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The Transcendence and Immanence of God


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We are in our study of the "Doctrine of God." And this morning we focused on the immanence of God.

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The Transcendence and Immanence of God

  1. 1. Welcome to “Learning and Living the God-centered life” Carmel Baptist Church December 6, 2009
  2. 2. Review from last Sunday Go to Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “ I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Review from last Sunday </li></ul><ul><li>Transcendence means that God is far “above” the creation in the sense that He is greater than the creation and is independent of it. </li></ul><ul><li>God is transcendent in His; </li></ul><ul><li>Majesty </li></ul><ul><li>Holiness </li></ul><ul><li>Greatness </li></ul><ul><li>Otherness </li></ul><ul><li>The immanence of God means His involvement in creation which means His remaining in and close to creation. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Review from last Sunday </li></ul><ul><li>Last week we covered Isaiah 6:1-3 </li></ul><ul><li>Isaiah is writing around 740 BC, when King Uzziah dies and the concern is will the next king be a good king or a bad king. This is a time of great uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>And then we get a three fold description of God: </li></ul><ul><li>Sitting on a throne - the royalty and majesty of God </li></ul><ul><li>Lofty and exalted - the sovereign rule of God over all things </li></ul><ul><li>Train of His robe fills the temple - the importance of God </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Review from last Sunday </li></ul><ul><li>Verse 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Holy - Holy - Holy </li></ul><ul><li>This is amazing when you realize in the Hebrew language when you express a superlative for example like the greatest king, then you do this with a single repetition </li></ul><ul><li>So King, King we read as King of Kings and that is the greatest King </li></ul><ul><li>Or Lord, Lord we read as Lord of Lords and that is the greatest Lord </li></ul><ul><li>But in this verse we don't have a single repetition instead we have a double repetition </li></ul><ul><li>The English language again is not capable of holding this infinite truth about this glorious God. </li></ul><ul><li>(Photos to illustrate ) </li></ul>
  6. 7. Today’s Lesson Isaiah Chapter 6 verse 4 This is portraying to us the intensity of their worship toward God In heaven when we get there and are freed from all our inhibitions and sin then we are going to worship from purified souls and our worship will take on an intensity that we never thought possible.
  7. 8. The temple is filled with smoke, so where did that come from? In verse 6 we get the clue and it is from the altar that has burning coals on it This smoke is filling the temple and represents the absolute purity of God So the smoke symbolizes purity of God because it is from this very altar that a coal will be pulled to purify Isaiah. And now we realize that this God is not only powerful, glorious, majestic, great and awesome in who He is but He is also morally perfect and pure and can't have anything like sin or sinners in His presence.
  8. 9. Verse 5 Notice that Isaiah doesn't say &quot;I have got some personal baggage that I need to work through.&quot; We have no idea to the degree of the wickedness of the human heart Now look at the word FOR - which could be read BECAUSE Because my eyes have seen the greatness, majesty and holiness of God. ( the transcendence of God ) Isaiah here is not recognizing his worth or anything that is owed him He sees here to the very depths of his human sinfulness And he recognizes he has no right to stand before this righteous and holy God Why does Isaiah mention his lips?
  9. 10. Because as we learn later in the gospels from Jesus, from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks READ Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. Read Matthew 15:16-20 When we are free to speak with no restraints or when we speak the first things that come into our minds when something happens to us it reveals what is going on in the heart
  10. 11. <ul><li>Remember the context in which Isaiah is writing these words… </li></ul><ul><li>740 BC was a time of great rebellion against God and here we have Isaiah who is on of the good guys </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the people had turned to idol worship and Isaiah could have determined in his mind that he was doing quite well compared to the crowd and said I'm not that bad </li></ul><ul><li>And he could have thought, I am a prophet and I am hot stuff </li></ul><ul><li>But then he sees the LORD and what does he conclude? </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I am a man of unclean lips just like everyone else&quot; </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>Isaiah Chapter 6 and verse 6 </li></ul><ul><li>So we see that there is a coal pressed upon the lips of Isaiah in order to burn away all of his iniquity before the LORD </li></ul><ul><li>Where we should expect judgment instead we see right at this point God's amazing grace </li></ul><ul><li>Notice the One here who initiates the grace </li></ul><ul><li>Answer - it is God Himself </li></ul><ul><li>Isaiah is before God probably laying is a prostrate on the floor feeling hopeless and helpless </li></ul><ul><li>And now notice the means that God uses in His display of mercy for Isaiah </li></ul><ul><li>Purification </li></ul><ul><li>Forgiveness </li></ul><ul><li>The Seraphim touches the lips of Isaiah </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Here is the Biblical principle </li></ul><ul><li>God has the exact remedy of forgiveness that is able to match your sin </li></ul><ul><li>There is a coal to burn away the sin and now this leaves Isaiah as righteous before God </li></ul><ul><li>Isn't this the wonder of the doctrine of &quot;justification by faith&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>We receive the righteousness of Christ that is credited to our account via faith (Romans 4:25) </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is nothing less than Isaiah's restoration to service in ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think of Christian service in this way? </li></ul><ul><li>Not only does God initiate saving grace that brings us to salvation which purifies and restores us </li></ul><ul><li>But then He calls us to be in ministry with Him </li></ul><ul><li>What a privilege we have to be servants of this great and glorious king </li></ul>
  13. 14. The ministry that God calls Isaiah to as we can read later on is anything but warm and fuzzy But instead God is saying to Isaiah that the vast majority that you speak my word to you will face nothing but ridicule and hardship And Isaiah you can expect this for a lifetime but know that there will be a remnant What could possibly motivate Isaiah to this kind of service? Answer - he has seen the very face of God! He has seen and experienced the grace of this God who is infinitely great Willing service is an overflow from this knowledge of God Especially for endurance in the service of God How does Isaiah hang in there for a lifetime of tribulation? Isaiah knows God
  14. 15. Conclusion Point 1 - we can clearly see in Isaiah a vision of God's goodness the kindess and the grace of God but we see first and foremost the transcendence of God's greatness and God's glory And we see God's greatness as it compares to our sinfulness, and wretchedness If you are wondering if we as the creation have any rights the answer is yes, we have one right We have the right to condemnation because we have offended the infinite holiness and glory of God The breath that you are taking right now is because of His grace, the food that you will eat today at lunch is by His grace, and the recreation and rest you have watching the Panther game is also by His grace
  15. 16. And now wrap your mind around this, the very God that is transcendent and great, glorious and above us has freely chosen to come to us Romans 8:32 - He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? We are going to have to work hard in this culture against this push to try and convince us or our self importance and self worth God brings us to His grace and He did not have to do it Point 2 - Let us rethink as Christian people what it means to serve God. This we will talk about in the coming weeks as we talk about the self sufficiency