The Attributes of God – The Contemplation of God

The Contemplation of God

The divine nature

IN THE PREVIOUS STUDIES WE HAVE HAD IN REVIEW SOME of the wondrous and lovely perfections of the divine character. From this most feeble and faulty contemplation of His attributes, it should be evident to us all that God is—First, an incomprehensible Being, and, lost in wonder at His infinite greatness, we are constrained to adopt the words of Zophar, “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9). When we turn our thoughts to God’s eternity, His immateriality, His omnipresence, His almightiness, our minds are overwhelmed.

The study of the Deity

But the incomprehensibility of the divine nature is not a reason why we should desist from reverent inquiry and prayerful strivings to apprehend what He has so graciously revealed of Himself in His Word. Because we are unable to acquire perfect knowledge, it would be folly to say we will therefore make no efforts to attain to any degree of it. It has been well said:

Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued, investigation of the great subject of the Deity. The most excellent study for expanding the soul is the science of Christ and Him crucified and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity (C.H. Spurgeon).

Let us quote a little further from this prince of preachers:

The proper study of the Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can engage the attention of a child of God is the name, the nature, the person, the doings, and the existence of the great God which he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can comprehend and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-contentment, and go on our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, “I am but of yesterday and know nothing” (Sermon on Mal 3:6).

Yes, the incomprehensibility of the divine nature should teach us humility, caution, and reverence. Continue reading

The Attributes of God – The Love of God

The Love of God

The nature of God

THERE ARE THREE THINGS TOLD US IN SCRIPTURE concerning the nature of God. First, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). In the Greek there is no indefinite article, and to say “God is a spirit” is most objectionable, for it places Him in a class with others. God is “spirit” in the highest sense. Because He is “spirit” He is incorporeal, having no visible substance. Had God a tangible body, He would not be omnipresent, He would be limited to one place; because He is “spirit” He fills heaven and earth. Secondly, “God is light” (I John 1:5), which is the opposite of darkness. In Scripture “darkness” stands for sin, evil, death, and “light” for holiness, goodness, life. “God is light” means that He is the sum of all excellency. Thirdly, “God is love” (I John 4:8). It is not simply that God “loves,” but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature.

There are many today who talk about the love of God, who are total strangers to the God of love. The divine love is commonly regarded as a species of amiable weakness, a sort of good-natured indulgence; it is reduced to a mere sickly sentiment, patterned after human emotion. Now the truth is that on this, as on everything else, our thoughts need to be formed and regulated by what is revealed thereon in Holy Scripture. That there is urgent need for this is apparent not only from the ignorance which so generally prevails, but also the low state of spirituality which is now so sadly evident everywhere among professing Christians. How little real love there is for God. One chief reason for this is because our hearts are so little occupied with His wondrous love for His people. The better we are acquainted with His love—its character, fullness, blessedness—the more will our hearts be drawn out in love to Him.

The character and blessedness of God’s love

1. The love of God is uninfluenced. By this we mean, there was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it into exercise, nothing in the creature to attract or prompt it. The love which one creature has for another is because of something in the object; but the love of God is free, Continue reading

Daily Roundup

Legalism or Obedience? – I have never yet met a parent who complained that his child was a legalist because he obeyed too much.

Chapel Library – Here is a great resource that I found a while back.  Books, sermon audio, instructional courses, you can find it here.

The Gospels Power and Message – While Paul Washer isn’t widely known, his preaching style doesn’t win him over to the hearts and minds of many, he is a man of God and I recommend this book.  Read Tim Challies review at the provided link.

Space, the Final Frontier – Well, not exactly, but I grew up watching Star Trek and I love outer space.  Here are a few images that might explain my fascination.

Religious Liberty Dies at Hobby Lobby – Hopefully this will be overturned, but if it isn’t, will the Green family stand up for what they believe in.  This is a question we as Christians need to think about because there will come a day when we will have to take a stand personally.

Quote:

To reach the holiday of glory, we must pass through the training school of grace.  ~ JC Ryle