Pilgrim’s Keyboard

February 28, 2015

Attrributes of God – The Wrath of God

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The Wrath/Anger/Indignation of God

 

INTRO

A. W. Pink

It is sad indeed to find so many professing Christians who appear to regard the wrath of God as something for which they need to make an apology, or who at least wish there were no such thing. While some would not go so far as to openly admit that they consider it a blemish on the Divine character, yet they are far as regarding it with delight; they like not to think about it, and they rarely hear it mentioned without a secret resentment rising up in their hearts against it. Even those who are more sober in their judgment, not a few seem to imagine that there is a severity about the Divine wrath that makes it too terrifying to form a theme for profitable contemplation. Others harbor the delusion that God’s wrath is not consistent with His goodness, and so seek to banish it from their thoughts. … But what [says] the Scriptures? As we turn to them we find that God has made no attempt to conceal the facts concerning His wrath. He is not ashamed to make it known that vengeance and fury belong unto Him. … A study of the concordance will show that there are more references in Scripture to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than there are to His love and tenderness. Because God is holy, He hates all sin; and because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner [Psalm 7:11 | God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day].[1]

 

NT 

Romans 1:18 | For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

 

Romans 9:22 | What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.

 

  • Gk. orge [pronounced: or-gay] – noun / means: A vigorous upsurge of one’s nature against someone or something [translated:] anger, wrath, indignation … (2) as the divine reaction against evil, bringing judgment and punishment both historically and in the future[.][2]  

 

OT

Psalm 6:1 | O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger [aph], nor discipline me in your wrath [chemah]. [ESV] / [“hot displeasure” – KJV]

 

  • He. aph [prounounced af] – means: It is the word for “nose” or “face” – How such a word came to be used to express wrath has been traditionally explained by the common notion that “snorting” or “wheezing” through the nose is indicative of anger.[3]
  • He. chemah [pronounced khay-maw] – means: has the primary meaning of “heat” but most frequently is translated with “fury” or “wrath”. The KJV captures the intensity of the emotion expressed with this term by rendering it … as “hot displeasure” (Deut. 9:19; Pss. 6:1; 38:1). basically equivalent to the English “to love” in the sense of having a strong emotional attachment to and desire either to posses or be in the presence of the object.[4]

 

Holman Bible Dictionary[5]

Wrath, Wrath of God –  Used to express several emotions, including anger, indignation, vexation, grief, bitterness, and fury. It is the emotional response to perceived wrong and injustice. … When used of God, wrath refers to His absolute opposition to sin and evil. … God’s wrath is not capricious [fickle/whimsical[6]] but is always a moral and ethical reaction to sin. … God’s wrath is real, severe, and personal. The idea that God is not angry with sinners belongs neither to the OT not to the NT. God is a personal moral being who is unalterably opposed to evil and takes personal actions against it. Wrath is the punitive righteousness of God by which He maintains His moral order, which demands justice and retribution for injustice.

 

WRATH

Wayne Grudem[7]

If God loves all that is right and good, and all that conforms to his moral character, then it should not be surprising that he would hate everything that is opposed to his moral character. God’s wrath directed against sin is therefore closely related to God’s holiness and justice. God’s wrath may be defined as follows: God’s wrath means that he intensely hates all sin. … As with the other attributes of God, this is an attribute for which we should thank and praise God. … we rightly imitate this attribute of God when we feel hatred against great evil, injustice, and sin.

 

 A. W. Pink[8]

The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil. It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin. It is the moving cause of that just sentence which He passes upon evildoers. …divine wrath is one of the perfections of God … [is] clearly established by the expressed declaration of His own Word.

  • Romans 1:18 | For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven.
  • Psalm 95:11 | So I swore in My wrath, They [Israel] shall not enter into my rest.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:11 | Knowing therefore the terror [fear of His wrath] of the Lord, we persuade men …

Steven J. Lawson[9]

The wrath of God is an expression of His holiness.

The wrath of God is a necessity of His holiness.

  • This is because God is infinitely pure and hates sin and loves righteousness. He cannot be neutral toward sin. He must judge against all impurity – the opposite of His
  • holiness.

Characteristics of God’s Wrath

 

  1. It is Abiding – God’s wrath is abiding on the world now.
  • Individuals – Romans 1:18 | The wrath of God is revealed from  heaven. / Cf. “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards.
  • Nations – Psalm 2:12 | Kiss the Son, lest He be angry … His wrath is kindled but a little.

 

  1. It is Catastrophic – God’s wrath can utterly destroy all in its path.
  • The Genesis Flood – Genesis 6:9-13 | … And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
  • Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 19:13 | For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.
  • Earth and the heavens will be dissolved – 2 Peter 3:12 | looking for and hastening the day of God,  because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with a fervent heat. Cf. Jude vv. 14-15.
  1. It is Consequential – You reap what you sow!
  • Galatians 6:7 | Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for what ever a man sows, that he will also receive.
    • Herod the king – allowed himself to worship as god – Acts 12:20-23 | The Lord struck him because he did not give glory to God.
    • Revelation 19:20 | The beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Cf. Revelation 20:10.
  1. It is Abandonment – Reject God and His gospel He will abandon you!
  • Romans 1:24, 26, 26 | God gave them over …
  • Proverbs 1:24-29 | They will seek me diligently, but they will not find Me.

 

  1. It is Eternal – God’s wrath will last forever

 

  • Nations that reject Him – Matthew 25:31-46 | All these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
  • Individuals – not of God – Revelation 20:12-15 |  Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
  1. Not to be Feared in Jesus Christ – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, 10 | … wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Closing Thot:

 

God’s wrath is awesome …it is part of God’s being, it is His very nature[10], as much as His love or holiness. His wrath is perfect and non-prejudicial as to respect of persons. Consequently those who face His wrath can be assured that it is dispensed justly and correctly – Genesis 18:25.

Wrath Displayed:

Numbers 16:41-50 | … Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. …

Psalm 2:2-6 | … The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed … He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.

 

Psalm 88:15-18 | I have been afflicted … I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught. Your fierce wrath has gone over me … they engulf me altogether. …

Romans 9:22 | What if God wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.

Ephesians 2:1-3 | And you He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked … [conducting] ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-9 | … Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. … For God di not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  

 

Revelation 16:19 | … great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.

[1] A. W. Pink, Attributes, 82-83.

[2] USB, 521; Friberg, 284.

[3] Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1688.

[4] Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1688.

[5] Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1688-1689.

[6] F&W Dictionary, vol. 1, 92.

[7] Grudem, 205-206.

[8] Pink, Attributes, 83-84 (adapted).

[9] Lawson, “The Wrath of God”.

[10] Holloman, Kregel Dict., 598.

February 21, 2015

Attributes of God – The Love of God

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The Love of God

 

NT –– 1 John 4:8, 16 | He who does not love [agapo] does not know god, for God is love

[agape]. … God is love [agape] …

 

            1 John 4:19 | We love [agapo] {Him[1]} because He first loved [agapo] us.

 

  • Gk. agapao/agape – verb/noun – means: Agape and agapo are used [of God] in the NT … expresses the deep and constant “love’ and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects … [= unconditional, unearned divine love]. These Greek words are rarely used in extrabiblical Greek[2]  

 

OT –– Jeremiah 31:3 | The LORD appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved [ahab]

You with an everlasting love [ahavah]; therefore with lovingkindness [chesed] I

have drawn you.

 

  • He. chesed – means: unselfish love, loyal, and benevolent intention and commitment toward another. This term refers to covenant love. Jehovah is the God who remembers and keeps His covenants in spite of the treachery of people.[3]
  • He. ahab/ahabah (ahavah) – verb/noun – means: basically equivalent to the English “to love” in the sense of having a strong emotional attachment to and desire either to posses or be in the presence of the object.[4]

 

 

LOVE

 

Kregel Dictionary of the Bible and Theology[5]

Love  –  Is a communicable[6] attribute of the essential being of God.

 

Wayne Grudem[7]

God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others. This definition understands love as self-giving for the benefit of others. This attribute shows that it is part of his nature to give of himself in order to bring about blessing or good for others.

 

C. D. Cole[8]

Love – From [His] point of view love is the greatest thing in God. Without love His justice would cut us off; His holiness would put us out of His sight; and His power would destroy us. Love is the one hope of sinners, and our greatest concern should be to discover God love to us.

 

The love of God may be defined as that eternal principle of His nature by which He is moved to bestow eternal and spiritual blessings. Love is the moving cause of all His acts of mercy and grace. The love of God is the guarantee that all things work together for the ultimate good of His people; it is the basis of all His redeeming activities.

 A. W. Pink[9]

God is love – it is not simply that God “loves,” but that He is Love itself. Love is not merely one of His attributes, but His very nature.

Milburn Cockrell[10]

The God of the Bible is the unfailing source of all love. Love is the very essence of the nature of God: yea, God is love itself. It is not that God attained love, not that He by any effort maintains love; it is said in our text [1 John 4:8 | “God is love”] that the structure of His being is love. There is no part of His nature which lacks this element. Without this attribute, God would not be what He is.

 

Characteristics of God’s Love[11]

 

1. It is Free/Uninfluenced. By this we mean, there was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it into exercise, nothing in the creature to attract or prompt it, “The Lord did not set His love upon you because [???] …” (Deut. 7:7-8). Cf. Romans 5:8.

 

2. It is Eternal/Immutable). This is of necessity. God Himself is eternal, and God is love; therefore, as God Himself had no beginning, His love has none. There was never a time when God did not love His people, and there will never be a time when will not love them. He loved us as much before we were saved as He does since we have been saved, “… I have loved you with an everlasting love …  (Jeremiah 31:3). Cf.  Ephesians 1:3-6..

3. It is Sovereign. This is self-evident. God Himself is Sovereign, under no obligations to noe, a law unto Himself, acting always according to His own imperial pleasure. Since God is sovereign, and since He is love, it necessarily follows that His love is sovereign. Because God is God, He does as He pleases; because God is love, He loves who He pleases. “Jacob I have loved, Esau I have hated” (Romans 9:10-13). Cf. Romans 8:28-30.  

 

4. It is Effectual.  God loves His own and reveals Himself to them, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God! (1 John 3:1). Cf. 1 John 4:19.

5. It Demonstrated. God is love and He manifests what He is. Love is not some idle attribute in our God. “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent His only begotten Son …” (1 John 4:7-11). Cf. Romans 8:28-39.

 

6. Love is Holy/Just/Perfect. God’s love is based upon the principles of His holiness. There is never any conflict between the attributes of holiness and love. In the darkness of this world of sin – in all the sorrow and suffering – and even in the torment of the wicked in Hell – we can be certain that God is just in His benevolence rule over all, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25), in His wrath and His wisdom. Cf. Exodus 33:19/Romans 9:14-16; 11:33-36; Jude v. 25.

To those whom He bestows His love upon (Romans 9:10-14) His gives faith to believe that He is great in His mercy, “because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses (Ephesians 2:4-5). Cf. Psalms 103:11; James.5:20.

 

Closing Thot:

 

R. C. Sproul[12]

God is love, and love is of God, and all who love in the sense of the agape [unconditional love] of which the Scriptures speak are born of God. His love is an attribute that can be imitated, and we are called to do just that.

 

John 15: 9-10 | As the Father loved Me, I also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. Cf. John 13:1 | … He loved them to the end.

God is love.

It is His very nature.

[1] Not found in the NB (Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (N) and the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (U); however, the Majority Greek New Testament (M) and the Textus Receptus Greek New Testament (TR) does include “auton” = him in the text.

[2] Vine, 381, 382; Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1054.

[3] Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 1054.

[4] Vine, 141.

[5] Holloman, Krekel Dictionary, 300.

[6] Communicable attributes are those which God shares with us to some degree. Example: 1 John 4:19 | We love because He first loved us.

[7] Grudem, 198-199.

[8] Cole, 118.

[9] Pink, Attributes, 77.

[10] Cockrell, 49.

[11] Cole, 118-120; Pink, Attributes, 77-81; Cockrell, 49-57.

[12] Sproul, 67.

February 13, 2015

Attributes of God – The Grace of God

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The Grace of God

 

NT ––

 

Ephesians 1:5-7, 9 | Having predestined us … according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace … In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace … which He purposed in Himself.

 

Romans 11:5-6 | Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

 

  • Gk. charis – Is [translated] “grace” or “favor” | [It is] the acceptance of and goodness toward those who cannot earn or do not deserve such gains. Favorable regard.[1] I refer to this grace of God as His “Unmerited Favor” – His “Marvelous, Infinite Grace!”

 

OT ––

 

Genesis 6:9 | … Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Exodus 33:19 | … I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious … [KJV]

 

  • He. chenDescribes that which is favorable or gracious, especially the favorable disposition of one person toward another [finding favor].[2] 
  •  

GRACE

 

Kregel Dictionary of the Bible and Theology[3]

Grace – All that God does in undeserved love to benefit human beings in general and His children in particular. … Christians tend to describe God’s grace, especially in salvation, as unmerited favor, lavished according to His loving will. This definition is helpful in emphasizing fallen humanity’s unworthiness, so long as humans realize that there is no such things as “merited favor” before God. Humans can give God nothing He requires (Pss 49:7-9; 50:7-15), so any attention God gives to human welfare is grace. God’s grace includes His attitude of lovingkindness and any action or thought on their behalf.

 

Holman Bible Dictionary[4]

Grace – Undeserved acceptance and love received from another. Although the biblical words for “grace” are used in a variety of ways, the most characteristic use is to refer to an undeserved favor granted by a superior to an inferior. When used of divine grace toward mankind, it refers to the underserved [unmerited] favor of God in providing salvation for those deserving condemnation.

 

Wayne Grudem[5]

Grace means God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.

 C. D. Cole[6]

Grace is one of the Divine perfections or attributes in the nature of God which is exercised in the salvation of sinners.

 

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 | For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [ESV]

 

Quoting:

Alexander Maclaren | The word grace is a kind of shorthand for the whole sum of unmerited blessings which come to men through Jesus Christ. Primarily, it describes what we, for want of a better expression, have to call a ‘disposition’ in the Divine nature; and it means the unconditional, undeserved, spontaneous, eternal, stooping, pardoning love of God. But there are no idle dispositions in God. They are always energizing, and so the word glides from meaning the disposition, to meaning the manifestations and activities of it, and the grace of our Lord is that love in exercise. And then, since the Divine energies are never fruitless, the word passes over further, to mean all the blessed things in the soul which are consequences of the Promethean truth of God’s loving hand, the outcome in life of the inward bestowment which has its cause, its sole cause, in God’s ceaseless, unexhausted love, unmerited and free.

[?] Phillips | Grace is something in God which is at the heart of all His redeeming activities, the downward stoop and reach of God, bending from the heights of His majesty, to touch and grasp our insignificance and poverty.

  • John 1:14, 17 | And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. … For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. [ESV]

 A. W. Pink[7]

Grace is a perfection of the Divine character which is exercised only toward the elect. … Grace is the sole source from which flows the goodwill, love, and salvation of God unto His chosen people. … Abraham Booth defines this attribute of the Divine character as “the eternal and absolute free favour [sic.] of God, manifested in the vouchsafement [sic.] of spiritual and eternal blessings to the guilty and the unworthy.”

Divine grace is the sovereign and saving favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them. Nay, more; it is the favor of God shown to those who not only have no positive deserts of their own, but who are thoroughly ill-deserving and hell-deserving. It is completely unmerited and unsought, and is altogether untracked by anything in or from or by the objects upon which it is bestowed. Grace can neither be bought, earned, nor won by the creature. If it could be, it would cease to be grace. When a thing is said to be of “grace” we mean that the recipient has no claim upon it, and that it was nowise due him. It comes to him as pure charity, and, at first, unasked and undesired. [Cf. Romans 11:6.]

  • Romans 11:6 | … if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. [ESV]

Stephen Lawson[8]

Grace is “the greatness of God’s glory!”

Grace is “God’s unmerited favor – we deserve Hell – Grace is what we do not deserve!”

 

 

Grace Bestowed:

 

  1. Is Free – unmerited, undeserved, cannot be earned, it is a gift –
  • Romans 3:21-25 | But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets testify to it –– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. [ESV] 

Cf. Ephesians 2:8-9 (God’s gift); Romans 11:6 (of grace not works).

  1. Is Eternal – in eternity past God choose His elect –
  • 2 Timothy 1:9 | Who [God – v. 8] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. [ESV]
  1. Is Sovereign – it is His selection, not ours –
  • Ephesians 1:3-6 | Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ … even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace … [ESV] 

Cf. Exodus 33:19 (gracious to whom he is gracious); Romans 11:5 (a remnant, chosen by grace).

  1. Is Far-reaching – is made real to all men [Jews/Gentiles – every kind] –
  • Titus 2:11 | For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. 

Cf. John Ch. 3 (Nicodemus – the teacher of Israel; John Ch. 4 (Samaritan woman – hated by the Jews); 2 Kings Ch. 5         (Naaman, the commander of the Gentile army of the king of Syria).      

 

  

  1. Is Mediated – in Jesus, the Son of God –
  • Romans 5:15 | But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. [ESV] –– CF. 1 Timothy 2:5; John 1:17.
  1. Is Saving – delivered from great danger / rescued from great peril –

 

  • Ephesians 1:7-8 | In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. [ESV]

 

Cf. Romans 3:24 & Titus 3:7 (justified by his grace); Acts 15:11 (saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus).

 

 

Closing Thot:

A. W. Pink[9]

 

There are three principal characteristics of Divine grace.

    • It is eternal – Grace was planned before it was exercised, purposed before it was imparted: “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Tim. 1:9) [KJV].
    • It is free – For none did ever purchase it: “Being justified freely by His grace” (Rom. 3:24) [KJV]
    • It is sovereign – Because God exercises it toward and bestows it upon whom He pleases: “Even so might grace reign” (Rom. 5:51) [KJV]. If grace “reigns” then it is on the throne, and the occupant of the throne is sovereign. Hence “the throne of grace” (Heb. 4:16) [KJV]. … Just because grace is unmerited favor, it must be exercised in a sovereign manner. … God is under no obligation to any of His creatures, least of all to those who are rebels against Him.

 

  • 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 | For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I but the grace of God which was with me.  

 

NOTE:   I refer to this grace of God as His “Unmerited Favor” – His “Marvelous, Infinite Grace” [bea]!

 

 

Steve Lawson[10]

Summation: He is Grace!

[1] Mounce, Dict., 303-304; Vine, 277.

[2] Mounce, Dict., 303.

[3] Holloman, Krekel Dictionary, 184-185.

[4] Brand, Holman Bible Dictionary, 678.

[5] Grudem, 200.

[6] Cole, 78-79 (adapted).

[7] Pink, Attributes, 66 (adapted).

[8] Lawson, “The Grace of God”.

[9] Pink, Attributes, 67 (adapted).

[10] Lawson, “The Grace of God”.

February 12, 2015

We Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ …

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Come see us at Providence Baptist - Cartersville, GA.

Come see us at Providence Baptist – Cartersville, GA.

February 5, 2015

Attributes of God – The Goodness of God

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The Goodness of God

 

NT –– Good / Goodness

 

Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 | … No one is good but One, that is, God. … Cf. Matthew 19:17

 

  • Gk. agathos – Describes that which, being “good” in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect [and] pertains to meeting a high standard of worth and merit. Syntax: nominative masculine singular noun. Translated: good.[1]

 

OT –– Good

 

Psalm 100:5 | For the LORD is good …

Psalm 106:1 | Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!

 

  • He. tobeAs a noun means: good, prosperity / adjective means good or well; it describes goodness, beauty, and moral uprightness … God himself is good, as is testified numerous times in Scripture … (Ps. 86:5; 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1 …).[2]  

 

GOOD / GOODNESS

 

Kregel Dictionary of the Bible and Theology[3]

The state of being characterized by ethical righteousness in conformity to God’s established moral order.

The Creator defines the moral parameters of what He has made, and He is by definition good, because He exists eternally and acts consistently with that order. Other things are good to the degree that their state approaches the absolute standard that God has set (cf. 2:17). For this reason, nothing except God can absolutely be identified as good (Mk 10:17-18; cf. Ps 16:2). … Because God does not change, he standard of goodness is constant.

 

Milburn Cockrell[4]

The whole character of God I summed up in the word “good.” Goodness in Him is not an accessory quality or a superadded gift, it is His nature and essence. God is an ocean of goodness without banks or bottom. He is positively and innately good; He is infinitely good. The original Saxon [West Germany origin] meaning of our English word “God” is “The Good.” … The goodness of God is the eternal principle of God’s nature which causes Him to be benevolent with His creation.

 

A. W. Pink[5]

The “goodness” of God refers to the perfection of His nature … There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in it, and nothing can be added to it to make it better.

Quoting: Thomas Manton –

  1. He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God.
  2. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence.
  3. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good.
  4. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him.

Wayne Grudem[6]

The goodness of God means that God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval. … That is to say, there is no higher standard of goodness than God’s own character and his approval of whatever is consistent with that character.

 

Stephen Lawson[7]

Goodness  …

 

Psalm 119:68 | You [God] are good, and do good …

His name in our English language – “God” – comes from the derivative of the German [Saxon] word for “The Good”.

 

God’s Good/Goodness is displayed in Scripture in two ways:

1. In His nature.

2. Because of His nature.

 

 

1. God is GOOD in His nature –

Psalm 34:8 | Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good.

Romans 2:4 | … do you despise the riches of His goodness … not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

 

2. God does GOOD because of His nature –

A. Good to All of His creation –

  • Psalm 33:5 | … The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
  • Matthew 6:26 | Look at the birds of the air … your heavenly Father feeds them …

B. Good to the unbelievers –

  • Psalm 25:8 | Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
  • Matthew 5:45 | … your Father in heaven … makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust.

C. Good to believers –

  • Psalm 84:11 | For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
  • Matthew 7:7-11 | Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

D. Good to Us in His Providence –

  • Deuteronomy 8:10-16 | Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God … who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the rock of flint; who fed you with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test  you, to do good in the end … | Cf. Genesis 50:19-20.
  • Romans 8:28 | And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called, according to His purpose.

E. Good to Us in His Sovereignty –

  • Exodus 33: 19 | Then He [the LORD to Moses] said, I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
  • James 1:17-18 | Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought forth us by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruit of His creatures.

 

Closing Thot:

A. W. Pink[8]

The goodness of God is the life of the believer’s trust. It is this excellency in God which most appeals to our hearts. Because His goodness endureth [sic] forever, we ought never to be discouraged: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon –

“When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that he is god. We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; His dispensations may vary, but His nature is always the same.”

[1] Gk. agaqoV – Syntax: here a nominative masculine singular noun, Friberg, 30; meaning: pertaining to meeting a high standard of worth and merit – [translated:] good, BDAG, 3;  Vine, 273.

[2] Mounce, Dict., 300.

[3] Holloman, Krekel Dictionary, 179.

[4] Cockrell, 58.

[5] Pink, Attributes, 57.

[6] Grudem, 197.

[7] Lawson, “The Goodness of God”.

[8] Pink, “Attributes”, 60.

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