God’s character revealed in the gospel
No subject is more likely to lead Christians to worship God for the riches of his love and grace, for the magnificence of his longsuffering and mercy, and for the truth and justice of his judgments than the gospel. But perhaps no other doctrines have more deeply divided serious and sincere Christians than those contained in the gospel, particularly the age–old controversy regarding the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.
These four seminars seek a deeper understanding of the character of God as exhibited in the gospel in order to save us from holding any views and preaching any ideas that would detract from the glory of God and misrepresent his character. Rather than presenting a fully worked out system of theology, they call attention to Scriptures that have a bearing on this general topic and touch on the honour and character of God. No matter what view we hold to in these matters, all of us should be able to agree that it will always be wise to come back to holy Scripture as it is written, to test and, if need be, modify our own views.
In any discussion of these matters it is also necessary to admit that we have much more to learn of our infinite Lord and Saviour. And, while our hearts wish nothing but his glory, sometimes our misunderstandings must vex and dishonour him. May he give us that due sense of humility about ourselves first, and towards those who disagree with us, so that the wonderful things of God’s gospel do not become occasions of strife and rejection of our fellow Christians.
The motivation for studying the character of God as it is revealed in his glorious gospel should be that our hearts and spirits may well up in fervent and genuine adoration of the wonder that God is in himself. And with it there shall come the same divine compassion and attitude that God has shown to those who are still lost, so that we ourselves may be more motivated to carry that gospel to them.