Still plugging away through Grudem’s Bible Doctrine here. Chapter 5 dove into the communicable attributes (those God shares with us as his creation in some way) of God. I found the questions for personal application particularly challenging, convicting, humbling, etc. Even though they’re based on the previous chapter, I think some, if not most, can be dealt with without having read the chapter. (Although you should!)
1. (Spirituality) Why is God so strongly displeased at carved idols, even those that are intended to represent him? How then shall we picture God or think of God in our minds when we pray to him?
2. (Knowledge) With regard to the circumstances of your life, will God ever make a mistake, or fail to plan ahead, or fail to take into account all the eventualities that occur? How is the answer to this question a blessing in your life? **This one was particularly encouraging for me to think about as we wait for word on jobs for my husband!!**
3. (Wisdom) Do you really believe that God is working wisely in your life today? In the world? If you find this difficult to believe at times, what might you do to change your attitude?
4. (Truthfulness) Why are people in our society, sometimes even Chrsitians, quite careless with regard to truthfulness in speech? Do you need to ask God’s help to more fully reflect his truthfulness in speech in any of the following areas: promising to pray for someone; saying that you will be some place at a certain time; exaggerating events in order to make a more exciting story; taking care to remember and then be faithful to what you have said in business commitments; reporting what other people have said or what you think someone else is thinking; fairly representing your opponent’s viewpoint in an argument? **Yikes. This was convicting.**
5. (Love) Is it possible to decide to love someone and then to act on that decision, or does love between human beings simply depend on spontaneous emotional feelings? In what ways could you imitate God’s love specifically today?
6. (Mercy) If you were to reflect God’s mercy more fully, for whom among those you know would you show special care during the next week?
7. (Holiness) Are there activities or relationships in your present pattern of life that are hindering your growth in holiness because they make it difficult for you to be separated from sin and devoted to seeking God’s honor?
8. (Righteousness) Do you ever find yourself wishing that some of God’s laws were different than they are? If so, does such a wish reflect a dislike for some aspect of God’s moral character? What passages of Scripture might you read to convince yourself more fully that God’s character and his laws are right in these areas?
9. (Jealousy) Do you reflect God’s jealousy for his own honor instinctively when you hear him dishonored in conversation or on television or in other contexts? What can we do to deepen our jealousy for God’s honor?
10. (Wrath) Should we love the fact that God is a God of wrath who hates sin? In what ways is it right for us to imitate this wrath, and in what ways is it wrong for us to do so?
11. (Will) As children grow toward adulthood, what are proper and improper ways for them to show in their own lives greater and greater exercise of individual will and freedom from parental control? Are these to be expected as evidence of our creation in the image of God?
12. (Power) If God’s power is his ability to do what he wills to do, then is power for us the ability to obey God’s will and bring about results in the world that are pleasing to him? Name several ways in which we can increase in such power in our lives.
13. (Perfection) How does God’s attribute of perfection remind us that we can never be satisfied with the reflection of only some of God’s character in our own lives? Can you describe some aspects of what it would mean to “be perfect” as our heavenly Father is perfect, with respect to your own life?
14. (Blessedness) Are you happy with the way God created you–with the physical, emotional, mental, and relational traits he gave you? In what ways is it right to be happy or pleased with our own personalities, physical characteristics, abilities, positions, etc.? In what ways is it wrong to be pleased or happy about these things? Will we ever be fully “blessed” or happy? When will that be and why?
15. (Beauty) If we refuse to accept our society’s definition of beauty, or even the definitions we ourselves may have worked with previously, and decide that that which is truly beautiful is the character of God himself, then how will our understanding of beauty be different from the one we previously held? Will we still be able to rightly apply our new idea of beauty to some of the things we previously thought to be beautiful? Why or why not?
Now that I typed those all out, I think next I’ll try to go through and give Grudem’s brief definition of each of the attributes, to help those questions make sense. But I’m pregnant and tired right now, so I’m going to lay down. Until next time!