Beginning June 7th, Sunday worship services and Bible class times have changed
Wednesday night Bible classes has resumed at regular time

Last updated Wed Jun 4, 8:25 AM EDT



OceanSide church of Christ




Click here to see all of the YouTube videos belonging to OceanSide
(opens in a new browser)

 Previous Return to AStudyofGod Next 

AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE GOD:

Grasping for an Understanding

 

A Transcendent God

Lesson #5

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    There are times when words about God are used very sparingly.

 

B.      This is true of the term “transcendent.” 

 

C.     What does it mean when say God is a transcendent God?  This will be the subject of our lesson.

 

I.                   DEFINITION OF TRANSCENDENT

 

A.    It comes from a combination of two Latin words:

1.      Trans:  across, beyond, through

2.      Scendent (scandere):  to climb

3.      Thus, to climb beyond

 

B.      Other definitions:

1.      Going beyond ordinary limits

2.      Having continued existence beyond the ordinary world (www.dictionary.com).

3.      To exist above and independent from; to rise above, surpass, succeed (www.gotquestions.com).

 

C.     God is “other.”

God is “different from.”

God is “independent.”

God is “beyond.”

God is “not limited to.”

God is “not confined by.”

 

D.    God is entirely distinct from the Universe.

1.      The whole Universe could be destroyed, and God would still exist.

2.      He is not material in nature.

He is not confined by time.

He is not limited by boundaries.

He is not shackled by the five senses:  touch, taste, smell, feel, and sight.

 

E.      This concept about God stands in opposition to:

1.      Pantheism:  God is in all

2.      Animism:  Everything is God

 

II.                GOD’S TRANSCENDENCE SET FORTH IN SCRIPTURE

 

A.    God’s transcendence is implied by the Creation.

1.      Nothing existed except God at one time.

2.      God was able to speak the Creation into existence.

a.      Genesis 1:1

 

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 

b.      Psalm 33:6, 9

 

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…For he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.

 

c.       Isaiah 42:5

 

Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spreadeth forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.

 

B.      God is separate from the world.

1.      I Kings 8:27

 

But will God indeed dwell on the earth?  behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

 

2.      Acts 7:48-50; Isa. 66:1

 

Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:  what house will ye build me?  saith the Lord:  or what is the place of my rest?  Hath not my hand made all these things?

 

3.      Acts 17:24

 

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.

 

C.     God is contrasted with the world.

1.      Psalm 102:25-27

 

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth:  and the heavens are the work of thy hands.  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure:  yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.  But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

 

2.      I John 2:15-17

 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

III.             GOD’S TRANSCENDENCE INVOLVES MANY THINGS

 

A.    God’s existence (Job 11:6-7)

 

Canst thou by searching find out God?  canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?  It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do?  deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

 

 

B.      Biblical prophecy (Isa. 46:9-10)

 

Remember the former things of old:  for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure

 

C.     God’s being far beyond man (John 8:14; 13:33; 16;28)

 

Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear witness of myself, Yet my record is true:  for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

 

D.    The invisible realm

1.      Where God dwells (Isa. 6:1-4)

 

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims:  each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts:  the whole earth is full of his glory, and the posts of the door was moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

 

2.      Where angels dwell (Job 1:6a)

 

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord…

 

3.      Where departed spirits are (Luke 16:22-23)

 

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

 

4.      Where Satan dwells (Job 1:6b)

 

…and Satan came also among them.

 

E.      Eternal destinies

1.      Heaven (John 14:1-3)

 

Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 

2.      Hell (Matt. 25:41)

 

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

 

IV.              A FALSE IDEA ABOUT GOD’S TRANSCENDENCE

 

A.    Stated:  God is so “wholly other” that it is impossible for His creation to communicate with Him.

 

B.      Our transcendent God, although separate from the Creation, is actively involved in the affairs of His creation.

1.      This is an aspect of God called immanence.

2.      Acts 17:27

 

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    God’s transcendence separates Him from His creation.

 

B.      God is able to continue without His creation being in existence.

 

C.     If man is going to live beyond this life, a transcendent God has to grant him the ability to be able to do that. 

1.      God has given man a soul that can live beyond this life.

2.      Man’s body, however, cannot inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 15:50).  Therefore, God has to change our vile bodies (Phil 3:20-21; I Cor. 15:42-44).

 

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE GOD:

Grasping for an Understanding

 

A Transcendent God

Lesson #5

Homework

Victor M. Eskew

 

1.      T – F    You have heard of the transcendence of God before.

 

2.      How is it that God is a transcendent God?  (There is another realm that exists).

 

3.      T – F    It is easy to grasp a time when the Universe did not exist.

 

4.      Where did God dwell when there was no Creation?

 

5.      Why are some men so sure that God does not exist?

 

6.      How can we comprehend an existence once this heaven and earth in which we live comes to as end?

 

7.      Why is God able to set forth prophecies in His Word?

 

8.      T – F    I have difficulty grasping an invisible realm outside of our present earth/cosmos.

 

9.      What is the most significant thing that you think about when you comprehend a realm that exists that is invisible, yet many beings are presently in that realm?

 

10.  T – F    I feel God is near unto me.

 

11.  How do you feel knowing that one day you will be in the presence of God dwelling in a realm beyond this world?