A God Upon Whom We Can Depend

Sermon outline: What is God really like? God's ancient purpose for this world, Jesus is the solution to the problem, etc.

I. Introduction

What is God really like?

Illustration: I remember a woman who was slowly dying, and knew it. She was afraid to face God. She said, "I see evidences that He is a God of terrific power, and it frightens me." She felt reassured when pointed to the Bible truth about God, that He is not an uncaring, capricious, infinite superscientist, pushing buttons in the sky. She died in hope.

A. "God is love" (1 John 4:8).

1. Proved in the gift of His Son for us. 1 John 4:9, 10.

2. Proved by His constant care. Matt. 10:29-31.

B. He is always the same.

1. "I am the Lord, I change not" (Mai. 3:6).

2. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to dav, and for ever" (Heb. 13:8).

C. He has an eternal purpose in Christ, which will triumph. Eph. 3:11.

II. God's Ancient Purpose for This World

A. All things created by Him for His pleasure. Rev. 4:11. (God is love; then His pleasure would have to do with His love. This demanded the creation of intelligent, free beings whom He could love and who would love Him in return.) 

Illustration: Could you love a robot that me­chanically says, "I love you"? Or even a parrot?

B.  God is the Father of a universal family. Eph. 3:15.

C. Through His Son (John 1:1-3) God created this planet as a perfect home for human beings, who had an opportunity to live forever (Gen. 1:24-31; 2:16, 17; 3:22). Man would have lived for­ever if he had obeyed God and passed His test.

If God does not change, why is this a world of woe, sickness, and death today?

III. Because of Love for the Universe God Allowed His Original Plan to Be Inter­rupted

A. How did sin enter the world?

1. The serpent's subtle deception. Gen. 3:1-7.

2. Satan, the devil, the original serpent. (Used the reptile as a medium.) Rev. 12:9.

3. "In Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22).

4. We cannot blame Adam for our sins. "Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12). 

B. Sin originated in heaven.

1. Lying and murder began with the devil. John 8:44.

2. Satan fell from heaven. Luke 10:18.

3. Son of God finally expelled him, and he is quarantined in this world that he succeeded in causing to fall. Rev. 12:7-9.

4. Cherished pride caused Lucifer's fall (under symbolic name King of Tyrus) from position next to Godhead. Eze. 28:11-17; cf. Isa. 14:12.

5. The rebel actually wished to set himself in place of God. Isa. 14:12-15.

We might ask, Why did not God immedi­ately blot Lucifer out of existence, rather than allow him to cause a third of the angels, plus this world, to fall? But remember Satan's subtlety. God rules free beings by love, not force. There had to be a period during which either God or Lucifer must be vindicated.

Illustration: Suppose you tell me I am wrong, and I in turn whip out a gun and kill you. Does that prove that I am right? No, it only proves that I have a gun! In fact, others would naturally presume you were right. Even so, the universe would have been tempted to doubt God's love if He had de­stroyed Lucifer, and eventually all might have had to be destroyed.

IV. What Is the Nature of Sin?

A. Sin defined: "Transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).

1. The law points out sin. Rom. 7:7.

The law says, for instance, "Thou shalt not covet." Which law is that? Ex. 20:17.

2. Did Adam sin? Rom. 5:12.

Then did the Ten Commandments apply from the beginning? (See verses 13, 14.)

B. Satan wished to set himself in place of God. He succeeded in making himself temporarily the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4). Then he would naturally attack God's law and set up one of his own.

Does sin still exist today? Then it is still, as it has been since man's fall, the breaking of the Ten Commandments with which we have to deal.

C. Sin has caused death, and separation from God.

1. What are the wages of sin? Rom. 6:23.

2. Iniquities have separated from God. Isa. 59:1, 2.

Thus a rebellious spirit against God and His law, which defines sin, is the problem of all the ages.

V. Jesus Is the Solution to the Problem

A. "He shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).

Note: Christ need not have died if the law as a definition of sin could have been changed.

B. Only in Jesus can we keep the law and be righteous. Rom. 8:3, 4.

C. Christ will live His life through those who ac­cept Him. Gal. 2:20.

D. This same work and sacrifice of the Lord applies to old covenant times.

E. Forgiveness and cleansing. 1 John 1:9.

VI. God's High Purpose

A. First dominion to be restored. Micah 4:8.

B. Conformed to the image of His Son. Rom. 8:29.

C. We shall be like Him. 1 John 3:1-3.

D. We shall sit with Him on the throne of the universe. Rev. 3:21.

E. All things gathered together in Christ. Eph. 1:9, 10.

F. All causes of sin and those who persist in evil must be destroyed. Matt. 13:41, 42.

VII. What Is the Present Danger?

A. We battle against wicked spirits. Eph. 6:12.

B. Devil as a roaring lion seeking to devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

C. Satan and his ministers as angels of light and ministers of righteousness. 2 Cor. 11:14, 15.

D. We should hate sin—the breaking of the com­mandments. Satan cannot deceive us if we live according "to the law and to the testimony " (Isa. 8:19, 20).

VIII. Appeal

A. "Way which seemeth right . . . , but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12).

B. Majority are choosing the way that leads to destruction. Matt. 7:13, 14.

Illustration: A convoy of Army trucks in moun­tainous country in a strange land, on a dark night each followed the red taillight of the truck ahead—over a cliff to death!

C. "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil" (Ex. 23:2).

D. "Come. . . . Take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17).

E. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

F. He "is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless" (Jude 24).

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August 1961

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