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September 23, 2020 2:00 am
The subject matter of God is the loftiest of all subjects and the pinnacle of all pursuits. As Skip shares the message "Can God Be Known?" he helps you discover who God is and how you can know Him personally.
This teaching is from the series The Biography of God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God or some component were they just don't have it right about the nature and character of God is so for example if a person says I'm lonely. Could be that they don't really understand the love of God or the accessibility of God. Plus I feel useless I feel inadequate. They need a fresh dose of the fatherhood of God, who sees his children is not only redeemed but by everybody has an opinion about God. What do you spend time in your Bible to know you today on connect with script height script begins a series exploring the biography of God should get a clear picture of his character. First, Skip wants to invite you to connect with him on social media. A pastor Skip here if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest from this ministry follow at Skip Heitzig sick on Facebook, twitter and Instagram that Skip HPI TZIG don't forget the Bible makes it clear that God wants us to know him and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. Not only share these difficult teachings of friends like you as much as possible and when you support this ministry to help keep these messages left on the air, right now to get 819 to 1800 9218 or is it connected skip.com/donate. That's connect with.com/donate. Thank you in Hebrews chapter 11 as we dive into the teaching with Skip Heitzig of always love the story about the kindergarten teacher who gave an assignment or class. The assignment was to draw a picture of something that was important to them. So each of the students started drawing little Johnny sitting in the back of the classroom head down worked very diligently on his picture will everybody turned in their assignments except Johnny was still working feverishly on his drawing, which caused the teacher to be a bit curious and she said out loud in the class.
Having everyone else's assignment Johnny what are you drawing without even looking up.
John is that I am drawing God and she said platonic. Nobody knows what God looks like in Johnny without looking up. Without missing a bit beat said well they will when I'm through I have a hunch that the reason we laugh at.
That is because of the confidence we would say overconfidence that Johnny had in thinking he knew exactly what God look like if Johnny were an adult and would have said that we would call it arrogance. Now I'm a little hesitant in giving this title to a series, the biography of God, and I hesitate because I don't want to sound presumptive like little Johnny I want you to think that will and I alone know what God is like. And now I'm to finally divulge to the world what that is. That's far from the truth as is the truth.
The truth is I am a fellow traveler on the same road that you are on and we have access to the same information the same documents but I hope to offer a fresh perspective on God himself, and this is the biography of God. What I mean by that is the dictionary definition Webster calls biography with this definition. It's an account of someone's life written by someone else will.
That's exactly what we have in the pages of Scripture. The authors of the Bible speak freely and write freely about God about what God wants and doesn't want and who God is, etc., etc. and by their writings.
We have a verbal picture we have, in essence, a biography of God. While we want to examine some basic questions in this next few weeks several weeks does God exist. How do we know God exists and what is he like what about others beliefs systems is a whole host of different beliefs people have, from atheism to agnosticism to polytheism to deism to pantheism and there's a few other theism is it will probably find and throw in there and and how valid are they are invalid are they, another question why is God invisible to us. He spirit we don't see him. What's up with that. How do we have a personal relationship with a person you never see. Then there's the question about how powerful is God. What can God do what can't God do or what does God choose not to do. Does God know everything is God really everywhere.
And what about the holy character of God, the holiness of God. What is that mean exactly and why is that important to us in our daily lives.
Those questions and others. We want to examine why am I doing this why what why a series on God himself. Three reasons I'm doing this. Number one because it's universal. There is not a person alive or who is ever been alive, who is not grappled with the question of God does God exist. How can I know it. Everybody at some point deals with the from children to adults to astute philosophers, and even if they don't believe in God.
They want to take films or write books and weigh in on why they don't, it's universal.
Second reason I'm doing the series it's inspirational. There's nothing more elevating to mankind than the study of God himself or for our purposes. Let me let me throw this way there's nothing more edifying to the child of God and the study of God himself so we want to do that. I noticed something in the last series we did about heaven.
It was a series words you remember we followed what happens to a believer from the moment of death all the way through the eternal state.
17 weeks of dealing with that and I watched how elevating that wise and comforting and encouraging because some of you have loved ones who are in heaven and you were able to at least for once a week. Escape the morass of the earthly the taxes the election the problems and put your mind on things above, as Paul tells us to do in Colossians very edifying while all God centered teaching and preaching will do that elevates us that's theocentric teaching. That's what we want to do with his series like Kevin I seen the other kind of preaching and teaching anthropocentric man centered preaching and it's all about me.
It's all about my needs, my marriage, my children, my job, my life in the Bible has answers to all that, but there's something uniquely elevating about focusing not on me, but on God will do something to you. It'll do something to the third reason that I'm doing this series is not only is it universal.
Not only is it inspirational, but it is third consequential think about this. There's far more at stake if you get this wrong than anything else is far more at stake if you get that God issue messed up they can mess up everything so far more at stake. There's a name on the throw out and if you've heard of Mortimer J. Adler, but if you've ever read Encyclopaedia Britannica know that for years. Mortimer J. Adler was the chief editor of that series of books and astute thinker, philosopher, while Mortimer J.
Adler was also the coeditor of 55 volumes of water called the greatest books of the Western world, and in that series of 55 volumes that housed some of the greatest essays and writings of the greatest contributors to Western thought. Note the longest essay and of those 55 volumes is about God is more space devoted to God.
The longest essay is about God and Mortimer J. Adler was asked why and so he stated simply because more consequences for life follow from that one issue than any other that is true, it is consequential, not just for the person who gets it wrong, but I would say it's consequential for those of us who have it right for the Christian for the Christian it's consequential knowing or not knowing things about God is what I mean.
I discovered as a pastor and I think that this would resonate with my pastoral staff. We get people in the offices week by week and we are able to counsel with him about life issues. It's a privilege we counted a privilege, but I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an in adequate view of God or some component where they just don't have it right about the nature and character of who God is. So for example if a person says I'm lonely. It could be that they don't really understand the love of God or the accessibility of God or of a person comes in and says I feel worthless.
I feel useless I feel inadequate.
Maybe they need a fresh dose of the fatherhood of God, who sees his children as not only redeem but uniquely loved by him or for example if somebody comes in who's trapped by sin or by worldliness. Maybe they lost sight of the holiness of God or the ultimate knowledge that God knows everything and sees everything, but you can trace almost every problem that a Christian faces from an in adequate view of God. So the biography of God is what we start this morning and I'm asking you to turn to Hebrews chapter 11, I trust you brought your Bibles. We were to read a few verses together now.
I think most of you know about Hebrews 11, you know, it's all about what faith is. The subject matter of fact. Hebrews 11 is called the hall of faith or the Hall of Fame of faith itself whole bunch of folks from the past, all of whom have faith in God walked with God knew God and all by the component of faith.
So verse one is faith described verses two through 31 is faith exemplified and then verse 32 through 40 is faith summarize this whole chapter. The question before us is can God be known and let's read together the first six verses now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen for by it the elders obtained a good testimony by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts and through it he being dead still speaks. By faking it was translated so that he did not see death and was not found, because God had translated him for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God, but 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 diligently seek him. It's that six verse that we want to camp on this morning, and unpack for you this morning to great realities to great responsibilities all in that one verse to great realities.
God exists and God is personal. The two great responsibilities to acknowledge that to come to grips with that requires faith and pursuit, and I will explain that first of all the obvious first reality God exists for notice in verse six without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is.
Or you could translated that God exists. The most fundamental question of the universe is does God exist because if God doesn't exist, then we populate this planet by chance. There's no there's no design there's no purpose. If God doesn't exist, then Sigmund Freud was right when he said God is an infantile illusion that should be discarded. If God doesn't exist, then, Ludvig Feuerbach, the philosopher was right when he said God is a mere projection of our humanity. If God doesn't exist and Karl Marx was right when he asserted that the material is all that matters.
There is no heaven there is no hell if God doesn't exist in Friedrich Nietzsche, who taught nihilism was right when he said that our existence is senseless and useless so if there is no God. And if there all right and if we're in this universe all alone and there's a deeper question question is, what's the point what's the point if were not here by design. If there is in a God then what's the point of life Russian novelist Theodore Dostoyevsky said if there is no God. Everything therefore is permitted in the first thing that is permitted is despair, he's right is the logical conclusion. If there is no God Nicholas Cage great after but an empty one admitted this. I wonder if there's a whole in the soul of my generation we've inherited the American dream, but what we take it, let's turn the page and hours turned the corner. If God does exist, then there's a whole host of questions that follow like okay what's he like what is you want what is you require. What is he love. What is you not love and the great reality is is will discover in the next couple weeks is God does exist and the evidence is abundant all around us. In fact, all even assert this if you're an atheist you have way more faith than I have.
It takes more faith to hold that position.
Given the evidence for God than to not be an atheist and believe in Christ so I congratulate you. You're a man or woman of great faith. If you're an atheist. This morning I've met a lot of them and talk to a lot of atheist and a sometimes when I speak to an atheist and they say they don't believe in God and asked him why some of them are intellectually honest as they grapple with the whole God question, but I found a lot of them haven't done their homework and I discovered that a lot of atheists hold the position of atheism for moral reasons, not intellectual reasons because if now they're open to the possibility that there is a God.
It means there's an accountability to that one means I have to stop certain things that I've done or am doing in my life in a moral level, and so I won't even entertain the idea that there is a God, for moral reasons, not for intellectual reasons someone will put it in atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman because he's not looking form and I aim to show you and you don't have to look very far to discover God start on that next week, but even Albert Einstein said. Certainly there is a God. Any man who doesn't believe in a cosmic force is a fool, but we could never know him, and with all due respect, Albert Einstein.
I know he's not here to defend himself. That's where I part with him is a brilliant or was a brilliant man, far more brilliant than I would ever imagine to be, but I would contend with him on this point there is a God, he is not a cosmic force he can be known because he is personal that brings us to the second great reality.
Not only does God exist, but God is personal.
Notice how the writer of Hebrews. In verse six frames. It he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Not only does God exist. God can interact with those that he is made he is able as a person to be personal to love to care to reward as it says those who diligently seek him. Years ago I found a book and I read it and I have since read it and reread it and reread it so frayed. The covers fallen off the book I recommend to you: knowing God by JI Packer and I'll admit to you was the title that sold me. I member walking by it in the store and seeing this huge print. Knowing God, and it was as if my heart lunged toward as I longed to know God more personally more intimately and I discovered among even the most astute Christian and active Christian that there is this vast unfed hunger to know God personally lies just beneath the surface of all of our busy church leader activities. We want to know God, because we read in the Bible how God walked with Adam, God spoke to Moses and reread stuff like that we go, what about us. Listen to the words of a struggle or another great book that I found written by Tim Stafford.
He talks about the struggle he says I did not lack for intellectual satisfaction or for demonstration of God's power. I saw him changing lives on a man-to-man level. Christianity was wonderful. It was the man to God level that I felt shaky about. I wanted more. I have come to realize since that I was not alone in my longing. But whatever the conversation moves to the subject of knowing God. Listeners grow suddenly quiet and attentive. For a long time.
I thought this was a disapproving silence. I know now that it's the silence that falls in a room of hungry people whenever someone talks of food. How do you have a personal relationship with God.
Just think about that how can you have a personal relationship with the ultimate person.
The unique one.
There's no one like him. He is invisible. How do you have a personal relationship with him will discover how will discover how as I said his personality crowds the world around us if the Bible carries one repeated message, it's the message that God wants to be known was that the cry of Paul's heart. After 30 years of ministry and life and sacrifice. Even the great apostle that I might know him the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering, he prayed that so the two great realities. There is a God, he exists and that is personal. He rewards there's two great requirements.
The following the same text first requirement is faith. You'll notice in verse six. Faith is spoken about or eluted to three times but without faith. That's the first one. It's impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that's the second time that he is that he exists and that, or that is, believe that this the third time that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Okay, believe is absolutely essential in your spiritual journey at some point. It's a require an act of faith here is what because we are unable to see God.
At least for now, we are unable to hear his voice audibly like you're hearing my voice right now. For now, because of that, as Paul said, we live by faith and not by sight of the, time, and you don't need faith any longer.
You be in heaven. You need to place your trust in God you're there with them, but until then, we live in that realm. We live by faith not by sight. There's plenty of evidence of God, and you can examine all of that evidence, but is still the require a level of safe on your part.
When I talk about faith is more than mere acknowledgment that Skip Heitzig with the message from the series the biography of God to share about an exciting resource struggles so you can experience enriching transformation. I've enjoyed watching the growth in the ministry of my friend Levi Lustgarten this month's connect with Skip resource. Take back your life a new book by Levi Lesko personally bided tell you about it, it's all around this idea. Taking back your life is a 40 day interactive journey thinking right so you can live right. This can be really powerful and specializing some people to have this only as an hardcover, which just makes me happy because I never had a book release in hardcover but has a ribbon so you really keep track of your progress through these 40 days.
It would be an incredible gift to someone who is looking to grow in their faith or for any of us you want to maybe conduit and oil change for your heart. Check online on your wellness on where you're at little deal with internal difficulties and help you deal better with external circumstances that are challenging as we explore how we can get to the very best version of ourselves that we are meant to be the book take back your life with a donation of $35 to connect with skip: 1-800-922-1888 online and connectwithskip.com this hardcover book by Levi Lesko will help you take back your life. It's a 40 day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right 1-800-922-1888. We are excited to share how God uses support from friends like you to connect others to his word with this letter. One person posted. I cannot begin to say how much I've learned from listening to Skip expository explanations of Scripture. I'm legally blind and have never been able to study with commentary and now I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me unique stories like this when possible gift to connect more people to God's truth and we invite you to reach even more people by getting a gift firstname.lastname@example.org/donate and help reach more people with password connect.com/donate or call 892 8892 thank you tune into my Skip Heitzig six years have a more intimate personal relationship with the God of the one thing to go.
Yes, I have all of the adequate information and I acknowledge that there is a God who exists somewhere out there because that's nothing. Biblical faith is more than acknowledgment mental assent look at it more like a receiving of the keyword. Biblical faith is when you your eternal life with Skip Heitzig presentation of connection communication through ever-changing time