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Articles > Bible Doctrines Part I

Bible Doctrines

In January ’02 my life was quickly spiraling out-of-control and I soon was at a crossroads.  I was at the bottom and after a series of providential events I ended up in counseling.  God can use any means he wants, and my counselor was a female Charismatic born-again Christian.  Over a couple weeks she stated that everything I was looking for was found in the gospel.  It was here that I was introduced to apologetics, and why I am convinced we need to be ready to have an answer for all men who ask for the reason for the hope that is within us.  I was unconvinced God was real as I told her I likened God to Santa Claus---at best I could hope he was real.  I told her I needed hard evidence, “like I was on a jury” where I could cast my own verdict.  Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: the Bible says in Matthew 7:7, and the Bible says I will find Him if I search for Him with all my heart.  She told me about a book that was exactly that ---A Case For Christ by Lee Strobel, ex-atheist turned Pastor.  I read the book, became quickly convinced Jesus was Messiah, and accepted the challenge at the end to go with the weight of the evidence and cast my own verdict.  Jesus was God---now I had to make Him My God. I knew that because He was Messiah, I owed him my allegiance and worship.   He explained John 1:12 as Believe + Receive = Become.  With a repentant heart, knowing Jesus was God and deserved the title of reigning Lord of my life, He immediately came in while I sat in my couch at 92 Slate Creek Drive, Apartment #2 in late February ’02.  Jesus Christ changed my life, saved me from Hell, and put me on the solid rock.  It was all Him and it’s still all Him.  Still, He chooses to use people, and I’m grateful that two of the many influential people on the straight and narrow path I’m traveling on were faithful to God’s calling.  Both my counselor and Lee Strobel knew what they believed, and why they believed it.  Likewise, so must we.

Part 1:  Biblical Theism

For starters, the definition of Theology is the doctrine of God in the narrow sense, and in a broader sense it’s the science of God and his relations to the universe.  According to the Websters 1828 Dictionary Theology is Divinity: the science of God and divine things; or the science which teaches the existence, character, and attributes of God, his laws, and government; the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice.  Two branches were described by Webster’s ---natural theology is the knowledge we have of God from his works, by the light of nature, and reason.  Revealed theology is that which is to be learned only from revelation.

Regarding the personality of God, the Bible says in John 4:24 that God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  The very fact that God is a spirit implies He has a personality.  God is a God of the dead and of the living; he is eternal.  He is outside of time, and he created time.  Jeremiah 32:17 says Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Genesis 28:13 says, 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;.   God is holy.  God is righteous and perfect, and HE is holy where nothing can be compared to Him.  To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? (Isaiah 46:5) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.  (Is 46:9) 

 God is righteous. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil... (Proverbs 8:13)  Because God is holy, God hates sin.  His thoughts are not our thoughts, and our God is a consuming fire.  He is angry with the wicked every day, the soul that sinneth it shall die, and the wicked shall be turned into Hell.  God however is long-suffering so we don’t get what we deserve in our day to day living. Still, every sin must be punished, and without Christ’s atonement, Hell is the only other option.  God is merciful.  We need God’s mercy and grace.  1Ch 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.  Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh, and Jesus Christ is the creator of everything.  Ephisans 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

The Bible says no man has seen God (John 1:18). That is because God is a sprit.  However, 1/3 of the trinity, the office of God the Son, became flesh and dwelt among us.  All the attributes of God are exhibited by Jesus Christ.  If we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father.  To know Jesus is to know God because Jesus is 100% God “despite” his humanity.    I know that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.  (Jonah 4:2) (See also  Joel 2:13)

God is Holy and Jesus is God.  Jesus hence is holy.  The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 5:21 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. God is perfect, sinless, and cannot lie (the Bible says Thy Word is truth and in Hebrews 6:18 in which it was impossible for God to lie,) By one man sin entered into the world—Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and from that moment on we all inherited the sinful nature.  We are born on the devil’s team, and through Jesus alone we can be born again, traded if you will, onto God’s team.  Jesus was God’s only begotten son, by the ‘immaculate conception’ in Mary’s womb.  Jesus is eternal, but 2,000 years ago He came down to Earth.  God and not Joseph was his father, and this caused Jesus to be born in the flesh bypassing the line of Adam.

God knows everything, past, present and future.  He knows when the mountain goats give birth and all the hairs on our heads.  He knows every star by name.  The whole universe (sadly, except humans!) obeys the voice of God.  Jesus Christ is hence omniscient.  He knew what the Pharisees were thinking.  He knew about the destruction of the temple.  He knew about his coming crucifixion.  God is omnipresent.  Ps 139:7 asks Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? Jesus saw Nathanial under the fig tree (John 1:50) God is known as Jehovah –(Gen 22:14 (Jehovah-Jirah), Exodus 6:3, Exodus 17:15 Jehova-nissi, Judges 6:24 Jehovah –shalom, Psalm 83:18), The Lord (6749 verses), the Lord God, the creator, the true and living God, Almighty God, the Most high. The Lord Jesus Christ has many names. He is the door, the alpha and omega, bread of heaven, the way, the truth and the life, the Prince of Peace, Wonderful, counselor.






God is all powerful and omnipotent.  He spoke the world into existence, his hand spans the universe, He made Behemoth (the chief of the ways of God --Job 40:19), He created the Heaven and the Earth, He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, and sent a world wide flood.  Jesus is all powerful. He raised the dead, cleansed lepers, gave sight to the blind, fed the 5,000, calmed the storms, walked on water, cast out devils, forgave sin, and rose from the dead. God also is Immutable.   Malachi says 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;  Heb 13:8 says Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. God cares about truth, and there is absolute truth.  If it’s politically correct, it’s not in His Bible.

The Decrees of God are his rules and our instructions for life and pleasing God.  Some say “I wish babies came with instructions”.  They do---read your bible!  Train up a child in the way he should go the book says.  Man was the instrument God used to write and preserve his word in the King James Bible.  In Exodus 20:3-17 are the 10 commandments which summarize the most important decrees of God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.   Jesus summarized all of God’s Laws into just two commands: Lu 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

God’s commands are not a means to get us to heaven.  God’s law is to show knowledge of sin and be a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ.  It is important to know the attributes of God to recognize true conversion.  Before we are saved we are fulfilling the lust of the flesh, and following after our Father the devil.  Most of America is on their way to hell---but most of America thinks they are on their way to heaven.  This is a critical doctrine.  We need to know what God is like and see if what we believe makes us Christlike.   We obviously can’t become omnipotent, or omniscient, NOR  can we live like the devil and expect to die as a Christian.  We also need to understand how we get sanctified.  It starts at salvation.  We can’t obey the spirit of the law until God’s spirit is in us.  God’s spirit won’t dwell in us if we try and live the Christian life in an unregenerate state.  We’re naturally dead to God, we don’t seek after God, and we have no motivation to get right with God.  God’s law smotes us, the Holy Spirit brings conviction, the Father draws and woos us, and Jesus saves us.  Jesus makes it clear---if you love Him, you will obey Him, and only by being a new creature can you do that.  “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  (John 14:15)  It's not perfection, but it is a desire to live for the LORD Jesus Christ once you know he died for you.  Jesus asks, " And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46)  A lot of people say, "Hey, I love Jesus!"  but Jesus defines friendship in the Bible. "Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you ."  (John 15:14)

You cannot earn your way to heaven---the Bible establishes that. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us." (Titus 3:5)  There is a balance---some Christians are so paranoid they are not saved they do nothing for God and live in self-pity and defeat.  However, others live in denial, dragging their false profession all the way to the gates of hell.  Hence, the Bible urges  professing Christian to " examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves."  Is our faith alive or dead? (2nd Corinthians 13:5) Does our doctrine change us? Does it make us more Christlike or less? The Bible is clear that "faith without works is dead". (James 2:20)  Apple trees produce apples, cherry trees--- cherries, orange trees--- oranges.  Artificial trees can't produce anything.  We can place pretty, shiny ornaments on the professing artificial Christian trees and decorate them every Sunday morning, but it stops there.  "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:28)  When we get saved, we instantly have the Holy Spirt in us who will guide us into all truth.  We are new creatures, and there is something supernatural compelling us to do right.  It produces a love for God's Word (The King James Bible), a hunger for righteousness, a desire to be at a church that preaches the Bible, a desire and a need to share the gospel, and a willingness to obey God. If there is no change,  then we on very dangerous ground.  "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his hand upon the sand; And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:26-27).

This paper focused on the personality, attributes, and decrees of God.     O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day says Psalm 119:97.  Ps 24:3-4 asks Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. By the Cross we get reconciled to God, by confession and prayer we have clean hands and a pure heart, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God we can know God.  We can know about God by studying what men of God wrote about him.  However, we can only know GOD by spending time with Him.  By spending time with Him, we can know his personality, his attributes, and his decrees in a real and life-changing way.