Attributes of God

the heavens declare the glory of God

The heavens declare God’s glory. His love and majesty can also be seen in the heavens. All of the creation affirms God’s character. Only by faith can we know God’s attributes. We know that God is a faithful Spirit, but who is God? The description of a god is a supernatural being with supernatural powers far beyond that of any human. Ever since the beginning of recorded history – about 6,000 years ago – historians have cataloged an estimated 2,870 deities. In the Hindu religion alone, there are 330 million gods and goddesses.

No one knows for certain how many gods there really are. Nonetheless, Christians maintain that there is only one God. Although His existence is profoundly axiomatic, Christians around the globe proclaim God’s love for His creation and His glory.

In the Christian religion, God’s name, YAHWEH, translated as Jehovah, is descriptive of who He is. However, many Christians, especially those who have not studied their faith, do not know what they believe. This lack of knowledge has encouraged the resurfacing of the age-old question, “Who is God?”

Christianity’s God is not like the gods of the world’s religions. Their gods are made by men, from silver and gold. They have mouths that do not speak, eyes that cannot see, ears that cannot hear, hands that cannot do anything, and feet that cannot walk (Psalm 115:4-7). The God of Christianity is most impressive because, unlike other gods, He is alive. That is why the Bible calls Him the living God (Deuteronomy 5:26; 1 Samuel 17:26; Psalm 42:2; Isaiah 34:17; Daniel 6:26; Matthew 16:16; Mark 12:17; Acts 14:15; Romans 9:26; 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 9:14).

The Heavens Declare God’s Majestic Character

The size of the universe is beyond human conception. If you truly want to know who God is, all you have to do is look up at the sky on a clear dark night. The first of God’s creations – the heavens – declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). They testify of the majesty and glory of God on a level that takes your breath away. We can only comprehend the size of the universe with our imagination. The Bible tells us that God marvelously “stretched out the heavens” (Isaiah 48:13). We can only speculate on the massive size of the universe. It is believed that there are at least 100 billion individual galaxies in the universe. Many of these galaxies are comprised of 200 billion stars or more. It is apparent that the heavens declare God’s glory.

To help us understand these vast numbers, the British Astronomer, and Astrophysicist, Sir James Jeans, speculated that the total number of stars in the universe could equal or surpass the total number of grains of sand on all the seashores in the entire world.

Faith Affirms God’s Characteristics

No one can explain God’s existence. The only way one can be cognizant of God is through faith. Faith is built into the fabric of humanity. It is the one thing that God says He has given to every individual in equal proportions. Romans 12:3 tells us that God has given every person the measure of faith, so no one has more faith than another. We may each possess different levels of faith, nonetheless, everyone has the measure of faith.

Whoever petitions God must believe that He exists. God wants us to know that He is whatever we need Him to be. When Moses asked God to identify Himself, God answered, “I Am Who I Am.” This is who God is… He is who He is, and He will be whatever we need Him to be whenever we need Him.

The Bible clarifies our understanding of the God who made the heavens, and us. When we read the Bible with an open mind, we will plainly see that the heavens declare God’s glory. And more importantly, when we read the Bible with an open heart, we will see God’s character and discern the deepest thoughts and feelings of the Creator.

God’s Qualities Reveal His True Character

God’s attributes not only describe His majesty and character, but they also affirm His glory. If you are like me, you’ve probably wondered what God is like. So, how do you fathom God, whom no one has ever seen? To experience God, all you have to do is read the Bible. God tells us all about Himself in the Scriptures. When we read the Bible we will have a better understanding of the attributes of God.

God’s attributes are invisible because God Himself is invisible. The heavens declare God’s glory as well as His attributes. When we look at the night sky, the trees, or the birds perched on their branches, surely we discern that these things could not have come into existence on their own.

God has many attributes. They are too numerous to mention in this blog. However, for simplicity of understanding, God’s attributes can be classified into two major categories: His personal attributes and infinite powers.

The Personal Characteristics of God Proclaim His Glory

God is Spirit

God has many imperceptible attributes. All of His many attributes declare God’s inimitable character. They make known His awesome power and reveal His incredible mercy. This blog highlights nine of God’s major personal attributes.

God is Spirit

The Bible states that God is Spirit, But, what does that mean? When we think of a spirit we think of a ghost. But ghosts are supernatural beings that do not have a body. God is not a spirit, God is Spirit. He is the Spirit of spirits – the Supreme supernatural being – the Creator of spirits. Although God is Spirit, He has a body, unlike that of a human. God has a Spirit body.

Although God is a living spirit, no one has ever seen God. No one has seen the wind, but we can feel it. And while we cannot see the oxygen we breathe, without it, we would all die. The scriptures reveal that God is our invisible, eternal, and immortal King. Although no one has ever seen the invisible God, we have seen visible manifestations of Him in His Son, Jesus, who fully demonstrates the character of God (Colossians 1:15).

God is Love

Love is one of God’s greatest attributes, for God is love. God does not force Himself on anyone. God is kind to everyone, even those who do not love Him. Jesus is the express image of God (Colossians 1:15).

Through Jesus, we see the true character of God. Jesus did not exalt Himself above others. He did not covet the possessions of others. He was content to live a humble life without complaining. Jesus has shown us that God is not demanding and He always looks out for the best interest of others.

God Is Wisdom

God is wisdom. A simple way to define wisdom is that it is the ability to use the acquired knowledge. Wisdom and knowledge go hand-in-hand. In the Bible, wisdom and knowledge are often mentioned together (Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 11:33; Colossians 2:3).

The wisdom of God devised a foolproof plan whereby He would redeem His beloved seed of Adam from death. The wisdom of God recognized the futility of our works. No amount of our own goodness, works, morality, or religious worship can gain acceptance by God. With God, good people, moral people, religious people, and non-religious people are the same. All of these groups fall short of the righteousness of God.

God is Holy

The Bible declares that God is holy. He is perfect in every way. He is morally excellent and His integrity is unmatched. Because God is holy, His holiness sets Him apart from His creation.

The Old Testament refers to God as the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 1:4). His name is holy (Isaiah 57:15).  God makes a declaration of His sovereign holiness in this statement: “No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You…” (1 Samuel 2:2).

The word “holy” is qadesh and it means separate. The idea here is that holy signifies that God is separate, for He is far above and beyond all creation, being different in every way.

God is Sovereign

The sovereignty of God speaks of God as the Supreme Ruler of the universe. Although God is in control of all things, He sometimes chooses to let certain events happen according to the natural laws that He has put in motion. He stands all alone among the gods of the world. There is nothing in the universe that is outside of God’s authority and influence. The sovereignty of God implies that He has no limitations whatsoever.

God Is Merciful

Because of His love for us, God is merciful. One of God’s fundamental attributes is God’s mercy. Because God is merciful toward us, He desires that we be with Him forever. God’s love and His mercy are inseparable. It was God’s mercy that allowed His Son to be condemned in our place at the cross, thus Jesus became the sacrificial lamb for our sins. God’s mercy declares His compassion for humanity. Justice has been satisfied at the cross, therefore God can justifiably show mercy to everyone who has chosen to follow Christ.

God is Faithful

Everything that God has promised will come to pass because God is faithful. His faithfulness is a guarantee that He cannot lie, and what He has said in the Bible about Himself is true. Jesus even said that He is the Truth. Our hope of obtaining eternal life is built on His faithfulness.

God Is Omnipresent

The one attribute of God that we should always be mindful of, is God is omnipresent. When we say God is omnipresent, it means that God is everywhere at the same time. His presence knows no boundaries. This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the phrase “I am with you always” is repeated 22 times in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus even uttered these words of assurance to His disciples after telling them to take the message of the gospel to the entire world.

But for many people this statement brings controversy. For example, when people experience an emotionally catastrophic event, such as the death of someone close to them, they might ask, “Where was God?” But God is omnipresent — everywhere simultaneously — and He sees and knows everything that happens anywhere.

God Is Eternal

When we say God is eternal we mean God is self-existent. The eternal God of the Bible has always been and will forever be. One of the names of God in the Bible is El Olam, Hebrew for “God of eternity; God the everlasting; God forever.” God is eternal because God is the Creator who possesses never-ending wisdom and power. He was before all time and all worlds. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. The best way to describe eternity is it goes back in time with no beginning and it goes forward into the future with no end.

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