Questions on God
In a conversation, God not being omnibenevolent came into question. I was asked how can he be omnibenevolent when he allows evil. I explained that in our limited knowledge, we cannot see the end of everything, and have to have faith that all evil will end with good. I cited Joseph being sold into slavery as an example. Am I correct that he is omnibenevolent, and is there any particular Scripture that says it directly without question?
Your question illustrates the challenge we humans have in understanding our immense God. We are very grateful that, beyond revealing himself through creation and our conscience, God has made himself known in his holy word. And yet that fuller revelation of himself in the Bible still leaves us with questions. Is God all-powerful? Yes. Is Continued.
I recently talked to a co-worker of mine and we got into a discussion about God talking to us in other ways besides Scripture. She claims that she hears God talking to her in her thoughts. She says she hears his voice. I told her I have never had that experience and that I don't think God talks to us that way. We get our answers through Scripture. I know God works in mysterious ways, but it is hard for me to wrap my mind around God speaking to us personally about how are lives will turn out in our thoughts or dreams. My question is: Does God talk to us with a voice in our thoughts or our dreams?
God of course can do anything. He can communicate to us any way he wants. The Bible describes instances when God did speak directly to people, through others and in dreams. The fact that God communicated in these ways in the past does not guarantee that God will do so in the future. We have Continued.
This is a classic question. When it’s a challenge to the Christian faith, trying to prove that God doesn’t exist, it’s usually phrased like this: “If God is truly omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful) and loving, how could he allow suffering and evil?” Here is a classic answer. God exists. Jesus said he does, and Continued.
Is there a distinction between what the WELS believes regarding the term "Sovereign Lord" and other faiths, i.e. Presbyterian?
“Sovereign Lord” in the NIV is a title of two words in Hebrew and one word in Greek that describes God’s absolute lordship, the one under whom we live, and the one who is free to do as he pleases. We acknowledge these attributes of God and praise him for who he is. God’s sovereignty Continued.
Can you help me understand what the Bible means when it says we are to "fear" God? Some have said it is just to have an awe of him. I find this understanding inconsistent with Scripture as little as I know. Fear is fear, and isn't it caused by sin and our sinful desires to turn from God, not some sense of awe of him? Is it a fair comparison to say we fear the wrath of our parents when we have done wrong but this fear is alleviated with the knowledge that they love us and forgive us of our wrongs?
You ask an excellent question, and I especially appreciate your desire to analyze a word that the Bible uses quite a bit. One might say that the basic meaning of the word “to fear” is to “stand in awe of” or even revere. It is also accurate to add that invariably more needs to be Continued.
This is something that has always been on my mind and that my children ask me all the time. Where did God come from? It is hard to understand that because we know everything comes from something. So how did God come into existence?
Your children are asking a question that the strong majority of people ask sooner or later. Because, as you say, we assume that “everything comes from something,” it makes logical sense to assume that God came from something at some point in time. Our only answer is to express what the Bible tells us about Continued.
Have you ever thought about how many things you know and believe without having seen them? Take gravity for instance. No one has ever seen gravity, but I see evidence of it is all around. As a matter of fact, we depend on it for almost all of our everyday activities. Gravity holds our cars Continued.
How can God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit be together as one? When Jesus was baptized, God spoke from above and a dove came and perched on his shoulder. How did he do that?
The Bible tells us that there is one God and that there are three persons. How this can be we do not know and cannot explain. It is not a matter of mathematics or human logic, but a mystery. Remember that in the creeds we do not say, “We understand.” Instead we say, “We believe.” Continued.
What's the best way to explain the Triune God? I understand it's three separate entities in one unity, but just by what I said, am I saying it wrong? I want to make sure I'm correct before explaining it.
The Bible doesn’t use the terms that we use when talking about the Trinity in exactly the same way that we do. We learn from Scripture, however, that there is a certain respect in which God is absolutely, indivisibly one (Deuteronomy 4:35, Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Corinthians 8:4, etc.), and that this one God is a Continued.
As true God along with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ), the Holy Spirit participates in the divine works that the Father and Son also do. This would include giving and maintaining our physical lives (creation and providence work) and convicting us of our sin, guilt, and need for the Savior’s work Continued.
I know that Jesus died for my sins, but I'm worried that I don't actually have the Holy Spirit? How do I know? Can you suggest some Scripture passages that would give me comfort when I am unsure?
From the information you provided with your question, I take it that you not only “know” that Jesus died for your sins but that the Holy Spirit has led you to trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior. Knowledge of Jesus is one thing, but Spirit-worked faith is what brings into our lives all the Continued.
Hello! I believe that the Holy Spirit brings us to faith! It is not by our doing that we know God and have a relationship with him! But, I ask, why does coming to faith happen in different ways and at different ages? I know this sound like a minute question, but to me the answer would clear up a foggy understanding. For example, someone asked me if I was full of faith my whole life and did I always have a relationship with Christ. I thought about it and said my relationship with God grew immensely with Christ in college and that is when I remember really building a relationship with him. But, hasn't he been with me since birth? How come I did not always feel I had a relationship with him? Why don't others become aware of Christ until later in life? Doesn't God start a relationship with us since baptism? Please clarify! Thank you.
God does bring people to saving faith and employs them in his kingdom at different stages of life. Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) illustrates that. That parable especially highlights the truth that Christians, no matter when in life they may have been called to faith, enjoy equally the blessings of Continued.