September 24, 2017 – Bible Doctrine # 4 – God
Survey of Bible Doctrine, Week 4 – What Is God Like?
OUTLINE OF THE LESSON:
- God: What is He Like?
- God is Holy – Isaiah 6:1-5; Revelation 4:8
- God is Absolute
- He is independent and self-existent – Exodus 3:14
- He was not caused – John 5:26
- He needs nothing – Acts 17:25
- God is Unlimited
- Not limited by time (eternal) – Malachi 3:6; Revelation 1:8
- Not limited by space (omnipresence) – Psalm 139:7-10
- Not limited in His knowledge (omniscience) – Psalm 139:1-6, 11-16
- Not limited in His power (omnipotence) – Genesis 18:14; Daniel 4:35; Matthew 19:26
Lesson Date: September 24, 2017
Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 18:14; Exodus 3:14; Psalm 139:1-16; Isaiah 6:1-5; Daniel 4:35; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 19:26; John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25; Revelation 1:8; 4:8
AIM: To lead students to recognize the incredible differences between God and man, and to express their praise to God for the fact that He is holy, absolute, and unlimited.
Before class: Get enough copies of the lesson outline handout for your anticipated attendance. If you plan to do the last activity described in the personal application step have some paper and pens or pencils available. Write the following scripture references on index cards or small pieces of paper: Genesis 18:14; Daniel 4:35; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 19:26; John 5:26; Acts 17:24-25; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 4:8. Ask some students who are comfortable reading aloud to look up the verses and to be prepared to read them when called upon.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Remind the class that last week they learned about who God is. That lesson dealt with God’s identity. Remind them you asked them to turn to the person beside them and identify themselves without using their name. They were to identify themselves by telling who they are.
Explain that today’s lesson moves beyond learning who God is, to answering the question of what God is like. This lesson deals with the nature and attributes of God. Ask each class member to think of a close friend or family member. Ask them to turn to the person beside them and briefly tell what that person is like. They are to name some of the qualities or attributes of that person. Allow them a few moments to do this.
Tell the class this is the point of today’s lesson. Your goal is for them to leave class today with a greater understanding of what God is like. Write the question: “What is God Like?” on the marker board or chalkboard.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Central Truth):
- Remind the students that this quarter we are studying a “Survey of Bible Doctrine.”
- Using the list of lessons found on page 3 of the Sunday School Member Quarterly, review the titles of the first three lessons.
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (John 1:3).
- Give each student a copy of the lesson outline handout for today’s lesson.
- God is Holy.
- Direct the students’ attention to the question “What is God Like?” written on the board.
- Explain that since God is God, we could devote our entire life to describing Him. Because of our limited time, we will center our attention today on three of God’s most important attributes.
- Write the first point of the lesson outline on the board: “God is Holy.”
- Ask the students to suggest definitions for the word holy (set apart, separate, or distinct).
- Read the following quote from Dr. Jimmy Millikin: “Thus, God’s holiness means that He is separate and different from things created. He is infinitely exalted above His creation…. Holiness is the very essence of God’s being…. Holiness [is] the fundamental attribute of God, the governing quality of His nature” (Christian Doctrine for Everyman, page 27).
- Read Isaiah 6:1-5, in which the prophet Isaiah saw a vision of God.
- Ask: “What did Isaiah hear the seraphim say about God?” (He is “holy, holy, holy” – v. 3).
- Ask: “What did God’s holiness cause Isaiah to realize about himself?” (he was unclean and unholy – v. 5).
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Revelation 4:8, which describes a scene in heaven.
- Explain that in the ancient biblical languages words were repeated to add emphasis. “Holy, holy, holy” means that God is not just holy or holier than someone else; He is the holiest person anywhere – the epitome of holiness.
- Using the following outline, briefly lecture on the fact that God’s holiness is shown to us in many ways. God shows He is holy by being:
- Righteous and just – Psalm 89:14
- Truth – John 14:6
- Angry toward sin – Romans 1:18
- Good – Psalm 52:1; Romans 2:4
- Merciful – Exodus 34:6-7
- Gracious – Nehemiah 9:17; 1 Peter 2:3
- Longsuffering – Psalm 86:15; 2 Peter 3:15
- Loving – 1 John 4:16
- Summarize: God is holy, which means He is separate and different from all created things and He is completely perfect and pure. The first attribute of God is that He is holy.
- God is Absolute.
- Tell the class the second attribute of God we will discover today is that “God is Absolute.” Write that on the board.
- Remind the class that we live in a world that wants to do away with absolutes of all kinds. If you publicly state your view on an issue and declare that your view is absolute, final, and not open for debate, you will be labeled as a closed-minded bigot. This is why many people cannot grasp the nature of God.
- Stress the fact that while our world may reject absolutes, the Bible makes it clear that God is absolute.
- Read Exodus 3:14.
- Ask: “In the encounter at the burning bush, how did God describe Himself to Moses?” (“I AM THAT I AM”).
- Explain that this verse reveals that God is independent and self-existent.
- We are dependent upon God for our life, but God is dependent on no one. God exists out of His own power and authority.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read John 5:26.
- This verse reveals that God was not caused.
- There was never a time when God did not exist. There never will be a time when He will cease to exist or cease to be God.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Acts 17:24-25.
- These verses reveal that God does not need anything.
- God is complete. He is self-sufficient. He needs nothing.
- Summarize: Some arrogant humans claim to be self-made men or claim to be self sufficient, but they are only fooling themselves. They need God for their next breath, their next heartbeat, and their next meal. God is absolute, which means He is independent, self-existent, not caused, and does not need anything.
- God is Unlimited.
- Write the third attribute of God on the board: “God is Unlimited.”
- Ask the students to name some things that limit them.
- After they name several of their limitations, tell them our limitations may be summed up in four areas. We are all limited by:
- Time (we can’t jump ahead to tomorrow or go back to yesterday).
- Space (we can only be in one place at a time).
- Knowledge or intellect (we don’t know everything).
- Power (there are things we cannot do).
- Ask for examples of ways we are limited in each of those four areas.
- Tell the class that God is unlimited in the same four areas in which we are limited.
- Use the following outline to briefly lecture through those four areas.
- Tell the class that God is not limited by time (He is eternal).
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Revelation 1:8.
- Explain that we look at time in terms of past, present, and future, but God is not confined in time and views all history as now.
- God is the creator of time. That is why He knows your future better than you know your past.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Malachi 3:6.
- Tell the class that God is not limited by space (He is omnipresent).
- Read Psalm 139:7-10.
- Explain that God is everywhere. He is not bound by the limitations of space. We can only be one place at a time, but God can be all places at once.
- Tell the class that God is not limited in His knowledge (He is omniscient).
- Read Psalm 139:1-6, 11-16.
- Explain that God knows everything. He knows everything about us.
- Men love darkness because their deeds are evil (John 3:19), but God can see every deed of every man, regardless how they might try to hide.
- Tell the class that God is not limited in His power (He is omnipotent).
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Daniel 4:35.
- Explain that God’s strength, might, and power are limitless. His resources are also limitless.
- The only things God “cannot” do are those things which, because of His holy nature, He chooses not to do (such as lie – see Titus 1:2).
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteers to read Genesis 18:14 and Matthew 19:26.
- Summarize: God is not limited in the areas of time, space, knowledge, or power. We are very limited, but God is limitless.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the class’ attention to the outline on the board and summarize the lesson by stating that God is HOLY, ABSOLUTE, and UNLIMITED. These attributes make us realize that God is not like us and we are not like God. Man has a natural tendency to try to remake God in man’s image, but the one and true living God of the Bible is not like any human. He is separate, complete, and limitless.
Remind the class that when Isaiah glimpsed God’s holiness he immediately realized his own sinfulness. He cried out, “Woe is me!” Isaiah recognized his uncleanness and had a desire to be right with God. Ask: “What should our response be to the realization that God is holy, absolute, and limitless?” (we should confess our sins, humble ourselves before God, and give Him the praise and worship He deserves).
Give each person a piece of paper (and a pen or pencil, if needed). Ask them to write an expression of praise to their holy, absolute, limitless God. Or, ask the students to do that assignment at home. Lead a closing prayer of praise to our holy, absolute, and limitless God.
CONCLUSION: Urge everyone to praise God daily for His amazing characteristics and attributes. One way we can praise and honor Holy God is by coming to Sunday School. Urge everyone to attend Sunday School every Sunday.
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