The Attributes of God part 2

I posted earlier about the class I’ve been taking on the attributes of God (The Attributes of God). In that post, I listed the characteristics of God that are incommunicable — unlike anything human. Now I’ll turn to the communicable attributes of God — those things that can be seen (although imperfectly) in us.

  1. Omniscience/omnipotence– God is everywhere and knows everything. Our knowledge is learned, but God’s is complete and innate. He is completely wise, completely trustworthy
  2. Goodness, love and mercy. These qualities of God are shown most fully at the cross. God saves us in order to change us, to make us more like Jesus.
  3. Holiness, righteousness and justice. We all have a sense of right and wrong, but if there is no God, there is no right or wrong. God’s ethical purity is in contrast to our sinfulness.
  4. Jealousy, wrath. These qualities take place in relationship to an offense against the majesty of God. The purpose is to protect us from sin and evil, to perfect our covenant relationship with Him.

You may wonder why it is important to study the attributes of God ( I did). Our teacher (my husband), explained that without a clear understanding of Who God is, we will can easily fall into heresies of different sorts.

The last section of this class dealt with the trinity — I’ll cover that in another post.

For more about the attributes of God see:

The Blind Men and the Elephant

The Holiness of God–R.C. Sproul–Book Review

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers — Book Review

The Attributes of God

In my husband’s weekly Bible study class, we’ve been studying the attributes of God, and I thought today I would share some of that information with my readers. So far, we’ve gotten through what are considered the incommunicable attributes of God. Incommunicable means that these are qualities belonging to God alone, and they cannot be used in relation to human beings at all.

The first attribute is simplicity or unity. This means that all of the qualities of God are present all the time. He is merciful, just, holy, wrathful and more all the time and all at once.

The next attribute is self existence. God was not created,

The third attribute is immutability. God does not change. Although there are times in the Bible when God seems to change His mind, this is really for the benefit of humans — God already knows and has decided what will happen.

The fourth attribute is impassibility. God does not suffer or experience emotional changes. Again, when the Bible says God is grieved, this is really an attempt to explain things in a way humans can understand — it is not a statement about the nature of God.

The fifth attribute is omnipresence. God is everywhere all the time.

Finally, God is eternal. He was not created (see attribute #1) so He has no beginning and no end. God does not exist with time — He is outside of time.

It’s hard to wrap your mind around these qualities, isn’t it? That’s because God is God, and we are not. Later on I’ll post about the communicable attributes of God, which are easier to understand because there is some human equivalent.

For more about Bible study see:

The Greatest Bible Study

Study Resources for Ladies

A Prayer Before Study