Knowing who God is helps us comprehend what it is that God does. Within Scripture, we discover the glorious nature of God by embracing all of His attributes.
The Identity of God
Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases (Psalm 115:3).
- God is God without our permission.
- God’s version of Himself is superior to any of our versions of Him.
- We can only understand the true identity of God through the clear revelation of God.
It doesn’t matter what you or I think about God; it matters what God thinks about God.
Communicable vs. Incommunicable
“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you” (Psalm 50:21).
- Communicable attributes are those which He “shares” with humanity (e.g., love).
- Incommunicable attributes are those that only God can possess (e.g., omniscience).
- Due to God’s immense otherness, are the degree of all His attributes actually incommunicable?
- Compared to God, all of His attributes are incommunicable when positioned side by side with the quality of one like me.
The Attributes of God
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34:6-7).
- Independence – The independence of God means that He is entirely without need.
- Verse: Nor is He served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts 17:25).
- Implication: God doesn’t need you, but He wants you.
- Transcendent – The transcendence of God means that He greatly surpasses our human worth and experience.
- Verse: For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
- Implication: God is too high to approach on our own terms so our only hope is if He comes down to us.
- Immanence – The immanence of God means that He is intimately close to us.
- Verse: That they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us (Acts 17:27).
- Implication: God’s presence is too close to permit loneliness any longer.
- Eternality – The eternality of God means that He exists outside of time.
- Verse: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Psalm 90:2).
- Implication: Don’t waste a life given by an eternal God on temporal pursuits.
- Immutability – The immutability of God means that He is incapable of change.
- Verse: For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed (Mal. 3:6).
- Implication: God is mesmerizingly consistent, so you never have to fear Him changing on you.
- Omnipotence – The omnipotence of God means that He is all-powerful.
- Verse: Ah, Lord GOD! It is You who have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You (Jer. 32:17).
- Implication: You can rest in the fact that God has enough power to do what He has promised He will do.
- Omnipresence – The omnipresence of God means that He is everywhere at every time.
- Verse: The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Prov. 15:3).
- Implication: God’s omnipresence ensures that He has His complete attention on me at all times.
- Omniscience – The omniscience of God means that He is all-knowing.
- Verse: Great is our Lord and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure (Ps. 147:5).
- Implication: You don’t have to know everything because God already does.
- Wisdom – The wisdom of God means that only He knows how to come to the best destination by the best path at the best time.
- Verse: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways (Rom. 11:33)!
- Implication: God’s wisdom provides the needed discernment for our lives.