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YWAM DTS Notes The Nature and Character of God by Peter
Three false views of God
1. Frankenstein view – He is a harsh taskmaster. With this view we tend to have
a response of fear. See Matt. 25:24
2. Father Christmas view – the indulgent view of God. The love of God is
interpreted as leniency, letting us get away with things. In this view,
discipline from God is perceived as harsh and not a part of God’s love. See
3. The God at a distance view. God is remote and not involved; He just set
things in motion like a clock. There is no anticipation of God’s involvement,
intervention and activity in daily life. See Ephesians 2:13
How to know God
Knowing God has to be intentional on our part. Rev. 1:12 “I turned and I saw…”
Knowing God has to do with setting time aside each day to seek Him. Psalm 27:4,
Knowing God means spending time dwelling with Him; it means gazing at Him,
singing, and praising Him. See Mary in Luke 10:38-42.
Meeting God in the morning is emphasized in Scripture; see Psalms 55:17; 59:16;
88:13; 90:14-15; 108:1-2; 143:8; and Song of Solomon 7:12-13
The day is His not mine and we need to be happy in it.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus
concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:18
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
He has our best interest at heart…He is always with us…He never fails us…Delight
yourself in the Lord…He will lead you…He will guide you…He will direct you
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Prov.3:6.…If
you are looking for direction in your life…acknowledge Him…He gives good
counsel…God is our delight…He loves us…He protects us…If you are going through a
rough place…call on Him…don't aimlessly seek direction…call on Him…don't dwell
on hurts…dwell on the all encompassing power of God. Choose to be happy, make it
a definite choice. Dwell on His provision. Dwell on His help. Dwell on His
promises. Delight yourself in Him.
What are some of the results of knowing God?
Grace and peace come into our lives through the knowledge of Him, see II Peter
1:2-3 and Psalm 36:10. Loving God and loving others is evidence of knowing Him,
see I John 4:7-8.
We stop habitual sin, see I John 3:6
We come to a place of delighting in obeying God, see I John 2:3-4
We learn to trust Him, see Psalm 9:10
One of the ways to know god intimately is to trust Him absolutely.
Knowledge of the Holy One brings understanding Proverbs 9:10
A love and an intimacy with God brings a love for His Word, see Psalm 119:24,
Purity comes from seeking Him through His Word, Psalm 119:9-11
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is
any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things Phil. 4:8
Knowing God through His Word brings understanding, Psalm 119:34, 104, 169.
In all your getting, get understanding. Prov. 4:7
The motivation to know God comes from understanding God has infinitely greater
value over anything else in our lives. But whatever things were gain to me,
those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Phil. 3:7 Nothing
should compare with knowing God, see Jer. 10:7.
There were three aspects to the knowledge of God that Paul pursued in Phil. 3:10
• The power of His resurrection
• The fellowship of His sufferings
• Becoming like Him in His death
Knowing Him gives great fire power for evangelism
The natural attributes of God, the essence of who He is
The natural attributes of God are those permanent qualities which belong to His
nature; those qualities without which He would not be God.
God is spirit John 4:24; I Peter 1:8
God is everlasting or eternal - endless in time Psalm 90:2
God is infinite – without measure
God is omnipresent – everywhere Gen. 17:1; Psalm 139:7-10; Jer. 23:24; 32:17-18.
God is omniscient – He knows everything Heb. 4:13; Rom. 11:33
God is omnipotent – all powerful
God is personal – John 10:3 My sheep hear My voice… He cares, He can speak, He
can be in relationship, He can be involved, even in the details.
God is triune, a trinity – three in One Matt. 3:15-17
We see in the Trinity the unity and diversity of God. The nature of God’s
oneness. Gen. 1:1; Gen. 1:26 Let Us make man in Our image…
I John 4:16
God is love I John 4:7-12, 16-17
God has a mind
• He can reason Is. 1:18a
• He has a memory Gen. 9:15; Ps. 111:5
• He has consciousness Is. 43:10b-11
• He has imagination, He is creative Gen. 1
• He has intellect Psalm 139:17-18
• He has emotions Gen. 6:6; Eph. 4:30, Mark 3:5
• He has a will Gen. 6:6-7
He lives in time. John 1:14; Gen. 18:1-10, 14, 21-23.
Summary of the nature of God
God is an invisible, personal, everlasting infinite trinity of loving beings.
The character or moral attributes of God
God’s character is what He chooses to do based on who He is. Choice is a major
factor in the development of character. Humans have habits, patterns of
practiced behavior. God exercises His character perfectly and is therefore the
model for the development of our character, Jer. 9:23-24. We are transformed
from our distorted views of God as we see Him for who He really is, or as we
know Him, Rom. 12:1-2; John 17:3.
For humans: Thought + choice + habit + character = destiny
God is love – the sacrificial unselfish choice to give for the highest good of
another person, John 3:16. God loves out of commitment or covenant. His covenant
is ratified and demonstrated by His sacrificial death on the cross, Rom. 5:8.
Psalm 15:4 indicates that God loves to His own hurt. Love is primarily a choice
to give. Biblical agape love is sacrificial. We show love through obeying Him,
God is holy. Holiness is the obedience to all know light. God is light, I John
1:5. God has all knowledge and He lives up to the knowledge that He has,
therefore He is the most holy. See I Peter 1:14-16, we are accountable for the
light that w have. What is light? Light is revealed truth, Psalm 119:130.
Holiness can be applied to us, in that we can be obedient to all known light.
Revelation comes in two ways:
The Logos –and reading and memorizing God’s inspired Word, see Hebrews 4:12 and
Rhema is a work quickened to you by the Holy Spirit for a particular situation,
Matt. 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word the proceeds from
the mouth of God.
God is merciful – not giving us what we deserve Psalm 103:10. We too are to be
merciful, see the story of the unmerciful servant in Matt. 18:21-35. Mercy is
demonstrated in the forgiveness of our sins and forgiving those who sin against
God is righteous – He is absolutely right in all His decisions toward mankind I
John 1:5; Deut. 32:4; Gen. 18:25; Job 34:10-12: Dan. 4:37; 9:14; Mal. 2:17; Rom.
3:5-6. Don’t judge God through your circumstances; judge your circumstances
God is just Psalm 9:16; 145:17; Jer. 12:1; Ez. 18:25-29; Neh. 9:33’ II Chron.
19:7; and Job 37:23.
God is wise. Wisdom is the loving use of knowledge. Proverbs 8:13 The fear of
the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted
mouth, I hate. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom. Wisdom
is the hatred and avoidance of evil. See Hebrews 1:9 and Romans 16:15, 19-20.
God is faithful – He can always be counted upon, always trusted, always
consistent. He always loves us, Eph. 3:19. He always shows up II Timothy 2:13.
He is absolutely faithful to keep His promises. He is absolutely consistent in
showing His love and provision, see Lam. 3:22-23.
God is unchanging (immutable) Heb. 13:8; Psalm 33:4; 108:4; 119:2; I Cor. 10:13;
II Tim. 2:13
God is truthful – willing to be open and transparent regarding ones character,
personality and actions, see John 1:18 and Hebrews 1:3.
I appreciated the lectures by Pete Brownhill and his use of Scripture. It was
good basic theology like I had in Bible College and seminary. He could add a few
attributes and further explanation. I appreciated His call for application and
for prayer, not just more head knowledge.
God is Immanent - though He is Transcendent, He is present, He can be known and
even lives within those of us who believe.
God is sovereign – He is the Ruler, in charge of all His creation
The Logos who is Jesus John 1:1, 14 Perhaps one of the most basic statements of
how God has revealed Himself to man is found in Hebrews 1:1-2: "In many and
various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last
days He has spoken to us by a Son." God has also revealed Himself in creation
I differ with him in use of the rhema – like logos it is a Greek word meaning
spoken word. In the past century a teaching has risen up in charismatic circles.
The teaching states that rhema means what God is saying to you personally, this
may supersede the scriptures; while logos is the written word and not a direct
revelation from God to you directly. We can see both words used interchangeably
in Scripture, which indicates that this teaching should be questioned. God is
not limited to only speak to us or lead us through the written Word of Scripture
but there is not a Scriptural basis for calling this leading rhema.
I differ with him in his definition of holy. The basic definition for holy or
holiness is to be set apart, set apart from evil, set apart for the use or
purposes of God, and to be pure and undefiled.
God is gracious – full of grace and giving gifts.
God is wise. He knows what is best.
I really appreciated his quote of George Mueller. An area I want to work on in
my life is being happy in God’s service. In the past five months I have found
myself snapping at people, and arguing with them, not being as pleasant as I
should be. George Mueller said, “I saw more clearly than ever, that the first
great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my
soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much
I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my
soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might
seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers,
I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave
myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in
the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day,
all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.”
When I have taught on being merciful, I often refer to the story of Mephibosheth
the son of Jonathan, who was shown mercy by King David for the sake of the
promise David made to Jonathan. Ephesians 4:32 says, Be kind one to another,
tender hearted forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ sake, has forgiven
Not only is God righteous in all His decisions but He is absolutely perfect.
God is just, He is a fair and impartial judge, He has set up laws and He
punishes sin. In justice, there is a recognized code of conduct. There are the
laws of God. In Matt. 5:17 Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the
Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Once laws are
established, people are expected to follow them. If they fail to, measures are
taken to punish the offenders. We as humans are unable to totally keep and
satisfy the laws of God. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Hebrews 10:30. For we know Him who
said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The LORD
will judge His people." 31. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the
living God. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift, (II Cor. 9:15) which
satisfies God’s perfect justice. Sinners must be punished, and without the
shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb. 9:22), and thus God became a man
and took the punishment for us.
Peter gives us eight steps in knowing God in II Peter 1:1-11
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained
a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior
Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God
and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that
pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his
own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very
great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in
the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For
this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and
virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with
steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly
affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and
abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of
our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted
and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren,
be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you
will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the
eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1-11)
The list given to us begins with faith and ends with love. The life changing
process of sanctification began when we first trusted Jesus Christ as Lord. For
many of us, we had little knowledge of God or the Bible when we made our initial
decision to become Christians. We placed our trust in Jesus, because He drew us.
The list Peter gives us is not something we work through once and then stop.
It's a pattern for day by day living for the rest of our lives. Peter is not
telling us how to be saved by good works, but rather about our giving God the
opportunity to mold us into the likeness of His Son.
Step Two is virtue which means that our new-found relationship with Christ will
lead us to make life-style changes. We desire to live a pure life in pursuit of
God. Repentance means to change your mind-to see things differently and to
change your behavior accordingly. Knowing Jesus causes our priorities to change.
We abandon old habits and put new activities in their place.
Step Three is further knowledge. As we apply the truth we have received, it
becomes part of who we are, and we then have the capacity to acquire new and
deeper truth. On the other hand, truth not acted on is lost. The Christian must
never stop leaning and growing.
Step Four, self control is also a part of the fruit of the Spirit. "The fruit of
the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to
Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live
by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no
provoking of one another, no envy of one another..." (Galatians 5:22-26).
Step Five, as we mature in Christ we become reliable, dependable, consistent,
and patient. We keep our promises.
Step six is godliness
Step seven, is to show brotherly concern and affection towards our fellow
Lastly step eight is the self-giving love which comes from God.
Peter says, “For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being
ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Adapted from THE EIGHT-FOLD WAY TO KNOWING GOD
A Study from the Second Epistle of Peter, Chapter One
By Lambert Dolphin
I was reminded of the basic theology I have known and studied for years.
I am thrilled to see the practical applications being made, so that it is not
just head knowledge but life changing application. Lots of scripture and lots of
prayer coupled with great worship and fellowship.
Areas God has brought to my attention
God is working on me to not be proud of past learning and experience. He is
teaching me to better work with teams. He is teaching me to be more expressive
and emotional in worship, stretching me out of my comfort zone. God is showing
me that I need to be happy and not so critical of others.
I am reminded again that I must devote more time to intimacy with God in having
more alone time with Him studying the Scriptures and praying.
I don’t know that I blame Satan for it, but I tend fill up too much time doing
good things rather than the best things. Being very busy with many activities, I
don’t at all like to be idle and see so many things that need to be done, but
sometimes this may be keeping me from the time I need with God.