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Written by: Hillebrand, Randall    Posted on: 05/04/2005

Category: Theology

Source: www.hillebrandministries.com


I.  Theology Proper: Definition of

II.  Existence of God: Theories
     A.  God exists
         1.  Cosmological Argument
         2.  Teleological Argument
         3.  Anthropological Argument
         4.  Moral Argument
         5.  Ontological Argument
     B.  God does not exist
         1.  Atheism
         2.  Agnosticism
         3.  Evolution
         4.  Materialism
         5.  Polytheism
         6.  Idealism and realism
         7.  Pantheism
         8.  Deism
         9.  Positivism
        10.  Monism
        11.  Dualism
        12.  Pluralism

III.  Revelation of God
      A.  Types of Revelation: Definitions of
          1.  Revelation as a general term
          2.  General revelation
          3.  Progressive revelation
          4.  Specific revelation
      B.  Purpose of God's revelation
          1.  General revelation
          2.  Specific revelation

IV.  Essence and attributes of God
     A.  His essence (The nature or properties of God)
         1.  Aspects
             a.  Listed
             b.  Contrasted to man
         2.  Aspects expanded
             a.  Spirit
             b.  Self-existent
             c.  Immense
             d.  Eternal
             e.  Immutable
     B.  His attributes (Qualities or characteristics of God)
         1.  Aspects
             a.  Listed
             b.  Contrasted to man
         2.  Aspects expanded
             a.  Omnipresence
                 1) Proof of this doctrine
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
             b.  Omniscience
                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                 2.  Comfort from this doctrine
             c.  Omnipotence
                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
             d.  Holiness
                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
             e.  Righteousness
                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
             f.  Goodness
                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
             g.  Sovereignty
                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
     C.  Godhead's triune nature

V.  Names of God
     A.  Names 
     B.  Thoughts relating to the names of God from Psalm 23
     C.  Other thoughts on the names of God
     D.  Other names for God
     E.  Symbolic designations of God

VI.  Decrees of God
     A.  Definition of God's decrees
     B.  Scriptural proof of God's decrees
     C.  Characteristics of God's decrees
         1.  Eternal
         2.  Good
         3.  Wise
         4.  Unconstrained
         5.  Complex
     D.  Purpose of God's decrees
     E.  Realms of God's decrees
         1.  Material and physical realm
         2.  Moral and spiritual realm
         3.  Social and political realm


IV.  Essence and attributes of God
     A.  His essence (The nature or properties of God)
         1.  Aspects
             a.  Listed
                 1.  Spirit
                 2.  Self-existant
                 3.  Immense
                 4.  Eternal
                 5.  Immutable
             b.  Contrasted to man



         2.  Aspects expanded
             a.  Spirit -- no physical form.
                 1)  He is immaterial -- John 4:24
                 2)  He is invisible -- I Tim. 6:16; John 1:18
                 3)  He is living -- Heb. 10:31
                 4)  He is a person -- Gen. 1:26-27
             b.  Self-existent -- He is life in Himself; He is independent, or
                 dependent on no one or no thing.
         1)  He has life in Himself -- John 5:26
                 2)  He is -- Exo. 3:14
                 3)  He is in need of no one -- Isa. 40:13-14,18
             c.  Immense -- God transcends or goes beyond all spatial barriers
                 or limitations yet is present in every point of space with His
                 whole being.
                 1)  He cannot be contained; He goes beyond the limits of
                     space -- I Kings 8:27
                 2)  He is greater than all things -- Isa. 40:12,15,17
                 3)  He is in all places -- Jer. 23:23-24
             d.  Eternal -- God is not limited or bound by time.  He has no
                 beginning or end.
                 1)  He was before creation -- Psa. 90:2
                 2)  He created time -- Gen. 1:14
                 3)  He sees the past and future as clear as He sees today --
                     II Pet. 3:8 4)  He has been forever -- Psa. 102:12
             e.  Immutable -- God is unchanging and unchangeable in His being,
                 perfection, purpose, and promises.  He is free from any
                 increase or decrease, from all growth or decay in His Being or
                 1)  He is unchanging and unchangeable -- Mal. 3:6; Jas. 1: 17
                 2)  He does not need to change because He is perfect -- Mat.

     B.  His attributes (Qualities or characteristics of God)
         1.  Aspects
             a.  Listed
                 1)  Omnipresent
                 2)  Omniscient
                 3)  Omnipotent
                 4)  Holy
                 5)  Righteous
                 6)  Good
                 7)  Sovereign
             b.  Contrasted to man


                 Limited by space
                 Limited knowledge
                 Limited power

         2.  Aspects expanded
             a.  Omnipresence

                 DEFINITION OF:

                 "Omnis" is a Latin term that means "all."  So omnipresent literally means that God is all-present.  Expanding on the definition, God is present in every part of space in totality of His being.

                 NOTE:  The focus of omnipresence is different than that of
immensity, though immensity is an aspect of omnipresence.  Whereas immensity expresses the fact that God is not limited by space and goes beyond all spatial barriers, omnipresence expresses the fact that God is in or fills every part of space.

                 1) Proof of this doctrine
                    a)  He is not far from us -- Acts 17:27
                    b)  He cannot be contained by space -- I Kings 8:27
                    c)  We cannot hide from Him -- Jer. 23:24
                    d)  He is always with us -- Psa. 139:7-12
                        1.  We can never leave His presence -- vs. 7
                        2.  He is in heaven -- vs. 8
                        3.  He is in hell -- vs. 8
                        4.  He is with me if I could travel from here to there
                            as quickly as the light of dawn --vs. 9
                        5.  He is with me if I lived in the remotest part of
                            the earth -- vs. 9
                        6.  No matter where I am His hand will be, and He will
                            have hold of me -- vs. 10
                        7.  No matter if it is dark or light, He will see me as
                            darkness and light are alike to Him -- vss. 11-12
                    e)  He is with us even in the valley of the shadow of
                        death -- Psa. 23:4
                    f)  He sees every evil -- Prov. 15:3
                    g)  He sees the heart of every person -- Heb. 4:13
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
                     a)  He hears the cries of the afflicted -- Psa. 22:24
                     b)  His watches His own to strongly support them -- II
                         Chron. 16:9
                     c)  He is our refuge, so we need not fear -- Psa. 46:1-3
                     d)  He is with us and goes ahead of us, so we need not
                         fear -- Josh. 1:9; Isa. 41:10; Deut. 31:8
                     e)  God indwells us:
                  1.  God the Father -- II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 4:6
                   2.  God the Son -- John 14:20; Rom. 8:11; Gal. 2:20;
                             Col. 1:27
                   3.  God the Holy Spirit -- Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 3:16;
                             II Tim. 1:14
             b.  Omniscience

                  DEFINITION OF:

                  Omniscience comes from the Latin words "omnis" and "scientia."  "Omnis" meaning "all," and "scientia," where we get our word science, means "knowledge."  So the term literally means that God has all knowledge.  This would include total knowledge of Himself and all things, actual and possible, past, present, and future for all eternity.

                  1)  Proof of this doctrine
                      a)  God's knowledge is:
                          1.  Unsearchable -- Isa. 40:28
                          2.  Perfect -- Job 36:4; 37:16
                          3.  Infinite -- Psa. 147:5; Hos. 7:2
                              (Knows all areas of knowledge)
                          4.  Complete -- I Sam. 2:3; I John 3:20
                      (Knows everything in each area of knowledge)

                      b)  God's knowledge, extent of:
                          1.  Knows things before they happen -- Isa. 42:9
                          2.  Knows what is possible -- Mat. 11:21
                          3.  Knows all His works from the beginning of the
                              world -- Acts 15:18
                          4.  Knows the number of stars and their names -- Psa.
                              47:4; Isa. 40:26
                          5.  Knows when the sparrow falls -- Luke 12:6
                      c)  God's knowledge of man:
                          1.  Knows the hearts of men -- I Kings 8:33; II Chr.
                          2.  Knows our activities -- II Kings 19:27
                          3.  Knows what we need before we ask -- Mat. 6:8
                          4.  Knows the number of hairs on our head -- Luke 12:7
                          5.  Knows our secret sins -- Isa. 29:15
                  2)  Comfort from this doctrine
                      a)  God knows those who are His own -- II Tim. 2:19
                      b)  God knows our desires and groans -- Psa. 38:9
                      c)  God knows our sorrows -- Exo. 3:7-8
                      d)  God knows our righteous ways -- II Kings 20:3; Psa.
                      e)  God knows all about us -- Psa. 139:1-4
                          1.  He has searched us and knows us -- vs. 1
                          2.  He knows our every action -- vs. 2
                          3.  He understands our every thought -- vs. 2
                          4.  He is intimately aware of our daily activities,
                              either awake or asleep -- vs. 3
                          5.  He knows our unspoken words -- vs. 4

             c.  Omnipotence

                 DEFINITION OF:

                 "Omnis" is a Latin term that means "all."  So omnipotent literally means that God is all powerful.  Though God is all powerful, He is limited in those things that He will and can do by His nature and decrees.  An example of this is that God cannot cause those who have accepted Christ to suffer for eternity in hell.  He also cannot annihilate those who deserve to suffer in hell.  So we can say that God can do everything that is in harmony with His nature and will.

                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                     a)  God and what He can do
                         1.  He is God Almighty -- Gen. 17:1
                         2.  His greatness is unsearchable -- Psa. 145:3
                         3.  He is the God of the impossible -- Luke 1:37; Mat.
                         4.  He can do everything (good) -- Job 42:2
                         5.  He finds nothing too difficult -- Gen. 18:14; Jer.
                         6.  He is the God of power -- Psa. 62:11
                         7.  He alone is the God of wonders -- Psa. 136:4
                         8.  He is great and above all gods -- Psa. 135:5
                         9.  He  will accomplish His purpose and good pleasure -
                             - Isa. 46:10
                        10.  He works all things after the counsel of His will -
                             - Eph. 1:11
                        11.  He carries out His plans -- Isa. 14:24
                        12.  He does whatever He pleases -- Psa. 135:6
                        13.  He created ex nihilo -- Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; Heb.
                        14.  He speaks forth and it is -- Psa. 33:9
                        15.  His word has power -- Rom. 1:16; Heb 4:12
                        16.  He does not get tired -- Isa. 40:28; I Kings 18:25-
                     b)  What God cannot do
                         1.  Things that are contrary to His nature
                          a.  Lie or sin -- Num. 23:19
                     b.  Change or fail -- Jas. 1:17
                     c.  Be unfaithful or deny Himself -- II Tim. 2:13
                     d.  Die or annihilate Himself -- I Tim. 6:16
                     e.  Tempt or be tempted to sin -- Jas. 1:13
                             f.  Allow unbelievers into heaven -- John 3:36
                          2. Things that are self-contradictory or not proper
                             objects of power (foolishness or having no purpose)
                     a.  Like creating a rock to big to use
                        b.  Like making a square circle
                     c.  Like creating a hole too deep to fill

                     (Note:  Point "b" was taken from Outline For Theology 204,
                      by Dr. Marvin Mayer, pg. 41)
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
                     a)  He is like no other -- Jer. 10:6-7
                     b)  His decrees cannot be overthrown -- Acts 5:39
                     c)  He works all things according to His will -- Eph. 1:11
                     d)  He can deliver His promises -- Rom. 4:21
                     e)  He can do all things beyond what we ask Him -- Eph.
                     f)  He protects and keeps us for salvation -- I Pet. 1:5;
                         John 10:29
                     g)  He is capable of saving others -- Mat. 19:24-26
                     h)  He lets nothing stand between us and Himself -- Rom.
                     i)  He empowers us with His Holy Spirit -- Acts 1:8
                     j)  He can bring glory to Himself through us -- Dan.
                     k)  He will stretch forth His hand of wrath toward our
                         enemies -- Psa. 138:7

             d.  Holiness

                 DEFINITION OF:

                 Holy means separate, distinct or set apart.  So in context of this study we can say that God is absolutely separate, distinct or set apart from all His creation, including mankind, and from sin.

                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                     a)  God's holiness
                         1.  He is a holy God -- Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8
                         2.  His name is Holy -- Isa. 57:15
                         3.  He is holy like no other for He alone is holy --
                             Exo. 15:11; I Sam. 2:2; Rev. 15:4
                         4.  He is absolutely holy, having no sin -- I John 1:5
                     b)  God's expectation of holiness
                         1.  We are to be holy as He is holy -- I Pet. 1:14-16
                         2.  Only holy people can stand before Him -- Psa. 24:3-
                         3.  He does not want us yoked with unrighteousness --
                             II Cor. 6:14-15
                         4.  He wants us to come to Him as holy people -- Exo.
                              a.  Consecrated to Him -- vs. 19:10,11,15
                             b.  Acknowledging His holiness -- vss. 19:12-13
                             c.  Having fear of who He is
                                 1)  In order to test us -- vs. 20:20
                                 2)  In order that we will not sin -- vs. 20:20
                             d.  In obedience -- vss. 19:21,25
                             e. Prepared to do His will -- vss. 20:1-17
                             f.  To worship Him alone with due respect
                                 1)  By worshipping only Him -- vs. 20:23
                                 2)  According to His desire -- vss. 20:24-26
                     c)  God's hatred over unholiness
                         1.  He hates wickedness -- Psa. 5:4; Hab. 1:13
                         2.  He hates evil in our hearts -- Zech. 8:17
                         3.  He hates false oaths -- Zech. 8:17
                         4.  He hates worship without holiness -- Amos 5:21,24
                         5.  He hates religious ritual -- Isa. 1:14
                         6.  He hates idolatry -- Jer. 44:2-4
                         7.  He hates those who do iniquity -- Psa. 5:5
                         8.  He hates seven other things -- Prov. 6:16-19
                             a.  Haughty eyes
                         b.  A lying tongue
                          c.  Hands that shed innocent blood
                     d.  A heart that devises wicked plans
                     e.  Feet that run rapidly to evil
                             f.   A false witness who utters lies
                             g.  One who spreads strife among the brothers
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
                     a)  He sets aside godly people for Himself -- Psa. 4:3
                     b)  He chose us to be holy -- Eph. 1:4
                     c)  He makes us holy -- Lev. 20:8
                     d)  He disciplines us to make us holy -- Heb. 12:10
                     e)  We can walk holy by: (I Pet. 1:13-16)
                         1.  Girding our minds for action -- vs. 13
                         2.  Keeping sober in the Spirit -- vs. 13
                         3.  Fixing our hope completely on the grace we will
                             receive at the coming of Christ -- vs. 13
                         4.  Being obedient children -- vs. 14
                         5.  Not being conformed to former lusts when we were
                             unsaved -- vs. 14
                         6.  Living in the example of God -- vs. 15

             e.  Righteousness

                 DEFINITION OF:
                 The Hebrew root meaning of this word is "straightness." So righteousness is conformity of one's actions to a standard, norm or law.  According to the New Bible Dictionary, righteousness as it relates to man is his "conformity to the demands and obligations" of God's will (pg. 1031). Righteousness as it relates to God is the conformity to His moral attributes, holiness, justice and goodness, thus performing what is right, fair and equal.

                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                     a)  God's righteousness
                         1.  He is righteous and loves the righteous ---- Psa.
                             11:7; Deut. 32:4
                         2.  He is righteous in all His ways -- Psa. 145:17;
                             Dan. 9:14
                         3.  His judgments are righteous -- Psa. 119:137
                         4.  He has no injustice in Him -- Rom. 9:14
                         5.  He exercises and delights in righteousness -- Jer.
                         6.  He displays His righteousness through fulfilled
                             promises -- Neh. 9:8
                         7.  His righteousness is declared by the heavens --
                             Psa. 50:6
                     b)  God's expectation of righteousness
                         1.  We are to seek righteousness -- Zeph. 2:3
                         2.  We are to practice justice and righteousness --
                             Jer. 22:3
                         3.  We are to hate evil, love good and establish
                             justice -- Amos  5:15
                         4.  We are to abstain from every form of evil --
                             I Thes. 5:22
                     c)  Man and righteousness
                         1.  There are none righteous -- Rom. 3:10
                         2.  Unbelievers' deeds are like filthy garments --
                             Isa. 64:6
                         3.  We are made righteous through Christ -- II Cor.
                         4.  Our righteousness is from God based on faith --
                             Phil. 3:9
                         5.  Our new self is created in righteousness -- Eph.
                         6.  Those who practice righteousness are of God and
                             are righteous as He is righteous -- I John 2:29;
                         7.  Workers of righteousness will dwell with God --
                             Psa. 15:1-2
                         8.  Blessed is he who does not walk with the wicked --
                             Psa. 1:1-2
                         9.  The desire of the righteous is only good -- Pro.
                        10.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
                             righteousness -- Mat. 5:6
                        11.  A crown of righteousness will be awaiting those
                             who love His coming -- II Tim. 4:8
                     d)  God's hatred over unrighteousness (See point IV, B, 2,
                         d, 1, c above)
                 2)  Comfort from this doctrine
                     A.  God will judge righteously -- Jer. 11:20; Psa. 9:4
                     B.  God loves the righteous -- Psa. 11:7
                     C.  God blesses those who walk in His law -- Psa. 119:1
                     D.  God will bring affliction on those who afflict us --
                         II Thes. 1:6
                     E.  Those who pursue righteousness will find life,
                         righteousness and honor -- Pro. 21:21
                     F.  God's righteousness is as firm and stable and as
                         visible as His mountains -- Psa. 36:6

             f.  Goodness

                 DEFINITION OF:

                 The Hebrew root of this word means "pleasant, joyful, agreeable," whereas the Greek root has the meaning of "beautiful, noble, honorable, admirable, and worthy." The biblical use of the word though has a theological distinction which focuses on the moral and spiritual aspects of goodness.  So for something or someone to be good, it must be in conformity with and reflect the character of God.  So God's goodness is that quality which He expresses generously through His love (I John 4:8), benevolence (Mat. 5:45; Psa. 145:19), mercy (Eph. 2:4; II Cor. 1:3), grace (I Pet. 5:10) and long-suffering (1 Pet. 3:20; II Pet. 3:9), both to man and beast.

                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                     a)  God's goodness
                         1.  He is good -- Psa. 100:5; Mark 10:18
                         2.  He does good -- Psa. 119:68
                         3.  His will is good -- Rom. 12:2
                         4.  His law is good -- Rom. 7:12
                         5.  His ordinances are good (those things ordained;
                             i.e. O.T. usage: rituals, laws of nature, and
                             principles of moral conduct; N.T. usage: marriage,
                             baptism and Lord's supper) -- Psa. 119:39
                         6.  His Holy Spirit is good -- Psa. 143:10
                         7.  He provides every good thing and every perfect
                             gift -- Jas. 1:17
                         8.  He displays His goodness in all the earth -- Psa.
                         9.  He is good even to animals -- Psa. 104:21; Mat.
                     b)  God's goodness as it relates to man
                         1.  He gave His Son for us -- John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 8:32
                         2.  He instructs sinners in His ways -- Psa. 25:8
                         3.  He has blessed the Christian with every spiritual
                             blessing -- Eph. 1:3
                         4.  He is good to those who are pure in heart -- Psa.
                         5.  He is good to the wicked as well as the righteous
                             -- Mat. 5:44-45; Luke 6:35; Acts 14:17
                         6.  He preserves man and beast -- Psa. 36:6
                         7.  He even brings trials upon us for our good -- Job
                     c)  Man's goodness
                         1.  We can be full of goodness -- Rom. 15:14
                         2.  We are to let His good Spirit lead us -- Psa.
                         3.  One aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is goodness
                             -- Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9
                         4.  We are to do good in the sight of the Lord so that
                             it will be well with us -- Deut. 6:18; Titus 3:8
                         5.  Our calling is to allow God to work His goodness
                             through us -- II Thes. 1:11
                         6.  We are to depart from evil and do good -- Psa.
                         7.  We will reap good things if we do not lose heart
                             in doing good things -- Gal. 6:9
                         8.  We are to do good to all men, but especially to
                             Christians -- Gal. 6:10
                         9.  We are not to withhold good from whom it is due,
                             when within our power -- Pro. 3:27
                        10.  If we are good people, good things will come out
                             of our hearts -- Luke 6:45
                        11.  We are to be wise in what is good and innocent in
                             what is evil -- Rom. 16:19
                        12.  We are to think on good things -- Phil. 4:8
                        13.  We are to hold fast to what is good -- I Thes. 5:21
                        14.  We are to provoke one another to love and good
                             works -- Heb. 10:24
                        15.  If we devise good, we will receive kindness and
                             walk in truth -- Pro. 14:22
                        16.  We are to praise God for the good things He gives
                             us -- Psa. 107:8
                        17.  We are to pray for our leaders for this is good --
                             I Tim. 2:1-3
         2)  Comfort from this doctrine
             a)  His watches and hears the righteous -- Psa. 34:15
                     b)  He will not withhold any good thing from us -- Psa.
                         84:11; Mat. 7:11
                     c)  He is ready to forgive us and is abundant in
                         lovingkindness -- Psa. 86:5; II Chr. 30:18-19
                     d)  His kindness is what leads us to repentance -- Rom. 2:4

             g.  Sovereignty

                 DEFINITION OF:

                 In reference to God, sovereignty entails His absolute authority, rule and ownership of and over all things.  As such He has the right to and does ordain His will and desires to come to fruition.

                 1)  Proof of this doctrine
                     a)  God's sovereignty
                         1.  He is sovereign over all -- I Chr. 29:11-12
                         2.  He does according to His will without hindrance
                             from anyone -- Dan. 4:35
                         3.  His purpose and good pleasure will come to pass --
                             Isa. 46:10
                         4.  He is the Ruler of the earth -- Psa. 22:28
                         5.  He is Judge over all -- Isa. 33:22
                         6.  He is Lawgiver over all -- Isa. 33:22
                         7.  He is King over all -- Isa. 33:22
                         8.  He is Savior over all -- Isa. 33:22
                         9.  He is like no other god -- Isa. 46:9
                        10.  He reigns over all things from heaven -- Isa. 66:1
                        11.  He is owner of all the heavens, earth and
                             everything in the earth -- Deut. 10:14; Gen. 14:22
                        12.  His sovereignty is seen in creation -- Psa. 95:3-5
                        13.  He controls the weather -- Psa. 147:16-18
                        14.  He controls the sun and rain -- Mat. 5:45
                        15.  He is in control of all life -- Job 12:10
                        16.  He is in control of fish and animals -- Jonah
                             1:17; 2:10; Num. 22:28

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