Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Goodness of God

 The goodness of God can be found in all of His relationships with His creatures. He has attributes of goodness which can be found in moral purity, integrity, and love.[1] By moral purity, I believe that God is absolutely free from anything wicked or evil. He is a holy God who is unique and separate from all His creations. Another aspect of God’s holiness is His absolute purity or goodness which means that He is untouched and unstained by the evil in the world. God’s holiness is emphasized throughout the whole Bible. Another dimension of God’s moral purity is His righteousness. It is God’s holiness applied to his relationships with other beings. I believe that the righteousness of God means that the law of God is a true expression of His nature. The righteousness of God also means that his actions are in accord with the law that He himself established. God’s justice means that He himself acts in conformity with His law and He also administers His kingdom in accordance with it. He requires that others also conform to the law and He administers His law fairly, not showing favoritism or partiality.

            God’s attribute of integrity relates to the matter of truth. I believe that God’s genuineness means that He is real and is not fabricated or constructed or imitated. I also believe in divine veracity which means that God represents things as they really are. God does not and will not lie and He cannot lie since lying is contrary to His very nature. I believe that the omniscience of God combines with His veracity to guarantee the truth of everything He tells us. God is also faithful and He keeps us all His promises. He has unlimited power and He can do everything He says that He will do. I believe that benevolence is a basic dimension of God’s love which means that He has a concern for the welfare of those whom He loves. God’s love is unselfish and self-giving. God deals with His people not on the basis of their merit or worthiness but he deals with them on the basis of His goodness and generosity according to their needs. This is the attribute of the grace of God. Another aspect of God’s love is His mercy which sees people with compassion. God is also persistent with people which results in his patience when dealing with His people.

[1] Erickson, Christian Theology, 309.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Greatness of God

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, the maker of all things, visible and invisible. Regarding the greatness of God, I believe that God is spirit, and He is not composed of matter and does not possess a physical nature.[1] He does not have the limitations involved with a physical body. I base this belief based on what Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is spirit and his worshippers must worship him in spirit and in truth.” I also believe that He is not destructible since He is not of material nature. I believe that He is not restricted by geographical location, and He cannot be contained or controlled by human beings. Regarding His personality, I believe that God is personal and is an individual being with self-consciousness and capable of feeling, choosing, and having a reciprocal relationship with other personal and social beings. God is to be treated as a being and not an object or force to be used or manipulated. God is an end in himself and not a means to an end. I also believe that God is characterized by life as it is affirmed in Scripture in several different ways. His very name, “I am” (Exodus 3:14), indicates that He is a living God. Scripture does not argue for His existence but affirms it or merely assumes it. I also believe that God’s life is different from other living beings. While all other beings have their life in God, He does not derive his life from any external source. The continuation of his existence does not depend on anything outside of himself.

I believe that God is uncaused and not self-caused. I affirm that God is infinite, which means God is unlimited, but He is unlimitable. The infinity of God refers to his immensity and omnipresence. I also believe that God is infinite in relation to time, and He was before time began.[2] He is timeless, and, He does not grow or develop, and there are no variations in His nature at different points within His existence. I also believe that His understanding is immeasurable, and we are completely transparent before God, and He sees and knows completely. His infinity also refers to his attribute of omnipotence. By this, I believe that God is able to do all things that are proper objects of his power.

I also believe that God is constant and unchanging. This means that there is no quantitative change in God, and He cannot increase in anything because He is already perfection. He cannot decrease because that would cause Him to change His nature. I also believe that there is no qualitative change happening in God. The character of God never undergoes modification, and He does not change His mind.

[1] Millard J Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998), 289.

[2] Erickson, Christian Theology, 300. 

Doctrine of God

I believe that there is a creator God who made everything out of nothing. Psalms 19 says that “the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork.”  Psalms 24:1 says that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it”. 

The Bible talks about the acts or the work of God and also about the attributes of God. It is important to understand the various aspects of God to be sure that He exists. First of all, people have an inner sense of God and there is evidence that can be found in scripture and in nature. 

In the next few posts, I will be adding more about the doctrine of God.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Social Dimension of Sin

I believe that social sin is prevalent in our society along with individual sin. Persons who oppose personal sin may be drawn into the cooperate nature of sin through evil acts of government, economic structures, or some kind of group. Individual sin has always been the focus among evangelical Christians and we have ignored or addressed this issue inadequately.  Sin and salvation have to do with individual human beings, but at the same time, the Bible also talks about a group or collective sin.[1] 

Recognizing the social sin can become difficult as we are not inclined to regard matters in which we do not have a very active role or choice. If someone else is in charge or leader then we may ignore the issue completely. Sometimes our membership in a group can be so conditioned that our very perception of reality is colored by it. We may also not recognize group selfishness because it may actually involve individual unselfishness. At times when we are part of a group, we may display attitudes of superiority towards it. Being removed from actual evil can also make it seem less evil.

I believe that the world is under Satan’s control and it is an organized system of spiritual force. The world being evil can corrupt whatever it touches. I also believe that corporate personality plays a role in transmitting evil in the world. As a strategy to overcome social sin, I believe that regeneration is important since individual human hearts and personalities are corrupted and only it can bring a lasting change. 

There are also structures of evil in the world that transcends individual human will and sometimes reformation may work out. We should be careful about how we are trying to bring this reformation. I do not agree with revolution as a solution since the basic principles of revolution contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ many times. We cannot justify it on the basis of some important teachings of the Bible and hence I do not think that it should be used.[2]

[1] Erickson, Christian Theology, 658.

[2] Erickson, Christian Theology, 674.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Magnitude of Sin

I believe that sin is universal and the Bible affirms the depth and breadth of sin in all humans. So sin is not isolated to a few individuals or a majority of the human race, but all are sinners without exception (Rom.3:9).[1] The command to repent is for all people. All people are subject to the penalty of sin which is death. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and the wages of sin is death (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). 

I believe in the doctrine of total depravity. This means that the seat of sin is not merely one aspect of the person, such as the body or the reason.[2] Sin is a matter of the entire person and an unregenerate person’s altruism always contains an element of improper motive. Sinners are completely unable to extricate themselves from their sinful condition.

 Regarding the theories of original sin, I do not agree with Pelagianism.  I believe that Adam’s sin has an effect on all human beings. I agree with the Arminian and Calvinist views that God imputes corrupted nature. About the imputation of guilt, I do not think I have an answer yet as so many other issues are raised with both these views. If guilt is imputed in the sense of culpability then what happens to small children who die is a difficult question to deal with.  The concept that we become responsible and guilty when we accept or approve of our corrupt nature again raises a question as to when does a person really becomes responsible.[3]

[1] Erickson, Christian Theology, 638.

[2] Erickson, Christian Theology, 645.

[3] Erickson, Christian Theology, 656.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Results of Sin

I believe that sin has very serious consequences when it comes to the relationship between the sinner and God.
[1] Sin is a very serious matter both to God and to humanity. 

I also believe that sin has far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. It affects our relationship with God and it resulted in divine disfavor. As a result of sin, there is guilt and liability to God’s punishment. Another result of sin is death which has to do with physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death. Sin has its effect on the sinner in a way that he or she becomes enslaved and there is an unwillingness to face reality. It also results in denial of sin and insensitivity to God’s warning and condemnations.[2]   

In regard to man’s relationship with other humans, I believe that sin results in competition, the inability to empathize and love one another.[3]

[1] Erickson, Christian Theology, 618.

[2] Erickson, Christian Theology, 634.

[3] Erickson, Christian Theology, 636.

Monday, May 2, 2022

The Source of Sin

I believe sin is not caused by God. 

"No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone." (James 1:13, CSB)

Humans have certain desires which are not wrong or bad. When these desires are twisted towards wrong or prohibited things then it becomes a source of sin. I believe that God has imputed certain needs in each person and satisfaction of those needs is important and they can also bring enjoyment.[1]  People have a desire to obtain things. They also have the desire to do things and achieve things in life. They are not wrong, but when used in a wrong way it becomes the source of sin. 

I believe that various views regarding the source of sin like animal nature, the anxiety of finiteness, existential estrangement, economic struggle, individualism, and competitiveness does not fully align with the teachings of the Bible. The problem lies in the fact that human beings are sinful by nature and live in a world in which powerful forces seek to induce them to sin.

[1] Erickson, Christian Theology, 614.

Be Alert: Do not fall into this trap!

Introduction Recently, a Pastor visited me, and I took him to the Mall of America, the biggest mall in America.  As we were walking, we met ...