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Attributes of God


I was reading something the other day and the author said that every year people pick a word or have a word in mind to set their focus on for change or to achieve and she said that she thinks we should go a step farther and look at God’s attributes and seek one of those as well and see how often we see God throughout this year.

So, I want to talk about the attributes of God today.


When we speak of God's attributes, we are talking about those characteristics that helps us to understand who He truly is. 


Eternality

Exodus 3:14 — And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM."

Hebrews 13:8 — Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.


Not only has God himself existed eternally into the past, but so also has His plan for His creation. Before the foundations of the world, God ordained the Creation, the Fall, the Incarnation and Resurrection, and the Salvation of His people. This is a wondrous truth for the believer for it grants him confidence in the tenacity of his faith.


Goodness

Exodus 34:6-7 — The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.


One of the most essential attributes of God is His goodness. God is not good because it is attractive for Him to be so, nor does He follow some sort of standard for goodness. God is so good that He is the source of goodness; He alone is the rule and measure of what we truly know to be good. To the Christian, the goodness of the Lord is a security. Romans 8:28 tells that "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." This is the believer's rest and assurance.


Grace

Ephesians 4:7 — But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

Hebrews 4:16 — Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Grace is a gift of honor and a of blessing unearned or unmerited. When we speak of God's grace, we speak of those wonderful gifts that no man deserves but God grants anyway. There are several methods by which God demonstrates His grace to us. There is what we call "common grace" — this is that grace that God shines upon everyone. He does not have to give life to anyone, no one can demand it from Him, and He can take it when He pleases. The other kind of grace is that special grace which God demonstrates on those whom he chooses to be His people. This grace also causes us to throw ourselves at the feet of the Lord in praise and rejoicing for His pleasure in granting us salvation.


Holiness

1 Samuel 2:2 — "No one is holy like the Lord."

Isaiah 6:3 — "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!"

Revelation 4:8 — "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"


Holiness is synonymous with God’s total purity. Holiness is moral purity. This holiness so sets God apart from fallen man that in his natural state, no man may approach the incorruptible God — this is evidenced by the special commands to those who would approach God. God's holiness is one of the primary reasons why the advent of Christ is so incredible: it allows men who were once unable to come before God the ability to kneel before the throne of God and worship forever and ever.


Immanence

Acts 17:27-28 — He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being.


Immanence describes a God who is at working through every moment of the lives of His creation to produce a love for and enjoyment of His Word, His Gospel, and Himself. God does not sit back and merely observe a creation which he set in motion; he is present and actively participating in His world.


Immutability

Malachi 3:6 — "For I am the Lord, I do not change."


In God's unchanging lies a great source of comfort. The fact that God does not change his mind, his characteristics, his plan, or anything else is a security better than any earthly insurance for it guarantees His quality of character and gives security to the believer that if He has saved one of us, that saved person WILL persevere to the end for God has chosen him and will not change his mind and let that man slip through His fingers into the breach of hell. No, God neither changes His plan, His covenants, His prophecies, nor His justice; this lends greatly to His dependability.


Justice

Exodus 34:6-7 — The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord!

The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected — even children in the third and fourth generations.”

1 Peter 1:17 — The Father... without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.


God is the ultimate judge over the lives and actions of men. There seems to be so much injustice in the world, but true justice is not meted out in this earthly realm, but in the true realm. In the end, each man will receive his just deserts at the hands of God who cannot be persuaded or bribed. In God's justice, we can find a comfort for all the wrongs against us and against mankind.


Love

Romans 8:35, 39 — Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? [Neither] height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


We all have a basic understanding of what love is, but we are unable to comprehend the depths of True love. This is the love that God embodies. God is the genesis of love; He is its source; and it is by Him that we experience love. God loves His creation and better than His creation, God loves His people — those whom He will take with Himself into eternal glory! This is one of the greatest truths of Scripture.


Mercy

Hebrews 4:16 — Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Ephesians 2:4 — God, who is rich in mercy.


Mercy is when that which is deserved is withheld to the benefit of the object of mercy. God has demonstrated this attribute in abundance with respect to mankind. We, from nearly the beginning of our existence, have deserved nothing but wrath. But thankfully, God has been so amazing in His mercy. God has chosen us to greatness and glory by the hand of His Son. The believer finds himself in Christ and enjoys full well the fruits of God's mercy.


Omnipotence

Romans 11:36 — For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Jeremiah 32:17 — "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you."

Matthew 19:26 — "With God all things are possible."


God has the unlimited power to accomplish anything that can be accomplished — this is termed omnipotence. The things God does are neither difficult nor easy for God; they are only either done or not done. God's power to do all that He desires is the fuel for the engine of sovereignty, which accomplishes His providence.


Omnipresence

1 Kings 8:27 — "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You."

Psalm 90:1-2 — LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.


By omnipresence — God is everywhere in the fullness of His being. This allows Him to interact in any place at any time. Being in all locations present in the whole of His being, there is no place we can go and not be in His presence; this is a comfort for Christians. While it is beyond our understanding to work out how it is that God can be ever-present but act locally, we accept it in like manner as many other unmanageable idea when it comes to God.


Omniscience

Romans 11:33 — Oh the depth of His riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Hebrews 4:13 — And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.


When we say God is omniscient, we mean that He knows all that there is to know. There is nothing that is outside the scope of His understanding or attention. There is one reality and God knows it in its entirety, as it exists because of Him.


Righteousness

Psalm 145:17 — The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works.

Jeremiah 9:24 — "But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the Lord.


Righteousness is like goodness and holiness but differs in that it requires works to establish it. Christians are called righteous, not because they have any ability to accomplish good works, but because they reside in the good works (or righteousness) of Christ. Christ's obedience is transferred to us, and God grants us eternal life as a result!


Self-Existence

Psalm 90:2 — Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

John 1:1-5 — In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Colossians 1:15-17 — He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.


For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

By self-existence, we refer to that unique attribute of God by which He has existed eternally and will always exist so. Our earth owes its existence to God who through whatever means and processes he saw fit, created the world. All events have causes. All creatures have been created. Except for God. God did not depend upon anything outside Himself for His existence, nor will He ever depend upon anyone for it.


Sovereignty

Exodus 18:11 - Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods.

Romans 9:15 - For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."


Sovereignty tells of God's divine control over everything that happens. There is nothing outside the control of His loving Hand. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of God's children and verses 38-39 implies that there is nothing beyond the control of God's sovereign hand. God's sovereignty is a huge source of comfort to the believer, for it helps him to know that no matter how chaotic any situation may seem, he really need not fear for God is still in charge.


Transcendence

Isaiah 55:8-9 - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Psalm 113:5-6 - Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?


Transcendence - God is unlike any other being in our experience and so no analogy or comparison can come close to perfectly describing Him. All that we truly know of God comes solely through what He has chosen to reveal about Himself to us through His Word. We know and trust that He will eventually make all things right and pay back every iniquity and reward all righteousness.

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