SERIES: DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE BIBLE?
DOES IT MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT THE GODHOOD OF GOD?
Scripture: Isaiah 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
TEXT: John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. The King James Version, 1769.
INTRO: Does it matter what you believe. I contend it does matter very much what one believes. In the past three Sunday nights we considered the question, Does It Matter What You Believe About the Bible? We saw again that it does matter what one believes about the Bibleits inspiration, its authority, and its sufficiency.
In this and several subsequent messages we will consider the question, Does It Matter What We Believe About God? In this message we will narrow our study to the question, Does It Matter What You Believe About the Godhood of God? Our text indicates that it matters a great deal what we believe about God. I call your attention to it again. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Since we must know God, not simply know of him, if we are to be saved, then one who is truly saved must know some very definite things about God. We may study things that are not essential to salvation, but will be essential to a happy, confident, anchored, and ordered Christian life.
DOES IT MATTER WHETHER ONE BELIEVES THAT GOD IS REALLY God?
The numbers of times that God declares himself to be God is an indication of the importance that one believes in the true God-hood of God.He reminded the godly man Abraham of his god-hood. Genesis 35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.
He also reminded Jacob, another man of faith, that he was truly God. Genesis 46:3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.
- He reminds Abraham of the fact that he is the Almighty God, the most powerful God who nourishes and cares for his people.
- He informs him that he is the God who can accomplish that which is impossible with man, he can cause Abraham at an old age to multiply and become a mighty nation.
Israel was reminded of the God-hood of God and called upon to know that. Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 50:7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
- He informs Jacob, as he did Abraham, that he is able to take care of him and his people in Egypt and urges him to not be afraid to go down there.
- He also promises Jacob that he will make a great nation of him in Egypt.
- Need I remind you that 70 souls of the house of Jacob went down into Egypt and when they came out 490 years later there were so many of them that they could count 600,000 men who could go to war.
Again, God reminds Israel of his Godhood and of some of the implications of that Godhood. Isaiah 43:10-1310 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. 12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. 13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
- Israel is reminded in this hymn that God is really God and they should be still and know that.
- They are reminded of his sovereigntyhe can declare what will be done and it will be done. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
- He reminds them in the second passage that he will not overlook their failures but will testify against them.
Consider yet another declaration of the Godhood of God. Isaiah 45:21-24 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
- In this passage God teaches us even more about himselfthings that are important for us to know.
- He teaches them about the doctrine of election. "my servant whom I have chosen."
- He teaches them the purpose of election and in that purpose there is the inference of the effectual call. "that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he."
- All those whom God has chosen he teaches and all those whom he teaches come to Christ. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
- Jesus affirmed this same truth earlier in this chapter of John. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
- He affirmed this same truth a little later in the chapter. John 6:63-65 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
- Jesus said that this truth was written in the prophets indicating that it is more than once set forth.
- While in its primary fulfillment this setting is during his millennial reign, Jesus could have been referring to this verse as one place it was written in the prophets. Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
- Or, Jesus could have had this verse in mind. Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
- And, he certainly could have had this passage from the prophet Jeremiah in mind. Jeremiah 31:33-34 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
- Jesus could also have been alluding to this verse from the prophet Micah. Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
The Godhood of God is something that he repeatedly affirmed. Hosea 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.DOES IT MATTER WHETHER ONE BELIEVES THAT GOD IS REALLY LORD OF ALL?
- In this passage several things are set forth by God concerning his nature and attributes as he calls on Israel to remember his Godhood.
- He reminds them that he is the eternal God who has declared all events from ancient times.
- He also reminds them that he is the God who is perfectly just.
- He further indicates to them that he is the God who is their Saviour and that there is no Saviour besides him.
- He also informs them that his word has gone forth and indicates what he says more pungently in another place that his word will not return void.
- Moreover, they are told that the day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue swear, or confess.
- Paul quotes from this passage in his letter to the Romans. Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
- He refers to it again in his letter to the Philippians. Philippians 2:10-11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- God also reveals that he is the one who shall be given glory by those who have righteousness and strength for salvation is of the Lord. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength.
- God has declared that our righteousness is in him. Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
- God is to be praised for clothing us in his righteousness. Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
- He is our righteousness. Jeremiah 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
- God has made Christ our righteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
- Finally, he warns that he is the God, who, if rejected, will surely make ashamed those who are against him. and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
- These shall perish. Isaiah 41:11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
- Those who know God and his Christ shall never be ashamed.
God repeatedly reminds men that he is Lord of all.He reminded Abraham. Genesis 15:7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. He reminded Jacob of his Lordship. Genesis 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. He informed Moses of his Lordship. Exodus 6:2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD. He charged Moses with the task of declaring his Lordship to Israel. Exodus 6:6-7 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. He declared that he would so work in his deliverance of Israel the Egypt would know that he is the Lord. Exodus 7:5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. He informed Israel that at a future date they would know he is the Lord. Ezekiel 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves. In setting forth his great attribute of immutability, he sets for his Lordship. Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. In the King James Version of the Old Testament, the expression, "I am the Lord" is found 163 times and many of those the expression is preceded by the expression, "Ye shall know." "Ye shall know that I am the Lord."
- In Ezekiel, where there is much rebuke for idolatry, God uses the expression "I am the Lord" 67 times.
- In 63 of those times he is telling Israel that they "shall know that I am the Lord."
CONC: In this message I have dealt with the Godhood of God and the Lordship of God. From the many times that God asserts his Lordship and his Godhood, it must be important that we believe that. And, in view of the many things he says in connection with those the declaration of his Godhood and his Lordship that reveal his nature, work, and attributes, it is apparent that it is important what we believe about God, about his Godhood and Lordship.
I am telling you on the grounds of the unchangeable word of God that it is important what you believe about God's Godhood and his Lordship. He is either God of all or he is not God at all. He is either Lord of all or he is not Lord at all. There is no middle ground on this matter. It does matter what you believe and how you act on that belief.
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Saturday, July 30, 2011