Sunrise over earth's horizon with words

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  “We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God” – A.W. Tozer.  With reference to a definition of God, it is probable that nothing more comprehensive or biblical has been formed than that incorporated into the Westminster Confession of Faith (drawn up in 1643 – 1646).

This confession declares:

“There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions (the state or capacity of being acted on or controlled by external agents or forces), immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.

God has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; He is the alone foundation of all being, of Whom, through Whom, and to Whom, are all things; and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, and upon them, whatsoever Himself pleaseth.  In His sight all things are open and manifest; His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent of the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain.  He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands.  To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, He is pleased to require of them.

In unity of the Godhead there are three persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.”

We will define an attribute of God as: whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.  An attribute, then, is not a part of God; it is how He is.  The divine attributes are what we know to be true of God.  He does not possess them as qualities; they are how God is as He reveals Himself to His creatures.  These attributes are so interrelated and interdependent that the exact placing of some of them is difficult if not wholly impossible.  Yet they blend harmoniously with each other in the unity of the one Being, God.  In Him, His attributes are all pervasive, and each of them is infinite and without limitation.

God’s attributes are not isolated traits of His character but facets of His unitary being.  They are no things-in-themselves, but rather thoughts by which we think of God, aspects of a perfect whole, names given to whatever we know to be true of the Godhead.  To have a correct understanding of the attributes, it is necessary that we see them all as one.  We can think of them separately, but they cannot be separated.

I think that almost every heresy that has afflicted the church through the years has arisen from believing about God things that are not true, or from over-emphasizing certain true things so as to obscure other things equally true.

God is a Person with those faculties and constituent elements which belong to personality.  These faculties and elements in God are perfect to an infinite degree.  The elements which combine to form personality are: intellect, sensibility/emotion, and will; but all of these acting together require a freedom both of external action and of choice of ends toward which action is directed.  Intellect must direct, sensibility must desire, and will must determine in the direction of rational ends.

And God has all three:  intellect (Psa. 147:5; Acts 15:18; Heb. 4:13); sensibility (Jas. 5:11; Lk. 1:78; Psa. 45:7); and will (Psa. 115:3; Isa. 46:10; Dan. 4:35).

The will of God expresses primarily His attributes of self-determination by which He acts in accordance with His eternal power and Godhead.  Though God’s will cannot be limited in any sense, His perfections insure that He will never do anything that is incompatible with His nature.

Those who know their God have: great energy for God; great thoughts of God; great boldness for God; and great contentment in God.

The Hebrew word “adon” means “lord” in the sense of a superior, master, or owner. It’s also used as a term of respect. The plural form “Adonay” refers only to God and is translated as “Lord”. Both the singular and plural forms of “adon” when referring to God capitalize the first letter, “L”, in the English translation, “Lord”.

The Hebrew word “Yhwh” or “Yahweh” (later written as “Jehovah”) is translated as “LORD” (all capitalized letters) and is God’s personal revealed name. It’s derived from an old form of the Hebrew meaning “to be”. The word stresses existence, with the meaning being “I am”, emphasizing the unchanging nature of God, particularly His unchanging commitment to His people.

The word “kyrios” is translated “lord” in English. In ordinary speech it was simply a term of respect, like “sir”, or emphasizing superior position, as “master” or “owner”. When referring to God or Jesus, it’s translated as “Lord”. However, not everyone who refers to Jesus as “kyrios” in the Gospels acknowledges His deity and so uses the term as a divine name. But in Acts and the Epistles, the term affirms Jesus’ lordship or deity (e.g., Phil. 2:5-6, 11; Col. 2:6, 9; Acts 2:22, 25; 7:59- 60) as the “Supreme One”. And when Jesus refers to Himself as “Lord”, He’s ascribing deity to Himself (e.g., Matt. 12:8).

The Hebrew words “el”, “eloha”, and “elohim” mean “god” or “mighty one”. To distinguish the one true God of the Old Testament from the pagan gods, “elohim” is often linked with other descriptive terms that set Him apart from pagan deities. These linked terms include: “Most High”(Gen. 14:18-19), “Almighty” (Gen. 17:1), “holy” (Isa. 5:16), “righteous” (Isa. 45:21), “Everlasting” (Gen. 21:33), “truth” (Psa. 31:5), “of heaven on high” (Psa. 136:26), “God of gods” (Dan. 11:36), “Creator (Gen. 1:1), “Savior” (Psa. 106:21), “judge” (Psa. 50:6), “just”(Isa. 30:18), “present everywhere” (Psa. 139:7-10), “living” (Jer. 10:10). The Greek word for “God” is “theos” – Dr. L. Richards’ Expository Dictionary of Bible Words.

 

The Self-Existence of God

God, instead of having origin or being created, is Self-Existent.  He had neither origin nor was created.  God said that He is the, “I Am that I Am”, the self-existent Self.  The name, “I Am” expresses active manifestation of existence.  He has His Being of Himself, and has no dependence upon any other.  God designated Himself by this name as the absolute God.  He has an independent existence by the very nature of His Being.  God does not depend for His existence on anyone outside Himself.

What does God say about Himself in the following passages?

 

Exodus 3:13-15

 

[“I AM” is the Hebrew word “YHWH”.  It speaks of God’s self-existence.  It is rendered by the word “LORD”, vs. 15. It has the meaning of “The God who is always present” or “I Am”.].

 

Psalm 90:1-2

 

John 5:26

 

[“life” – eternal, spiritual life. This was given to the person of Jesus as a human being through the Holy Spirit, since as “the Word”, Christ always had life eternally.].

 

What possible meaning can the self-existence of God have for me in a world such as this and in times such as these?

 

If God had an origin or was created, what would that imply about Him?

How would that affect you or your relationship to Him?

 

Would your lifestyle be any different if God was created or had an origin?

Knowing that God is self-existent, what impact should that now have on your thinking and actions?

Why?

 

 

The Self-Sufficiency of God

That God is Self-sufficient is spoken of by Jesus Christ when He said, “The Father has life in Himself.”  God is what He is in Himself (Jn. 5:26).

Whatever God is, and all that God is, He is in Himself.  All life is in and from God.  God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself.  To God alone nothing is necessary.  But every created thing to stay alive needs some other created thing and all things need God.

Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support.  God does not need our help or our defense.  God was under no constraint, no obligation, and no necessity to create.

What does God say about Himself in the following passages?

 

Nehemiah 9:6

 

Acts 17:24-25

 

Colossians 1:16-17

 

[Other passages to consider are: Job 35:7, 8; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:34-36].

 

If God was not self-sufficient, what would that imply about Him?

 

How would that affect you?

Will the fact that God is self-sufficient change your thinking and/or activities in any way?

How, and why?

 

 

The Eternity of God

That God is eternal means that He is the endless Being, from everlasting past to everlasting future.  He appears at the beginning and end of time simultaneously.

For God, everything that will happen has already happened.  He sees the end and the beginning in one view.  God is in no way conditioned by time.  He is free to act in relation to time or to act outside its limitations.

God exists without beginning or end.  It is the infinitude of God in relation to duration.  He is above the limitations of time.  Time has no existence in and by itself, and is but an inseparable accompaniment of created existence.  He is the eternal, “I Am.”  Because God lives in an everlasting now, He has no past and no future.

What does God say about Himself in the following passages?

 

Genesis 21:33

 

Psalm 90:2

 

Psalm 93:2

 

Isaiah 43:13

 

[Other passages to consider are: Deut. 33:27; Isa. 44:6].

 

If God was not eternal, how would that affect your life?

 

How would you act or think differently?

 

Because God is eternal, what affect should this have on your values in life?

Why? 

How does it affect your view of death?

And life after death?                         Why?

 

 

God’s Infinitude

God is infinite, limitless.  He knows no bounds, and is measureless.  God never hurries.  There are no deadlines against which He must work.  Because God’s nature is infinite, everything that flows out of it is infinite also.  God’s infinity relates itself to all His attributes in that they are what they are to an infinite degree, or without termination.  He transcends all limitations which time or space imposes.

Infinity is unlimited extent of space, duration, or quantity.  As designating an essential attribute, the term refers to His unlimited existence, capacity, energy, and perfections.  The word infinity, though not appearing in Scripture, is an appropriate term to express certain biblical revelations concerning God (such as His power, knowledge, etc.).  God alone is the only infinite existence; the infinite Spirit.

What does God say about Himself in the following passages?

 

Job 11:7-10

 

Psalm 139:3-10

 

Psalm 147:5

 

[Other passages to consider are: Psa. 145:3; Isa. 40:12-31; Rom. 11:33-34].

 

What difference would it make to you if God was not infinite?

Would your life be changed in any way?

How, and why?

 

Because God is infinite, how is this going to affect your thinking and/or actions in life?

Why?

 

 

The Immutability of God

To say that God is immutable is to say that He never differs from Himself.  God is devoid of all change in His Being, perfections, purpose, and promises.  All suggestions of change attributed to God in Scripture are figures of speech, an accommodation to our human viewpoint.  In Genesis 6:6 and 1 Sam. 15:11, 35, the word “repented” means “sorrowed”.

The concept of a growing or developing God is not found in the Scriptures.  God cannot change for the better.  He is perfectly holy, and has never been less holy than He is now or ever will be.  Nor can God change for the worse.

Only a being composed of parts may change, for change is basically a shift in the relation of the parts of a whole or the admission of some foreign element into the original composition.  Since God is self-existent, He is not composed.  There are in Him no parts to be altered.  And since He is self-sufficient, nothing can enter His being from without.  All that God is He has always been, and all that He has been and is He will ever be.  God changes not.  He is eternal permanence.

Immutability is not, however, to be confused with immobility (being fixed).  God acts, and His actions vary with reference to different ends.  His actions toward the same person change according to the changed attitude of those persons toward Him (Jonah 3:9-10; Ezek. 33:7-19).  This, however, is not what is meant by immutability.

What does God say about Himself in the following passages?

 

1 Samuel 15:29

 

Malachi 3:6

 

James 1:17

 

[Other passages to consider are: Num. 23:19; Heb. 6:13, 17-18].

 

How does God’s immutability relate to your: comfort, security, encouragement to pray, salvation?

 

How would your life be any different if God was not immutable, and why?

 

In light of the fact that God is immutable, what changes do you expect to take place in your life, and why?

 

 

God’s Faithfulness

That God is faithful means that He is trustworthy, reliable, stable, and steady.  He will certainly fulfill His promises, as well as execute His threats against sin.

Upon God’s faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness.  Only as He is faithful will His covenants stand and His promises be honored.

What does God say about Himself in the following passages?

 

Deuteronomy 7:9

 

Psalm 36:5

 

1 Corinthians 1:9

 

[Other passages to consider are: Psa. 89:1-2, 5, 8, 24, 33-34; 119:90; 1 Thes. 5:24; Heb. 10:23].

 

If God was not faithful, how would that affect your life (be specific)?

 

Because God is faithful, can you claim the following promises of God with confidence?

1 Peter 5:7     |     James 1:5     |     2 Timothy 1:7     |     1 Corinthians 10:13     |     Philippians 4:6-7     |     Hebrews 13:5

 

 

God’s Omniscience

That God is omniscient means that He perfectly knows Himself (1 Cor. 2:11) and, being the source and author of all things, it follows that He knows all that can be known.  His knowledge is, therefore, complete and absolute, and extends to past and future.  This He knows instantly and with a fullness of perfection that includes every possible item of knowledge concerning everything that exists or could have existed anywhere in the universe at any time in the past, or that may exist in the centuries to come (Rom. 4:17; Isa. 46:10; Acts 15:18).  God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas (things hard to understand), all feelings, all desires, all secrets, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell.  He knows all things equally well.

God has never learned from anyone (Isa. 40:13-14; Rom. 11:34).  And this perfect knowledge of God is exclusively His attribute.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 147:5

 

Isaiah 46:9-10

 

Hebrews 4:13

 

[Other passages to consider are: Psa. 139:2-4; Matt. 6:4, 8, 32].

 

If God was not all-knowing, how would that affect or change your life, and why?

 

Would you feel more comfortable, at peace, secure, confident, bold, excited, loved, obedient, motivated, honest, accepted, less worried, or careless?

And why?

How should your realizing that God is all-knowing affect your life, and why?

 

 

God’s Omnipotence

That God is omnipotent means that He has all power.  God possesses what no other creature can: an incomprehensible plentitude of power, and potency that is absolute.

In God, power is a creative attribute, it is the energy that brings creation out of mere nothing.  Nature itself gives evidence of the eternal power of the Godhead (Rom. 1:20; Gen. 1:1).

Since God is infinite and also has power, then whatever He has must be without limit; therefore God has limitless power.  Also, since God is the self-existent Creator, who is the source of all the power there is (and since a source must at least be equal to anything that emanates from it), then God is of necessity equal to all the power there is, therefore omnipotent.  The divine ability to bring a universe into existence out of nothing by His will is the grand manifestation of power.

By ascribing to God absolute power, it is not meant that God is free from all the restraints of reason and morality, but that He is able to do everything that is in harmony with His wise, holy, and perfect nature (Matt. 23:19; Heb. 6:18).

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Genesis 17:1

 

Revelation 1:8

 

Revelation 19:6

 

[Other passages to consider are: Jer. 32:17; Mk. 14:62; Rom. 1:20; Rev. 16:7].

 

If God was not all-powerful, how would this affect your life, and why?

 

How should knowing that God is all-powerful affect or change your life?

 

[Knowing that God is omnipotent should give hope to the despondent and strength to the weak.  Nothing is too hard for God.].

Does this increase your trust in God?            Why?

 

 

God’s Wisdom

Wisdom, as an attribute of God, implies correct judgment and the right use of knowledge.  God is wise in Himself, and all the shining wisdom of men or angels is but a reflection of that uncreated brilliance which streams from the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.

In the Scriptures, wisdom, when used of God and good men, always carries a strong moral connotation.  It is conceived as being pure, loving, and good (Jas. 3:17).  Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means.  Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predetermined goals with flawless precision.  God’s wisdom is displayed in the vast, complex, yet perfectly organized universe, in the fact that every purpose of God is the best that infinity can devise, in the perfection of His ways by which all things are by Him achieved.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Job 9:4

 

Daniel 2:20

 

Romans 11:33

 

[Other passages to consider are: Prov. 3:19; Jer. 51:15].

 

If God was not wise, how would this affect or change your life, and why?

 

How should your realizing that God is all-wise affect your life, and why?

 

[Knowing that God is all-wise allows us to trust Him in the dark and to know that all things are working together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).  Therefore, we can rest in assurance in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, even though outwardly they look grim.].

Is this your attitude?                   Why?

 

 

God’s Omnipresence

Few other truths are taught in the Scriptures with as great clarity as the doctrine of the divine omnipresence.  God is everywhere here, close to everything, next to everyone.  He is everywhere present.  If space is defined by bounds, He exceeds it by infinity.  God is free from the laws or limitations of space, and omnipresence is an attribute He alone has.  It is essential to the right conception of God in this respect that we avoid all materialistic notions of His presence which confuse God with everything and thus leads to Pantheism (that everything is God).

God is (a) Spirit (Jn. 4:24), and His infinite presence is to be regarded in the dynamical/spirit sense rather than in the sense of a substance infinitely extended.  He is distinct from all His works while His power and intelligence and goodness embrace and penetrate them all.  The omnipresence of God is also to be regarded as compatible with various manifestations of His presence according to the spheres of life in which He exists and operates.  Thus in the most exalted sense He is “Our Father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9).

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

1 Kings 8:27

 

Psalm 139:7-10

 

Jeremiah 23:23-24

 

[Other passages to consider are: Isa. 57:15; Eph. 4:6; Acts 7:48-49].

 

If God was not everywhere present, how would this affect or change your life, and why?

 

Would you sin more?                Worry more?                            Be less secure?                Less bold/confident?

Be less obedient?            More comfortable?                   Less at peace?                 Less encouraged?

 

[This truth, God’s omnipresence, is to the convinced Christian a source of deep comfort in sorrow and of steadfast assurance in all the varied experiences of his life.  And the certainty that God is always near us, present in all parts of His world, closer to us than our thoughts, should maintain us in a state of high moral happiness most of the time.  To reasonable men, the omnipresence of God becomes a power to stay the impulse to wrong action.  And we should have no fear, knowing that God is already there wherever we go.].

 

 

God’s Goodness

The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, holy, and full of good will toward men.  He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly.  By His nature, God is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people.  Divine goodness, as one of God’s attributes, is self-caused, infinite, perfect, and eternal.  God embraces all His creatures and secures their welfare, for He is morally perfect and gloriously generous.  “Good” in Scripture is not an abstract quality, nor is it a secular human ideal; “good” means first and foremost what God is; then what He does, creates, commands, and gives, and finally what He approves in the lives of His creatures.  It is not that the biblical writers assess God in terms of a prior concept of goodness, but rather that, contemplating the supreme glory of God’s perfections, they apply to Him the ordinary word for acknowledging worth.  They define good in terms of God; not vice-versa.  Accordingly, the biblical position is that God, and God alone, is good without qualification (Mk. 10:18), absolute and ultimate moral rightness.

Not only are all God’s gifts good, both in intention and in effect, but also that all good is in fact God’s gift (Jas. 1:17; Psa. 4:6).

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

2 Chronicles 30:18

 

Psalm 119:68

 

Mark 10:18

 

[Other passages to consider are: Psa. 25:8; 34:8; 100:5; 145:9].

 

If God was not good, how would that affect the way you live, and why?

 

[Good works are good from three standpoints: they are done (1) in accordance with a right standard (biblical principles – 2 Tim. 3:16-17); (2) from a right motive (love and gratitude for redemption – 1 Thes. 1:3; Heb. 6:10); (3) with a right aim (God’s glory – 1 Cor. 10:31; 6:20; Matt. 6:16).].

 

 

God’s Grace

In God, mercy and grace are one; but as they reach us they are seen as two, related but not identical.  Grace is God’s goodness directed toward human debt and demerit.  It is by His grace that God imputes merit where none previously existed and declares no debt to be where one had been before.  Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving.  It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused bent, or inclination to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapproval or dislike.  Grace in redemption is never disassociated from Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5-7; Jn. 1:17).  Grace rules out all human merit in attaining salvation.  God’s grace thus provides not only salvation but safety and preservation for the saved one, despite his imperfections.

Grace bestows Christ’s merit and standing forever to the believer.  It speaks of undeserved favor; unearned or unmerited favor.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

2 Timothy 1:9

 

1 Peter 5:10

 

Ephesians 1:5-6

 

[Other passages to consider are: Isa. 26:10; 1 Cor. 15:10; Gal. 1:15; Rom. 11:5-6; Eph. 2:5, 8-9].

 

If God was not a God of grace, what affect would that have on your life, and why?

 

Because God is a God of grace, how will that change the way you think and live?

 

 

God’s Love

The words “God is love” mean that love is an essential attribute of God.  Love is something true of God, but it is not God.  Equating love with God is a major mistake which has produced much unsound religious philosophy.  Love wills the good of all and never wills harm or evil to any.  It considers nothing its own, but gives all freely to the object of its affection.  Another characteristic of love is that it takes pleasure in its object.  Love is active, creative (Rom. 5:8; 1 Jn. 4:10).  God is the unfailing source of all love, and love is the primary motive in God.  It is because of the fact that God has no need which He depends on others to supply, that He is ever bestowing and imparting.  That infinite love has always existed between the Persons of the Godhead and that God in the most worthy sense loves Himself supremely, cannot be questioned.  The love of God is more than kindness or benevolence.  The gracious love of God to men, even sinful men, is most strongly declared in both the Old and New Testaments (Ex. 34:6; Isa. 63:9; Jer. 31:3; Jn. 3:16).  Love (Gk. “agape”) is intelligently, intentionally willing the best for another (Dr. T. Miethe, Compact Dictionary of Doctrinal Words).

The highest disclosure and most complete proof of divine love is in redemption (Rom. 5:8).

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

2 Corinthians 13:11

 

1 John 4:7-10

 

1 John 4:16

 

If God was not a God of love, what affect would that have on your life, and why?

 

Because God is a loving God, how will that change the way you think and live?

 

 

God’s Holiness

Holy is the way God is.  To be holy, God does not conform to a standard of moral excellence or some law but rather all moral law, excellence, and perfection have their eternal and unchangeable basis in God’s own nature (1 Sam. 2:2; Rev. 15:4).  It is the outshining of all that God is.  He is absolutely holy with an infinite, incomprehensible fullness of purity (1 Jn. 3:3) that is incapable of being other than it is.  The English word “holy” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning “well” or “whole”.  So it is that God’s concern for His universe is its moral health, and whatever is contrary to this is necessarily under His eternal displeasure.  Holiness is God’s intellectual and moral splendor, the ethical purity in virtue of which He delights in good and hates evil.  The holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of the creation are inseparably united.  God’s holiness is active.  As a primary motive, it incites all that He does.  The holiness of God is intrinsic, uncreated, and untarnishable.  It is the very basis and force of His hatred of that which is evil.  Holiness is entire freedom from moral evil and is absolute moral perfection.  Holiness indicates sanctity or separation from all that is sinful or impure, or morally imperfect.  It denotes God’s separateness from the creation and elevation above it.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

1 Samuel 2:2; 6:20

 

Exodus 15:11

 

Psalm 99:9

 

[Other passages to consider are: 1 Pet. 1:16; Isa. 6:3; 57:15; Rev. 4:8; Psa. 111:9; Matt. 5:48].

 

If God were not holy, what affect would that have on your life, and why?

 

Because God is holy, how will that change your thinking and actions?

Will it cause you to fear God, or be more holy yourself in both thought and deed?

Why?

 

 

God’s Sovereignty

God’s sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules His entire creation (His supreme rulership), because He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and absolutely free.  God must be free to do whatever He wills to do, anywhere at any time, to carry out His eternal purpose in every single detail without interference.  God is said to be absolutely free because no one and no thing can hinder Him or compel Him or stop Him.  God is under no external restraint whatsoever.  He is able to do as He pleases always, everywhere, forever.  God is in absolute authority.  He is the Supreme Dispenser of all events.  All forms of existence are within  the scope of His dominion.

While a complete explanation of the origin of sin eludes us, there are a few things we do know.  One of which is that in His sovereign wisdom God has permitted evil to exist.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

1 Samuel 2:6-8

 

1 Chronicles 29:11-12

 

Isaiah 14:24; 46:9-10

 

[Other passages to consider are: 1 Tim. 6:15; Deut. 4:39; 10:14, 17; Acts 17:24-26].

 

If God was not sovereign, what affect would that have on your life?

Why?

Because God is sovereign, how will that change your thinking and actions?

Why?

 

 

God’s Wrath

The wrath of God is eternal detestation of all unrighteousness.  And because God is holy, He hates all sin; and because He hates all sin, His anger burns against the sinner.

Indifference to sin would be a moral blemish, and since there is no moral blemish in the nature/character of God, God must hate sin and judge it, thus expressing His wrath toward it.

God’s wrath is the displeasure and indignation of Divine judgment against evil.  It is the holiness of God stirred into activity against sin.  God is angry against sin because it is rebellion against His authority, a wrong done to His sovereignty.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 7:11

 

Romans 1:18

 

Nahum 1:2

 

[Other passages to consider are: Ex. 22:22-24; Deut. 6:14-15; Psa. 78:17, 21, 49-50; 95:10-11; Ezek. 25:12-14; Eph. 5:5-6].

 

We can not serve God properly unless there is reverence for His Majesty and godly fear of His righteous anger (Heb. 12:28-29; Prov. 8:13).  Do you have these?

If so, how do you show it?

 

What difference would it make to you if God was not a God of wrath, and why?

 

Because God is a God of wrath, how will that change the way you think and live?

 

 

God’s Truthfulness

Apart from the truth in God, there would be no certainty whatsoever in life.  He abides by His promise and executes every threat or warning He has made.  Truth in God is surety that what He has disclosed is according to the nature of things and that His disclosures may be depended upon with complete certainty.  God’s very being is in accordance with fact or reality, as is what He speaks.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 31:5

 

Isaiah 65:16

 

Titus 1:2

 

[Other passages to consider are: Num. 23:19; Psa. 33:4; Jn. 17:17; Rev. 6:10; 15:3].

 

If God was not true/truth, what affect would that have on your life, and why?

 

Because God is true/truth, how will that change your thinking and actions?

 

[Knowing that God is true gives me certainty in life, and I need not wander in comfortless perplexity not knowing from where I came or where I am going.  I can expect God to come through on His promises, which gives me confidence and boldness, security, and assurance.].

Does the fact that God is true/truth do the same for you?

Why?

 

 

God’s Forgiveness

God’s forgiveness is His taking away the sin that makes people guilty.  Thus God releases people from guilt and from punishment.  Divine forgiveness does not overlook sin or dismiss it lightly.  Rather, forgiveness is an act of God by which He deals, not only with our guilt but with sins themselves.  The Old Testament links forgiveness with sacrifices of atonement, which covered over sin or ritual defilement.  The New Testament relates forgiveness to Jesus’ sacrificial death.  The basis on which God forgives sin and remains righteous has been provided by Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself as an atonement to which the Old Testament offerings merely pointed.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Nehemiah 9:17

 

Psalm 99:8

 

1 John 1:9

 

[Other passages to consider are: Num. 14:18; 2 Chron. 7:14; Psa. 65:3; 86:5; Dan. 9:9; Col. 2:13-14].

 

If God was not forgiving, what affect would that have on the way you lived?

Why?

Because God is forgiving, how will that change the way you think and live?

Why?

 

 

God’s Patience

God’s patience is a part of the Divine goodness and mercy, yet differs from both.  God’s slowness to anger is a branch of His mercy.  It differs from mercy in that mercy considers the person as miserable, while patience considers the person as criminal; mercy pities him in his misery, while patience bears with the sin which produced the misery.

Patience is that power of control which God exercises over Himself, causing Him to bear with the wicked and forbear so long in punishing him.

The patience of God is that excellency which causes Him to sustain great injuries without immediately avenging Himself; His power of self-restraint.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 145:8

 

Jonah 4:2

 

Romans 2:4

 

[Other passages to consider are: Num. 14:18; Rom. 9:22; 2 Pet. 3:9].

 

If God was not patient, what affect would that have on your life, and why?

 

Because God is patient, how will that change the way you think and live?

 

 

God’s Justice and Righteousness

God’s justice and righteousness are scarcely to be distinguished from each other.  The same word in the original (Heb. “tsaddiq”) becomes in English justice or righteous, almost, one would suspect, at the whim of the translator.  Justice embodies the idea of moral equity/fairness.  Judgment is the application of equity/fairness to moral situations and may be favorable or unfavorable according to whether the one under examination has been equitable or inequitable in heart and conduct.  Justice, when used of God, is a name we give to the way God is, nothing more; and when God acts justly He is not doing so to conform to an independent criterion, but simply acting like Himself in a given situation.  God is His own self-existent principle of moral equity/fairness, and when He sentences evil men or rewards the righteous, He simply acts like Himself from within, uninfluenced by anything that is not Himself.

God has absolute right and authority over His creatures, and has a perfect right to dispose of all His works as it may please Him.  God’s justice is a necessary outflow from the holiness of God.  The sentences He pronounces, the rewards He bestows, the penalties He inflicts, are all righteous.

Righteousness is being and doing right.  It is divine holiness applied to moral government.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 97:1-2

 

Isaiah 45:21

 

Daniel 4:37

 

[Other passages to consider are: Dan. 9:7; Rom. 3:25-26; Psa. 7:11; 11:7; 2 Chron. 19:7].

 

If God was not just and righteous, what affect would that have on the way you live?

Why?

Because God is righteous and just, how will that change the way you think and live?

 

 

God’s Mercy

Mercy, as an attribute of God, is the infinite and inexhaustible energy within the divine nature which disposes God to be actively compassionate.  Both the Old and the New Testaments proclaim the mercy of God, but the Old has more than 4 times as much to say about it as the New does.  Mercy is the goodness of God confronting human suffering and guilt.  It is a form of love determined by the state or condition of its objects.  Their state is one of need and suffering, while they may be unworthy or ill-deserving.  Mercy is at once the disposition of love respecting such, and the kindly ministry of love for their relief.  Mercy means lovingkindness, especially in relation to human unworthiness and defection or waywardness from God.  Mercy is concerned for man, as he is miserable.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 103:8-14

 

Ephesians 2:4-6

 

Nehemiah 9:30-31

 

[Other passages to consider are: 1 Pet. 1:3; Lk. 6:36; Titus 3:4-5; 2 Sam. 24:10-14; Psa. 86:15; 145:8; Rom. 11:30-32; 12:1].

 

 

God’s Hatred

The Hebrew word “sane” and the Greek word “miseo” have a wide range of meanings. They can mean a wide range of intensity of emotions/feelings from mere dislike to malicious/violent intentions. They can also be an attitude or value judgment expressed in a choice of rejection, wanting no relationship with, to be set against, to detest, as it’s used of God’s attitude toward sin or certain sinful people. Believers can also have this type of godly hatred (e.g., Psa. 26:5; 31:6; 139:21; 119:128, 163; Prov. 8:13; 13:5). Hate can also mean “to love less” in comparison to someone else (Deut. 21:15; Gen. 29:31; Lk. 14:26) – Dr. L. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 325; Dr. M. Unger, Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 458; E. Vine and Drs. M. Unger and W. White, Jr., An Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 171.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Psalm 11:5

 

Psalm 5:5

 

Jeremiah 12:8 (Jer. 11:6-10)

 

Hosea 9:15 (Hos. 9:10-11)

 

Malachi 1:3

 

Romans 9:13

 

 

God’s Jealousy

The Hebrew word “quna” and the Greek word “zeloo” portray a very strong emotion, a passionate desire. The words are used in both a positive and negative sense. Used negatively, it means “a desire for something that properly belongs to another” (e.g., Gen. 30:1; 37:11). Used positively, the Hebrew and Greek words are viewed as “a high level of commitment … intense love,” “an intense interest for the welfare of another”. This is how it is used of God, “zealous”. When used as an adjective, it refers to God’s justice and holiness. Believers/Christians can also have godly jealousy (2 Cor. 11:2) – Dr. L. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 358; E. Vine and Drs. M. Unger and W. White, Jr., An Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, pp. 202-204; Dr. M. Unger, Unger’s Bible Dictionary, p. 556.

What is said of God in the following passages?

 

Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deut. 6:15; Joshua 24:19

 

Joel 2:18

 

Zechariah 1:14; 8:2

 

Psalm 79:5

 

Let us know what you think.