The Quest for God

We search for meaning

Tradition divides God: Trinity

This reflects our historical understanding

The Father

Dominant Form from Genesis to Jesus--the Old Testament

What is He like? How does He look?

Genesis 1: 26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image..."

We are created in His image so we might think...
hands, feet, arms, legs, head, heart, male or female?, a white beard?

Human attributes seem not to fit?
Reverse logic fails? Apes, chimps, monkeys are also in His image?

Male or female?

Galatians 3: 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

we are neither male nor female...all are one in Christ

Father image (not necessarily male!) is important to Jewish culture.

Do Scriptures Describe God?

AP=After People

Noah's God was little more than a voice
Abraham Gen 18:1-5 saw the Lord as 3 men (Trinity at once?)
Jacob saw God in a dream
Moses seemed to have frequent contact with God

Exodus 3:2 in the burning bush
Exodus 3:14 "I am who I am", evasive, later clarified in human terms, "God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob"
Exodus 13:21 Pillar of Cloud by day, Pillar of Fire by night
Exodus 19:18 Fire on Mount Sinai
Exodus 33:20-23 See God and Die READ THIS
20 "But," he said, "you cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live."
21 And the LORD continued, "See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock;
22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by;
23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen."
Exodus 40:36 Pillars over the tabernacle and a "guide" for the wilderness journey
God dictated many laws and rules governing the minutia of daily living. This focus was on the "letter of the law" and the people became caught up in matters other than the spirit of the law. This necessitated a change...

God, the SON

Col 1:15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;

Luke 1:35 The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God."
Thus Jesus was born of woman & God as the Holy Spirit. This could imply God as "male" or at least the Holy Spirit as "male." But I think this would miss God's point...

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
Immanuel means God with us!! By being intimately known by some of us, God's intent could be refocused.

Jesus could have been dropped onto earth as an orphan, but a ministry in Israel required a male child with parents, a normal childhood following Jewish laws, in order to later teach and preach in the Temple.

In coming as He did, the Son could operate as needed. But Jesus transcended His maleness. In His own preaching, Jesus frequently used a-sexual metaphors for Himself.

John 8: 58--Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am." (note: He had a Spirit before he had a body!)

John 6: 48--"I am the bread of life. " (note: consume the spirit)

John 8: 12--Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world." (note: sent to enlighten us-lift us from the coroporal to the spiritual understanding!)

John 10: 7--So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep." (note: leads us to the fold of eternal life and understanding)

John 11: 25--Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life." (note: transformed--it is not the body!)
"who is coming into the world"

John 15: 1-11 "I am the true vine," (note: it is perennial, appearing to die each year but resurrected each spring)

John 14:26 "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you."

John 16: 7-11 7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
9 about sin, because they do not believe in me;
10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer;
11 about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."

Who was the "voice in the wilderness?"
John the Baptist? or Jesus?....Who prepared the way of the Lord!

What was Jesus' enlightenment?
Immanuel--God with Us
or maybe--God within Us!

God is a Holy Spirit

In this form God is known and posessed by all who are sensitive to the Spirit.

HERE is God inside us!

Acts 2: 1-4 The Spirit is a flame that enters the Apostles
Acts 2: 16-21 And fills all who call upon God!

How do we know...

So what is important? READ Rom 8: 1-10
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law -indeed it cannot,
8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

So what must we do?

Rom 12: 1-2 "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind."

Col 3:10 "Put on new nature...after the image of the creator"

Avoid Sins of the Flesh
Matt 5:28 law of intentions--adultery and sinful acts of the flesh are subordinated to the sins of the spirit!

Matt 12: 31-32 forgiveable!--the unpardonable sin is denial of the spirit!

That most puzzling of books, Revelation, gets really into God as a Spirit

Rev 4: 5 Seven spirits of God on a throne

Rev 5: 6 The Lamb - eyes are spirits - seated on the throne
You see in this illustration the trinity: Son, Spirit, GOD!

Rev 1: 8 Sums it up well:
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Summary: The Trinity

God is in three persons:

Not so much three, as ONE God!

I Cor 13: 9-12 "know but see in a mirror dimly" there is much more to know!

9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part;
10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.

It is important that God is at least a spirit regardless of the Name, Time, Space, and other Qualitites!

The Spirit of God is within us NOW.

Immanuel is HERE!

He LIVES!

Hallelujah!


Benediction:

John 14: 26-28 Jesus said:
26 "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
28 You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.'"

Invite Jesus to come into your heart, and transform your mind to the Holy Spirit in you, as we sing the Choral benediction printed on the bulletin insert.

"Into My Heart" H. D. Clarke


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