The Character of God

Attributes of God

GOD is INCOMPREHENSIBLE- How can finite creatures comprehend the limitless God?  We can never fully understand all about Him.  We'll take eternity growing in knowledge. If we are to know Him at all it is necessary that He reveal Himself to us.

But He is KNOWABLE because we are made in His image and He has revealed Himself to us. So we can know God truly.
Thus says the LORD, Let not the wise glory in his wisdom,
neither let the mighty glory in his might,
let not the rich glory in his riches:
But let him who glories glory in this,
that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving-kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth: for in these I delight, says the LORD. (Jer 9:23,24)

To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be like? I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. (Isa 46:5,9)

There is one God.  All other beings exist from, through and unto Him.
His perfection requires His UNITY (the inner, qualitative unity of God.)
This is also called His Infinite Simplicity (meaning He is not complex and divided into parts as we are). We see different attributes emphasised at different times but they all exist and work together in perfect harmony.
Everything He does is the act of His whole person. No attribute is above the rest. He is a unified and completely integrated whole person who is infinitely perfect in all these attributes.

God eternally exists as 3 persons - Father, Son and Holy-Spirit and each person is fully God and there is one God. The Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man in one Person and will be so forever.

God is UNCREATED without origin or beginning.
He is SELF-EXISTANT - the ground of His existence is in Himself.  He has Life within Himself. His Name is I AM THAT I AM. (Exodus 3:14)
God doesn't just exist - HE IS EXISTANCE.
God is the Absolute Source and First Cause of all life and existence.

He is INDEPENDANT and Self-sufficient and causes everything to depend on Him. Nothing in His being derives from something else. He doesn't need his creation for anything yet we can glorify Him and bring Him joy. He isn't dependant for being or essence on anything outside Himself. He didn't create us because He needed to, or had to, but because He wanted to.

God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in His own being, and He sees all time equally vividly, yet He sees events in time and acts in time. All Time to God is present.  He is eternal but works in time and relates to us in time. His name could translate as 'ALWAYS.'He is infinite in regard to time.  He is not bound or limited by time. He is not under time's control but rather He created time when He created matter and space.  Time is not absolute. As self-existent He's independent of time.  His existence had no beginning and will have no ending.

He always was, always is and always will be.
His name 'El Olam' (Gen 21:33) means The Eternal One, the everlasting God, God of Eternity.

I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Rev 1:8). Eternity isn't just an infinite duration of time.  God dwells outside time, in Eternity (timelessness)  He transcends time.

God is INFINITE and ABSOLUTE.  He is limitless in His perfections (attributes). Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. (Ps 145:3) We are finite in all qualities.   He is Absolute.  He doesn't just have love- He is love!

God is FREE from all limitations.  He is free to act according to His Will.   He is FREE from any bounds.

God is PERFECT   His infinity means His being is free from any defect or limitation. He is infinite in quality as well as magnitude.  He is perfect in every attribute. He is beautiful and wonderful. He possesses every desirable attribute with infinite richness and all the attributes exist together in perfect harmony.

God's perfection means He IS IMMUTABLE, UNCHANGING, CONSTANT in His attributes.

 He cannot change: I am the LORD, I change not. (Mal 3:6)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Heb 13:8)

This follows from His independence from time (being  eternal) for change is a function of time. It also follows from His absolute perfection. Change is either for the better or worse. If perfect He can't change for the worse.   Neither could He change for the better. God does not and cannot change in His being, essence, perfections (attributes), purposes and promises,
yet God does act and feel emotions, and He acts and feels differently in response to different situations.

OMNIPRESENCE-God is Everywhere.  He is Immense.
God can't be contained in any space no matter how large. He is Lord over space and time. Before He created space God existed.  As the Eternal God is independent and unlimited by time so as the Omnipresent God He is independent and unlimited by space.

God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with His whole being yet God acts differently in different places.

The whole of God is everywhere. Don't think of God as a being infinitely extended in space.  He is outside space as He is outside time.  You can't think of Him in spatial terms at all.  All of Him is everywhere-or else He would be affected by space. Where God is (everywhere) He is in the totality of His Being for He cannot be divided. There's no escape from God! (Psa 139:7-12).

Am I a God near at hand, and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I can't see him? says the LORD; Do I not fill heaven and earth? (Jer 23:23-24).
There's nowhere you can go where He isn't.

God is Transcendent- He is independent of space so He exists outside of it. He is above and distinct and separate from His space-time creation.
He does not exist in space and isn't bound by it.

But God is Imminant- He is resident in and involved with His creation everywhere. There is no part of space where God is not or else it would be independent of Him. He is present in His creation yet distinct from it as water fills a sponge.

GOD IS SPIRIT.  He is independent of matter. He exists as a Being that is not made of matter, has no parts or dimensions, is unable to be perceived by our bodily senses, and is more excellent than any other kind of existence. So God's Essence, all of His spiritual being, is Invisible. Yet He does reveal and manifest Himself to us through visible things, especially through His Son.

He is a LIVING PERSON (self-conscious, with intellect, will, and emotions).   He's not an impersonal force or mind.   He is Love.   He is the living God.   He is Absolute Life-the Source of all life.

His Intellect is Infinite:  OMNISCIENCE
God fully knows Himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act. He is 'EL ROI' = 'the God who sees, the All-Knowing, All-Seeing One.' (Gen 16:11,13). He has Infinite, unlimited knowledge and understanding. He knows all the what's and understands all the why's- why everything is as it is, how they work together, how they relate to each other, how one thing causes or effects another. God knows all events in history -past, present and future.  He knows all beings, destinies, thoughts, motives, actions. No creature is hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:13). Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. (Jer 1:5; Ps 139:1-6)

He knows all possible, potential events.  He knows all possible beings, universes and outcomes. God has always known everything.   He doesn't learn or have to reason.   His knowledge is instantaneous.

His Will is Infinite (Free). He has the right (authority) to do as He pleases, including how He rules over His Creation.
He is Sovereign- He rules over all His creation.
He has the right to rule and determine all things according to His will.

Sovereignty is the attribute of God, whereby He does everything He pleases. For God to be a Sovereign God He must be able to do whatever He pleases. He must have the power to execute His sovereign decrees.

He can do what He wills because He is OMNIPOTENT - the Almighty, All Powerful God.

Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! (Rev 19:6).

He is Infinite in power, with unlimited ability. He is the sole depository of power. It will never run out, and never needs replenishment. He has the ability to do anything He pleases or wills.
With God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27). He is free and able to do all His holy will, all that is consistent with His nature. Everything He does must be consistent His other attributes (e.g - love and justice).

'Ah, Lord GOD!  You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.' (Jer 32:17).   With infinite power it's as easy to do one thing as anything else.

His Names: 'EL' and  'ELOHIM' mean 'the Mighty One.'  
'EL SHADDAI' means 'the Almighty One with Absolute power, who is like a Mountain, the One who is more than enough.'

His Emotions are infinitely deep - including love for all, compassion for the suffering, joy in the good, and anger at sin.



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