Section Six: The Attributes of God

Genesis: A Place To Start

Section Six: Survey - The Attributes Of God

In the right hand margin write "true" or "false" after each of the following statements.

1.

God is limited to working within time.

F

2.

God changed His goals He had for mankind after they rejected His Son and crucified Him.

F

3.

Every person of the Godhead has every attribute common to the others.

T

4.

The Holy Spirit is less powerful than Christ, just as Christ is less powerful than God the Father.

F

5.

Satan is equal to God.

F

6.

God does not always know what we are thinking or what we might do next.

F

7.

An attribute talks about personality or nature.

T

8.

The universe and everything in it could exist without God.

F

9.

All of God's attributes work in perfect harmony.

T

10.

Our goal should be to allow God to manifest many of His attributes in our lives.

T

Section Six: The Attributes of God

Key/Memory Verse: Jeremiah 32:17 NAS

"'Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou has made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee!'"

Introduction

"What we believe about God", said the late A.W. Tozer, "is the most important thing about us." Our belief or lack of it inevitably translates itself into our actions and attitudes.

The Word "God" is one of the most widely used - but vague and undefined - terms in our language. Some people, such as Einstein, think of God as "a pure mathematical mind." Others see Him as a shadowy superhuman person or force. Still others see God as a ball of fire to which we, as sparks of life, will ultimately be reunited - or as a celestial policeman. A few think of Him as a sentimental grandfather of the sky. (Paul Little, Know What You Believe, Victor Books, p. 25, 26)

This study sheet will present a Biblical answer to the questions, "What is God like?"

We will be looking at God's attributes. An attribute is "an essential characteristic of a person or thing", thus we will look at some of the essential characteristics of God.

  1. Attributes Unique To God Alone (sometimes referred to as "incommunicable" or "non-moral" attributes) no other created being or Spirit has these characteristics!
  1. God Is Eternal - (Read Psalm 90:2; 102:12)

    There has never been a time when God did not exist. He never had a beginning and will never have an end.

    Being eternal, God is not bound by time. Having always existed, He sees the past and the future as clearly as the present. With this perspective, He has a better understanding as to what is best for our lives. Knowing this, we should be willing to trust Him with our lives. (Proverbs 3:5; 6)
  2. God Is Everywhere - (sometimes referred to as "omnipresent")

    Read Psalm 139:7, 8; Jeremiah 23:23, 24

    It is impossible to hide from Him or to escape from Him - God is personally present everywhere through all time and space. He is not like a substance spread out in a thin layer all over the earth - all of Him is in Sierra Madre, in Calcutta, Rome, Buenos Aires, and Tokyo at one and the same time.

    If God is everywhere, it is foolish to think we can hide from Him. In the Old Testament, Jonah tried to run from God, but he ended up as fish bait. On the other hand, it also means that today a believer may experience the presence of God at all times and know the blessings of walking with Him in a most vivid way.
  3. God Knows All - (sometimes referred to as "omniscience"). Read 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 139:2

    There is nothing that God does not know. This includes not only all raw facts, but also opinions and thoughts. He knows the future, as well as the past and present.

    "How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No tale bearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our character can come to light to turn God away from us, since He know us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us."

    Isn't it incredible that God loves us even though He knows us ... really knows us! Knowing all about us He still forgave all our sins and accept us into His family forever!
  4. God Is Powerful - (sometimes referred to as "omnipotence") Read Isaiah 42:5

    God's power is unlimited. He can do any thing He pleases, but what He pleases will always be in perfect harmony with His character.

    Because God is all powerful the believer is kept secure and assured of God's ability to fulfill His promises.

    Read John 10:28, 29. Can anyone overcome God's ability to keep you in His flock?

    "...no one shall snatch them out of My hand... the Father's hand. (John 10:28-29)
  5. God Is Unchanging (immutable) - Read Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8

    God never changes!

    As time passes, everything seems to change, mountains, deserts, people ... you! Your likes, dislikes, views, thinking, perhaps even your personality; however, God NEVER changes. NEVER!

    What peace it brings to the Christian's heart to realize that our Heavenly Father never differs from Himself. In coming to Him at any time, we need not wonder whether we shall find Him in a receptive mood. He is always receptive to misery and need, as well as to love and: faith. He does not keep office hours nor set aside periods when He will see no one. Neither does He change His mind about anything. Today, this moment, He feels toward His creature, toward babies, toward the sick, the fallen, the sinful, exactly as He did when He sent His only-begotten Son into the world to die for mankind.

    God never changes moods or cools off in His affections or loses enthusiasm. His attitude toward sin is now the same as it was when He drove out the sinful man from the eastward garden, and His attitude toward the sinner the same as when He stretched forth His hands and cried, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

    God will not compromise and He need not be coaxed. He cannot be persuaded to alter His Word nor talked into answering selfish prayer. In all our efforts to find God, to please Him, to commune with him, we could remember that all change must be on our part. "For I, the LORD, do not change" (Malachi 3:6). We have but to meet His clearly stated terms, bring our lives into accord with His revealed will, and His infinite power will become instantly operative toward us in the manner set forth through the Gospel in the Scriptures of truth. (Taken from A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy)

    What would your life be like if God did occasionally change?
  6. God Is Sovereign - Read Job 42:2; Ecclesiastes 7:13-14; Romans 8:28; Psalm 104)

    The word sovereign means chief or highest, supreme in power, superior in position to all others. When we say that God is sovereign, we are saying that He has absolute authority and is the one ruler in the universe, in control of all things

    If you continually remembered this truth that God is in control of all things, how might it affect your life?
  7. God Is Triune -

    The word "trinity" is used to describe the biblically revealed truth that the one true God is three eternal and coequal persons the same in substance.

    This essential characteristic of God is understood from Scriptures' testimony that:
    1. 1. God is one. There is but one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4);
    2. yet at the same time Jesus, the Messiah, is presented as coequal with God and eternal (see notes on Jesus);
    3. and the Holy Spirit too is God, coequal and eternal with the Father and the Son.
    4. We may not fully understand the great truth of the Trinity. However, we can see the rays of light which emanate from God's Word and which teach us that, in a mysterious sense beyond the comprehension of man's finite mind, God is one in nature but three in person and manifestation. Even as water, which may be converted into ice or steam, is one in nature though three in form, so also God is capable of being and doing what the mind of man cannot fathom. But in reverence man is still privileged to adore. It should be mentioned in passing that in the world of chemistry it is perfectly possible for a substance to exist simultaneously in three separate and distinct forms yet remain basically one in structure or nature.

      Water, for example, under pressure and in a vacuum at a given temperature below freezing exists simultaneously as both liquid, gas, and ice, yet it is identifiable always as water (H2O), its basic nature. This is called chemistry "the triple point of water."

      Those who cry "impossible" where the trinity of God or a similar event of the supernatural is concerned must compare its chemical counterpart in the natural world. Why can they not conceive of the Author of "the triple point" being supernaturally triune in his nature. If something is true of God's creation, can it not also be true of the Creator? If our Creator can design a "triple point of water" He can surely be a triune God Himself, and He can surely live within us and care about us.

      (see supplemental materials on "The Trinity" at the end of this Section for more information)
  1. Attributes Of God Which Can Be Seen In A Lesser & Limited Way In His Created Beings & Spirits (Sometimes referred of as "communicable" or "moral" attributes)
    1. A. God Is Holy - (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 99; Exodus 15:11ff)

      The Bible refers to the holiness of God more than to any other attribute.

      When holy is used in reference to God, it refers to His total separation from evil. Not even a hint of a blemish could be found in our God; He is completely pure.

      What an encouragement to us who trust in His name to realize that not the slightest evil blemish or flaw could ever be found in His love' sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, goodness, etc., because He is holy.
    2. God Is Love - (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; I John 4:7-21; Psalm 106:1; Hebrews 12: 5-13)

      God is perfect, infinite love. His love is given freely and without any consideration to the loveliness or merit of the object.

      What would it be like to be loved by someone whose love for you is not influenced by anything you ever did, are now doing, or will do; whose love could never weaken or fluctuate? You can know what-it would be like! For God's love for you is not influenced by anything you ever did or will do!
    3. God Is Just - Read Psalm 89:14

      It is impossible for Him to do anything that is unfair, either to Himself or to man.

      God's justice is more often applicable in the area of judgment. When men stand before God to be judged, they will receive full justice. His is both a comfort (for those who have been wronged in life) and a warning (for those who think they have been getting away with evil). (Romans 1:18)
    4. Many Other Attributes Of God Could Be Listed -
  • God Is Gracious
  • God Is Self-Sufficient
  • God Is Wise
  • God Is Incomprehensible
  • God Is Self-Existent
  • God Is Faithful
  • God Is Merciful
  • God Is Good
  • God Is Longsuffering
  • God Is Free

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