*The Immensity of God*
Ezekiel 1:1-28; Colossians 3:1-3
Review – Why it we must think rightly about God: all enjoyment and fulfillment in life depends upon a clear understanding of Who God is.
There are three kinds of Christians that I have encountered.
Those who are *cultural Christians* have inherited a title and perhaps even an affinity for the Church.
But they do not know the Savior that the Church teaches.
They are “Christian” because their parents were “Christian” but it is not based on any conviction just culture.
*A nominal Christian is one who knows Bible verses like they know baseball statistics.
They can quote chapter and verse including punctuation.
But their relationship with Christ is all logic and in the head.
Their heart is not moved nor is there any outward evidence of an inner working of God affecting the life.
They may attend church but it is to please someone else – a husband or wife or mother or child.
The *real* Christian has taken a giant step and united logic with faith and thereby enters into a living relationship with the living God.
We call that being born again.
To him, attending a church is not a requirement but a privilege.
Prayer is not a ritual but a driving desire.
God is not distant but near.
Their heart dreads the possibility of any distance between them and God, not because they are insecure but precisely because they are secure – in Christ.
That is why Paul wrote to the church in a city named Colossae:
For you have died, and your life is hidden */with Christ in God/*.
Colossians 3:3 ESV
*What I want to say:* Since God has no limit, when we attempt to understand who He is we are far out of our league as finite created beings.
Attempting understand that which has no limits places us on the ground of wonder.
But discovering and holding on to God’s attributes brings hope and rock-solid confidence in living.
! I. Attempting to Comprehend the Incomprehensible takes us out of our league
e.g. when our high school team played Power Memorial – Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabar)
!! A. We do not have the tools to describe God
As well might a gnat seek to drink in the ocean, as a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God. /Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Christian History, no.
Our words and descriptions always come up as frustratingly inadequate
!!! 2. Our depictions are weak
Niagara Falls video comes so far short of the real thing
!!! 3. How many times did the words “as it were”- 4x “like, likeness” – 23x, “appearance” – 16x.
!!!! a) Human thought is limited by human limitations and experience.
We who are bound by limits can only approach the edges of what is limitless.
!! B. God has no counterpart
!!! 1. God is like no other – comparison fails us because there is nothing to which to compare Him.
To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.
Deuteronomy 4:35 ESV
!!! 2. Since He is without limits there cannot be another like Him.
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
“I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
Isaiah 44:6 ESV
!!! 3. We consider that the Universe is everything – but that is wrong.
Even the Universe has limits.
Science has proven that the Universe is expanding.
If it is everything, how can it get bigger?
The answer can only be found in an understanding of Who God is.
If He is all there is, then everything material, as we understand it is less than Him.
There is no room for anything else otherwise He could not be all there is.
King Solomon was forced to face this realization when he dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem:
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth?
Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 1 Kings 8:27 ESV
!! C. We can only know a small part of the fullness of God
In the fourth century, Gregory of Nyssa, tried to describe what discovering the attributes of God is like: Imagine a sheer, steep crag with a projecting edge at the top.
Now imagine what a person would probably feel if he put his foot on the edge of this precipice and, looking down into the chasm below, saw no solid footing nor anything to hold on to.
/Gregory of Nyssa (d. about 395), "Eastern Orthodoxy," Christian History, no.
!!! 1. God responded to Job with a challenge:
“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
Job 11:7 ESV
!!!! a) Of course the answer is: “No, I cannot”
!!! 2. Only what is revealed about Him is known:
!!!! a) The intricacy of Creation reveals the reality of a Creator
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 ESV
!!!! b) God reveals Himself through the Bible
!!!! c) Jesus is the revelation of God on earth (Hebrews 1; 1 John)
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
Hebrews 1:3 ESV
God’s attributes tell us how He will respond to us
!! A. Knowing God’s attributes lets us know what to expect of Him
!!! 1. E.g.
Have you ever worked for an employer that was unpredictable?
With him it was always uncertain how he would respond.
It was the way he maintained control – sometimes he was nice, other times he was harsh, even cruel.
The uncertainty was deliberate in order to keep everyone off balance.
We never knew what to expect.
!!! 2. In order for us to know something of God, Jesus came (Hebrews 1:3)
*ILLUS> *There are some things I will only do for love.
When Jan and I went to the Garfield Park Conservatory, I had to admit that it was beautiful and the intricacies of the plants were astounding.
But there was, as the saying goes, a fly in the ointment.
Mixed in among all the glory of nature were displays designed to divert visitor’s attention from considering that all this might be created.
They proclaimed the doctrine of evolution.
It is noteworthy that the directors of museums in Chicago and other have felt compelled to increase their evolutionary teaching because surveys show that after nearly 150 years of teaching evolution, more people believe that Creationism is definitely or probably true than believe that Evolution is definitely or probably true! (Chi.
Science has attempted to discover the source of all things.
It has used reason to ask the probing questions in seeking the origin of everything.
It has applied logic to sort through the data.
In the last 150 years, though, an influential body of scientists has attempted to use this knowledge to push aside God – and it almost succeeded except for one problem.
All the research of astronomy and physics has uncovered evidence that has taken us back further and further, closer to the source of all that the Universe is.