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Condensed Theology

A Primer in Systematic Theology

Theology Proper: The Doctrine of God


What does the Bible teach about God?

Where Were Going


Ten lectures covering four subjects:
The existence of God The attributes of God God as Trinity Gods works of creation & providence

The Attributes of God


What Is God Like?

General Categories of the Attributes

General Categories
1. Communicable
The communicable attributes of God are those characteristics of God that are peculiar to him but which he shares with humanity If the attribute can be converted to a command, it is communicable

2. Incommunicable
The incommunicable attributes of God are those characteristics of God that are peculiar to him but which he does not share with humanity If the attribute cannot be converted to a command, it is incommunicable

The Incommunicable Attributes of God


Qualities of God Peculiar to Himself that He Does Not Share with Us

Review of the Incommunicable Attributes (thus far)


Eternality Immutability Omniscience Omnipotence Omnipresence Spirituality Simplicity Invisibility Independence

Two More Incommunicable Attributes


Glory Will

The Glory of God

Gods Glory
1. 2. 3. 4. The honor that God is due The created, visible manifestation of the excellence of God A descriptive term for what God is in his essential being or nature: the sheer intrinsic Godness of God.1 Number 3 above explains why the term glory is often substituted for a specific attribute of God, which can only be supplied by the context
1Robert

L Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 166.

Gods Glory: The Honor He Is Due


Isa 43:7: Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made. Used in this sense, the glory of God is not properly an attribute of Godit describes the honor that should be given to him by every created thing in the universe

Gods Glory: The Visible Manifestation of Gods Excellence


This is the created brightness that surrounds the Lord when he reveals himself to his creatures
Luke 2:9: And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. Rev 21:23: And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

This is not properly an attribute, but a theophany

Gods Glory: A Descriptive Term for What God Is in His Essential Nature
When the Bible speaks of Gods glory, it refers to what God is in his essential being
1 Sam 15:29: Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.

This is why the term glory is often substituted for one or more attributes of God, depending on the context

Gods Glory: A Summary Attribute


Exod 33:18-19, 22: Then Moses said, I pray You, show me Your glory! And He said, I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.22and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.

Gods Glory: A Summary Attribute


Ps 19:1: The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Isa 6:3: And one called out to another and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory. Rom 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Gods Glory: A Summary Attribute


Eph 1:6: to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Eph 1:12: to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Eph 1:14: who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Will of God

The Will of God: Communicable or Incommunicable?


In many ways, remember, we could ask this question of all the attributes But there are some that are more difficult to categorize than others
Gods will refers to his indestructible and sovereign choice for his own existence and governance of the universethis is not shared with the creature Gods will refers to his commands, desires, wishes, and wantsthis is something that is shared with the creature

The Will of God: Communicable or Incommunicable?


In many ways, remember we could ask this question of all the attributes But there are some that are more difficult to categorize than others
Since Gods will cannot be converted into a command like, for example, Gods love, we might say that it is incommunicable On the other hand, since we are commanded to possess certain desires, we might say that it is communicable

The Will of God: Communicable or Incommunicable?


I have chosen to categorize the will of God as an incommunicable attribute because the one God has only one will and there are aspects of that singular will that are discussed in Scripture that cannot be shared with the creature This will become clear as we proceed

The Will of God: The Ultimate Determiner


Eph 1:11: also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.

The Will of God: The Ultimate Determiner


In creation: Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created (Rev 4:11). In redemption: For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur (Acts 4:2728).

The Will of God: The Ultimate Determiner


In government: and you [Nebuchadnezzar] will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes (Dan 4:32).

The Will of God: The Ultimate Determiner


Of suffering:
1 Pet 3:17: For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 1 Pet 4:19: Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

The Will of God: The Ultimate Determiner


For all our lives: Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that (Jas 4:13-15).

Aspects of the Will of God

The Will of God: Aspects


In the biblical record, there are distinctions made within the will of God
Necessary and Free Will Secret and Revealed Will

The Will of God: Necessary and Free


Gods necessary will is what the Lord must will in order to be God; That is, it is what he must will according to his own nature Put negatively, God cannot choose to be anything other than he is
Exod 3:14: God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

The Will of God: Necessary and Free


Gods free will is what he decided to will, but according to his nature was not required to will it Put negatively, there are some things God has chosen to do and chooses to do that he did not have to choose to do
Creation cf. Acts 17:25 Redemption cf. Eph 1:5

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


Deut 29:29: The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


The secret will of God is what God has willed but keeps to himself It is sometimes called his will of decree
Jas 4:15: Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." 1 Cor 4:19: But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


The secret will of God is what God has willed but keeps to himself
Gen 50:20: As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


The secret will of God is what God has willed but keeps to himself
Matt 11:25-26: At that time Jesus said, I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. Rom 9:18: So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


The revealed will of God is the desire, command, precept, or prophecy he expresses to his creatures
Matt 6:10b: Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Matt 7:21: Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


The revealed will of God is the desire, command, precept, or prophecy he expresses to his creatures
Eph 5:17: So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 1 Thess 4:3: For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.

The Will of God: Secret and Revealed


The revealed will of God is the desire, command, precept, or prophecy he expresses to his creatures
1 John 5:14: This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

The Indestructible Will of God

The Will of God: Indestructible


God is not contingent His (secret) will cannot be thwarted by any creature
Ps 115:3: But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Prov 21:1: The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

The Will of God: Indestructible


God is not contingent His (secret) will cannot be thwarted by any creature
Dan 4:35: All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, What have You done?

Conclusion
For purposes of teaching, we have divided the attributes of God into two categories: communicable and incommunicable This lecture addressed two more of Gods incommunicable attributes: his glory and his will.

Conclusion
Gods glory refers to what God is in his essential beingit is God in the sum of his attributes Gods will is his ability to determine reality as he sees fit

Conclusion
We have chosen to include Gods will in the category of Gods incommunicable attributes because Gods will is singular and his singular will has aspects that cannot be owned by the creature