TEEN TREE     OF LIFE

THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE ESSENCE

Part 1

April 23, 2017

 

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lrd and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

 

            You really can’t even begin to know God unless you understand His Essence. In essence, God is perfect! The Bible does not seek to prove the Essence of God; it simply assumes it to be true. In fact, the Bible teaches that only the fool denies His existence: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. (PSA 14:1)

 

The word essence is defined as that which makes something what it is; central nature. Essence implies both being and identity. Essence refers to the qualities or attributes of God that are perfect and eternal, which include His Love, Justice, Righteousness, Veracity (or Truth), Eternal Life, Immutability, Sovereignty, Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Omnipotence. Divine Essence is the description of the characteristics that belong to all three Members of the Godhead.

 

Now, God is declared in many passages to be one God: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” (DEU 6:4) This is also stated in 1TI 2:5: For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. However, the Bible clearly reveals that there are three to whom all the attributes of Divine Essence apply. The Trinity (or the fact that God is one God with three distinct personalities) is taught in MAT 28:19: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit… And because of passages like these (and many others), to deny the existence of the Three Members of the Trinity is to deny the credibility of scripture itself.

 

We must all recognize that man has certain limitations in dealing with the subject of God. Remember there are only three ways you can learn things or three systems of perception: rationalism; empiricism; and faith. Everything that you have learned in life has been through one of these systems of perception. Rationalism simply means that the mind and the IQ are the measure for reality. This is perception through reason! Empiricism brings the sensory system into the picture – this refers to perception through observation and experimentation! This is the scientific method. Reality in empiricism is what you smell, see, hear, taste, or feel. Faith is the means of perception which accepts an established truth as the basis of reality. Faith is covered in HEB 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. To operate in faith there must be confidence or belief in the authority and truth of another! Faith says…”on the basis of the authority and the truth of the one stating the fact, I believe that what is being said is true!” This means that to try to comprehend the Doctrine of The Trinity or the Doctrine of Divine Essence by either rationalism or empiricism would inevitably result in rejection. This is because you cannot reason it, nor experience it first-hand. The Doctrine of The Trinity and the Doctrine of Divine Essence must be accepted on the authority and credibility of the Word of God.

 

When the Bible reveals that God is one, it is no way contradictory to the concept of the Trinity. The oneness of God refers to His Essence. God is One in essence. This means that all the characteristics of Divine Essence are resident in Each Member of The Godhead: Sovereignty, Righteousness, Justice, Love, Eternal Life, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Immutability, and Veracity. All are possessed equally by The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. In Their Essence, They are absolutely the same. However, this is the only way in which God is One. Since each person in the Trinity possesses identical essence, these characteristics are what unite The Three as One God.

Let’s now look at the Characteristics of the Essence of God. How can you love someone unless you know them? Obviously you can’t! So, knowing the characteristics of God will increase your love for Him.

 

First of all, God is Sovereign. Sovereignty means that God has authority over all things. There is no higher authority in the universe than God!

 

Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. (DEU 4:39)

So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, “Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. (1CH 29:10-12)

 

It’s important to note that God will never use His sovereignty to coerce human volition. God honors our decisions, whether they are for Him or against Him! This means that we cannot blame God for anything that happens! The Sovereign Will of God for mankind is expressed entirely in one verse in the Bible: who [God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the [epignosis] knowledge of the truth. The very fact that all men are not saved and that all believers do not come to the knowledge of the truth reveals that although God is Sovereign, He will not violate or coerce human choices! God is also perfect righteousness! This means that He is complete Righteousness and Holiness. The Bible teaches that there is no one holy like the Lord: “There is no one holy like the Lord,Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” (1SA 2:2) God is not simply Righteous by comparison with someone else; His righteousness is independent and incomparable.

 

We call some people “good” and some people “bad,” yet when we get to know people, we must admit that the bad people have some good in them and the good people have some bad in them. Now how do we make these evaluations? Well each of us has set up certain standards in our soul and by comparison, we make evaluations! However, God is totally perfect and we cannot even compare with His Perfection and His Righteousness. How can we who are imperfect ever have fellowship with God who is totally perfect? The answer is that God was aware of this fact and billions of years ago, He made a provision to solve our problem: He made Him [The Lord Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2CO 5:21)  Problem solved!

 

It’s impossible to have perfect righteousness without having perfect character and a perfect personality. The key to personality is not charisma or a sparkling intellect. The key to perfect holiness is righteousness. True righteousness does not look down its nose at others who appear to be worse off. God is not fooled by phony righteousness. True righteousness is relaxed and is a very wonderful state in which to be. The Bible also teaches in that God is also righteous in His Attitudes and Actions. Many times things happen in life that we do not understand; they seem to be unfair, but in the end you will find out that God was absolutely Right and Perfectly Just in dealing with the situation the way that He did!

 

God is also Just. God’s Holiness includes His Justice as well as His Righteousness. As a part of God’s Justice, God is Fair. It is impossible for God to be unfair as we are taught in 2CH 19:7: “Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.” To mature believers, God expresses His justice in blessing. To carnal believers He expresses His justice through Divine Discipline.

 

Justice always administers what righteousness demands! Justice means that in pardoning any believer, God cannot compromise His attributes. This means that because the Lord Jesus Christ Satisfied the Justice of God the Father, that God is now free to pardon and justify those who trust in His Son. It also means that God is equally free to condemn those who reject His Son’s Saving Work on The Cross. This is taught in JOH 3:18: He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

{TO BE CONTINUED}

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