Who is God? (MP3 Series)

by Timothy J. Keller

The following sermons are in MP3 format. To download, right click and save to your hard drive.

The Trinity

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
If God was unipersonal,there would have been no love until he created the world. However,if the world was created by a triune God,then relationships of love are what life is all about. The Godhead is characterized by mutual self-giving love as the Father,Son,and Holy Spirit orbit around one another in a dance. It is impossible for us to join in if we focus on ourselves,but through Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross,we can be brought into the dance. Scripture: Mark 1:9-13; Genesis 1

God the Father

Knowing The Father
There are two ways to know someone: knowing information about them and knowing them personally. Christianity is about having a personal relationship with God,and the only way to do this is through Jesus Christ. Scripture: John 14:5-15; John 17

Seeing Him as He Is
Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only natural son of God; everyone else must be adopted. Yet once someone becomes a Christian,they immediately become a child of God. Being a child is a legal relationship - it means that we do not cease to be children when we behave in ways that are displeasing to the Father. It even means that God loves us as much as He loves His only natural son. 1 John 3:1-3;John 1:12; John 17:26; Romans 8:20-21; 1 Corinthians 13:12; John 17:24; Psalm 17:15

Basis of Prayer: "Our Father"
The proper basis for prayer is to approach God as a Father and to view our relationship with God as a family relationship - not a business relationship. In order to do this,we need to understand that we have been adopted as children of God because Jesus died for us. Scripture: Matthew 6:6-15;John 1:12,John 17,1 John 3:1

God Our Father
If we understand that God is our Father,we know that we are absolutely safe with him and that we will always have a home with him. Once we realize this,we can form a covenant with God and celebrate in his love for us. Psalm 103:1-2, 8-18; Hebrews 13

Jesus Christ

Christ our Prophet
We yearn for a truth outside of ourselves. We yearn for a God who speaks to us. Christianity differs from all other religions because Jesus Christ not only brings us the truth,but He IS the truth. When we acknowledge Jesus as Lord and put ourselves under His truth,then we will know true freedom. Scripture: Ephesians 2:14-22; Luke 6:46; Luke 9:35; Exodus 7: 1-2; Galatians 1:8; Hebrews 1: 1-2; John 1:1; John 8: 31-32 ,Matthew 6: 25-30; Colossians 3:16.  (read manuscript)

Honor The Son
We must submit to God's will for us to gain a life filled with true joy. Submission means we must wrestle with what God gives us,decide to trust God,and put the events in our lives in the context of an eternal perspective. Scripture: John 5:16-23

God with Us
What does it mean to say God is with us? The meaning of Christmas is that the Creator of the universe has become a human being. It means that the terrifying God who appeared in the Old Testament as a whirlwind and a fire has become a vulnerable baby in order to be close to us. What,in turn,will we do in order to be close to Him? Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25;    John 1:1,14,17; Acts 20:28; Acts 14:11-13; Job 38:1; Genesis 15:17; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3; Exodus 33:18-23; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 3:13; Romans 1:17; 1 Corinthians 13:7

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
Jesus behaves in a completely different way than church leaders. When church leaders meet people who are excited to attend their church,they are ecstatic. Yet when Jesus meets people who claim to be eager to follow Him,Jesus rebukes them. Jesus does not take advantage of their idealism. Instead,Jesus cautions them about the sacrifices that will occur if they follow Him. Scripture: Luke 9:57-60; Romans 14:17

Authentic Christianity
In the conclusion to the sermon on the mount,Jesus challenges everyone. He challenges those who don't attend church by telling them that not all roads lead to God. He challenges those inside the church by telling them that not everyone who calls him "Lord,Lord" will be saved. Scripture: Matthew 7:13-27; John 14:6; 1 Samuel 15; Philippians 3:4-9

The Cosmic King
What does it mean for Jesus to be the alpha and the omega? When we see him as "alpha," we see him as God. We understand who we are in the light of knowing that we are beings created by and for God. When we see him as "omega," we cease to use Jesus as a means to a greater end. Instead,Jesus himself becomes our greatest end. Scripture: Revelation 1:9-18; Daniel 12

Jesus Our King
We naturally have a love/hate relationship with kings. For thousands of years,myths and legends have centered on the return of a noble king who will rule the people justly. Yet,submitting to a king means that we have to subordinate our own will to the king - and no one yearns for that. Psalm 2; Romans 8:7; Leviticus 19:2; Exodus 20:3; Exodus 34:7; Luke 14:26; Job 23:10

Who is this Jesus?: An Open Forum (YouTube)
How do we know that Christianity is true? There are two tests of any valid worldview - that it is intellectually credible and existentially satisfying. The main evidence for the truth of Christianity is Jesus Christ himself. If we look at the magnitude of Jesus' claims and the evidence of his life, we are led to the conclusion that Jesus is who he says he is.Open Forums are specifically designed for skeptics or those wrestling with the claims of Christianity. Each Open Forum included a brief concert by guest artists followed by a talk and open mic Q&A with Timothy Keller. This audio recording includes the talk only.

The Parable of the Pearl; On Priorities
Becoming a Christian is not a change of degree but a change in kind. It is leaving your native home and entering the Kingdom of God. But entering the Kingdom of God means being willing to sacrifice everything that goes against your new King. In other words,the Kingdom of God will cost you everything you have. But is it expensive? Not at all. It's a bargain. Matthew 13:44-46; Colossians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 4:20; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 2:8; Romans 8:18; Joshua 7

Imitating the Incarnation
Many people today believe that Jesus never claimed to be God. They think Jesus was merely a wise teacher whose followers later deified him. Yet,key passages such as Philippians 2 demonstrate that from the very beginning of Christianity,Jesus was worshipped as God. In our lives,we can only see Jesus' love for us once we realize that he is God. Jesus left the perfect love of the Trinity in order to serve us. He then sends His disciples out into the world,following in his footsteps,serving and sacrificially loving others. Philippians 2:3-11; Romans 8; Colossians 2:9

Jesus, Our God
If the baby in manger really is God,then Jesus is not a mere teacher whose instructions we can accept or reject as we please. Instead,Jesus calls us to a life of radical obedience to Him. Christmas isn't about hanging out in front of comfortable fireplaces. When Jesus came into this world,he lost all his comfort. Jesus went from the joys of heaven to a filthy manger. Jesus likewise calls us to exit our comfort zones and live a life of adventure and service. Colossians 1:15-20; Philippians 3:10; Hebrews 12:2; Mark 10:29

Meeting the Real Jesus
There are three kinds of people who are open to Jesus: the poor,the violent,and the "least of these." Those who are poor,or those who know they're no different than the poor,identify with Jesus the most. If we identify with him and choose to accept him,he will disrupt our lives in order to change us and heal us. Scripture: Matthew 11:4-1

Rejecting the Real Jesus
Why do so many people disbelieve Christianity and reject the message of Jesus Christ? The underlying problem is that we do not want to give up control over our lives and have God be our ultimate authority. To overcome unbelief we must see our need for a Savior and look to Jesus Christ,the wisdom of God,who died for us on the cross. Scripture: Matthew 11:16-24

Lord of the Wine
Why did Jesus use his powers for something as trivial as replenishing wine at a party? It is because he knows that history will ultimately end at another feast,the wedding supper of the Lamb. Jesus sits in sorrow at this wedding party as he thinks of the price he will have to pay in order to invite us to the ultimate wedding party. He offers us his wine so we may taste God and know joy. Scripture: John 2:1-11; Isaiah 25:6-8; Revelation 21

The King is Come
What do we learn from Jesus' entry into Jerusalem? Jesus is incredibly humble but absolutely immodest. He orchestrates his entry to show that he is the King. His message to everyone is that they can crown him or kill him,but there is no middle way. The same choice holds true for each and every one of us. Matthew 21:1-17; Acts 19:13-16; Revelation 3:15-16

Thomas meets Jesus
John 20:24-31; Acts 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:8; Ephesians 2:20; 1 John 1:1-2; John 8:19,45-46,58; John 12:44-45; Exodus 3:14; John 6:53

The Terrifying Jesus
John 6:16-24; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Matthew 12:40-41; Jonah 2:3-4; 1 John 1:9

The Story of the Lamb
One of the major narrative plot lines of the Bible is the story of the lamb. It runs all through the Bible,beginning with the story of Abraham being asked to kill Isaac,continuing with the Passover in Egypt,and running through the Passover supper with Jesus and his disciples. In all of these cases a lamb is offered as a sacrifice for a debt. In John 1,John the Baptist tells us to "behold the lamb of God," meaning to soak in and understand who Jesus is and the debt he paid for us with his death. Scripture: Exodus 12:1-13

The Lordship of Christ
A great temptation for Christians is relating to God in a mercenary fashion. We desire to use God in order to further our own purposes. Even when we want to serve God, we place limits upon our obedience. Accepting Jesus as Lord combats this tendency . Instead of acting as if God exists to serve us, we live our lives striving to serve God - no matter what the cost. Scripture: Luke 14:26; Luke 9:21-26,59-62; Luke 10:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12:13

The Doctrine of The Word
God's Word is perfect and true,and we can measure everything by the standard of Scripture. God reveals himself to us through nature,through the written Scripture,and through Jesus' actions. In these ways God enables us to learn about him. Scripture: Psalm 19:1-14

Christ: The Final Word
Jesus is the final Word and ultimate truth of God. But if we don't listen to and accept God's final Word,we can't have a personal relationship with him. We have to adjust to God's finalities,just as he adjusted to ours by becoming human and dying for us. This understanding should melt our hearts and change our lives as we become more and more focused on God and the gospel. Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:1-4; 2 Corinthians 3

The True Bridegroom
In order to understand sin,we need to understand that we are not merely rebelling against a king or straying from a shepherd,but that we are committing adultery and breaking the heart of a God who has entered into a marriage covenant with us. In the book of Hosea,we see one of the clearest Biblical images of God as a wronged lover who sacrifices everything in order to save his wayward bride. Scripture: Hosea 3:1-5; 11:4-11; Jeremiah 2-4; Ezekiel 16; Isaiah 54; Matthew 9:14-15

I Am He
John 18:1-11; Exodus 3:14; John 8:58; Matthew 23:33-34; Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 1:28; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14; Luke 5:8; Isaiah 6:1-5; Ephesians 6:11

The Word Made Flesh
John's Gospel begins by teaching that Jesus Christ is the Word of God. Just as we come to know a person through speaking to them and listening to their words,we come to know God by listening to Jesus speak to us. Yet,Jesus did not come solely to speak. He came to live among us so that there is nothing we will suffer that He has not also suffered. But most of all,He came to die for us. In the incarnation,God became vulnerable to us - even to death - and yet He loved us so much that He was glad to so. John 1:1-14; Hebrews 2:14-18; Mark 2:5

The Meaning of Christmas (YouTube)
Christmas shows why Christianity is unique. In all other religions,a prophet arrives and teaches how we can find eternal life. In Christianity,God himself comes to us and gives himself as the way to eternal life. Christmas shows that salvation is by grace,that we can have true intimacy with God,that love really matters,and that there exists an unceasing river of joy beneath all the sorrows of this world. Scripture: 1 John 1:1-4; Exodus 33:18-20; John 1; John 5; John 17

The Holy Spirit

Marks of the Fullness of the Spirit
Marks of the Holy Spirit include a heart filled with musical praises of God and a contentment and gratitude for what God has given you. Churches often overlook these seemingly ordinary gifts to focus on the more miraculous gifts of the spirit. Scripture: Ephesians 5:18-21; Romans 1:21

Witness of The Spirit (YouTube)
There are three jobs that the Holy Spirit does in a Christian's life. The first is to regenerate us by dwelling in us and making our spirit alive. The second is to sanctify us by putting to death our misdeeds and destroying our motivation for sin. The third job of the Spirit is to assure us that we are children of God and we belong to him. Scripture: Romans 8:1-17

The Principle of Spiritual Power
The Holy Spirit is the source of spiritual power available to all Christians. When we trust in Christ's work done on our behalf,we can turn from trusting ourselves,and our spiritual life will begin. Scripture: Galatians 3:1-5

The Sin Against The Holy Spirit
God has an infinite willingness to forgive,but forgiveness is not easy and comes at infinite cost. If we resist the work of the Holy Spirit,showing us where we're wrong and leading us to repentance,it is possible for us to deny God and put ourselves outside of his power to forgive. Only through an understanding of the gospel can we come to confession and repentance. Scripture: Matthew 12:30-32

Who is the Spirit?
Many people feel as if they understand who God the Father is and who Jesus is,but they become confused about the Holy Spirit. In this sermon,Tim Keller explains who the Holy Spirit is and clarifies misunderstandings about what the Holy Spirit is not. In the process,he shows what it means for the Holy Spirit to dwell richly in us. Scripture: John 14:16-26; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 6:63; Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:16-19; Romans 8:15-16; Hebrews 12:5-6; 1 John 3:20; James 4:4-5; 1 John 2:1; John 16: 14-15

The Person & Attributes of God

Why Doesn't Life Make Sense?; His Justice
We all know that there is a moral standard higher than our own hearts. But if that's true,how could we ever face God's judgment? Yet he is not just our teacher - he is the judge who has been judged in our place so that we can have rest. Scripture: Matthew 11:20-30

The Dangerous God
It is no accident that the Bible often refers to judgment day as "the Day of the Lord." We live our lives as if we are the lead actors in the drama of this world. Judgment day is the day when God is paramount. On that day,all people will step back and see the world being put right when God is placed at the center of all things. Scripture:  2 Peter 3:1-13; John 3:30; 1 John 3:2-3

Beholding the Love of God
Knowing God is not an anti-rational mystical experience. Knowing God occurs when the truth overflows from your mind into your entire being. Knowing God is when the truth you've heard a thousand times becomes experientially real,and you marvel at the miracle of God's love for us. Scripture: 1 John 3:1-3; Isaiah 53

Mercy, Not Sacrifice
Our hearts naturally divide the world into "good" people and "bad" people. Jesus will have none of that. He comes to our world and flocks to the sinners,not the self-righteous Pharisees. Jesus shows us that God does not view people as "good" or "bad," but as "proud" or "humble." Matthew 9:9-17; Philippians 3, Hosea 6:6

David and the Ark
Just as water and fire cannot exist together,neither can God's holiness with man's sinfulness. How can the gap be bridged? Scripture: 2 Samuel 6:1-23;    Lev,1:1-17; 1 Chr. 13:5-14,15:1-16:43; Jer. 3:16; Heb. 10:5,10

The Love of Jesus
In the life of Jesus Christ,we see a living example of the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus modeled love,but He did so in a way that challenges our culture's understanding of love. In this passage Jesus shows that love is more than romance or a feeling. Fundamentally,love is an action. Jesus demonstrates His love for the disciples by moving straight to where they are least attractive - their feet. We tend to avoid loving less attractive people. We like to love beautiful people so that we can feel better about ourselves. Jesus shows His love by the fact that He served us despite not needing anything from us. He loved us because He had a vision for what we could be without sin. Scripture: John 13:1-21; Psalm 40:6-8; Matthew 16:23; Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13

Accepting the Judge
Without a judgment day,we would live in a hopeless world. But if there is a judgment day,none of us could bear the weight of judgment. However,in Christ we have already been judged. In Christ we can live between two judgments: the judgment we've already passed through and the coming judgment of the world. Scripture: John 12:41-; Matthew 7:16-19; Matthew 25

Considering the Great Love of God (YouTube)
Modern people take the idea of a loving God,which is only found in the Bible,for granted. Yet,the biblical idea of God is so much richer than any simple conception of a loving God. God is both a lover and a king; God is both a judge and a Savior. It is only when we see the tension between all of God's characteristics that we can truly ponder the love of God. Scripture: Psalm 107:31-43

Does God Control Everything?
What does it mean to say that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ? What is the relationship between God's sovereignty and our free will? This sermon explores the tensions between God's rule and our free will,and it relates how those truths are connected to God's love. In the end,it is only because God is sovereign that Christians can be assured that nothing will separate them from God's love. Scripture: Romans 8:28,38-39; Proverbs 16:1,9; Acts 27; Matthew 10:32; John 15:16; John 6:44; Deuteronomy 7:7-8; Psalm 27:10

The Silent Sovereignty of God
The book of Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God. Yet in reality we see God working behind the scenes in the smallest details to shape our lives,to call us to him,and to teach us the difference between what the world desires and what he desires. The world is obsessed with beauty and outward appearance and performance,but Jesus Christ loves us in spite of our flaws in order to make us beautiful. Scripture: Esther 2:5-10;16-23

God's Law
God's law is an expression of his character,not an arbitrary set of rules. Since we are made in his image,following his law leads to our flourishing. Yet,none of us can follow the law. We desire idols more than we desire God. This is why we need Jesus. He is the only one who ever kept the law perfectly. When we believe in him we get credit for his perfect obedience. With Jesus,we can obey the law without fear since we rest in his record,not our own. Deuteronomy 5:6-21, 24-29; James 2:10; Luke 19:41-42; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Maker of Heaven and Earth
We live in a culture where the psychology class will teach that your problem is a lack of self-esteem,but the philosophy and biology classes will teach you that you are nothing. The doctrine of creation shows that the universe is not an accident and that every single human being has inherent value because they are made in the image of God. Yet,God is not merely a distant creator. God entered the world and died to redeem it because He loves us so much. Scripture: Psalm 8:1-9; Genesis 1-2; Luke 1:68; Matthew 21:14-16; Deuteronomy 7:7; John 17:19

The Jealousy of God
This sermon is a part of a series on the attributes of God. Exodus chapter 20 reveals the jealousy of God. What is God's jealousy? And how is it different from human envy? This sermon explains what the jealousy of God is, what it calls for from us, and how we can answer that call. Scripture: Exodus 20:1-6; 1 Corinthians 10:22; 1 Corinthians 3:3; Romans 13:13; 2 Corinthians 11:2-4; 1 Samuel 18:7; Luke 9:60; Joshua 24:19; Ephesians 5:22-27

The Justice of God
This passage tells us that God is a God of justice. Doing justice is not simply punishing wrong people. Doing justice also means giving the oppressed and the weak their due. How can we become people who reflect the God of justice through a life of justice? This sermon shows how you become a person of justice not just by discussing the God of justice, but by praising, worshiping, and adoring adoring the God of justice. Scripture: Psalm 146:1-10; Micah 6:8; Leviticus 24:22; Proverbs 31:9; Job 29: 12-17; Job 31: 17-22; Proverbs 14:31; Deuteronomy 10:17-19; 2 Kings 5; Numbers 22-24; Matthew 5: 21-22; 2 Timothy 4: 16-17; Isaiah 61: 1-2; Luke 4: 14-19; James 2: 14-17

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