Ambassador of Reconciliation
5/1/14 at 11:12 AM 21 Comments

Three-Minute Theology

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If you had three minutes to describe the attributes of God, what would you say? In our study of 2 Peter we discussed this verse:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence (2 Pet. 1:3).

Our lesson asked these questions:

What phrase identifies the means by which we can experience everything we need for life and godliness? How would you explain this concept to someone who asked you what it meant?

Peter says that we have everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us. So I asked myself, What is it that we need to know about God in order to live our lives the way He intended?

I believe there are two essential qualities that we need to understand about God: that He is good and that He is sovereign. Our lesson took us to Jeremiah 9:24:

Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah declares that God is loving, just, and righteous. His heart is good and kind, His actions are right, and His character is holy.

But the fact that God is good does not necessarily mean that He has the ability to make good happen. He could be a kindhearted grandfather who is virtuous but weak. But we know that God is also sovereign. Peter refers to His sovereignty as “His divine power” (1:3). I have written at length about God’s sovereignty, but basically it means that He has the power to do anything He chooses to do.

By itself, the fact that God is sovereign does not necessarily mean that He will do what is good. He could be an all-powerful but cruel despot. But the truth that God is both good and sovereign means that He is willing and able to work all things together for good, and knowing that truth gives us assurance that He will do it. Herein lies our hope that He will fulfill all “His precious and very great promises” (2 Pet. 1:4).

The Psalmist states something similar in Psalm 62. He introduces his statement with the words “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this,” a Hebrew construction that emphasizes the certainty of what is being declared.

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love (Ps. 62:11-12).

In other words, the Psalmist confirms that God is both powerful and loving. As we grasp the meaning of these two qualities, we can trust in Him with full assurance of faith.

So if I had three minutes to describe key attributes of God, I would focus on His goodness and His sovereignty. What is your three-minute theology?

Additional Thoughts
May 1, 2014

I just read Psalm 145, and it confirms God’s goodness and sovereignty, and that because of these qualities, He will do what is good. See all the phrases that speak of His power and greatness:

greatness that no one can fathom
mighty acts
the glorious splendor of your majesty
the power of your awesome works
your great deeds
the glory of your kingdom
your might
the glorious splendor of your kingdom
dominion that endures through all generations

And the declarations of His goodness:

your abundant goodness
your righteousness
gracious and compassionate
slow to anger and rich in love
good to all
compassion on all He has made
loving toward all He has made
righteous in all His ways

Therefore we can trust that He is willing and able to do good:

wonderful works
faithful to all His promises
upholds all those who fall
lifts up all who are bowed down
gives food at the proper time
opens His hand and satisfies our desires
near to all who call on Him
fulfills the desires of those who fear Him
hears our cry and saves us
watches over all who love Him

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