Attributes of God

A. GOD IS A PERSON

What picture do you have in your mind of God? This is very important for it determines how you will relate to Him (what relationship you will have with Him; what attitude you will have towards Him, whether you will trust Him or fear Him).

When the heathen draw pictures or make images of their gods as they visualize them, and display these in their temples, a visitor will be frightened of them, because they often look like horrible, vicious monsters.

Do you see God as a monster out to kill you, or a hard-hearted judge out to discover every little sin in your life and punish you severely for that? If so, you would either be repulsed and would reject him, or fear and flee from him. But, no, the good news is that God resembles us in many, many ways. Firstly, He is a person with a household. He is a father and He is a son and He is the Holy Spirit (comparable to a mother). His household can be compared to yours; it is just much better, for in his household there is no quarreling or stealing or telling of lies, but peace and goodwill and if you become his child, you can relax in his household of love.

B. GOD IS ONE

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. (Deu 6:4).

I am Jehovah, and there is none else, no God besides Me; I clothed you, though you have not known Me; (Isa 45:5).

Originally all human beings knew that there was only one god, the God of creation, but because they refused to serve and worship Him, they drifted further and further away. At last they had no knowledge of Him at all anymore.

However, they still had a need of a being more powerful than themselves because they went through all sorts of trials with which they could not cope, and which sometimes even resulted in their death. For this reason, the more intellectual people within nations started inventing (thinking out) their own gods, made images of them as they pictured them in their minds and offered animals, and some even their own children, to them.

The next step was to propagate these self-made gods to the people around them and so nations began to each have their own gods and swear by them. Some nations even have several different gods to which they pray for health, fertility, rain, protection, etc. Other nations again, worship the spirits of their ancestors or the sun moon and stars.

God, Who inspired the Bible, however, says clearly that He is the one and only God and that those that worship other so-called Gods are actually, mostly unknowingly, worshipping demons.

But I say that the things which the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. And I do not desire that you should have fellowship with demons. (1Co 10:20; See also Deu 32:17; 2 Chr 11:15).

There also is a very practical reason why we can rejoice that there is only one God. Had there been more than one, which one would you have worshipped? We would have to weigh up the one god against the other, then choose the one we considered the best for us. This would have caused strife and wars, resulting in terrible eternal misery. But no, there is but one God and He is perfect in every way, so there is no need for us to look for another god, a better one.

C. GOD IS ETERNAL

And Abraham planted a tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of Jehovah, the everlasting God. (Gen 21:33).

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

(See also Isaiah 40:28, Ps 102: 24 – 27).

Things that have a beginning and an end are only found within creation. Time exists only in creation. God however existed before creation. He is the creator of time but He himself is timeless, He is outside of time, everlasting.  For the human mind this is incomprehensible and can only be accepted by faith.

D. GOD IS OMNIPOTENT (ALL POWERFULL)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Gen 1:1)

I know, LORD, that you are all-powerful; that you can do everything you want. (Job 42:2).

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Mat 19:26).

Man can use the materials found on earth to make many wonderful things, even spacecraft that can travel to distant stars, yet he is unable to create even one grain of sand. To create something means to make something from nothing. God had nothing in his hand when He created heaven and earth. It follows that He can do everything He wants. This is a wonderful comforting truth for those that belong to Him for it means that He is able to provide in each and every need we have. He could even raise his friend, Lazarus from the grave though he had been dead for several days:

Then he said in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! And he who was dead came out, (Joh 11:43, 44).

E. GOD IS LOVE

The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. (1 Jn 4:8).

And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 Jn 4:16).

In both verses, “love” is used as a noun and not as a verb like when we say, “God is omnipotent.”

As human beings we can love others, exercise love, but only God is love. We would say “Mary bakes delicious chocolate cakes for a living” which implies that she is a good baker, but she is not a chocolate cake. A judge administers righteousness, but he is not righteousness; he may have a bad temper or eat too much so that he can hardly get onto the bench in court.

God however is the very source and essence of love; love is continually flowing from him where He sits on his throne in heaven. Everything He plans and does is the embodiment of love.

In the Old Testament, his omnipotence, holiness and righteousness are strongly emphasized, but in the New Testament, his love is more clearly revealed, especially in his sacrificing himself for our sins.

One should meditate deeply on this matter and read applicable portions of Scripture like 1 Cor 13 to gain a deeper understanding of the essence of the Lord.

Further optional reading

  • GOD IS OMNISCIENT (1 Joh 3:20; Job 37:16: Ps 147:5).
  • GOD IS OMNIPRESENT (Ps 139:7 – 10).
  • GOD IS HOLY (Is 6:3; 1 Pet 5:16).
  • GOD IS RIGHTEOUS AND JUST (Ps 145:7; Zeph 3:5).

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