(From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
God never changes and His consistency extends to His whole person.
View God’s unchanging character as encouragement for present and
Respect God’s unchanging nature and exercise faith through
If God never changes and His ways never change, what about
technological changes? Are they good or bad?
What about God’s plan for the church (the people)?
What about God’s plan for salvation?
What about God’s plan for anything?
When is change good?
When is change not good?
What do you think about the changes happening in Christianity today?
Summary: Balak, king of Moab, sees Israel. He knows they have won
some important battles. He knows what God did to the Egyptians. He
now faces them and thinking, “We will be destroyed, too.” He
hires Balaam to curse Israel, but the message given to Balaam was
blessing Israel. So Balaam gets another message to give to Balak:
Numbers 23:19-20 (NKJV) God
is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should
repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will
He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He
has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
Name some characteristics of God from Numbers 23:19-20.
Is God going to change His mind concerning Israel?
How can we apply this to our lives?
Numbers 23:27-30 (NKJV) Then
Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another
place; perhaps it will please God that you may curse them for me from
there.” So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that overlooks the
wasteland. Then Balaam said to Balak, “Build for me here seven
altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and seven rams.” And
Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on every
Why does Balak keep trying to get God to change His mind?
What is God’s plan for Christians?
Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV) For
the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should
live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for
the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior
Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from
every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people,
zealous for good works.
Matthew 6:25-27 (NKJV) Therefore
I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what
you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not
life more than food and the body more than clothing? “Look at the
birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into
barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value
than they? “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his
Why does God care about us?
Does God’s standard of Christian living change through the
What about using new technology?
James 1:16-18 (NKJV) Do
not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every
perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will
He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of
firstfruits of His creatures.
What characteristic of God is taught here?
Does God’s character change or stay the same?
Theories (overly simplified)
Correspondence theory: something is true if it corresponds to reality
Coherence: something is true because it agrees with what I believe is
Constructivist: truth is what society has struggled with and come to
Consensus: truth is what a group says is truth
Positive: a belief works, so true
Negative: a belief does not work, so false
Nihilism: truth cannot be known
The correspondence theory agrees with Scripture:
By example: Samson: Judges 16:17-18 CSB - he
told her the whole truth and said to her, "My hair has never
been cut, because I am a Nazirite to God from birth. If I am shaved,
my strength will leave me, and I will become weak and be like any
other man." When Delilah realized that he had told her the
whole truth, she sent this message to the Philistine leaders: "Come
one more time, for he has told me the whole truth." The
Philistine leaders came to her and brought the silver with them.
By testimony: Proverbs 12:17 NLT - An
honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies.
By departing from what is true: 2 Timothy 2:18 CSB - They
have departed from the truth, saying that the resurrection has
already taken place, and are ruining the faith of some.
There were over 500 people who saw Jesus alive after He had been
crucified, buried, and resurrected. The group mentioned in this
passage knew that but chose to ignore reality and believe something
Are these verses of Scripture true?
Luke 4:18 (WPNT) The
Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me to
evangelize poor people. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to
proclaim release to captives and recovery of sight to blind people,
to send those who are oppressed out in freedom.
(If you notice most translations leave out the words He
has sent me to heal the brokenhearted.
Pickering writes: Perhaps
1.5% of the Greek manuscripts, of objectively inferior quality, omit
“to heal the brokenhearted” (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.).
So 98.5% of Greek manuscripts include these words).
John 3:16 (NKJV) For
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
James 1:5 CSB - Now
if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God —who gives to all
generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.
Does God lie?
The main Greek word for promise is ἐπαγγελίαepangelía
which has the idea of what is said will be done.
What good are God’s promises, if God changes?
Why are promises serious?
2 Peter 3:13 (NKJV) Nevertheless
we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in
which righteousness dwells.
Can we (the church) bring righteousness to the earth?
When will there be righteousness on the earth?
Romans 8:37-39 (WEB) No,
in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who
loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will
be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus
What if we feel that God has abandoned us?
How can we use these verses to help someone who feels abandoned by
How important is God’s love?
How should we love?
1 Corinthians 1:25 NLT - This
foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and
God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
Does God ever fail?
How can God have a foolish plan?
Why is God’s plan always the best?
How does God’s strength encourage you?
According to the Scope of Sequence, we will be studying in 2
The believer’s role as a steward of the gospel.
Views (3 broadly defined ways. There are variations in each group).
(From the TERCENTENARY EDITION of the Westminster Confession of
God’s Eternal Decree.
from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own
will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet
so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence
offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or
contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all
supposed conditions, yet hath He not decreed anything because He
foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such
By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men
and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others
foreordained to everlasting death.
doctrine that God eternally and unconditionally decreed all future
things necessarily follows from the fact that God is independent, all
knowing, and unchangeable, which is what chapter 2 of the confession
teaches. Since God is independent, it follows that His decree cannot
depend upon anything in the future or anything outside of Himself.
Since God knows all things, it follows that God must have first
decreed all things. And since God is unchangeable, it follows that
God must have an unchangeable decree at the foundation of all that He
How can God escape being the author of sin?
First general Calvinist answer: God decrees the highest desire and
the individual in their free will chooses that desire. This is
Second general Calvinist answer: Everything God does is holy, because
He is holy.
How can a person be judged and sentenced for doing God’s will?
is my view: God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to
exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that
decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to
do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God
but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which
choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it. If
in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom,
who is there to stay His hand or say, “What doest thou?” Man’s
will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign
could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid
to do so.
sovereignty of God is a vitally important truth Wesleyans badly need
to recover. This is not only because it is crucial for understanding
the biblical drama, but also because many Wesleyans have tended to
neglect it because Calvinists often give the impression that it is
one of their distinctive doctrines. But the sovereignty of God is not
a Calvinist doctrine, it is a biblical doctrine, and no one who wants
to be faithful to Scripture can afford to ignore or downplay this
what is the sovereignty of God? Simply put, it is the truth that God
is in control, that he has supreme power. It is the truth that he is
the Lord of the Universe and of everyone and everything it contains.
The sovereignty of God is not always appealing because it is sharply
at odds with the popular illusion that we are in control. It is a
common human conceit to think that our lives are our own, that human
beings are running the show and answer to no one higher than
Is God really sovereign if He allows (or decrees) a limited,
libertarian free will?
How do you explain free will?
Open Theism: I had a difficult time finding Open Theists who could
define Open Theism, and I don’t have the money to buy their books
and find a correct quote from them. So, I am turning to the Internet
for a reliable definition: Open
Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we
freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of,
and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though
omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.
Though omnipotent, He has chosen to invite us to freely collaborate
with Him in governing and developing His creation, thereby also
allowing us the freedom to thwart His hopes for us. God desires that
each of us freely enter into a loving and dynamic personal
relationship with Him, and He has therefore left it open to us to
choose for or against His will. While Open Theists affirm that God
knows all the truths that can be known, they claim that there simply
are not yet truths about what will occur in the “open,”
undetermined future. Alternatively, there are such contingent truths,
but these truths cannot be known by anyone, including God.Anotherarticle
that may help.
First question: How can God be omniscient if He does not know clearly
everything in the future?
Second question: How can God not know every truth?
Personally, I choose the Reformed Arminian view as correct because of
the plain, normal reading and study of Scriptures. The other views
use systems of interpretation and/or prior presumptions as their
world view or theological standards. Please! Always interpret the
Bible in its plain, normal sense.
God can do what He wants and no one can alter His decision.
God truly gives a limited, libertarian free will.
Love is a choice, not a coercion.
Daniel 4:35 (HCSB) All
the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does what
He wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth.
There is no one who can hold back His hand or say to Him, “What
have You done?
Matthew 19:25-26 (HCSB) When
the disciples heard this, they were utterly astonished and asked,
“Then who can be saved? ” But Jesus looked at them and said,
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are
2 Chronicles 20:5-6 (NKJV) Then
Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the
house of the LORD, before the new court, and said: “O LORD God of
our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all
the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and
might, so that no one is able to withstand You?
Acts 7:51 (NKJV) You
stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist
the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Matthew 23:37 (NKJV) O
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those
who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children
together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were
In view of the above verses, if God is sovereign, how can people
Isaiah 46:8-13 (NKJV)
this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors.
Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no
other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from
the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man who executes My
counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also
bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. “Listen to
Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: I bring My
righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not
linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.
How does memory help us in our spiritual life/walk?
How can we know there are no other gods?
How does He know the future?
When God makes His mind up and makes a decision can it be changed? By
Why is God making an appeal to this group of transgressors? Does it
suggest there might be some form of free will?
What is foreknowledge?
What is the condition of those described as stubborn
Why are they stubborn? How does this kind of stubborness hurt people?
Where does righteousness come from?
Romans 10:3 (NKJV) For
they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to
establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the
righteousness of God.
Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV) For
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God
to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also
for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from
faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
A few more questions:
How do you realize God’s sovereignty in your life?
Does God’s sovereignty give you a sense of peace or restlessness?
How does God’s love demonstrate His sovereignty?
How can we explain the occurrence of evil, calamity, and trouble in
this world and our lives?