“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
March 4, 2018
“All Hail The Power”
“Because We Believe”
“Bless His Holy Name”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON – Don Auxier
“Traveling with Jesus, before Palm Sunday”
“Blessed Be Your Name”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
Grace Communion International – We are an international Christian fellowship, on mission with the Father, Son and Spirit, living and sharing the gospel in ways that birth all kinds of churches, for all kinds of people, in all kinds of places. As an international Christian fellowship, we have about 50,000 members formed into 900 churches spread across 100 countries.
Joseph and Tammy Tkach
God challenged Abraham: “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them” (Gen. 15:5). Abraham couldn’t, and neither can we—only God knows the number, though astronomers estimate there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe, with about 100 billion stars added annually. God’s challenge to Abraham points out the limitations we have as humans in contrast with God’s omniscience. In this letter we’ll look at three additional characteristics of our amazing God: his uniqueness, his self-existence and his incorporeality.
Maimonides (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
The truth that God isunique is the bedrock of both Christianity and Judaism. Renowned Jewish rabbi Maimonides wrote that God is “perfect in every possible way… the ultimate cause of all existence.” Though a piece of candy can be said to be unique, there are many candies to delight our palates. I have a unique painting in my office, yet there are many unique paintings. Each fingerprint and snowflake is, in a sense, unique, yet they are in the same class with many others. Moreover, they are created. In contrast, God, who is uncreated, is in a class all his own—there are no other eternal, uncreated things. All that exists other than God is created or is the product of creation. God, alone, is truly unique, one-of-a-kind. Understanding that truth exposes as heresy the idea that our destiny as humans is to become God.
God is self-existent. He cannot create another God because the second would be dependent for its existence on the first, creator God. Understanding God’s self-existence exposes another heresy—the idea that there are two separate “God beings.” That belief is called ditheism (two Gods). But the Bible declares in no uncertain terms that there is one and only one God—a self-existent being. Therefore, God says in the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3).
God is incorporeal in that he is not a creature—he is not limited to bodily existence. Therefore, God is not comparable to anything that has physical or empirical existence. Yes, it is true that the Bible has hundreds of descriptions of God as having corporeal characteristics. However, all of them are metaphorical descriptions, and are not to be taken literally. God is not literally a rock, a mother hen, or a door. God is spirit, and in talking about God, the Bible often uses anthropomorphisms—descriptors borrowed from human experience such as walking, standing, sitting and speaking. Such descriptors, when used concerning God, are intended to help us understand something of God’s character and nature—they are metaphors that convey who God is and what his will is in ways we can grasp. As the Jewish Midrash explains, “The Torah speaks the language of man” (Sifre 112). Calvin addressed this by noting that God “accommodates” himself to us—he speaks to us as a mother might coo towards her newborn infant.
Beware faulty reasoning
Athanasius (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
In attempting to define God, some people (even some Christians) mistakenly begin with themselves and then compare God to what they know about themselves. Through this wrong-headed attempt to fit God into their own frame of reference, they distort the biblical view of God, turning God into an idol that is congenial to their own liking. Fourth-century theologian Athanasius saw this problem in the teachings of Arius, recognizing that Arius was thinking out of a center in himself—seeing God in terms that apply to creatures, not God. According to Athanasius, Arius was teaching mythology, not proper theology. In doing so, he was rationalizing away God’s true glory. In our day, some teachers are doing the same thing in teaching various heresies about God including the claim that God is a family. That false teaching is a form of polytheism—a pagan doctrine found in the pantheon of gods worshiped by the Akkadians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and found in the ancestor worship of the Far East. Other misperceptions concerning the true nature of God are prevalent in our day. Two that are growing in popularity are open theism and process theology. Both limit God’s foreknowledge and omniscience, and process theology denies God’s omnipotence and the biblical teaching of creation out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo). Process theology also affirms classical panentheism—the idea that God and the world are mutually interdependent. These and other theological errors arise out of thinking about God as if he is a creature. As forms of mythology, these teachings are idolatrous.
God not only created all the stars, as the psalmist says, he “gives names to all of them…. His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:4-5 NASB). Because our human understanding is limited, we are subject to error. As Albert Einstein said, we humans have “been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is.” Yet, despite our human limitations, God, in his love and mercy, will not let us remain blinded by heretical teachings concerning who he is. In his time, he reveals himself to us in accordance with his self-revelation in Jesus Christ, who alone knows and has seen the Father (Matt. 11:27).
Thankful that God in his freedom has chosen to reveal himself to us,
We can all get to heaven without health, without wealth, without fame, without learning, without culture, without beauty, without friends, without ten thousand things. But we can never get to heaven without Christ. –Corrie ten Boom
“My sheep recognize my voice.
I know them and they follow me.”
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
Recently, on Facebook, I had the following conversation regarding a quote posted by Anthony Mullins (GCI coordinator of Ministry Coaching, the Intern Program and the Pastoral Resident Program). His quote was: “What you believe about your circumstance is actually more powerful than your circumstance.” Think about that for a moment.
I replied: Reminds me of (and ties in nicely with your quote) the famous quote by A.W. Tozer: “What comes into your mind when you think about God – is the most important thing about you.“
Anthony insightfully replied: “I understand the sentiment David because what you said carries truth, but I believe what comes into God’s mind when he thinks about us is the most important thing about us. It’s his love which rightfully lays claim on our identity and importance.”
I responded: Absolutely….that is a great truth that many don’t consider at all…and truly when we understand that about our God and his love for us…then the Tozer quote takes on much fuller and richer meaning in our lives. Then, your first quote regarding the circumstances of our lives will be put in proper perspective of God’s love for us…ALWAYS!
GCI Pastor, Bermie Dizon, then added: 1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Take time and consider these quotes and your life with your God.
Joni Eareckson Tada wrote the following in Lamp Unto My Feet:
“Just think: Every promise God has ever made finds its fulfillment in Jesus. God doesn’t just give us grace; he gives us Jesus, the Lord of grace. If it’s peace, it’s only found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Even life itself is found in the Resurrection and the Life. Christianity isn’t all that complicated – it’s Jesus”.
Our lives are to be lived out in the Spirit, as a grateful & loving response to what Jesus has done, is doing and will do through us. Love the Lord, Live His Life & Share Him With Others.Jesus loved us to death – to the death of the cross – to INCLUDE US in HIS ETERNAL LOVE. How great is that!
What a glorious time we are entering into – to celebrate and come face-to-face with the extravagant Love of our Savior for us.3 Weeks until Palm Sunday !!!~ You are loved – Pastor David
Prayers for our Country and Pres. Trump
Prayers for the Body of Christ World Wide
Our Persecuted Christian Brothers & Sisters Around The World
Local Prayer Requests
JW Holmes-(friend of Vicki Auxier) has leukemia Dr’s say two years to live.
Mary Coffey, prayers for healing, strength & encouragement.
AnIta – (niece of Barb Hudson) – very serious illness needs treatment & healing
Donna Dunbar Recovery from surgery March 1 & for next surgery on March 8, to remove kidney stones
Lucy (Anita Franz’s sister) hospitalized with serious kidney problems
Norm & Sue Durbin– Colds
Doug Whitlock –Prayers for better health.
Peggy Perry She will begin radiation sometime early March
Kalengule Kaoma (lives in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa) Prayers as he has been appointed GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator for all of Africa
Linda Persky (wife of Bradley Persky) Undergoing chemo for pancreatic cancer
Deben Sam (GCI affiliate in Nepal) He desperately needs to find a new home for he, his wife and 15 foster children…and a new church meeting location.
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School– Prayers for safety & blessing & provision.
Joe & Tammy Tkach & Greg & Susan Williams Protection, safety, wisdom & encouragement
Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters Around The World
For Divine Appointments To Touch Others With Jesus’ Life & Love