THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

(Lesson 03 on Bible Doctrines) 



 

  1. GOD IS HOLY (Isa. 6:1-5; 57:15; Rev. 4:8). The basic idea behind the word “holy” is separated.  For example, the Bible is referred to as the “Holy Bible” because it is set apart from all other books.  God’s holiness is the foundation or basis for our separation from sin, the world, and worldly people (II Cor. 6:14—7:1; James 4:4; I Peter 1:15, 16; I John 2:15-17).
  2. GOD IS RIGHTEOUS (Ps. 19:9; 116:5; 145:17; Jer. 12:1). God’s righteousness is an extension of His holiness, and describes His holiness in action.
  3. GOD IS TRUE (Deut. 32:4; Rom. 3:4). God’s truth is linked with His holiness (Rev. 3:7; 6:10).

    ·    God the Father is the truth (John 5:32; 7:28; 8:26; 17:3).

    ·    God the Son is the truth (John 14:6; I John 5:20; Rev.19:11).

    ·    God the Holy Spirit is the truth (John 14:17; 15:26; I John 5:6).

  4. GOD IS FAITHFUL (Ps. 89:1, 2, 8, 24, 33, 34; II Thess. 3:3).  God’s faithfulness is an extension of His truthfulness.  Just as God’s righteousness is His holiness in action, God’s faithfulness is His truthfulness in action.  The Lord Jesus Christ is called “the faithful and true witness” (Rev. 3:14; cf. 19:11).
  5. GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:8-10,16). “The love of God is that part of His nature – indeed His whole nature, for ‘God is love’ – which leads Him to express Himself in terms of endearment toward His creatures, and actively to manifest that interest and affection in acts of loving care and self-sacrifice in behalf of the objects of His love” – William Evans, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

    The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell

    It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.

    The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;

    His erring child He reconciled, and pardoned from His sin.

    O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!

    It shall forever more endure the saints’ and angels’ song – F. M. Lehman.

  6. GOD IS MERCIFUL (Ps. 106:1; 107:1).  God is “rich in mercy” (Eph. 2:4).God’s mercy is an extension of His love – His love in action. God’s grace is demonstrated by giving man what he does not deserve – salvation (cf. Eph. 2:8, 9).  God’s mercy is demonstrated by withholding from man what he does deserve – damnation (cf. Titus 3:5).
  7. GOD IS OMNISCIENT (Ps. 147:5; Acts 15:18; Heb. 4:13; I John 3:20). God knows all things and is absolutely perfect in knowledge.  There is a distinction between God’s foreknowledge and His foreordination.  God’s foreordination is based upon His foreknowledge.
  8. GOD IS OMNIPOTENT (Rev. 19:6). God is all-powerful and can do all things.  Nothing is too hard for Him (Gen. 18:14a; cf. 17:1).  “God can do anything, but will do only what infinite wisdom and holiness and love dictate” – R.A. Torrey, What the Bible Teaches.
  9. GOD IS OMNIPRESENT (Ps. 139). Omnipresence means that God is everywhere present; He fills heaven and earth (Jer. 23:23, 24). The Christian doctrine of God’s omnipresence should not be confused with the pagan doctrine of pantheism.  Pantheists do not believe in a personal God, and have “worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Rom. 1:25).
  10. GOD IS FREE (Ps. 115:3; Dan. 4:35; Rom.11:33-36).  By freedom we mean that God is independent of His creatures and His creation.  “Being free, God is not obligated to us in any way unless He chooses to initiate an obligation” – Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology.
  11. GOD IS SOVEREIGN (Ps. 135:6; Eph. 1:11). By sovereignty, we mean that God is in complete control of all things. God could never be surprised, defeated, or uncertain. The sovereignty of God does not contradict the responsibility of man (cf. Acts 2:23). “Sovereignty must not obliterate free will, and free will must never dilute sovereignty” – Ryrie, Ibid. “Nothing God planned interferes with human freedom…Nothing humans do frustrates God’s sovereign plan” – Richard Halverson. When we say that God is sovereign, we mean that He can do whatever He wants to do; not that God can do anything. God cannot do things that are absurd such as making a square circle, or creating a stone so huge that He cannot move it, etc. God can do everything that is in harmony with His nature. For example:

    A.    God cannot look favorably on iniquity (Hab. 1:13).

    B.    God cannot deny Himself (II Tim. 2:13).

    C.    God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18).

    D.    God cannot tempt or be tempted to sin (James 1:13).

  12. GOD IS IMMUTABLE (Ps. 102:27; Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; Heb. 13:8). This means that God never changes.  All change is for better or worse but God is absolute perfection.  God changes His methods but He Himself does not change.
  13. GOD IS ETERNAL (Gen. 21:33; Ps. 90:2; I Tim. 1:17).  God’s nature is without beginning or end, is free from all succession of events, and is not bound in any way by the limitations of time. One Bible teacher has defined eternity as “that perfection of God whereby He is elevated above all temporal limits and all succession of movements, and possesses the whole of His existence in one indivisible present” -- Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology.  God’s eternity and self-existence are interrelated; God has always existed. Therefore, He never came into existence nor was He ever caused to come into existence; He is endlessly self-existent.

Pastor James Barker
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