Have you ever asked someone to describe God? Some people end up describing God as more of a what than a Who. Or, they speak of Him as more of a god, than the God— the one true and living God who created all things. Today we are going to look at the God of the Bible. The One Christians believe to be (and quite rightly so) the true and only God. We will examine what the Bible has to say about God from two aspects: 1) the qualities of God, that is those characteristics peculiar to the Godhead, and 2) the attributes of God, that is the characteristics that He has in some sense shared with mankind in creating us in His image. These are traits that have been distorted in man by sin, yet God expects us to strive for as His children.
To begin, there are five qualities peculiar to God, that no other beings share. The first is His omnipotence. God is all powerful (Psalm 89:8; Genesis 18:14). Unlike man, God is not limited by finite knowledge, imagination, or ability. He can literally do all things, including creating new things previously non-existent. God’s abilities, in other words, are unbounded.
Second, God is omniscient. This means that He knows everything. Nothing is hidden from God, not even our thoughts, as Paul wrote, “And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13; also, Romans 8:26-28). This also means that God’s knowledge is not static. It is not confined to the current knowledge that exists today, as some believe. That would, in fact, be putting a limit on God that does not exist. Even man is capable of original thought, in fact that abilty is an attribute given us by God. This means that God can and does conceive of new knowledge, never before existing. Therefore, the term “all knowledge” is an ever-changing quantity when it comes to God. He is in all senses eternal and infinite.
Third, God is omnipresent, existing everywhere at once. As David wrote, “Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalm 139: 7-10). If we were to reach the edge of the universe and travel a billion light years thence, God would be there and beyond. Amazingly, as far beyond us as He is (in every sense), He is near to each one of us (Acts 17:27). God is everywhere, yet it seems there is no place that He would rather be than in our hearts.
Fourth, God is immutable, or unchanging. When you are perfect and hold all knowledge, what’s to change? As James observed in his epistle, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). God doesn’t change because His nature is perfect, and His understanding of His Own nature is complete. There is nothing to improve or change. That being the case, we must conclude, from His own actions, that it is also a part of His perfect nature to desire and share that love, wisdom, and perfection that He demonstrates, even as He is glorified (John 3:16; James 1:5-7; Ecclesiastes 3:14).
Fifth, God is Spirit. He exists outside of His creation (Luke 24:39). Before all things universal, He was. Whether there are other universes or creations past, present, or future we are not told, and it is of no consequence. God is all-in-all. He stands alone in eternity. Everything that exists outside of Him does so by His hand, and at His good pleasure. That He has chosen to henceforth share eternity with man has rendered us most sublime of all earthly creatures. The fact that He has deemed us worthy of such an honor, through the blood of His Son, seems incomprehensible, until we begin to understand that at the core of God’s reasons for creating us was a desire to give and share His love. Yes, He desires us to worship Him as well, because He is worthy of all praise and adoration and it is His just due. But, such worship on our part only brings us closer to Him and the light we were created to bask in. Communion with God is the zenith of human existence. To fail to experience it is to fail to be fully human, for we were meant to be with God. Separation from Him makes us something less than we were meant to be.
When we consider the above qualities of God one thought may have come to some of your minds: God is awesome! I firmly believe that of all the things the Bible has revealed to us about God and what we experience when we meditate upon those things pales in comparison to what we will experience when we stand before Him in heaven. Though we cannot know what heaven is truly like until we get there, the Bible does teach us that we can approach God while we are here on earth— by seeking Him in His word, through prayer, worship, and by obedience (John 4:23). If we seek to understand God through His following attributes, and to emulate as many as apply to us as His children we can draw near to Him.
God is good (Psalm 33:5) and God is great, as the psalmist wrote, “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; He puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:6-9; also, Deuteronomy 5:24). His glory and greatness are beyond our ability to grasp, as Solomon noted, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Though we are capable of recognizing God in His handiwork (Romans 1:19, 20), we cannot begin to understand all He has done.
Previously mentioned is God’s love. According to Jesus, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17). God loves us, and He wants us to be like Him in His holiness (I Peter 1:14-17). Moreover, in seeking to be holy, we must also seek His perfection (Matthew 5:48). Fortunately, God is merciful. Though we will fail to live up to His holiness and perfection God will accept those who present themselves to Him (Romans 12:1).
Being separate from His creation, as a Spirit God is invisible to us (John 5:37; John 6:46). Though His attributes are self-evident in His creation (Romans 1:19-20), no man has seen God. Yet, when we read about His deeds and meditate upon His creation we can recognize the glory of God (Exodus 15:11). How many words have been written in poetry, in song, or prose by both religious and non-religious writers in awe of His universe? How many have pondered truth and love, mercy and joy as things man strives for beyond himself?
How many have considered the grace of God by which He redeems man (Acts 15:11; 20:32; Ephesians 1:7; Psalm 84:11)? Or the righteousness and justice of the Lord towards the lost, and most particularly those who fear Him (Psalm 19:9; Acts 10:34)? Are we not glad that God shows no partiality, looking upon the heart of man and not that which is external? Moreover, do we not benefit from His longsuffering and patience that He extends to us, and that He imparts to those who turn to Him (II Peter 3:9, 15; Romans 2:4, 7; 8:25; I Timothy 1:16)?
How many of us have considered the majesty of God (Luke 9:43; II Peter 1:16)? No king who has ever sat upon a throne with crown and scepter in the midst of his worldly kingdom has ever approached the greatness of God. As it is written “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11; also, Exodus 15:11).
God is the great creator and judge whose compassion toward man is unparalleled (Psalm 78:38-39). When He is angered He remembers the weakness of our flesh and restrains Himself for our sake. God is generous towards us. Though we do not deserve it He has become both our forgiver and redeemer. As Paul told the Romans: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Romans 8:31-35).
Along with His generosity God has shown divine kindness. In His Kindness He has sought to lead us to repentance through His Son Jesus Christ and has even accepted us as His own (Romans 2:4; Ephesians 2:7; I John 3:1). In addition to His kindness He has extended true riches and eternal wealth to those who seek after Him (Romans 10:12; 11:33; Ephesians 1:18, Philippians 4:19; Matthew 19:21).
And, finally God is faithful to all His promises and to all His word (I Corinthians 1:9; 10:23; Hebrews 3:6; 10:23; I Peter 4:19; I Thessalonians 5:24; II Thessalonians 3:3). God will accomplish all He has determined to do. For those who have set out to follow in the steps of His Son, there is no greater assurance than God’s word. If we will but hold fast all these things will come to pass.
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.