Our God, He Is Alive
See full series: hymns
Our God, He Is Alive
Sermon by Thomas Thornhill Jr
Passage: Genesis 1:1
Sunday, November 29, 2020 pm
SERMONS FROM SONGS
This being a fifth Sunday, I would like to continue a tradition I started a few years back. We take a song that we sing from time to time and examine its message. Even though we are only assembling once a week together right now, we are still providing resources with the hope that you continue to study God’s word together and worship God at home.
As I frequently note, the premise behind lessons about the songs we sing is because, when we sing we are “teaching and admonishing one another” (Colossians 3:16). 1 Corinthians 14:15 which deals with proper worship, we are called upon to “sing with the spirit”, and “sing with the understanding.” Thus our songs need to be truthful in their message. My hopes in lessons like these are to give these lessons a little more meaning.
Tonight, we want to examine the song, “Our God He is alive”. It is found in the back of our song book, added by the publishers in the early 70s. Prior to this, it was pasted on that page after being written around 1966.
It was both written and composed by Arron Wesley Dicus (1888-1978). A.W. Dicus was an accomplished person. He obeyed the gospel, being baptized into Christ, in 1908 at the age of 12. He began preaching the gospel in 1915, while also teaching school, varying throughout his life from a one room schoolhouse, to teaching at High Schools in Indiana and Illinois, teaching science at the University of Bloomington, to head of the department of Physics a Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in Cookville, TN, and eventually teaching military training of nuclear studies at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (He eventually received a Ph. D. Of interest, is that he invented the turn signal in the early 1920s. He also invented a pencil sharpener and a skill saw. He also helped to develop technology associated with the nuclear bombs used to end WWII. 
After this, in the 1950, he was invited to serve as academic dean at Florida (Christian) College in Temple Terrace, FL. During all of his life, he continued preaching the gospel and he also wrote about 25 songs.
“Our God, He is Alive” is his most well known song, though he also wrote, “Lord, I believe” in the back of our song books (#667). It has been said that this song was written during a time when philosophers in America were declaring, “God is dead.” Dicus wrote this song in reply. And as we have noted, he was also a WELL-RESPECTED physicist (scientist) who staunchly believed in God (science and God to NOT contradict each other). Let us now consider the words to this song.
Vs. 1 – Creator of the world.
- There is beyond the azure blue – above the heavens, and beyond the natural realm. God is outside the natural realm. And that factors into creation
- A God concealed from human sight – He is “invisible” to the natural eye.
In the debate over creation, understand that what makes our God able to create this universe is the fact that He is outside of it. Necessary to create the universe.
Romans 1:20 speaks of His invisible attributes being clearly seen by the things that are made… In other words, there is enough evidence to point to God.
3 powerful arguments that point to a creator include:
– The teleological argument which basically says – design demands a designer. This world and universe appears designed and thus there has to be God (outside of this universe)
– The Cosmological argument says since this universe had to begin at some point, something or someone had to start it. That “someone or something” has to be outside of the universe. God fits that.
– The moral argument – which basically states that the existence of a true (real, or objective) moral standard demands something greater than the world. Without God, there is no real reason for morality.
The Bible also declares God, though invisible, clearly exists and has revealed Himself to us.
– Colossians 1:15-16, notes that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
– John 1:18, as John is introducing Jesus, he notes, No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
- He tinted skies with heavenly hue, and framed the world with His great might – this is a description of Him creating all things, giving them beauty – Psalm 19:1 – the heavens declare the glory of God.
Hebrews 11:3 tells us that by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by His word.
Genesis 1:1, 3 – “then God said…”
Psalm 33:6-9, By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
Job 38:1-6, etc. As the LORD answers Job after numerous complaints and the erroneous accusations of his friends. NOTICE How He begins! “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?…” (vs. 4)
Vs. 2 – God has spoken to us through the prophets
- There was a long, long time ago – as used here, Dicus is referencing the times of prophets, which would be the Old Testament. Between 2000-4000 years ago.
- A God whose voice the prophets heard – in recent studies I have come to appreciate the power of prophecy. It is a lynchpin that establishes WHY we should accept the Bible over other so-called works of deity and their prophets.
- The first recorded prophet was likely Moses who lived about 1500 BC. He wrote about Jesus – Genesis 3:15 (Galatians 4:4), Genesis 12:1-3 – in the seed of Abraham, all nations would be blessed; Deuteronomy 18:15-18 – a prophet to be raised up like Moses (Acts 3:22)
- It is said that there are more than 300 prophecies in every portion of the Old Testament concerning Jesus, some with dual implications, but others spoken so specifically that it cannot be anything BUT God declaring His messiah – Jesus – so many, that it requires blinders to deny the hand of God at work.
- Jesus appealed to the prophets – John 5:45-47 – where Jesus appealed to Moses speaking of Him. Luke 24:44 – Jesus explained to His apostles how all things concerning needed to be fulfilled.
- There were prophecies about events that would take place within a lifetime or even a few centuries later – such as the proclamation of Cyrus as a deliverer (Isaiah 44:28-45:1 – NOTE: A study of those chapters SHOW that what YHWH is doing is declaring His godhood over the many false gods and idols they were worshipping.
- Abraham is told they would be slaves in a foreign land for 400 years (Genesis 15:13-14)
– A prophet from Judah told a king (Jeroboam) what would happen to his bones (1 kings 13:1-3)
– Daniel and Ezekiel prophesied of the 70 years captivity (longest to date)
– He also foretold world events and kingdoms leading to Christ Jesus (Daniel 2:44)
- He is the God that we should know – In addition to what we see about Jesus, consider
– Hebrews 1:1-2, Isaiah 46:9-10, Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
Also 2 Peter 1:19-21 – we have the prophetic word confirmed…
1 Peter 1:10-12 – the prophets inquired and did not get the whole story – we have it.
- Who speaks from His inspired word – 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. When God speaks, we need to listen.
Vs. 3 – God, the giver of life. His ways past ours
- Secure is life from mortal mind – man cannot explain where came from. With all the knowledge of science we have, at best all one has concerning the origin of life on earth, let alone how that developed into the complex forms that now exist, is observations that things live. Man CANNOT create life. He can dissect it, determine its chemical compound, etc. – but he CANNOT create that spark of life. He CANNOT explain (naturally) how we got here.
But the Bible does!
- God holds the germ within his hand – the idea of a “germ” here is that spark that begins the process of life. A germ is a living thing that grows and multiplies quickly (consider our current pandemic).
As to life, God spoke and life happened – Genesis 1 describes how God created plants on day 3 (Genesis 1:11-12), fish and birds on day 5 (Gen. 1:20-22), cattle and man on the 6th day (Gen. 1:24-26). Especially consider Genesis 1:26 concerning man – created in the image of God. Genesis 2:7 notes that God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living being.
God gives life – 1 Timothy 6:13 declares that God gives life to all things
Also Acts 17:25 – Paul in Athens declares, Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
- Though men may search they cannot find, for God alone doeth understand – again consider Job 38 – He was there when the earth was created (cf. Genesis 1:1)
But also, consider the mind of God – He knows things we do not. He knows why and often we do not. His ways are not our ways – Isaiah 40:13 says, “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has taught Him?” This verse is referenced in Romans 11:34 as Paul explains the inclusion of the Gentiles (all mankind), AND 1 Corinthians 2:16 where Paul is explaining how we know what we know about God – because He has revealed it (1 Cor. 2:7, 9-12ff).
Also Isaiah 55:8-9 – His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.
Romans 11:33-34 notes Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?”
Vs. 4 – God, the giver of our Savior.
- Our God, whose Son upon a tree, A life was willing there to give – in this song, have declared the existence of the God of the Bible, He now gives us spiritual purpose. He declares the gospel – John 3:16, Romans 5:6-9 – God demonstrated His love by sending His own Son to die.
– Philippians 2:5-8 – Jesus freely, and willingly died on that cross for us.
Hebrews 12:2 notes that with joy, Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame… (cf. Galatians 3:13-14)
- That He from sin might set man free – Redemption – a word that means to be set free (a price paid to liberate)
– Titus 2:14 – He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed.
– 1 Peter 1:18 – we were redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus.
– Acts 2:38 – repent and be baptized “For the remission of sins”
- And ever more with Him could live – our hope.
– Philippians 3:9-11 – Paul’s willingness to suffer the loss of all things that He might gain Christ and ultimately attain “the resurrection of the dead”.
– 1 Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of being caught up in the are to meet the Lord, “And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” We are those who seek, “glory, honor and immorality” (Romans 2:7), and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 where Paul summarizes his treatise on the resurrection, both of Jesus and our resurrection.
The Chorus – There is a God, He is alive.
- There is a God – as we have noted throughout this lesson
- He is alive – God is described as eternal, everlasting – Psalm 90:2, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Psalm 102:12, “But You, O LORD, shall endure forever”
Romans 16:26, He is described as the “everlasting God.”
- In Him we live – Acts 17:28. Jesus offers us, not only physical life, but eternal life – John 10:10 – He came that we might have life abundantly.
- And we survive – when this world ends, we will live on, and if we are in Him, we will live eternally with Him – Matthew 25:46. Recall Matthew 10:28 – fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Hell.
- From dust our God, created man – again, Genesis 2:7
- He is our God, the Great I AM – may God be YOUR God. He truly is “The great I AM” one of the powerful descriptions of God in scripture. Revealed to Moses at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 3:13-14), and even applied by Jesus to Himself in John 8:58 where the Jews understood EXACTLY what that meant.
And thus we remind ourselves of the message of another song. So much more could be said about this one, but our time is past and commend these thoughts to you.
We are living in times where God is being more minimalized almost every day. In this present pandemic, more than one local leader has declared, “We are going with the science”, while denying Christians and others who believe in God full freedom to worship as they believe they should. There is no interest in preserving or permitting genuine and convicted faith, but too many want to tell us how to believe, worship and serve our God. It is because of such that we need to sing songs like, “Our God, He is Alive” to simply remind us, He is there and greater than we are. Yes, there is something to be said about science as we deal with this pandemic, BUT there is even more to be said about God. Therefore, is He YOUR God? Think about it!
 Much of the biography was taken from an article upon his death that was published by Truth Magazine in 1978. Authored by Irvin Himmel, it can be found at this link: https://www.truthmagazine.com/aaron-w-dicus-1888-1978