God

Attributes of God

      The Gospel is the truth about God. We understand who he is by understanding his attributes. God has revealed his attributes to us through Scripture and through his relationship with humans. God is fully expressive and always perfect in his attributes (Isaiah 46:9). There are certain attributes he shares with people, who he created in his image, that we might represent him to the world, as well as reflect his glory. We can understand who God is through his presence, experiencing his grace and provision in our lives, and through growing in our faith. It is because of the attribute of his love for his people that he reveals himself to us. Some of his other attributes include omniscience (Ps. 139:1-18), omnipresence, omnipotence (Ps. 62), holiness (Rev. 4:8), immutability, immanence (Acts. 17:27-28; Ps. 139), sovereignty, wrath, eternal, transcendence (1 Cor. 13:12), love (John 3:13, 15:13; 1 John 3:1), righteousness (Acts 17:31), justice (Deut. 32:4).

The Trinity

      God reveals himself as the one, true, God, and there are no others. He is one God (Deut. 6:4) existing eternally and equally in three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). They are co-equal in nature and attributes, yet distinct and each are fully God. He is the unified representation of true, unified, and authentic community. When considering the Gospel, the Triune God becomes not only a model for community, but also for diversity in oneness. Christian community, when infused by the Gospel, can still be diverse in roles and headship, yet there can be intense unity in purpose and spirit (Phil. 2:1-3).

Creation and providence

      God is the creator of all things, visible and invisible, and that which he created he did so for his glory. The gospel says that he continually works his good purpose for the redemption and restoration of his fallen people and creation. To that end, he provides for and sustains his creation and sovereignly rules over all that is and all that happens.

Angels, demons, and Satan

      God also created angels. Angels have the purpose of being messengers of God, giving guidance, tidings (Luke 1-2; Matt. 28:1-10), and even judgment (Isa. 37:36) from God to humans. They were created for God’s glory and exaltation. Some of these angels are fallen and are called demons. The ruler of these demons is the fallen angel, Satan. Satan and his dominions are enemies of the Gospel. As we go forth proclaiming the Gospel, we are engaged in a spiritual battle with these adverse forces. Yet, God gives us the weapons to fight them (Eph. 6:10-20). We have the hope that Jesus will ultimately win the battle (Rev. 19:11-20:15) and the assurance that nothing in the heavenly realm can separate Christians from Jesus’ love (Rom. 8:37-39).

Problem of Evil

      External forces of evil and the corruption of sin causes temptation. Our own souls have been tainted by sin. However, the evil in us and in the world is not greater than Jesus love. It is his love shown through his sacrifice on the cross that covers our shame and makes us right before the holy God. We deserve the full wrath of God because of our sin, but in his love for us, Jesus took that wrath upon himself, and became our sin, crucified and killed for all eternity, reconciling us to God (Col. 3:5-6; Rom. 1:18; Rom. 5:6-11; 1 Cor. 5:21). Those who are faithful are not condemned for the evil in the world, rather it was Jesus who took that condemnation on himself (Rom. 8:31-37). Not only this, but Jesus is perfecting our faith and making us strong by disciplining us where we struggle and are tempted to give in to sin and evil so we may walk strong and firm in our faith, even when the world around us seeks to corrupt us (Heb 1:3-13). While God does not create evil, nor does he tempt anybody (James 1:13), he may ordain trials for his purposes that our faith might be strengthened and he might glorify himself (eg. Job; 2 Cor. 12:7-10). For the Christian, this gives great purpose and hope to evil done and suffering experienced, because God makes all things beautiful in its time (Eccl. 3:1-11a).