What is God Like?

How do we know we are relating to the true God, rather than a god we made up? While we can never fully understand the infinite God, he has revealed important points about his character. Understanding the character of God is important. These features of God, or attributes of God, are all eternal and coequal. We should never stress one attribute of God at the expense of another. Anything we say about God should not contradict any of these attributes.

Read the description and at least three verses for each, considering how theologians get these attributes from the passages listed. Then write out how each particular attribute might apply to daily Christian living (i.e. how might this attribute affect your prayer life, your ministry, your attitudes toward him, etc.)

  1. God is omniscient. That means he knows all things actual or possible at once. This includes the past and the future (1 Sam 23:8-13; Ps. 139:4; Is. 40:28; 46:10; Matt 10:29-30; Rom 11:33; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20).
    Application?
  2. God is omnipresent. This means God transcends all limits of space. He can be everywhere at once (Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:23-24; Matt 28:19-20; John 4:21-24; Acts 7:48-50; 17:24; Heb 13:5-6).
    Application?
  3. God is omnipotent. That means he can do whatever he wants. God’s power is unbounded except by his own nature (Gen. 18:14; 35:11-12; Ps 115:3; Jer. 32:17, 26-27; Matt 19:26; Ac 17:26; 2 Tim. 2:13).
    Application?
  4. God is sovereign. This means he owns the creation and rules it, and all of his creatures depend on him. Sovereignty doesn’t have to mean God directly causes everything, but nothing can happen without him permitting it. (Deut 10:14; 1 Ki 17:4; Ps. 24:1; 47:7-8; 104:14; 135:6; Prov. 21:2; Isa 45:9; 55:11; Matt 5:45; 10:28; Lk. 8:25; Acts 2:23; 1 Cor. 4:6-7; 10:13; Eph 1:11; Col 1:17; 1 Tim 1:17; 6:15-16)
    Application?
  5. God is loving or gracious. He treats his creation with love and an attitude of mercy (1 Chron 16:34; Ps 36:5; 63:3; 86:5; 100:5; 103:11; 107:1; 115:1; 118:1, 29; 119:64; 136:1; Isaiah 49:14-16; 54:8; Lam 3:22-23; Lk 6:36; Ac 14:17; 1 John 4:8, 16).
    Application?
  6. God is righteous. God’s moral character is the definition of goodness (Lev 19:2; Deut 32:4; Ps 119:68, 137, 142; 129:4; Dan 9:7, 14; Hab. 1:13; Matt 5:48; James 1:13).
    Application?
  7. God is immutable, or unchanging. He is devoid of change with regard to His attributes or promises. Note that this doesn’t imply that God never does or says anything different. Only his attributes and promises are unchanging (1 Sam. 15:29; Psalm 102:12, 26-27; Mal 3:6; Heb. 13:8; James 1:17; 1 Peter 1:24-25).
    Application?
  8. God is truthful and reliable. He tells the truth and cannot lie. He is also faithful (Num. 23:19; Deut 7:9; Psalm 119:60; 1 Cor 1:9; 1 Thes 1:9; 5:24; 2 Tim 2:13; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18-19; 1 John 5:20; Rev 6:10).
    Application?
  9. God is infinite. This means both that he has no beginning or end and he is free from all limitations. It also means he holds all his attributes to an infinite or maximal degree (Gen 21:33; Deut 33:27; Ps. 41:12-13; 45:6; 90:2; 106:48; Isaiah 40:28; 43:13; 44:6; 57:15; Rom 16:26; 1 Tim 1:17; Jude 25; Rev. 1:8).
    Application?
  10. God is self-existent, or independent. The ground of God’s existence is himself. He is uncaused and exists by necessity of his own being. (See divine name YHWH which means “I am.”) This attribute also means God does not need his creation. He meets all his own needs (Ex. 3:13-14; Ps 50:10-12; Isa 40:13-14; John 1:1-4; 8:58; Acts 17:24-25; Rom 4:19-21; 11:36; Rev 1:8; 4:11).
    Application?
  11. God is just or fair. God cannot ignore evil. He must repay evil or good fairly (Gen. 18:25; Ex 34:7; Deut 32:4; Ps. 19:9; 89:14; Isa 30:18; Jer 51:56; Nahum 1:3; Rom 2:1-5; 12:19; James 4:12; 5:9).
    Application?

 

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes