INTRODUCTION: The Apostle John writes his letter 1 John so that we may experience joy (1 John 1:4). To know Jesus is to know joy. John explains that a right view of Jesus is essential to full joy (1:1-4). But John also writes “so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). We are invited to participate in genuine fellowship with God and each other. Christian fellowship and authentic relationships are possible in Christ.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BEGINS WITH A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER AND HIS SON JESUS.
*Christian fellowship is eternal, personal and communal. John shares his personal testimony that Jesus is the Messiah. He invites others to follow Jesus too: “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1:3).
*The foundation of Christian fellowship is the sharedexperience of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Jesus Christ alone can give us eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
We must have a personal relationship with Jesus to have eternal life and to experience joyful fellowship.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP BUILDS ON HONEST, AUTHENTIC, AND OPEN RELATIONSHIPS.
*God’s character is our standard. God is light. He is pure, holy, without stain or blemish, transparent, and revealing. “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1:5).
*Fellowship demands that we practice truth and walk in the light of God’s presence. If we walk in darkness and deny the truth, we hinder fellowship. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another (1:6-7).
*Christians will stumble and fall and have conflict. We are broken people. The nature of relationships breeds misunderstandings. The nature of fellowship requires honesty, humility, and forgiveness. The uniqueness of our individuality demands that we be honest in our relationships and wear no masks to hide behind. Jesus’ blood continually cleanses our sins and makes authenticity possible. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1:7).
True fellowship means a person grows closer to God and others every day.
CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP IS BASED ON FORGIVENESS AND CONFESSION.
*If we refuse to admit our faults, we are in denial. If we refuse to admit we are wrong, we resist God’s truth. Christian fellowship depends upon total honesty and transparency before God and others. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1:8-10).
*Confession, not denial, is God’s answer to our sin problem. To confess our sins means we say the samething about our sin that God does. God has forgiven us at the Cross. It is a once for all completed act (1:7). We experience this forgiveness with the conditional act of confession. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1:9).
*Christian unity and authentic relationships are possible in Christ. Healing comes through admission of wrong and encouraging prayer. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16).
The Jesus Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
INTRODUCTION: The Apostle John writes his letter 1 John so that we may experience joy: “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). John places Jesus at the center of his life and focus. To know Jesus is to know joy. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus to have eternal life and to experience joy. But who is this Jesus and why does he deserve our devotion? In 1 John 1:1-4, John explains that a right view of Jesus is essential to full joy.
JESUS IS FROM BEFORE ALL TIME (1:1-2).
*Jesus is divine. Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He existed before time began. “That which wasfrom the beginning… and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (1:1-2).
Jesus was the Eternal Word of God from before the beginning of all things. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).
Jesus was present at the creation of the universe. All things were made through him. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
Jesus is the LifeGiver. The eternal essential life of God has shown up in Jesus. The Gospel story and our salvation begin and end in Jesus. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth…And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:15-18).
Jesus is all God. He is big enough to carry our problems and forgive our sin.
JESUS ENTERED TIME (1:1-2).
*John was an eyewitness and an earwitness to Jesus’ humanity. He gives personal testimony to his time with the real man Jesus. Jesus was tangible and transformed John’s life. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life--the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (1:1-2).
The incarnation is the Eternal Word of God entering our world as the historical, promised Messiah (Christ). William Barclay says, “In Jesus Christ, eternity entered time.” “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Jesus is human. He understands our situation. He can identify with us. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).
Jesus is all Man. He can identify with us in our struggles.
JESUS CAN BE KNOWN IN OUR TIME (1:3-4).
*Jesus is the author of life and gives us eternal life. To know Jesus is to know true life and full joy. We were created to have fellowship with each other and with Jesus Christ. God’s goal for us is that we love God and our neighbors. “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1:3-4).
*The basis of Christian fellowship is the sharedexperience of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Jesus Christ alone can give us eternal life. We can trust him right now and find life worth living. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus invites us to join him in the life of eternal family fellowship.
INTRODUCTION: God wants us to experience joy in our lives. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus wants us to live a full, abundant and joyful life. Joy is listed as one fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Apostle John lists joy as one of his purposes in writing his letter: “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4). So how can we have true joy in our lives?
FOCUS ON JESUS (1:1-2).
*We gather to make much of Jesus. John places Jesus at the center of his life and attention. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus to experience eternal life. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (1:1-2).
*We will experience fullness of joy when we put aside all obstacles and fix our eyes on Jesus. Therefore… let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2).
FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS (1:3).
*When we make much of Jesus with others who know him, we experience fellowship. The basis of Christian fellowship is faith in Jesus Christ. Fellowship is the shared life in the family of God. That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1:3).
FILL UP WITH JOY (1:4).
The fruit of fellowship is joy. Joy is a choice we make in Christ. “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1:4).
INTRODUCTION: We conclude our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” But we go to the Book of Acts at a time after the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. Peter and John go to the Temple and a lame man is healed in the name of Jesus. The man leaps up and praises God and people come running to see what the excitement is all about. They begin praising God in amazement. Peter tells them that the Jesus they crucified has risen from the dead, and the man was healed by the name and power of Jesus. While he is preaching, the authorities step in and arrest him. The elders ask, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders…let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well (Acts 4:7-8). Jesus has the name that is above every name. All authority andpower are in the name of Jesus
THERE IS HEALING IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
*The name of Jesus gives authority to heal and work miracles. The purpose of signs and wonders is to draw people to God. And he [the lame man] fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3:5-8).
*Peter and John gave credit to Jesus for the healing and they demanded that the people repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus. You killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all…Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:15-19).
*Peter and John were arrested for preaching the resurrection in the name of Jesus but many people believed in Jesus. And they arrested them… But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand (Acts 4:3-4).
True healing draws people to Jesus.
THERE IS SALVATION IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
*Realizing that Peter and John were uneducated men, the authorities wanted to know by what power or authority they used to heal the man. Every spiritual or religious system operates under some authority. On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem…And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:5-8).
*Peter the coward now boldly proclaims that they operate under the name of Jesus Christ and that Jesus healed the man. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well (Acts 4:8-10).
*The name Jesus means “salvation.” Jesus is the promised Savior. He is the only way to God. No other gods, religions, or systems can bring us to God. Peter said, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
THERE IS BOLDNESS IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
*Jesus gives us boldness to speak the truth. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition (Acts 4:13-14).
*Jesus gives us the power to stand up for what is right. So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:18-20).
INTRODUCTION: Abraham experienced a dramatic rescue on Mt. Moriah. God intervened at the last second to provide a substitute sacrifice in place of Abraham’s son Isaac. Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh; the Lord will provide. We have seen that names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Abraham’s test on Mt. Moriah gave him new insight into who God is. God is our Provider. God sees our need and shows up at just the right time to meet our need. Let’s look at this story in Genesis 22.
GOD PUTS US THROUGH A TESTINGPROCESS (Gen. 22:1-2).
*Life is probation, a time of testing. God places us on probation to test our character. God uses tests to confirm our faith and build our spiritual muscles. Adversity gives us new opportunity. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac (Hebrews 11:17).
*God does not tempt us to do wrong, but he allows us to be tested. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one (James 1:12-13).
*Trials prove our faith is genuine. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).
What adversity is your opportunity today?
GOD PREPARES US WITH HIS PROMISES (Gen. 22:3-8).
*We can overcome adversity because we have God’s promises to lean on. Abraham believed God would deliver Isaac based on God’s promise that all the nations on earth would be blessed through his offspring. Abraham was willing to believe God could even raise Isaac from the dead. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back (Hebrews 11:17-19).
*God’s promises keep us on the right path and maintain our integrity. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life (Ps. 119:50).
He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Peter 1:4).
God’s promises strengthen us inwardly, so we can conquer outwardly.
GOD PRESERVES US WITH HIS PROVISION (Gen. 22:9-19).
*God provided a substitutesacrifice for Abraham. He rescued Isaac by having a ram die in his place. Abraham trusted God to be his provider. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided” (Gen. 22:13-14).
He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back (Heb. 11:19).
*God always provides a way of escape. He sees our need and shows up at just the right time. He is our provider and our deliverer. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1Cor. 10:13).
*God has provided a sacrifice for us as well. Jesus was crucified for us on the same mountain the ram was slain for Isaac. Jesus is the Lamb of God. John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).
Have you accepted what Jesus did for you on the Cross?
INTRODUCTION: Names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Hagar discovered that God was a God of seeing. He knew her situation. He knew her need. He cared for her and gave her hope. In response, Hagar called God El Roi, the God Who Sees. God sees you right now. He knows your circumstances. He cares. He wants the best for you. He is El Roi, the God Who Sees.
EL ROI SEES YOUR SITUATION.
*Sarah could not have children, so she gave her servant Hagar to Abraham to produce a child. Hagar became pregnant and obnoxious which made Sarah jealous. Sarah mistreated Hagar and Hagar ran away into the desert. Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress…Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her (Genesis 16:3-6).
*God sent an angel to confront and to comfort Hagar. Hagar discovered that God sees our circumstances and hurts. Hagar called God by a new name, El Roi. The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness...And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her” … So, she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me” (Genesis 16:7-13).
EL ROI CARES ABOUT YOUR NEEDS.
*God cares about your physical needs. The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur (Genesis 16:7).
*God cares about your emotional and spiritual needs. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “Iam fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her” (Genesis 16:8-9).
*God cares about your family needs. The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude” (Genesis 16:10).
EL ROI WANTS THE BEST FOR YOUR FUTURE.
*God sees the end from the beginning. He knows what is best for you. And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction (Genesis 16:10-11).
*God provides just what you need in each and every condition. Hagar had to learn how to humble herself and cooperate with her mistress, so she could fulfill God’s ultimate plan for her son’s future. The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her” …And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael (Genesis 16:9-15).
LESSONS FROM HAGAR AND EL ROI:
God is always watching over us and sees our situation.
God cares about everyaspect of our lives.
God has a purpose and a future for us.
God has given each one of us the opportunity to know him personally through his son Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6).
INTRODUCTION: Names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Today we are looking at El Shaddai: Almighty God. Literally it means “the full breasted one” from El = God and Shad = breast. The idea is that God is the All-Sufficient One who satisfies, nourishes, and supplies his people’s needs as a mother does for her child. God is our Sustainer freely giving us nourishment and blessing. Nothing is impossible with God. He can do all things. God revealed himself to Abraham as El Shaddai in Genesis 17 because he was about to do the impossible for Abraham and the world.
ALMIGHTY GOD’S PURPOSESPREVAIL.
*God has big plans for his world. His plans always succeed. God invites us to join him in those plans. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations (Psalm 33:11 NIV).
*God planned to bless the world through Abraham. This would be possible because God is El Shaddai, Almighty God. When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly” (Genesis 17:1-2).
*Abraham received a new name and a new purpose. Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you” (Gen. 17:3-6).
*Jesus gave Peter a new name and a new purpose. Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:16-18).
ALMIGHTY GOD’S PROMISES ARE KEPT.
*God gave Sarah a new name and the promise of a new son. And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her” (Genesis 17:15-16).
*El Shaddai did the impossible by bringing Isaac into the world through a woman too old to give birth. Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac…I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year” (Genesis 17:17-21).
*El Shaddai brought the promised Savior into the world through a virgin. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:30-34).
ALMIGHTY GOD’S POWERCOMPLETES HIS PURPOSE.
*God gave Abraham a new covenant, a new sign, a new son and a new people. And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised…and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you” (Genesis 17:9-10).
*God gave us a new covenant, a new sign, a new family, and the promisedSavior. For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise (Galatians 3:26-29).
*El Shaddai does the impossible for his people. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT)
INTRODUCTION: Names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Elohim is the name of the God of Creation and used in a general sense by people of all nations. Yahweh is the self-existent one who reveals himself to his people. Adonai is the third most used name for God in the Old Testament and is plural like Elohim. Adonai was used as a substitute name for Yahweh. Adonai is translated Lord, Master or Sovereign ruler and advocates the might and authority of God. Adonai is in control and expects our humble cooperation. In modern terms, Adonai is the owner and CEO of all things.
ADONAI OWNS ALL THINGS.
*Abram had won a major battle with God’s help (Genesis 14). God assures Abram of his care and concern. Abram acknowledges his trust in Adonai as his provider, but he does not see how God will provide an heir. After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir” (Genesis 15:1-3).
*Adonai gives Abram a visible reminder that he is the owner of all things and can do as he pleases. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be” (Genesis 15:4-5).
*Abram believed God’s word and God accepted Abram’s faith. And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
The Owner wants us to be in a trusting relationship with him.
ADONAI IS OUR CHIEFEXECUTIVEOFFICER.
*Adonai is the boss. He runs this world. We are his workers or servants. The boss knows what he wants done to make his world run smoothly. The
worker does what the boss orders. Adonai revealed to Abram that his offspring would possess the land where Abram was wandering. The boss had big plans for Abram’s people. And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” (Genesis 15:7-8).
*God had Abram set up a covenant sacrifice. In a vision, God showed Abram the future of the people of Israel and then made a binding treaty with Abram that the promise would be fulfilled. When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land…” (Genesis 15:17-18).
The Boss knows what is best and we need to trust and obey.
ADONAI IS LORD AND GOD.
*Abram trusted God to provide him an heir and God credited his faith as righteousness. God promised Abram his offspring would possess the land and made a covenant of faith with him to confirm it. Abram knew Adonai as his Master and Lord. But Abram said, “O Lord God…” (Genesis 15:2).
*The Greek translation of Adonai (Lord) is kurios (sovereign power, supreme authority, absolute ownership). In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as Savior twenty times but is called Lord over 700 times. If he is Lord, then we owe him our absolute obedience and devotion. Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke (6:46).
*Jesus is Lord. We either bow before him now or we bow before him when it is too late. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
*No one can truly say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:3). Like Abram you must trust in Adonai and believe his promise of salvation. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved (Romans 10:9-10).
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13)
INTRODUCTION: Names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue our series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Elohim is the name of the God of Creation and used in a general sense by people of all nations. Yahweh is the special, unique name of God that he used to reveal himself to the people of Israel. It is his secret name and means “I AM,” “I EXIST,” “I AM PRESENT.” Yahweh is the self-existent one who reveals himself to his people. Who is this God? Let’s use the acrostic YHWH to see.
*Yahweh is from the verb “to be” and is written YHWH in Hebrew. Yahweh is written Jehovah is some translations of the Bible. Modern translations use LORD for YHWH. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens (Genesis 2:4).
*Jehovah or LORD? Jews after the Babylonian Captivity would not say the name Yahweh to not take his name in vain. They substituted Adonai (Lord) instead. Christians in 1520 A.D. took the consonants of YHWH and the vowels from Adonai to form the name Jehovah.
*Yahweh is the most common name for God in the Old Testament and is used more than 6,800 times. It is the personal, redemptive, and covenant name for God. God disclosed his name to Moses: Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-14).
God has revealed his name Yahweh to us and we can know him.
*After the Exile, the Jewish people would not write or say the name YHWH. It was considered too sacred to use. Yahweh told Moses to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. And the angel ofthe Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” … God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God (Exodus 3:2-6).
Yahweh is holy and deserves our awe and reverence.
*Yahweh is the redemptive name of God and describes his saving power, activity and influence. Yahweh is the God of revelation and action. He comes to us to deliver us. Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians…Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:7-10).
*Yahweh makes the way for us. He is always there, always available, always willing to rescue and guide us. God IS and he is present with us. He wants us to know him and have a personal relationship with him. God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).
Yahweh is all you need. He will free you. He is your strong deliverer.
*Yahweh revealed himself completely through his son Jesus. So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple (John 8:57-59).
*Seven times Jesus said he was “I AM.” He is the Savior. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). I AM is whatever you need today.
INTRODUCTION: Names identify us and reveal who we are. In the Bible, God has names that reflect his nature, character, and power. God’s names describe God and draw us to worship him. We continue a new series today on “The Names of God in Genesis.” Elohim is the second most used name for God in the Old Testament. It is the general name for God who controls human affairs and gives blessings to mankind. The root is “EL” (God) which means strength and power and ALLAH which means to keep a promise. Elohim is used 32 times in Genesis chapter one and 2570 times in the Old Testament. Elohim is the “Strong One,” the “Mighty One," the Judge. Elohim is the transcendent, all-powerful Creator.
OUR STRONG GOD IS THE ETERNAL GOD.
*God existed before creation. God has existed from eternity. Elohim is, always has been, and will be forever. In the beginning, God (Genesis1:1).
*Moses described the Eternal God this way: Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:1-2).
OUR STRONG GOD IS THE CREATOR GOD.
*Elohim created the universe. The verb “created” is “bara” in Hebrew and is used three times in Genesis 1:1, 21, and 27. It refers to divine activity. Only God can create out of nothing and bring it into being. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis1:1-3).
*The universe was either made by chance plus time plus energy or by a Designer with intelligence and power. By faith, we understand that God alone is the Creator of the universe. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible (Hebrews 11:3).
OUR STRONG GOD IS THE TRIUNE GOD.
*Elohim is a majestic plural noun used with singular verbs for God. This suggests that there is plurality in the Godhead. Then God (Elohim) said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness (Gen. 1:26).
*The Hebrew prayer the Shema includes Elohim for God and confirms the oneness of God. God is triune, three in one and one in three. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:4).
*The Trinity was present at Creation. Elohim created together in unity of purpose and completion of plan.
Father: Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Son: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3).
Holy Spirit:And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).
OUR STRONG GOD MADE US FOR FELLOWSHIP.
*God made us in his image and let us join him in his creativity and work. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26).
*God has communion and intimacy in the Godhead as the Triune God. He formed us with the capacity for the same unity and companionship – male and female, God and man. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them (Genesis 1:27-28).
Elohim, the Strong Creator God, made us in his likeness so we could have a family relationship with him. Are you part of God’s family?