AMANA TRUST BIBLE STUDIES

Lesson 3:
The Power and Characteristics of God Manifested in His Creation
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 1:18-20
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold down the truth in unrighteousness,
19 Because that which is known of God is manifest within them, for God manifested it to them.
20 For the invisible things of Him, both His eternal power and divine characteristics, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being perceived by the things made, so that they would be without excuse.

Introduction

After presenting Jesus Christ designated as the firstborn Son of God and the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel, the book of Romans describes the absolutely fallen and wicked condition of man, which is subject to the wrath and condemnation of God. Although mankind has rejected Him, God still manifests His being to man through His wonderful creation.

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

After the introduction [in Romans 1:1-17], Paul presents the matter of condemnation in four aspects: on mankind in general (1:18-32), on the self-righteous in particular (2:1-16), on the religious specifically (2:17-3:8), and on all the world totally (3:9-20)…Although we do not want to dwell upon the subject of condemnation, there are two points related to it that are quite important. First is the source of evil, the source of wickedness. Because of this source mankind is evil...Second, we need to see the way of restriction. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 3, section 1)

The first item in the way of restriction is knowing God by His creation (1:19-20). The invisible things of God, His eternal power and divine nature, can be apprehended by His creation. The heavens and the earth manifest the invisible things of God. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 3, section 3)

By looking at the universe we can also see the divine characteristics of this Divine Being. Every attribute of God is a divine characteristic. Light is one of God’s many attributes. This attribute, or characteristic, of God is expressed in God’s creation of the universe. This is why the entire universe is not under darkness but in light.

Beauty is another one of God’s characteristics or attributes. The universe is beautiful. Only a beautiful person would and could create something beautiful. The universe is also full of life. Three categories of life can be seen in creation: the plant life, the animal life, and the human life. All these different types of life point to the very God who Himself is life.

Our God being manifested in His creation is a great truth that we need to teach to the Lord’s children. He is manifested in the aspect of His eternal, unlimited power, and He is also manifested in the aspect of His characteristics, such as light, beauty, and life. Light, beauty, and life are a few of the many characteristics, or attributes, of God, which show how marvelous He is. (Elders’ Training Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles, ch. 2, section 2)

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 3, sections 1, 3
Five Great Mysteries in the Bible, ch. 1, sections 4-5
Gospel Outlines, outline 2 (The Meaning of the Universe—God)

Radio broadcast link:
Broadcast 4, The Source of Wickedness and the Way of Restriction (start at 14:33 and end at the 18:12-minute mark)

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 1:20, footnotes 1-2

Questions for personal or corporate study:

References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • What are the divine characteristics of God? (Romans 1:20, footnote 1, Recovery Version)
  • How does creation manifest the invisible things (the eternal power and divine characteristics) of God? (Five Great Mysteries in the Bible, ch. 1, sections 4-5; Gospel Messages, outline 2)
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We highly recommend using the printed Life-study messages as a tool to explore this lesson. There are over 1,900 Life-study messages in total, and this amazing resource expands and develops this lesson in greater detail.

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Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985. www.ministrybooks.org

---. Life-study of Romans. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989. www.ministrybooks.org

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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