be told this over and over. This is not what is going to convert them. People will be converted when they discover through church how good God is.
c) True holiness is not based on the fear of God. As we learned in the Relationship Ready series, God doesn’t affirm fear based relationships. Example: “I am with them, because I was afraid to be out there alone” or “If he cheats I will whack it off!” Your man ought not to refrain from cheating out of fear of getting it whacked off. He ought to want to be faithful out of his love for you. In the same like manner, we should not want to come to church out of fear that God will punish us if we don’t come. We ought to come to church, because we love God. God will not condemn you. You will see how good God is and that will show you how to change your life.
d) Knowing God is a good thing. 4 Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin? Romans 2:4 (NLT). People can be converted by people by seeing how God has affected your life.
V. God is slow to anger:
a) We are supposed to be slow to anger. 13 Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you. Joel 2:13 (NLT)-Bishop explains he how his parents wasn’t slow to anger. If he said something he wasn’t supposed to say or done something he wasn’t supposed to do, he would flinch out of fear of getting popped. God is not like this. He doesn’t cause us to flinch, because he is always giving us another chance to get it right.
b) God is longsuffering. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT). God is willing that we would not perish, but come to repentance. God keeps letting us show up though he could take our life at any time. No man knows when Jesus is coming back so we need to take advantage of him allowing us “do overs”. God is good no matter how bad the situation.
c) God is good and whatever God does is right, because he is wise, and he makes no mistakes. His holiness is not tainted because of our stuff. He loves us in spite of our stuff. We love him because he is faithful.
VI. God is faithful -absolutely trustworthy:
a) Stop trying to get what others have. 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb 13:5 (KJV)- Be content with what you have. No matter who left you hanging, God said he will never leave you nor forsake you. When you miss church for a month, when you finally decide to return, God says he is still there.
b) The children of Israel were in the wilderness after captivity. 19 But in your great mercy you did not abandon them to die in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud still led them forward by day, and the pillar of fire showed them the way through the night. Neh 9:19 (NLT) – The wilderness represents that place in between the storm and the blessing. We must stay with the cloud. Wherever the cloud went, the children of Israel had to go. This cloud that they were instructed to follow represents our covering and the providential will of God. The pillar of fire that they followed by night was representative of God being light in the midnight hour.
c) God didn’t forget what he told us. 8 He always stands by his covenant— the commitment he made to a thousand generations. Psalms 105:8 (NLT) – God didn’t forget what he promised us. He will get around to it sooner or later. He will do it when the time is right. It might take a while, but he will do it. His word will not return void. God is faithful.
VII. God is merciful:
a) Mercy is deep inexhaustible energy that rises out of God’s love and shows kindness and forgiveness. Mercy is God holding back the consequences. God is holding back our consequences. Example- One time Bishop explains he was worshipping God and had a vision that messed him up. He saw Christ on the cross, but in this vision, he wasn’t on the cross in his usual stereotypical way. Christ was on the cross holding back consequences that was trying to get at us. Bishop said he saw consequences trying to get around the cross and Jesus was holding it back refusing to allow it to pass. It was if Jesus’ mercy was saying, “I am not up here for nothing. You ain’t getting around this!” Remember when the woman was caught in the act of adultery in John chapter 8. Religious folk said stone her! They wanted to punish her in accordance to the law. Jesus was righteous and told them he that was without sin, cast the first stone. In John 8:10 he looks up at the woman and asks where was the folk that were condemning her? After she responds that they were gone, he explains that he would not condemn her either. When you have been a recipient of mercy, you say to yourself, “Lord I am not going to do that anymore!”5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalms 100:5 (KJV).
b) Watch faithfulness and mercy come together. 14 I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day. 15 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. 16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. 17 And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity. 18 And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: 19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lam 3:14-23 (KJV) – In Verses 14-15, Jeremiah says he had all of this stuff going on and was losing his mind. In Verse 16, he said his spirit was broken and he thought he felt like he was in ashes. In Verse 17, I felt so removed from my purpose and my destiny, In Verse 18, I was so weak I felt like my strength was almost gone. He was asking the Lord was he about to perish? In Verse 19-21, he is remembering the stuff he went through at home. This raises the question of what brought Jeremiah back? In Verse 22-23, it was because of the Lord’s mercy that he was not consumed. We get new mercy every morning. Because we messed up Tuesday’s s mercy, we get new mercy from God on Wednesday morning. God ain’t just faithful, he is great and faithful. Just like corn flakes. They are good, but frosted flakes are great! The difference between the two is frosted flakes have a little something extra on them. God’s faithfulness is just like this. It has a little something extra on it. When we thank about his mercy we can say great is his faithfulness.
VIII. God is full of Grace:
a) His grace is directed to our inability to pay our debt. Grace period is the time after the due date. It is the time that you are allowed to make things right. Ex-We are 2 and 3 generations removed from appreciating God’s grace. Our grandmothers and grandfathers really appreciated grace back in the day. Lot of us missed the beauty of that era. We made a shift sometime between that time and now. We started focusing on the blessing (what we are going to get) instead of the grace God granted to us. This is why we try to accumulate a lot of stuff today in such a short time. We are focused on blessings and prosperity. We make big salaries today and we are still broke. Our parents were on fixed incomes and had big family’s but always had a little something to give you when you come over. They were on fixed incomes and always had something on the table to eat. For the benefit this generation, let’s put grace in prospective… 17 The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight. 20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful kindness became more abundant. Romans 5:17-20 (NLT)-Paul understood that this was going to be complicated for people to understand so he said it 3 different ways:
1. In Verse 18, Paul says we stood there knowing the charges were right, but he dropped the charges on our behalf. In other words he acquitted of our offense.
2. In verse 19 he says we were born into sin because of Adam. We were made righteous because of God.
3. In verse 20, Paul says when you condemn a person; it is based on a legal system. If there is no law, how can you condemn a person? What was broken if there is no law? You can’t condemn a person if there is no law. Legalism is the interpretation of the bible from a very legal prospective. You look at it as right or wrong. There is no room for grace. So when you look at what is called Pentateuch or the Torah (1st 5 books of the bible) you experience the law in which they lived by back in the Old Testament days. When you read Leviticus or Deuteronomy you get this type of legal code to live by. What happened was Men couldn’t live by the laws in Old Testament. How could we live by the law if we are not perfect? This is why Jesus said he came to fulfill the law. Jesus came t give us a greater realistic understanding by bringing us into relationship with God. We do right, because of our love for God rather than the law that is written and if we miss the mark, God’s grace kicks in and gives us another chance. Verse 20 again says grace did much more abound where sin abound. Your sin can’t be more than Gods grace. Older Christians used to sing, Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I am found, twas blind but now I see…It was grace that brought me thus far and grace will lead me on. This reminds us that the car I drive is because of God’s Grace, the school I go to is because of God’s Grace, and the food I eat is because of God’s Grace.
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