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As we sit through the howling winds of Typhoon Kammuri, we have the perfect backdrop here in SE Asia for the REFUGE we can KNOW through TRUSTING GOD.
HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND ALL THE PAINS, HURTS & STRUGGLES OF LIFE AS CHRISTIANS? Life seems to have an endless wave of storms. The ONLY REFUGE is learning to TRUST the character of our God, revealed in His Son Jesus Christ. This is a lesson in the THEOLOGY of the INCOMMUNICABLE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD:
1. SELF-EXISTENCE. God’s independence is defined as follows: God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy. This attribute of God is sometimes called his self-existence or his aseity (from the Latin words ‘a se’ which means “from himself”). Scripture in several places teaches that God does not need any part of creation in order to exist or for any other reason. God is absolutely independent and self-sufficient. Paul proclaims to the men of Athens, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24–25). The implication is that God does not need anything from mankind.
2. UNCHANGEABLENESS. We can define the unchangeableness of God as follows: God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations.5 This attribute of God is also called God’s immutability. Evidence in Scripture: In Psalm 102: 25–27 we find a contrast between things that we may think to be permanent such as the earth or the heavens, on the one hand, and God, on the other hand.
3. ETERNITY. God’s eternity may be defined as follows: God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time. Sometimes this doctrine is called the doctrine of God’s infinity with respect to time. To be “infinite” is to be unlimited, and this doctrine teaches that time does not limit God. This doctrine is also related to God’s unchangeableness. IBut that means that time has no effect on God’s knowledge, for instance. God never learns new things or forgets things, for that would mean a change in his perfect knowledge. This implies also that the passing of time does not add to or detract from God’s knowledge: he knows all things past, present, and future, and knows them all equally vividly. God Is Timeless in His Own Being: The fact that God has no beginning or end is seen in Psalm 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Similarly, in Job 36:26, Elihu says of God, “the number of his years is unsearchable.” God’s eternity is also suggested by passages that talk about the fact that God always is or always exists. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8; cf. 4:8).
4. OMNIPRESENCE. Just as God is unlimited or infinite with respect to time, so God is unlimited with respect to space. This characteristic of God’s nature is called God’s omnipresence (the Latin prefix Omni- means “all”). God’s omnipresence may be defined as follows: God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places. The fact that God is Lord of space and cannot be limited by space is evident first from the fact that he created it, for the creation of the material world (Gen. 1:1) implies the creation of space as well. Moses reminded the people of God’s lordship over space: “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it” (Deut. 10:14). God Is Present Everywhere: Yet there are also specific passages that speak of God’s presence in every part of space. We read in Jeremiah, “Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord” (Jer. 23:23–24).