Life: What Foundations are You Building On? God Is: and we are wise to pursue Him.

This sermon was prepared and preached by Pastor Mike Rose at First Federated Church in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday, September 23, 2007. Copyright © 2007, First Federated Church

This morning I continue with the series LIFE: What Foundations Are You Building On, stating, that I believe in absolute truth and so should you! What is absolute truth? – It is that which is the same for all people, of all times and does not change. Why do I believe in absolute truth? Because it is evident, and I would be foolish not to believe it. Take gravity for example. Gravity is an absolute truth, No matter what age or culture, if one walks off the edge of a cliff he or she will go down. Water is another example. It’s required to live. No matter what age or culture, if you refuse to drink water, in a short period of time, you will dehydrate and die. In both cases it’s NOT a matter of my truth or your truth as post-modernism would say. It’s simply a matter of TRUTH. These things are true for everyone without exception. SO WHAT? Since these are indisputable facts, we are wise to live in correct relationship to these truths. This is the core that runs throughout each of the messages presented in this series. I am presenting 10 absolute truths, five doctrinal and five practical, that we are wise to be in correct relationship to. Absolute No. 1 – The Bible Is The Word of God, able to led us into all necessary truth. If you were unable to be here last week, get a CD or go on line at firstfederated.org to hear the message and or read my notes. Absolute No. 2 – God Is, and we are wise to pursue Him.Hebrews 11:6 – NKJV “6But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God), for he (any person) who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Take note of the following items that will help you understand what today’s message is about: 1. The primary audience: Although the information can be applicable to anyone, the primarily target is believers. 2. The anti-purpose: My purpose is NOT to prove God’s existence. There is ample evidence in nature that God Is, and believers have already settled that issue for themselves. 3. The Purpose: To challenge believers to deal with the question, so what? We know that God Is, but what difference does that make in our everyday lives? One thing you can count on from evangelical Christians, they will boldly and proudly proclaim to the world that God Is!

Life: What Foundations are You Building On? God Is: and we are wise to pursue Him. | FFC | 9.23.2007

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My question: Is that truth one that is merely propositional (simply accepted because it has been declared?) or is it dynamic (active and life changing). Defining The Terms: Propositional (Intellectual) = something offered for consideration or acceptance. Dynamic (Functional) = marked by continuous and productive activity or change. The Point: these do not need to be mutually exclusive. Propositional truth should lead to certain dynamics in one’s life. But what I see in many who accept the truth claim “God Is” as absolute, is that this absolute truth they accept seems to make little change in the way they think and live. There can be no doubt in a believer’s mind that God Is. But how does our knowledge of His existence affect how we think and subsequently how we live? According to the inspired writer of Hebrews, the fact that God Is should lead one to diligently seek Him. In other words, the knowledge that God exists is to move from the intellectual (knowing about Him) to the functional (knowing Him). Putting this into play: I feel confident that most of us believe/know that God Is. Because He exists, there are many truths about Him we can learn, incuding: God Is … Love ................Merciful Holy ........................Just Gracious ................Kind True.......................Wise But the attribute I want us to focus on right now is, God Is: Omniscient = All Knowing. How many of you believe that? What does it mean? It means ALL that can be known, is known by God. He knows everything about the past because He was there. He knows everything about the future because He is there. Omniscience simply means, knowledge about everything! Consider Psalm 90:2 – NKJV - Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. The Psalmist says, From Everlasting (the past), to Everlasting (the future) you are God. God has perfect knowledge about all things past, because He was there, before anything was, and He has perfect knowledge about all things future because He is there right now.

Life: What Foundations are You Building On? God Is: and we are wise to pursue Him. | FFC | 9.23.2007

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Isaiah affirms God’s perfect knowledge of the future because time and space have no hold on Him. Isaiah 46:9-10 - NKJV 9Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ So, God is omniscient – He knows ALL things. Now if we know this about God, how should it affect the way we live as His children? • • If it is propositional only, then it will only effect the way we think, what we profess to believe. But if it is both propositional and dynamic, then it will have a molding/changing effect on our lives.

Think about it: Knowing that God is omniscient, shouldn’t that make believers the most rested, nonanxious people on earth? If God knows ALL there is to know, and specifically all there is to know about me, shouldn’t that cause me to rest in Him knowing there is nothing that is going to take Him by surprise and thus cause Him to fumble my future? Now, couple God’s omniscience with the absolute that God is omnipotent (all powerful) and how should that affect us? Shouldn’t that only make us even more restful and non-anxious as we understand that God not only knows what’s around the corner, but also has all power to deal with it for my good? Romans 8:28 – NLT – 28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Most of you know, Connie and I were in a head-on collision in December 2004. Most anybody going through such a thing would ask, “How can a head-on collision, multiple injurie, and bill collectors wanting their money work out for my good?” Three years post-accident, I can give you several good answers to that question, but in 2005 and part of 2006, I didn’t have a clue. But knowing that God Is omniscient and omnipotent helped me to rest in Him, because I knew then, and I know now that He has all knowledge about it and all power to work it out. How can a diagnosis of cancer work out for my good? I don’t know, but the same answer I just gave applies here, too. What I’m trying to communicate is this: The truth that “God Is,” is not just a propositional truth to be pronounced to others, it is dynamic truth that is to affect the way our lives are lived. Now, couple the fact that God Is omniscient and omnipotent with the fact that God is omnipresent (Everywhere present at the same time), and how much more should we believers who are besieged by anxiety and worry be able to rest in Him.

Life: What Foundations are You Building On? God Is: and we are wise to pursue Him. | FFC | 9.23.2007

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Psalm 139:7-12 – NLT speaks of God’s Omnipresence I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get way from Your presence! 8If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, You are there. 9If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10even there Your hand will guide me, and Your strength will support me. 11I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from You. To You the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to You. These are wonderful absolutes about God. Not just absolutes to believe for the purpose of correct theology, but wonderful absolutes to build my life upon. Because when I do, they have a dramatic calming effect on me that I am safe in the hands of Him who created me and gave His life for me. Now, before I bring today’s message to a close, let me offer one more absolute about God that should give me rest and relief from anxiety. God Is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, but capping these off is the absolute that God Is immutable. That means unchanging. God never changes in His nature or character. One thing that causes anxiety and fear when dealing with our fellow man is the very real possibility that those in whom we place our trust will change in such a way we can no longer trust them. A man tells a women He loves her and asks her to be solely committed to him for life, but we’ve come to know that he may change in his feelings, and 10 years down the road profess He doesn’t love her anymore. This brings fear and anxiety. A person declares he or she to be your friend for life, and so you invest much time and energy into the relationship only to discover after a few years he or she is no longer committed to the relationship. This fact breeds fear and anxiety about trusting others. But, while man is in a continual state of change regarding his intentions and feelings, God never Changes! What He loves, He will always love. What He hates, He will always hate. The commitments He makes, He will always keep. Why? Because God Is immutable. James 1:17 - NLT says it plainly - 17Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows. Conclusion Absolute No. 2 – God Is and we are wise to pursue Him. What do I mean by “pursuing God”? I mean pursuing a living and vital relationship with Him. This, of course, would include beginning a relationship with Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But it goes beyond that initial step.
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Life: What Foundations are You Building On? God Is: and we are wise to pursue Him. | FFC | 9.23.2007

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It includes learning about Him through His Word. But, as you apply what you learn in the Word “about Him,” the relationship begins to grow from knowing “about” Him to “knowing” Him. As you know Him in an intimate and real way, you begin to understand how the fact that God Is, is more than just a theological belief, but is a foundational pillar that enables you to build a strong and satisfying life. GOD IS is both a propositional and dynamic truth. May that knowledge make a lasting and everchanging difference in your life and mine.

The First Federated Church copyright, above, is for the sermon itself, not for any items quoted in the sermon, unless otherwise stated. All quoted items are done so in good faith, and the source is attributed when it is known.

Life: What Foundations are You Building On? God Is: and we are wise to pursue Him. | FFC | 9.23.2007

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