RSS

Beliefs Matter: It Really Does Matter What We Believe About: One God — Exodus 3:13-15

22 Nov

A mother asked her son to tell her what he learned in Sunday School.  The boy said, “We learned how Moses and all the people of Israel built a huge expansion bridge across the Red Sea, then crossed to the other side, set explosives on the bridge, and when the Egyptians started to cross, they blew it up! 

The mother was shocked and asked, “Is that really what your teacher said?”  “Well, no Mom,” her son replied, “But if I told you what really happened, you’d never believe it!” 

It’s true that God has done some absolutely remarkable things. And it’s also true that a lot of people in this county and state don’t believe most of it.

It’s our task today to learn a more about our amazing, awesome God!

Psalms 19:1: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (let some nature slides proceed)

About 1400 years ago, the pope was Gregory the 1st. Later he came to be referred to as Gregory the Great, a title I’m not sure he would have accepted personally, based on something he said about God: “Almost everything said of God is unworthy for the very reason that it is capable of being said.”

That’s a little bit extreme, yet it underscores the awesome challenge of seeing what God is like. This one is the most challenging. We’re wrapping up this study Beliefs Matter…we’re come to the final of the seven ones.

 (Deuteronomy 4:35 NIV)  You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

(Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

 (Isaiah 46:9 NIV)  Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

God is over all. He is supreme, high above all material and sinful things. God says, “I dwell in the high and holy place” (Isaiah 57:15).

God is through all. He is so omnipotent and powerful that He can do all things. No barriers limit His power.

God is in all. His power energizes the atom of all creation. He dwells not only in the high and holy place, but also with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit:

(Isaiah 57:15 NIV)  For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Ways We Can Know God – Avenues we can pursue later.

  1. That challenge is underscored by God’s very name, his name is one way we can know him. Often called God or Lord (Master), but also has a name LORD. It’s not Jehovah as translated in (Exodus 3:13-15 NIV) Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” {14} God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” {15} God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation..

Take a minute and look at the words closely.

Hebrew Word for God: ‏אֱלֹהִים‎  Transliteration: elōhîm

Hebrew Word for LORD (His Name): ‏יהוה‎  Transliteration: yhwh

Hebrew Word for I AM: ‏הָיָה‎   Transliteration: hāyâ 

Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

Footnote in your study Bible at vs. 14: I AM WHO I AM is another way of saying: “I will be what I will be.”

Footnote in your study Bible at vs. 15: The Hebrew word for Lord sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for I Am in verse 14.

God is telling us that “You can’t put me in a box.”

I will do & be in surprising things. Let your mind go back to the Exodus; I don’t think anyone could have guessed that. Think of the creativity, the awesome power, the marvel of God in leading His  people out of Egypt.

His remarkable deeds in the past show us something of what He is, but at the same time they don’t limit Him. He will be what he will be. What an appropriate name for God!

One way you tell if we believe in the one God is by whether we try to put him in a box.

OLD TESTAMENT NAMES FOR GOD

JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM…….Exodus 31:13 meaning “The Lord thy sanctifier”

JEHOVAH-ROHI……Psalm 23:1  meaning “The Lord my shepherd”

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH…….Ezekiel 48:35  meaning “The Lord who is present”

JEHOVAH-RAPHA………Exodus 15:26  meaning “The Lord our healer“

JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU……Jeremiah 23:6  meaning “The Lord our righteousness”

JEHOVAH-JIREH………Genesis 22:13-14  meaning “The Lord will provide”

JEHOVAH-NISSI………Exodus 17:15 meaning “The Lord our banner”

JEHOVAH-SHALOM……..Judges 6:24  meaning “The Lord is peace”

JEHOVAH-SABBAOTH……Isaiah 6:1-3  meaning “The Lord of Hosts”

EL-ELYON…………..Genesis 14:17-20,Isaiah 14:13-14  meaning “The most high God”

EL-ROI…………….Genesis 16:13  meaning “The strong one who sees”

EL-SHADDAI…………Genesis 17:1, Psalm 91:1  meaning “The God of the mountains or God Almighty”

EL-OLAM……………Isaiah 40:28-31  meaning “The everlasting God”

2. Another way we can know him is by his avatar (computer user’s representation of himself). What does God say about Himself? How does He represent Himself?

(Exodus 34:6-7 NIV)  And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, {7} maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

God is both merciful & just. I can’t tell you when or for how long he will be merciful or just, He will be what He will be, but I can tell you he will be both merciful and just. One way we can tell whether we believe in the one God is whether we strike a balance between justice and mercy.

Justice: we’ll take sin seriously! Mercy: we’ll take forgiveness seriously!

3.Another way we know him is by words others use to describe him.

(Isaiah 6:1-5 NIV)  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. {2} Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. {3} And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” {4} At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. {5} “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

When we see God, we are amazed, humbled, and we are made aware of our own sin. It changes us!

I am skeptical of those who speak of “God appearing to them” for a lot of reasons, but first of all they don’t talk about being flat on their face…they tend not to be humbled, but rather ‘puffed up’ in pride…they aren’t aware of their sins.

4. Another is refuge our place of safety & comfort.

 (Psalms 62:5-8 NIV)  Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. {6} He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. {7} My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. {8} Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

I believe God will take care of us, not always when or how we think He should—He will be what he will be—but He will take care of us.

Does your first choice when in need of refuge reflect your belief in the One God? More ways we can tell whether we believe in the one God are whether we worship him in his holiness and whether we find security & comfort in him as our refuge.

5.Another way we know him is by his commandments. He insists on our total devotion.

(Exodus 20:2-3 NIV)  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. {3} “You shall have no other gods before me.

Based on this act, He gives commandments.

(Colossians 3:5 NIV)  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

We might not literally bow down in worship before these items, but when we put them first by our actions and thoughts, they seek to replace the “One God.”

A very telling way we determine whether we believe in the one God is by whether there are other gods in our lives. We are monotheists: we only worship one God.

6.One of the very best ways we know him is through Jesus.

(John 1:1 NIV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(John 1:14 NIV)  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(Colossians 1:15 NIV)  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

(Hebrews 1:1-3 NIV)  In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, {2} but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. {3} The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

If you want to know what God is like, study Jesus closely. As you read the way he interacts with people, put yourself in the account & you’ll see how he feels toward you.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been saying that belief matters. Though we may not all agree on everything, there are some matters that are really important. Eph 4 tells us what some of those matters are.

I say again today what I’ve said enough in this series that you may be tired of hearing it: we don’t determine whether we really believe these things by inquiring whether we agree with them but rather by the way we live our lives.

For today’s message, we find out whether we believe in the One God by:

  • whether we try to control him & say what he will and won’t do or let him be what he will be
  • whether we take sin seriously & also take forgiveness seriously
  • whether we worship him and him alone
  • whether we make him our refuge
  • whether we have other gods in our lives

Faith is a journey, so if our lives indicate we don’t really believe all these things, that’s not surprising. But we do need to continue on the journey.

Because these seven beliefs mentioned in Eph. 4 really matter: One body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, & God. These hold us together as God’s people.

  • May we always be known as a church that believes something & is not afraid to say so.
  • May we always believe that these seven Ones matter.
  • And may we also be a church whose beliefs are apparent by the way we live our lives.
 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 22, 2018 in God

 

One response to “Beliefs Matter: It Really Does Matter What We Believe About: One God — Exodus 3:13-15

  1. Jonathan Caswell

    January 16, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    IT REALLY DOES MATTER!

    Like

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: