The Attributes of God

My study today took me on a Biblical field trip through the scriptures that describe the attributes of God. This is a great addition to what I posted about yesterday (see Genesis 41: Does God Ever Cause Bad Things To Happen?), and for me, it’s a good way to get to know this God I worship.  As my study put it, “understanding the character, the attributes, of God and His sovereignty will give you the strength and courage you are going to need in the days ahead.”  Below is a numbered list of attributes they gave, along with a description and verses to back it up.

  1. Omniscient – God knows everything, past, present, and future. “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:1-6).
  2. Omnipotent – God is all-powerful. “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2).
  3. Omnipresent – God is everywhere. “‘Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the LORD, ‘and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
  4. Eternal – God has no beginning and no end. “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty'” (Revelation 1:8).
  5. Immutable – God doesn’t change. “I the Lord do not change…” (Malachi 3:6), and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
  6. Incomprehensible – God is beyond our understanding. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33, emphasis added).
  7. Self-existent – God’s existence depends on nothing but Himself. “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.” ‘ ” (Exodus 3:14, AM = to exist).
  8. Self-sufficient – God is able to act without our help, though He may choose to use us at his pleasure. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:24).
  9. Infinite – God has no limits. “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” (the words of Solomon in 1 Kings 8:27).
  10. Transcendent – God is above and exists completely apart from His creation. ” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
  11. Sovereign – God rules over everything. “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19).
  12. Holy – God is morally perfect, set apart from man. “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy’ ” (Leviticus 19:2).
  13. Gracious – God gives us unmerited favor. “If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him” (2 Chronicles 30:9).
  14. Righteous – Whatever God does is right. “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4).
  15. Just – God’s actions show equity in rewarding righteousness and punishing sin. “The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…” (Numbers 14:18).
  16. Merciful – God responds compassionately to those who oppose Him. “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:8-9).
  17. Patient – God steadily perseveres in his relationship with us. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
  18. Wise – God’s actions are righteous and are best for us on an eternal scale. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” (Isaiah 40:28, emphasis added).
  19. Loving – God’s actions prove his kind, caring, and compassionate affection for us. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  20. Good – God gives to others according to His good will and kindness, and not based on what they deserve. “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 106:1).
  21. Wrathful – God hates all that is unrighteous, and whatever is inconsistent with His holy standard must be atoned for or consumed. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6).
  22. Truthful – All that God says is reality. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).
  23. Faithful – God always fulfills his promises. “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
  24. Jealous – God is unwilling to share what is rightfully and morally His. “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Isaiah 42:8).
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