A Summary of Christian Doctrine
An Adult Bible Study on the Basics of the Christian Faith
Lesson 2 — God and Creation
Opening Prayer and Introduction
What does the Bible say about who God is?
1. There is only ONE God.
Deuteronomy 6: 4
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."*
I Corinthians 8: 4
"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one."
2. God reveals Himself as THREE distinct persons.
Matthew 28: 19
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
Matthew 3: 16-17
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'"
To God the Father we ascribe the work of creation and preservation; to God the Son we ascribe the work of justification or redemption; and to God the Holy Spirit we ascribe the work of sanctification: The Father created the world and sent the Son to be our savior from sin; the Son redeemed us with His perfect life, obedient death and glorious resurrection; the Holy Spirit brings us to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Only God knows God, and He has revealed Himself to us, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, in His Wordk as the Triune God (three in one). The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is far beyond our reason; we simply trust God and His Word.
I Corinthians 2: 11
"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
John 17: 3 (Knowledge)
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
James 1: 21 (Assent)
"Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."
Psalm 31: 14 (Trust)
"But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.'"
What does the Bible tell us about the attributes of God?
John 4:24 (Spirit)
"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Psalm 90: 1-2 (Eternal)
"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God."
Malachi 3:6; Psalm 102: 27 (Unchangeable)
"I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."
"But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
Genesis 17: 1; Matthew 19: 26 (Omnipotent/Almighty)
"When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless'"
"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'"
John 21: 17 (Omniscient/All-knowing)
"The third time he said to him, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me?'" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time. 'Do you love me?'
Jeremiah 23: 24 (Omnipresent)
"'Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the Lord. 'Do not I fill heaven and earth?' declares the Lord."
Leviticus 19: 2 (Holy)
"'Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them, 'Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.'"
Dueteronomy 32: 4 (Just)
"He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."
II Timothy 2:13 (Faithful)
"if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself."
Psalm 145: 9 (Good, Kind and Merciful)
"The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made."
Exodus 34: 6-7 (Gracious)
"And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, 'The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7. maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.'"
What does the Bible say about how the world was created?
Genesis 1: 1 (By God)
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Genesis 1:3; Hebrews 11: 3 (From nothing using only His Word)
"And God said, 'Let there be light.' and there was light."
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
Exodus 20:11; Genesis 1:5 (In six natural and consecutive days)
"For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
"God called the light 'day' and the darkness he called 'night'. And there was evening and there was morning — the first day."
What does the Bible have to say about the creation of humanity?
Genesis 2: 7 (see also Genesis 2: 18-25) (Special care)
"And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being."
Genesis 1:26-27; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24 (In God's image; holy and perfect)
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
"and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."
"and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
* unless otherwise indicated, the Scripture passages are taken from the New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.