Monday, June 21, 2021

Theism vs. Deism

And God spoke all these words: 
    2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
    3 “You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:1–3

What a powerful statement about God in verse 2. We read a statement about who God is: “I am the Lord.” 

If you turn back to Exodus 3 we read an account about God meeting with Moses in the desert. Moses is out tending some sheep in the desert. He sees a bush on fire but the fire doesn’t consume it. It proves to me that men of all ages love fire. Moses approaches the bush and out of the bush God speaks. He instructs Moses to free His people from captivity. He speaks about His power (Exodus 3:14). 

The words, ‘I am’ are packed with meaning. God is the creator, sustainer, provider, and director of life. God made the universe and is control of all things. This is a stark contrast to how life in Egypt was for God’s people. At that time Egypt was the world super-power. The Pharaoh was viewed as a god (think little g). He was seen as being the most powerful being. 

But then God comes along and says, “Let me show you power!” You don’t have to grow up in the church to know about the ten plagues in Egypt or the parting of the Red Sea. That is God displaying His power, the proof that He is the great I am! If you don’t have somewhere that you’re reading in your Bible right now, I invite you to read Exodus 1-15 this week. I think it will really help all of us understand the Ten Commandments more fully. 

God is not only powerful but He is personal. Listen to what he says again, “I am the Lord your God.” 

Underline that word ‘your.’ God is personal. He is for us. God loves us. He is my God. He is our God. 

Let’s have a quick theology lesson. There is a point in Theology we call: Theism. The short definition is that- God is a personal and loving God. It means that God is closer than we think. Psalm 34:18 teaches us that God is close to the broken-hearted. He is personal and loving. God knows our struggles and doesn’t leave us when times are tough. God is so personal and loving that He came to live among us (John 1:14). God is near to us today. God is in the place, anything can happen. 

On the other side. Some people think that God created the earth and walked away. They teach that God made mankind, gave us the breath of life, but has forgotten about us. It’s called Deism- God is impersonal creator God. The term was used chiefly in the intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries. This came about because people thought God created the universe but they wanted to reject that God would interact and engage with His people. People felt abandoned by God and used this as a way to justify their feelings. 

One of the core values of the church I lead is: We put God first. 

We put God first because we believe He is a personal and loving God. We believe that He intercedes on behalf of His people. We think He loves us, cares for us, and likes us. 

If God had a fridge, your picture would be on it. If you would be so willing to read the Ten Commandments, I want you to notice that the first four commandments focus on our vertical relationship with God. The next six primarily deal with our horizontal relationship with others. 

We live in a time when people want to remove the first four commandments and keep the last six. We want people to be punished for adultery and murder but want remove the author of the commands. We can’t cut the author out of the book and maintain the integrity of the message. We choose put God first because He is personal and powerful. 

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