The Divine Attributes are the Qualities and Characteristics of God.

January 10, 2014

Guest Author

The divine attributes are the qualities and characteristics of God. Let Joseph Mizzi take you through a summary of the God we worship.

God is personal; he is not simply an impersonal force or energy, as imagined in Eastern pantheistic religions. God thinks, chooses according to his will, loves and hates. He speaks to us, and we to him; he enters into and maintains a personal relationship with people. He designates himself ‘I am’ (Ex 3:14), and we address him with familiar titles such as ‘Father’.

God is spirit (John 4:24); consequently he is invisible (Heb 11:27), and does not have a physical body like us (Luke 24:39). Scripture speaks about ‘the eyes’ and ‘the hands’ of the Lord, but evidently such language is figurative.

God is independent; he is self-existent and does not need anything or anyone. We are dependent on God for every moment of our existence, but God has life in himself (John 5:26). ‘Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things’ (Acts 17:25).

God is immutable, that is, he does not change. He is ever the same in all his perfections. He cannot become more, or less, wise, holy and good. He is infinite in power; he does not grow weary, and he cannot become more powerful than he is. ‘For I am the LORD, I do not change’ (Malachi 3:6).

God is eternal and is in no way limited by time which is itself part of his creation. God knows no beginning and will have no end. ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God’ (Ps 90:2).

God is omnipresent. Being present everywhere, he is not limited by space. ‘Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there’ (Ps 139:7, 8).

God is omniscient; he knows everything. He does not need to learn anything; he is never forgetful. He knows himself and all his creation perfectly. ‘Known to God from eternity are all His works’ (Acts 15:18). God knows us perfectly: ‘O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways’ (Ps 139:1-3).

God is good. ‘For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You’ (Ps 86:5). ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8). He is merciful, delivering sinners from their just condemnation; he is gracious, granting them blessings they do not deserve.

God is holy; he is distinct from all creatures and exalted above them in infinite majesty and purity. ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’ (Isa 6:3). God is morally perfect. ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5).

God is righteous. He is always perfectly just and never guilty of the slightest injustice. ‘The LORD is righteous in all His ways’ (Ps 145:17). His law is the expression of his righteousness, rewarding obedience and punishing disobedience.

God is faithful. ‘God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Num 23:19). His children can rest assured that he will perform all his promises and lead them to final glory. God ‘will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (1 Cor 1:8, 9).

God is sovereign; he possesses absolute power and authority, and exercises total control over all his creation. He acts exactly as he desires; nobody can annul his will or frustrate his intentions. He ‘works all things according to the counsel of His will’ (Eph 1:11). ‘His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’’ (Dan 4:34, 35).

God is omnipotent, that is, almighty, all-powerful. He is able to do whatever he wills. ‘I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You’ (Job 42:2). In him we enjoy absolute security. ‘He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty’ (Ps 91:1).

Adoration
This is the true and living God – infinite and perfect in all his attributes! Being proud and sinful, the natural man cannot and will not bow before his Maker in adoration and obedience. Though the first commandment warns against having other gods other than the true God, man has come up with other ‘gods’, less than the true God, fashioned according to his imagination.

May God give us grace to know him in his majesty, that we may know him in truth, trusting and loving him with all our hearts. God alone can open our eyes and reveal his glory to us.

‘Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones; give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness’(Ps 29:1, 2).

(Taken from Christian Thumbnails – A Survey of the Core Beliefs of Christianity by Joseph Mizzi p21-22)