What is God Like? – Men’s T2 Book Study

In his book “Knowing God” J.I. Packer writes,

“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesmen to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction, and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”

To help keep us from stumbling and blundering our way through life we have set out to grow in knowing God by using the help of Wayne Grudem’s “Christian Beliefs: Twenty Essentials Every Christian Should Know.”

In the second chapter we were presented with a robust list of God’s attributes.  These attributes are what make God uniquely excellent.  Answering the question, “What is God Like” requires using descriptions such as “eternal,” “unchangeable,” and “holy” to name just a few.

God Exists

The first attribute in the list found in chapter 2 is “God Exists.”  The Bible assumes God’s existence.  The Scriptures explain that all people innately realize they have been created by a Creator even if they express disbelief of that self-evident truth during their life (Romans 1). As I considered the reality of God’s existence I couldn’t help but think of some explanation on this self-evident truth by C.S. Lewis in his book “Mere Christianity.” Here are a couple of choice quotes from Lewis that argue the truth of God’s existence:

  • “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
  • “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Be Amazed By God’s “God-ness”

Perhaps the best way to summarize a chapter about the attributes of God is to step back and gaze at the group of attributes as a unit.  The longer we gaze at God by seeing his attributes the greater our wonder, awe, admiration, and praise will become.  Meditate upon the greatness of God.  Entrust yourself to his wise, omniscient, goodness.  Rest with utter abandon in God’s omnipresent, eternal, will as he freely accomplishes his righteous purposes for your good and his glory.  Because Christian’s live by faith the more robust knowledge we have of God and know of his person the stronger our faith will be. Your time in the Word of God (either privately or publicly with the church) is time well spent.

What did you learn?

What attribute struck you with the most amazement?  Why were you so amazed?  How does that unique excellence of God build your faith?  How will that truth of God build up the church?  For what attribute will you praise God this week?  Use the comment section below to share and promote godly discussion with others for their good growth in godliness.

0 replies
  1. shaunbwalker
    shaunbwalker says:

    I was struck with the most amazement at the combination of God’s omniscience and his wisdom. I am staggered by the fact God knows all things actual and possible. Furthermore, because he is wise he “always chooses the best possible goals and the best possible means to meet those goals” (p. 27). I went from wonder-filled amazement at these attributes to praise-filled thanksgiving as I remembered God gives wisdom freely to all who ask (James 1:5). I must ask more often!

    Reply
  2. Dan Benitez
    Dan Benitez says:

    I though it was interesting that Grudem mentioned His beauty in Psalm 27:4. Here is that whole section:

    One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
    that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
    to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
    5 For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
    he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

    David connected gazing on the beauty of the Lord with seeking Him in His temple. Since the church is the pillar (a display for truth) and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15), I wonder if this is what David is talking about. We gaze on His beauty because His temple is a place where we find truth about Him.

    Reply
    • shaunbwalker
      shaunbwalker says:

      Are you asking if David had the church in mind?
      In regards to the temple idea: Since the Christian (individually) and the Church (corporately) is the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:15-20), Jesus should be seen in our life and in the church.

      Reply
      • Dan Benitez
        Dan Benitez says:

        Yeah…
        1. What is the connection between gazing on His beauty and dwelling in His temple? Is it, that we gain knowledge about Him (i.e. we find Him beautiful because we know more about Him in His temple)?

        2. A major purpose of the NT church is displaying truth. The OT temple would have had a similar purpose (i.e. all of the symbolism with the sacrificial system and the instruments used in the temple).

        So, we gaze on His beauty by observing Him in His temple/church?

        Reply

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