Characteristics of God

Characteristics of God

The Bible, God’s cherished Word, serves as our guide to understanding the nature of God—what He embodies and what He does not. Without the Bible’s authoritative foundation, attempts to fathom God’s attributes would be akin to mere opinions, often fallible when applied to understanding the divine (Job 42:7). Emphasizing the importance of comprehending God’s nature is not an overstatement; failure to do so may lead us astray, luring us to pursue false gods against His will (Exodus 20:3-5).

The knowledge of God is limited to what He has chosen to unveil about Himself. Among His attributes is “light,” signifying His self-revelation (Isaiah 60:19; James 1:17). Neglecting the fact that God has shared knowledge of Himself is an oversight we cannot afford (Hebrews 4:1). Insights from creation, the Bible, and the incarnation of the Word (Jesus Christ) collectively illuminate the essence of God.

Begin by acknowledging God as our Creator, with us as integral parts of His creation (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1), fashioned in His image. Though marred by the fall, creation still reflects God’s handiwork (Genesis 3:17-18; Romans 1:19-20). Contemplating the vastness, complexity, beauty, and order of creation allows us to glimpse the awe-inspiring nature of God.

Exploring the various names of God further aids our quest to understand Him:

  • Elohim – strong One, divine (Genesis 1:1)
  • Adonai – Lord, denoting a Master-to-servant relationship (Exodus 4:10, 13)
  • El Elyon – Most High, the strongest One (Genesis 14:20)
  • El Roi – the strong One who sees (Genesis 16:13)
  • El Shaddai – Almighty God (Genesis 17:1)
  • El Olam – Everlasting God (Isaiah 40:28)
  • Yahweh – LORD “I AM,” denoting the eternal, self-existent God (Exodus 3:13, 14).

God, eternal and immortal, had no beginning and will never cease to exist (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17). His unchanging nature renders Him absolutely reliable and trustworthy (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 102:26, 27). Incomparable and perfect, God is beyond comparison in works and being (2 Samuel 7:22; Psalm 86:8; Isaiah 40:25; Matthew 5:48). His depth is unfathomable, beyond complete understanding (Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 145:3; Romans 11:33, 34).

God is just, showing no favoritism (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 18:30). His omnipotence is guided by His character (Revelation 19:6; Jeremiah 32:17, 27). God’s omnipresence is not to be confused with being everything (Psalm 139:7-13; Jeremiah 23:23), and His omniscience ensures fair administration of justice (Psalm 139:1-5; Proverbs 5:21).

God, the sole deity, satisfies the deepest needs of our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:4). His righteousness demands retribution for wrongdoing, met through Jesus experiencing God’s wrath for our sins (Exodus 9:27; Matthew 27:45-46; Romans 3:21-26).

Sovereign and supreme, nothing can thwart God’s purposes (Psalm 93:1; 95:3; Jeremiah 23:20). Invisible yet present everywhere, God is spirit (John 1:18; 4:24). A Trinity in substance, power, and glory, God is truth, incorruptible and unable to lie (Psalm 117:2; 1 Samuel 15:29).

Holy and separate from moral defilement, God’s anger is kindled by evil (Isaiah 6:3; Habakkuk 1:13; Exodus 3:2, 4-5; Hebrews 12:29). Gracious, God’s mercy and love, expressed through Jesus, allow us into His presence (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 31:19; 1 Peter 1:3; John 3:16, 17).

While our finite minds cannot fully grasp this God-sized question, God’s Word provides profound insights into His nature. Let us ardently continue our pursuit of Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

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