Sermon series: The Trinity: God the Father
Connection to Unit Theme: When understanding God as King, Covenant-Keeper, eternal, immortal, and Spirit, what is our proper response? How do we live accordingly?
Have you ever been asked, "How can you really know that the Christian God is the only God? Can't other religions be right or have some truth as well? Is there really only one way to worship? Is there really only one God to worship? How can we be so sure that we are the ones who have the correct religion?" As we come to understand what our God is like, our conclusion must be that He and His truths are the only way.
When it comes to these types of questions concerning other gods, ways of worship, or religions, there are four major veins of thought that provide answers.
Naturalism says that there is no God and all matter is eternal. Naturalists would say there is nothing supernatural because everything is merely natural. Everything, from the universe itself to our human decisions, can be boiled down to mere chemical reactions.
Deism says that God exists but remains uninvolved. Deists would say that God created everything but "wound the watch" for it to continue on its own. Deism is an explanation for people who believe all religions can be right and point to the same god from different angles.
Universalism says that the supernatural does exist. We can't know the deity or deities perfectly, but each religion is right as it pursuing faith in the supernatural.
Christian Theism says that the personal, triune God both exists and rules. As Christian Theists, we believe in one God in three Persons who actively and supremely rules over all.
I. Be joyful the Lord is God (v. 1-3)
When someone is struggles with the thought of other gods, religions, faiths, or ways to worship, Christians must confidently profess that the Lord is God! The Psalmist uses the covenant name in referring to God as Yahweh. He essentially says, "Know that the One who has made a covenant with His people is also in complete control of all the universe." There cannot be any other gods, because the very definition of God includes not having anyone over or beside Him. Also, God must exist because no other theory adequately explains the existence of humankind. God does exist, and He is One!
Because God exists, He deserves our praise. The God who is in total control is also a loving God who makes a merciful covenant with sinful people for their salvation. Out of His grace and knowledge of the future, God creates us and calls us His own. Our proper response to these awesome truths about our covenant-keeping God and King is to praise Him, worship Him, and serve Him.
Application: Don't take God for granted, but take advantage of the opportunity He gives you out of His grace. Instead of using God or trying to win His approval, take time this week to share the joy of knowing that His goodness is in ultimate control of your life. Out of your gratitude for making and calling you, find specific ways to serve Him with a glad heart by ministering to someone else. As you come into the fulness of His presence with your church, lift your voice with the congregation and sing!
II. Be thankful the Lord is good (v. 4-5)
Other religions call their people to worship so their god will be good to them. They worship out of fear or obligation, or to coax the god or gods to have mercy on them. On the contrary, the one true God is good. He is first good to His people who are natural sinners. It is His love for them that endures forever because He himself is eternal. His people are to be in awe of His faithfulness to them, their children, their grandchildren, and on.
Humanity's natural tendency is toward legalism and moralism. Therefore, God's grace is such a backward concept to us that our response to Him becomes awe, thankfulness, and a desire to praise His name.
Application: Is your life is characterized by thanksgiving, praise, and blessing God? Or, do you tend to complain, question, and doubt God? Honestly, life is more enjoyable when you have the former attitude. How do believers who maintain a positive outlook on life do it? They simply understand the Lord's goodness to them. They see life for what it would be without God, what it could be if He was a different God, but what life is because of God's good Kingship toward them. Don't focus on what you don't have or what you wish was different, but focus on God and His goodness, and be thankful.
We human beings are naturally responsive creatures. When we see a family's new baby, we "ooh" and "aah." When friends get a new car, we tell them how great it looks. God has ultimately created us this way so that we would respond to His majesty and goodness in joy, gladness, singing, thanksgiving, praise, and blessing. We first fix our faith on God in order to live a life of a proper worshipful response.