Theology: God (GOD IS LIVING)

Bancroft’s statement on this subject is good. “By the sharp distinctions drawn in the Scriptures between the gods of the heathen and the true God, the fact of life as a divine attribute is clearly shown. Israel’s God, unlike the gods of the nations, hears, sees, feels, acts, and therefore is a living Being.” (Taken from the book, Elemental Theology by Emery H. Bancroft. Copyright 1977 by Baptist Bible College. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. p 48. I might mention that Bancroft’s Elemental Theology has a good section on God’s personality.)

 

God is living so we know that He automatically has certain characteristics. God has intellect, sensibility and volition. Let us look at these characteristics.

 

 

God has Intellect: He is intelligent and capable of rational thought. He is not the insensitive nothing that some say we are absorbed into in the end of it all.

 

He is Someone that we can relate to no matter how intelligent we are, or how little education we have. No matter what level we are on, He can relate to us.

 

God has Sensibility: We have a Father/son relationship with God and he feels all that we feel. We need to thank Him at times for understanding how we feel when we are in a spiritual or emotional slump. He Does Understand How We Feel. He is also sensible to our disobedience. He hurts when we are seemingly enjoying our sin.

 

God has Volition: He is not locked into a set of man’s rules and ideas of how He should be. He Made The Rules And Laws.

 

Indeed, Strong mentions that life is mental energy that shows up as these three items. (Strong, Augustus H.. “Systematic Theology”; Valley Forge, PA: The Judson Press, 1907, p 252)

 

Scripture is clear on the fact that God is a living God. Deuteronomy 5:26, Jeremiah 10:10, 1 Timothy 4:10.

 

What do we mean by living? Yes, when we think of living we mean the quality of having life. Yes, that’s what we are. Yes, many other things that might relate, but how do you really define “living?”

 

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary mentions, “…..having life…..the condition of being alive.” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.)

 

Consider this definition. That energy or force which causes activity. It is that which enables God to do things. More importantly living is that which allows Him to do things for us. Salvation, Preservation, Provision, and Fellowship.

 

 

APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE

 

This doctrine should be the antidote for all forms of idolatry. Why in the world would people worship a piece of wood when they can worship a Living God that can assuredly do, and be for them?

 

The human heart has a very real need and only a living God can satisfy that need (Psalm 84:2). Yet today even in our own country we have people serving other gods. They serve idols. Not in the literal sense of cutting a tree limb and carving something a god. They are carving something out of life and making it the object of most importance. They make career, wealth, material possession, fame or other items which they seem to view as very important into their god.

 

Most of us know that idolatry is putting anything before God while making it our priority. We would agree that career, money, home, etc. can be idols, but let us consider some other things we might put before God. Studies — I have to much to do to have a quiet time. Socializing — I’m going on a date — let the studies go. Rebelling — spending time being a grump about the dumb rules of life. Being a grump takes time and great concentration. Looks — How I look is important. Self Importance — I’m going to let them know I’m upset. I’m going to let them know how much I know.

 

He is a living God and this fact is manifest to us in many ways:

 

The Living God is a God that speaks to His people (Deuteronomy 5:6). He listens to us in our prayers and speaks with us in our private lives with Him.

 

The Living God is a God that will help His people (Jos. 3:10). Multitudes of testimonies have been given relating to how God has helped believers.

 

The Living God is a God that produces a strong love and desire in His people (Psalm 42:1-3, Psalm 84:2). Why else, would the martyrs of yesteryear have given their lives for Him. Why else, would many people give their lives to the ministry of His Word.

 

The Living God is a God that is true and everlasting (Jeremiah 10:10). He will always be as He is and will always do as He has said.

 

 

The Living God is a God described as a God to be feared, even by non- believing Gentiles (Daniel 6:26). He is a God of judgment as well as a God of love. The intelligent person that knows of Him should fear Him.

 

The Living God is a God that sent His Son to earth to die (Matthew 16:16). Even though He is a God to be feared, He is a God that is to be loved. He is a God that loved us so much that He gave His Son for us.

 

The Living God is a God that created the heavens and the earth (Acts 14:15). We don’t worship a primordial muck that evolved into life, but we worship a God that is living and a God that created all there is.

 

The Living God is a God that has many children (Romans 9:26). By our belief in His Son, He accepts us into His family as sons and daughters. He becomes our heavenly Father.

 

The Living God is a God that is our Savior (1 Timothy 4:10). Not only did He give His Son, but His Son is God as well. We have a God that died for our wrong that we might have eternal life.

 

The Living God is a God that we should trust in, instead of riches (1 Timothy 6:17). He gives all we are and have, and He can take it away as well. Those that trust in riches should not trust in what they have accumulated, but trust in what God has allowed them to have. The God is the better to place one’s trust in.

 

The Living God is a God that will judge (Hebrews 10:30, 31). Not only will God judge the lost, but He will hold the saved accountable for their works and their actions.

 

The Living God is a God that indwells His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). He was not satisfied to create us, He was not satisfied to save us, but He also came to live within us. He is ever present within us.

 

Based on all this, why — ever set money, things or mental ideas up to take our time when we can talk to a God like that? He is interested in our needs, hurts, joys, trials, learning, provision, and everything. He, indeed, because He lives, does all He promises.

 

 

In the area of hurt and troubles: Worry doesn’t work. Stewing is for food. Leaning is for “against God.” When you hurt and have a burden don’t worry or stew — Lean.[1]

 


[1] by Stanley L. Derickson. DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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