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2013 09-15 kg01 the study of god - jeremiah 31 31-34
 

2013 09-15 kg01 the study of god - jeremiah 31 31-34

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Lesson 1 in a series on Knowing God. Presented 9/15/2013 at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells.

Lesson 1 in a series on Knowing God. Presented 9/15/2013 at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells.

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  • On January 7, 1855 the minister of New Park Street Chapel in London, opened his morning sermon as follows:
  • 158 years ago – Spurgeon, age 20 –preaching eight months.True then and now. Fitting preface to a series of studies on the nature and character of God.Spurgeon worked 18 hours a day.Collected sermons fill 63 volumes (largest set in church history).Read six books a week and could recall their contents.Preached to around 10 million people in lifetime.Trained 900 men to preach.Founded an orphanage, edited a magazine, wrote more than 140 books.Averaged responding to 500 letters per week.More than 25,000 copies of his sermons were printed each week.He did all this while suffering from gout, rheumatism, and Bright’s disease (kidney disease) – living only to the age of 57.
  • Do we need theology? In 1855, people found it interesting; not so in 2013. Preachers need to study it, but can’t pew-sitting Christians get along without it?Question begins with erroneous assumption – that understanding the nature and character of God has no practical implication for daily life. Not so! Knowing God is crucially important to how we live our lives. Crocodile Dundee (1986). Reporter goes to Australia to interview a crocodile hunter and brings him back to Manhattan. He knew how things worked in the Outback, but had no clue how they worked in Manhattan. Story of mishaps that take place when you plant a person in an unfamiliar world.We can expect no better if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God who created, owns and runs it. Without understanding God, you will stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. You end up wasting your life and losing your soul.How shall we begin?
  • Five foundation principles will determine our course throughout:^ God has spoken. The Bible is His Word, given to lead us to salvation.^ God rules His world as Lord & king. Rules for His own glory, displays His perfections in all He does, so we may worship & adore Him.^ God is Savior. He loves us and works through Jesus Christ to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as His sons, and to bless them.^ God is Triune. Three persons within the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three act together in the work of salvation. Father purposes redemption, Son secures it, and Spirit applies it.^ Godliness is man’s proper response to God’s revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word. This, and nothing else, is true religion.Keep these principles in mind as we examine in detail what the Bible shows us of the nature and character of God.
  • When Mary and I were on Maui, we stayed at the base of Haleakala. We drove all around it and saw it from every angle. Then we drove to the top. From the base of the volcano, it looked like all other mountains. But when we ascended it, we saw it in a more intimate way.We should think of ourselves as Moses at Sinai. He’s brought the people to the base of the mountain, then he gets to climb up into the presence of God. We’re going to try to climb that ascent because we want to know God. I know you’ll be challenged by the ascent, but I assure you that the view from the top will be well worth the trip.
  • What is the ascent going to involve? What themes will occupy us?^ Deity of God, qualities that set God apart from men and mark the difference between the Creator and His creatures: His self-existence, His infinity, His eternity, His unchangeableness.^ Powers of God: His omnipotence, His omniscience, His omnipresence. ^ Perfections of God, aspects of His moral character seen in His words and deeds—His holiness, His love and mercy, His truthfulness, His faithfulness, His goodness, His patience, His justice. What pleases Him, what offends Him, what awakens His wrath, what affords Him satisfaction and joy.For many, these are unfamiliar themes. Few will have read anything on the subject of the nature of God, so an exploration of these themes will give us much to think about, and many ideas to ponder and digest.
  • A fundamental question – one we always ought to ask before we begin any line of Bible study. “What is my ultimate aim and object in occupying my mind with these things? What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God, once I have got it?”If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it will make us proud and conceited. We will come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we will look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate.In short, we will become what others have often thought the Churches of Christ to be – arrogant and conceited – thinking that we’ve got all the answers and everyone else is wrong on any issue on which they disagree with us.
  • It was in the context of a religious disagreement in the 1st Century that Paul addressed just such conceited Christians.If one approaches Bible study with no higher a motive than a desire to know all the answers, that person is headed for a state of self-satisfied self-deception. There can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge; but it is equally true that there can be no spiritual health with it, if it is sought for the wrong purpose and valued by the wrong standard. Knowledge can become a danger to spiritual life, and we need to be on our guard.But shouldn’t every Christian love God’s revealed truth and want to know as much of it as we can?
  • Doesn’t every Christian long to know just as much about his heavenly Father as he can learn? Isn’t it true that the reason some people are lost is “because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”? (2 Thess. 2:10)Isn’t it right that we should seek to know as much of the Bible’s truths as we can possibly learn?
  • Yes, but if you look back to Psalm 119 again, you will see that the psalmist’s concern to get knowledge was not theoretical, but practical. He wanted to know and enjoy God Himself, and he valued knowledge about God simply as a means to this end. He wanted to understand God’s truth in order that his heart might respond to it and his life be conformed to it. Note the emphasis of the opening verses. He was interested in truth and orthodoxy, not as ends in themselves, but as means to the further ends of life and godliness. He wanted to know and serve the God whose truth he sought to understand.This is our aim – to know God better. He is the subject of our study, the source of our knowledge, & the end of our study.We are studying God so that we can be led to God. That is what we want to get out of our study.
  • How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The process is demanding, but simple: We turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.We know what prayer is, but what is meditation? Meditation is a lost art today.
  • ’Daw-Gaw’:Ruminating, rolling over in the mind, analyzing.Use in the Psalms:The object of meditation=God’s Law Psa1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.The object of meditation=The Person of GodPsa 63:6 NLT I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night.The object of meditation=The Works of GodPsa 77:12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
  • ’See-akh’: Considering, pondering, studying.Use in the Psalms:The object of meditation=The Person of GodPsa 104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.The object of meditation=The Precepts of GodPsa 119:15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.The object of meditation=The Decrees of GodPsa119:48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.The object of meditation=The Promises of GodPsa 119:148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.The object of meditation=The Work of God’s HandsPsa 143:5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
  • ’See-khaw’: Reflection, Thorough Study, Musing Thoughtfully. Use in the PsalmsThe object of meditation=The Law of GodPsa 119:97 Mem. Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.The object of meditation=The Statutes of GodPsa 119:99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.
  • Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God.
  • Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let His truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace.
  • Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory, and our own littleness and sinfulness.And to encourage and reassure us—’comfort’ us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word – as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ. These were the points stressed by Spurgeon in the passage which we quoted at the beginning, and they are true.
  • And it is as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted that our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, our strength, and our joy. God help us, then, to put our knowledge about God to this use, that we all may in truth ‘know the Lord’.

2013 09-15 kg01 the study of god - jeremiah 31 31-34 2013 09-15 kg01 the study of god - jeremiah 31 31-34 Presentation Transcript

  • 01 The Study of God
  • Jeremiah 31:31-34 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. [32] It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
  • Jeremiah 31:31-34 [33] "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. [34] No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
  • The Study of God
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 It has been said by someone that ‘the proper study of mankind is man’. I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead…
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, ‘Behold I am wise’.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt;
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 and with solemn exclamation, ‘I am but of yesterday, and know nothing’. No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God …
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 But while the subject humbles the mind, it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe ...
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 The most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and Him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatory. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated.
  • C.H. Spurgeon – January 7, 1855 I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning...
  • Who Needs Theology? Can’t pew sitting Christians get along without it?
  • Five Foundation Principles • The Bible is His wordGod has spoken • He rules for His own gloryGod rules • He rescues sinners & adopts themGod is Savior • Three persons – One GodGod is Triune • Trust & obedienceGodliness
  • Ascending the Mount
  • Aspects of God we will ponder Deity • Self-existence • Infinity • Eternity • Unchangeableness Powers • Omnipotence • Omniscience • Omnipresence Perfections • Holiness • Love & mercy • Truthfulness • Faithfulness • Goodness • Patience • Justice
  • Knowledge Applied What do we intend to do with our knowledge of God?
  • 1 Corinthians 8:1-2 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. [2] The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.
  • Psalm 119 – Teach me your decrees [12] Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. … [18] Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. … [97] Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. … [103] How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! … [125] I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
  • Psalm 119 – Practical concerns [1] Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. [2] Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. ... [5] Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!
  • Meditating on the Truth Knowledge leads to meditation, which leads to prayer
  • Meditation in the Psalms Daw-gaw • Ruminating, Rolling over in the mind, Analyzing
  • Meditation in the Psalms Daw-gaw • Ruminating, Rolling over in the mind, Analyzing See-akh • Considering, Pondering, Studying
  • Meditation in the Psalms Daw-gaw • Ruminating, Rolling over in the mind, Analyzing See-akh • Considering, Pondering, Studying See-khaw • Reflecting, Musing thoughtfully
  • Objects of Meditation in the Psalms Person Works Word Commands God’s
  • What is meditation? Dwelling on what we know about God Applying those things to ourselves Practice:
  • What is meditation? Dwelling on what we know about God Applying those things to ourselves Practice: Clarifying our vision of God Allowing His truth to have its proper impact on us Purpose:
  • What is meditation? Dwelling on what we know about God Applying those things to ourselves Practice: Clarifying our vision of God Allowing His truth to have its proper impact on us Purpose: Humbling Encouraging Reassuring Effect:
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  • Know the Lord! Jeremiah 31:34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."