Foundation Truth ~ Attributes of God ~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~

Hallowed Be Your Name: Attributes of God

Incommunicable: how is God different from us?

(attributes God does not share or communicate to others)

Communicable: how is God like us in his being and his mental and moral attributes?

(attributes God shares or communicates to others)

Incommunicable Attributes:

  1. Independence [Aseity]: God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy. (Acts 17:24-25; Job 41:11; Psalm 50:10-11; Exodus 3:14: John 5:26)

  1. Unchangeableness [Immutable]: God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, yet God does act and feel emotions and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations. (Psalm 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 46:9-11)

  1. Eternity: God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time. (Psalm 90:2,4; Revelation 1:8; II Peter 3:8; Isaiah 45:21) God is unlimited or infinite with respect to time.

  1. Omnipresence: God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 10:14; Jeremiah 23:23-24; Psalm 139:7-10; I Kings 8:27) God is unlimited or infinite with respect to space.

  1. Unity [simplicity – not complex or not composed of parts] : God is not divided into parts, yet we see different attributes of God emphasized at different times.(Deuteronomy 6:4; John 10:30; I John 1:5; 4:8; John 4:24; Hebrews 12:29)

Communicable Attributes:

A. Attributes Describing God's Being:

  1. Spirituality: God exists as a being that is not made of any matter, has no parts or dimensions, is unable to be perceived by our bodily senses, and is more excellent than any other kind of existence. (John 4:24; Isaiah 31:3; Exodus 20:4-6)

  1. Invisibility: God's total essence, all of his spiritual being, will never be able to be seen by us, yet God still shows himself to us through visible, created things. (John 1:18; 6:46; I Timothy 1:17; 6:16; I John 4:12

B. Mental Attributes:

  1. Knowledge [Omniscience]: God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act. (I John 3:20; I Corinthians 2:10-11; Hebrews 4:13; Psalm 139:1-2, 4, 16; Matthew 11:21, 23)

  1. Wisdom: God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. (Romans 16:27; Job 12:13; Psalm 104:24; Romans 11:33)

  1. Truthfulness [Faithfulness, Veracity]: He is the true God, and that all his knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth; God will always do what he has said and fulfill what he has promised. (Jeremiah 10:10-11; John 17:3,17; Titus 1:2; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)

C. Moral Attributes:

  1. Goodness: God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval. (Luke 18:19; Psalm 34:8; 100:5; Romans 12:2; 8:28)

  2. Love: God eternally gives of himself to others. (I John 4:8, 10; John 3:35; 17:24; Romans 5:8; Galatians 2:20)

  3. Mercy [Grace, Patience]: Mercy – God's goodness toward those in misery and distress; Grace – God's goodness toward those who deserve only punishment; Patience – God's goodness in withholding of punishment toward those who sin over a period of time. (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103:8; II Corinthians 1:3)

  4. Holiness: God is separated from sin and devoted to seeking his own honor. (Psalm 71:22; 99:9; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8)

  5. Peace [Order]: In God's being and in his actions he is separate from all confusion and disorder, yet he is continually active in innumerable well-ordered, fully controlled, simultaneous actions. (I Corinthians 14:33; Romans 15:33)

  6. Righteousness [Justice]: God always acts in accordance with what is right and is himself the final standard of what is right. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Genesis 18:25; Romans 3:23-25)

  7. Jealousy: God continually seeks to protect his own honor. (Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 48:11)

  8. Wrath: He intensely hates all sin. (John 3:36; Romans 1:18; Psalm 139:21-22)

D. Attributes of Purpose:

  1. Will: that attribute of God whereby he approves and determines to bring about every action necessary for the existence and activity of himself and all creation. (Ephesians 1:11; Revelation 4:11; Daniel 4:32; Acts 4:27-28; James 4:13-15; Genesis 50:20; I Corinthians 4:19; Matthew 11:25-26

  2. Freedom: that attribute of God whereby he does whatever he pleases. (Psalm 115:3; Proverbs 21:1; Daniel 4:35)

  3. Omnipotence [Power, Sovereignty]: God is able to do all his holy will. (Psalm 24:8; Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17,27; II Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 3:20)

E. Summary Attributes:

  1. Perfection: God completely possesses all excellent qualities and lacks no part of any qualities that would be desirable for him. (Matthew 5:48; Psalm 18:30)

  2. Blessedness: God delights fully in himself and in all that reflects his character. (I Timothy 1:11; 6:15)

  3. Beauty: that attribute of God whereby he is the sum of all desirable qualities. (Psalm 27:4; 73:25; Revelation 22:4)

  4. Glory: The created brightness that surrounds God's revelation of himself. (Hebrews 1:3; Psalm 24:10; 104:1-2; Revelation 21:23)

[taken from Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p.156-225]