Attributes of God the Father
Updated: Feb 9
Notes compiled by Marty Zide and Steve McAtee
An attribute is a characteristic belonging to its subject and by which the subject is identified. God makes Himself known by His attributes.
Why is it so important for us to take the time to understand the attributes of God? I want us to see that there are some very practical benefits when we learn more of the wonderful character of our great God. We will find knowing God to be very helpful, especially when confronted with trials.
There are some excellent examples in Scripture of people who drew off of their knowledge of God when they found themselves in desperate circumstances. I would suggest that we too will find comfort in our trials when we get to know God better
Hab 1:12-13 -Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct. Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
2 Chr 20:1-9 -Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazontamar (that is Engedi). Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD. Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, and he said, O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.
Rehearsing the attributes of God, to God, is not for His benefit, but for ours. It refocuses our mind on the God in which we profess to believe in.
There are two types of attributes: communicable and non-communicable.
Communicable attributes are those attributes that are shared by mankind to some degree. Non-communicable attributes are true of God and God alone.
Here are some of God’s attributes:
Omnipresent --Omnipotent --Omniscient --Immutable --Infinite --Transcendent
Self-existent --Self-sufficient --Sovereign --Eternal --Merciful --Gracious --
incomprehensible --Holy --Just --Truthful --Love --Faithful --Wise --Perfect --
Jealous --Wrathful --Long-suffering --Righteous
A. God is Self-existent
God does not need us or the rest of His creation for anything. He is totally complete without all of that which He created. He requires no assistance from outside sources to continue to exist. No part of His creation met any kind of need that He had. Yet at the same time, His creation has the potential to bring glory to Him and bring Him joy.
God is the ground of His own existence. His only necessity is the necessity of His own being. All beings, except God Himself are dependent beings.
Acts 17:24-25 -The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.
It’s not simply that God does not need anything, God could not need the creation for anything. As much as God doesn’t need us, that’s how much we need Him.
Prior to the creation of man and the entire universe, the Triune God existed in eternity past in total completeness. They had perfect love, fellowship and glory for all eternity.
Ps. 90:2 -Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
John 17:5 -Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
John 17:24 -Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
The fact that God is self-existent should not lead us to conclude that His creations is meaningless. His creation is meaningful because God has determined that we would be meaningful to Him.
Is. 43:7 -Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.
Is. 62:1-5 -(Israel’s Future) For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the Lord will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, Forsaken, Nor to your land will it any longer be said, Desolate; But you will be called, My delight is in her, And your land, Married; For the Lord delight sin you, And to Him your land will be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.
B. God is Omniscient
Omniscience simply stated means that God has all knowledge. He knows everything, He never learns anything. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He knows all things actual, possible, past, present, and future, in one eternal act.
Coming Next –Insights Into God’s Omniscience