“The Almighty God”

SERMON BY THE REVEREND AMOS MCCARTHY 6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST FEBRUARY 17, 2019

Title: “The Almighty God”

Text: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24)

Scripture Reading: Psalms 19.

A college professor, an avowed Atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked
several of his students when he flatly stated he was going to prove there was no God.
Addressing the ceiling he shouted: “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me
off this platform. I’ll give you 15 minutes!” The lecture room fell silent. You could have
heard a pin fall. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying, “Here I am, God.
I’m still waiting.” His countdown got down to the last couple of minutes when a Marine –
just released from active duty and newly registered in the class – walked up to the
professor, hit him full force, and sent him tumbling from his lofty platform. The professor
was out cold! At first, the students were shocked and babbled on in confusion. The
young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silent. The class fell silent…waiting.
Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine in the front
row. When the professor regained his senses and could speak he asked: “What’s the
matter with you? Why did you do that?” “God was busy…He sent me.”
God is constantly confronting humanity with his reality. Everywhere people turn,
they are faced with unmistakable evidence of a greater power. In spite of atheism,
materialism, rationalism, and agnosticism, prophets and apostle both in the Old and
New Testaments were certain that God “is, and that he is a rewarder of them the
diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Job said, “I know my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25).
Paul said, “I know whom I believed” (2 Timothy 1:2). John in the fourth gospel said,
“We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). The Bible is
filled with certainties in regard to God’s existence; rather, his reality is assumed. There
are areas in which we can trace the footsteps of God. God is in creation. ​Reading Psalm 19:1, the Scripture tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God: the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” It obvious from this
scripture that the universe has an orderliness that cannot be ignored. The season come
and go on schedule. Night follow days. There is an intelligence behind all this. These
manifestations of nature comprise the effect of a “Cause.” That “Cause “ is an infinite
creator who made it all, set it all in motion, sustains it. Paul spoke of God as the “Cause”
behind everything when he described him as the One “in (whom) we live, and move,
and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
Furthermore, there is a purpose and design in God’s creation. The atheistic
belief that life “just’ happened” is an affront to human intelligence. For example,
consider a house. Would an agnostic say, “We cannot determine who the builder of this
house is, so we know there was one because here is evidence of his handiwork, the
product of his genius.” Likewise, there was an intelligent purpose and design behind God’s creation. The hymnist Stuart K. Hine expressed it this way: ​O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds that hand have made, I see the
stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then
sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, How great thou art! How great thou art!
God can also be seen in humanity. Paul in Romans 2:14-15 writes, “Indeed
when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law,
they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that
the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness​, ​ and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”
From this text one can see that God is involved in his creation. As another
evidence of his involvement in his creation, God has placed within people a moral
consciousness that makes them capable of responding to their creation. People were
created with an innate knowledge that there is a higher power and with a capacity to
know that being. But at the same time, God gave people freedom of will, by which they
can choose to ignore and repress these inherent tendencies toward God and morality.
In so doing, they prove themselves to be fools, because they are asserting that which is
contradictory to the very nature of humanity (Psalm 14:1).
When people are born again, a miracle of restoration takes place in which God
brings alive these feelings and intuitions about the existence of a divine creator and
about people’s moral responsibility to abide by his laws. God is able, because of his
love and through the regenerative power of his Spirit, to resurrect those dead feelings.
This is the miracle of the new birth. In her hymn “Rescue the Perishing,” Fanny Crosby expressed this truth: ​Down in the human heart, Crush by the tempter, Feelings lie buried, that grace can restore.
The existence of God is also evident in the Bible. The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The
statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgment of
the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea,
then much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them
is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (psalm 19:7-11).
The Bible speaks of God’s nature. “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24). “Spirit” is the
highest form of being, and God is essentially and eternally spirit. This means that he is
not confined to a human body, even though for thirty-three years he inhabited the
physical body of his Son, Jesus Christ. Still, however, God is a person. He has
personality; he is not merely an impersonal force that inhabits the universe. His
personality is expressed in his love, grace, mercy, pity, and compassion. Because of
this, the writer of Hebrews said, “We have not a high priest which cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without
sin” (hebrew 4:15). In other words, God is God; he is infinite and perfect in his holiness
and power. Yet because of his inconceivable choice to identify with people and become
their Saviour, he understands our plight and is willing and eager to save us!
The Bible speaks of God’s attributes. God is immense. At the dedication of the
temple, Solomon prayed, “Will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens,
even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!”
(2 Chronicles 6:18 NIV).
A circle has a center and a circumference. The circumference is the limiting,
outer boundary of the circle. God has a center but no circumference! His “center” is
everywhere.
God is eternal. He has neither beginning nor ending. People divide time into
past, present, and future, but God knows no divisions like that. He told Moses to tell the
people of Israel that he was sent to be their deliverer by him who is the great “I AM.”
That means God is everlasting, the One who has neither commencement nor
consummation!
God is unchanging. He is the One “who does not change like shifting shadows”
(James 1:17 NIV). People change. They start and stop and are up and down. But not
so with God. His glory shines with an unwavering and permanent brightness. God is
immutable. But Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea
and forever.”
In conclusion, we can say that God is omnipotent. This means that he is
almighty and has all power. There is nothing within the realm of God’s righteous nature
that he cannot do. God is omniscient. He has all knowledge. Simultaneously, God
knows all things. He knows the past, the present, and the future. God is omnipresent.
Not only is God everywhere, but there is also an added dimension to his omnipresence
because he is love. He cares about everything everywhere.
In spite of his inconceivable majesty and power, God “condescends to men of
low estate.” “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)