God is actively participating in our lives. In Patriarchal ages and throught the Bible we see specific instances of God’s active involvement.
In this journey..
- Understand how proactively and actively God is involved in our lives
- Get a glimpse of God’s attributes
- Know and connect with God in a deeper manner
- Understand the role of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit
- Summary of God’s interventions
- Our role
- Role of the Holy Spirit
- References – names of God
Note: Reference material is available in the notes section of the attached presentation below
God’s Direct Interventions
After the creation, was God a passive observer or an active participant? The bible indicates the latter.
- God was actively involved in people’s lives in numerous ways.
- He still is today though His communication may be less direct.
Out of the innumerable instances, some of His dimensions of involvement are given below.
The primary reason God created us is fellowship.
- God walked and talked with Adam
- Enoch walked with God
- Noah walked with God
In Genesis 5:24 we see that Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Just like that; snatched away without facing death!
- Judges Adam and Eve
- Informs Noah of the flood..
- Scatters people at Babel
- Discusses with Abraham destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, saving Lot.
- Appears to Abimelech
Genesis 19:29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
- God’s covenant with Noah
- God tells Rebekah that Jacob will rule Esau
- God gives Joseph dreams
- God gives butler, baker, dreams
- God gives Pharoah dreams
- God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son
- King of Salem appears to Abraham
So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people..”.
- God renames Abram as Abraham, blesses him and his descendents
- God renames Sara as Sarah.
- God blesses Joseph and everyone recognizes it
After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him.
- God appears to Abraham several times
- God appears to Isaac
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1
- God opens Rebekah’s womb
- God closes Rachel’s womb
- God opens Rachel’s womb
Genesis 29:31- When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.
Gen 30:22 – Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.
- God protects Sarah’s purity
- He protects Jacob as he returns from Laban’s house.
- ..and many more
Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
Some lessons we can learn from the patriarchs on our role and response to God:
- Faith – Abraham
- Obedience – Abraham
- Right fundamentals – Jacob
- Release – Jacob
- Remain in touch with God – (unlike) Isaac
- Purity – Joseph
- Patience – Joseph
- Perseverance – Joseph
- Legacy – All
- Any other?
Which aspects of our role do you need to focus on the most? Share.
God’s Activities from Genesis
Among many initiatives, God:
- Created us for fellowship
- Discusses his future plans with those close to him
- Blesses those who trust him for generations
- Answers specific prayers eg Abraham for Ishmael, Sodom.
- Tests our faith
- Makes us fruitful
- Helps us forget hurts, suffering
Divide into groups and discuss:
- Which characteristic of God touches you the most eg. Enact scenarios in groups of how God touched you, etc. Eg. exams, peer rejection, etc.
- How will that transform your life?
Summarise and share findings/ enact with whole team.
The Holy Spirit – GREAT GUIDE
- Gives and sustains life – physical, spiritual: Gen 1:2,26; 2:6,7;6:3,17
- Raids enemies – Judges 14:6,13
- Ends life when released..25:8
- Anoints: Anointing oil – symbol of Holy Spirit Ex 27:39
- Troubles eg. Pharoah – Gen 41:8
The Holy Spirit – GREAT GUIDE (Cont’d)
- Guides 1 kings 18:12
- Utters prophecies through people– num 26:29, 24:3
- Inspires speaking God’s word..” “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue.” 2 Sam 23:2
- Directs leaders- eg in Israel – Saul, David, Samson Judges 13:25, Jephthah (judges 11:29), etc
- Endows wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all manner of workmanship; Exo 35:31, 31:3
The Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is that divine power that brings life, controls life, guides, inspires talent and many others.
- Sensitivity to the Spirit draws us to God and allows us to be God’s vessels filled with the Spirit
- Hardness to the Spirit draws us away from God and allows us to be instruments of Satan and his spirits
Evil spirit, other spirits
- A spirit can be of devil – familiar spirit – Lev 20:27
- Evil spirit, lying spirit from God – 1 Kings 22:22,23
- There are types of evil spirits – however that isn’t the current focus of study
- Rebelling against the Holy Spirit makes God your enemy – But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them – Is 63:10
- God can harden our spirit when there is repeated rebellion– Deut 2:30
- A sensitive spirit results in humbling ourselves before God -2 Kings 22:9
Hardness and Sensitivity to the Spirit
- Entertaining sin in any form is allowing hardness and allowing satan to have a hold on us
- In the Old Testament, men and women of faith experienced the Holy Spirit.
- This is the same in the New Testament.
- Where there is more sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, there is more outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The outpouring experienced by the apostles after Jesus death is:
- Due to the high level of consecration in their lives
- Indicative of a greater outpouring when there is wider (more people) consecration around and after Jesus’ second coming starting with the Jews – Isa 44:3, Zech 12:10
New Testament Times
- In New Testament times, God’s church (representing all nations/ races, etc.) has direct, unilateral and personal access to God and His Spirit through Jesus
- Very few have leveraged that power and access – similar to the Old Testament days.
- Is our response as church of God, similar to that of the chosen nation Israel?
- It appears so from a big picture perspective.
The New Covenant
- A covenant is always two ways. God has done his bit. Have we? As a corporate community of His church??
- The new covenant will come fully into play when the response to God and His Spirit will complement God’s sovereign initiative of salvation.
- This will again be led by the Jews when the nation, every member of it aligns in obedience to God and joined by the saints of God after rapture.
The New Covenant
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to thegreatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will
forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
The New Covenant
- The New Covenant will be ushered in it’s fullness when God’s people respond to the Spirit in totality – every person, completely, without exception.
- Then the Spirit will be poured out as never before.
- As in the olden days, those who respond to God are instruments of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way, that may not even be highly visible to those around.
Discussion -The Holy Spirit
- In what ways do we resist the Holy Spirit? How can we be more sensitive?
- What are salient features of the new covenant from the response perspective from the above verse (Jeremiah 31:33-34)?
- How does it differ from what is often taught today?
- How does the “covenant” concept change the way we live?
Names of God
|1 Elohim: The plural form of EL, means “strong one
Compounds of El:
El Shaddai:“God Almighty.”
El Elyon:“The Most High God.”
El Olam:“The Everlasting God.”
2 Yahweh (YHWH): “to exist, be.” – the self-existent God
“The Lord will provide.”
“The Lord is my Banner.”
“The Lord is Peace.”
“The Lord of Hosts.”
“The Lord your Sanctifier.”
Names of God (Cont'd)
Used: 15 times in OT; 245 times in NT