Theology Proper – Study of the Attributes of God
Table of Contents
This article deals with the theology proper doctrine of God. In the Bible, the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew (& Aramaic) and the New Testament was originally written in Greek . The following articles will have various words described with their Hebrew and Greek definitions, each of which is used to help give the original Biblical meaning and to enhance our understanding of the definition.
WHERE DID GOD COME FROM
God is Eternal. He had no beginning and He has no end. He has always existed, and relies upon nothing else for His existence because He is all self-sufficient, and self- existent. These facts are some of the primary attributes of his very being. As He states to Moses “I Am.” Meaning He is the all self-sufficient, self existing one.
Logical Argument #1 -Understanding Things Above
We are created beings, whom each have a beginning point to our own existence. It is difficult to understand how something else can exist different then the way we came into being because we cannot relate to it.
A good example to help us understand those things above us, is to understand the things we create that are beneath us:
If humans created a virtual world inside computers with artificially intelligent creatures ‘living’ inside of the computer; those beings inside that virtual world would not be able to comprehend an existence outside of their own program or computer, they would not be able to comprehend us, their creators. They would have a hard time understanding how something could exist in a physical world with flesh and blood, not composed of programmed ones and zeros.
People typically cannot accept or believe in something they do not understand; and let it be said that you cannot comprehend with this limited Earthly mind the extent of an eternal God, or how He could exist without being created or ‘come into being.”
[Exodus 3.13-14; Psalms 91.1-4]
Logical Argument #2 – Understanding Eternity
Asking the question ‘where did God come from” or “when did God create the universe,” these are not logically correct questions for this reason (or in other words, you are thinking about the problem the wrong way):
If you asked the question, where was the man when he jumped off the bridge?
First of all, when you make this statement, you are assuming that there was a place and time frame before & after the man jumped. The man was on the bridge before, and in the air after and the jumping occurred which was the action that took place.
In the same way if you say when did God create time, you assume there was a time before time existed which cannot be true. There cannot be a ‘time’ before time was created. It is a question that tries to put God inside of time, rather then reveal the truth that He is not subject to time, and that He exists ‘outside’ of time.
There is no ‘before time’ because God created time; rather there is a ‘place’ (so to speak) where time does not exist, and still does not, which is in eternity. Eternity or Infinity is without constraint, it has not beginning or end; time is constrained and limited, it has a beginning and an end; therefore eternity exists outside of time.
Physics currently defines time as the ‘sequence in which physical processes happen.’ It is Gods way of preventing everything happening all at once in our consciousness.
Logical Argument #3 – Law of Causality
Everything that comes into existence (or that is created) came into existence based on the law of cause and effect. Every effect (or act of creation) is caused by something else.
God did not come into existence because He has always been (existed), thus He did not need a cause, just as infinity has no beginning or end, but continues on forever.
Regardless of your belief system, logically, there must be somewhere and in some way, something outside of the entire universe that caused all other things to come into existence. This ‘First Cause’ would have into exist outside of the traditionally understood laws that force all creation to have its being based on ’cause and effect.’ The ‘First Cause’ could not have had a beginning, nor would have been in and of itself ’caused’ by anything else.
The only explanation, logically, that can explain the existence of all creation, and all things that have a beginning is in the fact that all things must have come from an “Origin” or ‘First Cause’ that is not under the limits that govern everything else that had a beginnings.
This gives us the logical premise and division between the ‘Created,’ who’s existence relies on a ‘created’ law of cause and effect; and the ‘Creator,’ which is not bound by any created law.
Logical Argument # 4 – Law of Conservation of Energy
This physical law states that nothing can be created or destroyed, rather, energy simply takes on different forms.
This logical argument follows the same suit as #3; and from this, observation tells us that because energy and matter obviously do exist in our universe, they must have been created at some point, out of nothing.
Dwelling Place of God
Where Did/ Does God Exist Without the Universe He Created?
The visible universe we observe today is still too small for God to dwell within (or better put, it’s too small to contain all of God)!
So God does not need anything He created, He dwells in a place outside our universe, outside of the limitations of space and time as we understand them, outside of creation.
God ‘dwells’ in eternity, and that is the ‘location’ where He is at. Of course, God is everywhere, and is near to everyone of us at all times, watching everything we are doing, but He is much bigger than the whole of creation!
For thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. – Isaiah 57.15
But will God indeed dwell on the Earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built? – 1 Kings 8.27
WHO IS GOD
God describes Himself with many different characteristics and attributes so that we, His creation, may know Him. Some of the terms used in the Bible to appeal to Gods characteristics and attributes are ‘His Names.’ A person’s name in many ancient culture, traditionally in Hebrew, had a deep meanings and typically applied to who someone really was or represented some attribute about what kind of person they were.
In many instances a name was also given based on local or social situations. Names where typically characteristics, or attributes of that person; these types of traditions where carried on through the people of God, the Hebrew people. [i.e. Gen 21.6, Gen 25.6, Ex 2.10, Judges 8.31, 1Sam 1.20, Isa 7.3, Matt 1.20-21]
Analogical Attributes of God
Created Things Symbolically Represent God’s Attributes
A persons attributes define who they essentially are, and characteristics define some distinctive quality that belongs to that person.
It must be understood, because God is so far above us, and based on our limited ability to understand, that His attributes are to be contemplated as something analogical to things that we are able to understand.
i.e. Cleanliness has a much higher and deeper meaning to God, yet in our physical universe, we are able to understand ‘symbolically’ the difference between cleanliness and filth. We can understand the feelings we get when we think about cleanliness and filth and apply that to how God feels about the same thing, only amplified to a level we cannot relate to! It is in the physical universe that our experiences allow us to symbolically relate to attributes that exist on a higher level.
There is an infinite difference between a finite being and an infinite being; but, as Romans 1 says, the things God created in the physical world are used to help us understand the invisible attributes of God!
That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. – Romans 1.19-20
Moral & Non-Moral Attributes of God
Gods moral attributes are reference to the characteristics that describe His nature and behavior, and what is God like. God is love and just, He acts according to His loving-kindness, He is forever joyful.
His non-moral traits describe the characteristics that make His essential attributes, these involve how God relates to His creation. Without His creation, He would have nothing to be sovereign over, transcendent above or omnipresent to. His essential attributes remain proper to His nature even if there were no creatures with whom to relate.
Names of God in the Bible
There are three primary pro-noun names ascribed to God in the old testament; GOD (ELOHIM), LORD (YHVH), and LORD/ Master (ADONAI), and besides these three names, there are over 80 (but not limited to this number) different compound names or descriptive titles used to describe God.
God is One (God’s Triunity and Unity)
There is only one God, He alone is God! God is an indivisible being meaning that He cannot be separated, but God expresses Himself to us in three different and distinct persons: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Spirit).
God’s unity can be understood and distinguished by learning His:
- Unity – There is ONLY one God, and no more then 1.
- Simplicity – There are not two or more parts in God
- Triunity – There are 3 persons in one God.
[Also referred to as the doctrine of Trinity]
Some claim that they cannot accept this because it seems illogical. But, in order for something to be illogical, there must be some standard or law of logic that is broken.
We experience many examples in nature of triunities such as with a triangle, it has three sides yet is one shape in itself at the same time;
or mathematically, one to the third power 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.
Logically, if one being was infinite, and so was another, they would be the same thing because infinite means it fills everything; like 2 ‘different’ oceans on the Earth (Atlantic and Pacific) they are still the same body of water because they fill the Earth.
Studying this fact logically, we can understand there it is actually impossible for there to be 2 or more infinite Gods! In order for any being to advance to an infinite level, it would become infinite, fulfilling eternity and would ‘be’ God, because God is already infinite. Looking at it mathematically it’s like saying infinity x infinity which would = infinity, of whom God already is! You could try to say it would ‘merge’ with God, but that would be impossible because you can NOT add to infinity, it is already infinite!
So Christ came down, and He is the same one who went up. He went up above the highest heaven in order to fill everything with himself. – Ephesians 4.10
He is Father
God is the Father. He is the one who sent His son to reveal Himself to us, and afterwards sent the Holy Spirit. For the Children of God, He is our ABBA ‘Daddy.’
The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “Abba, Father.” – Rom 8.15
He is Son
God is the Son. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, came to the Earth to take our place of punishment for our sins. For the Children of God, He is our Savior and Lord.
The Good News is about God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a human, he was born from the family of David, but through the Holy Spirit he was shown to be God’s powerful Son when he was raised from death. – Romans 1.3
If you openly say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved. – Rom 10.9
The Sons Duel Natures
Jesus is unique because He is not only one of three persons that God reveals himself to us as, but He also has 2 natures. He has the fullness of the nature of God (Col 2.9), but took on and continues in the nature of a man as well.
Some struggle with this doctrine as being a contradiction, believing that the infinite is not capable of manifesting itself as something that is finite. However, this is not a contradiction, but alludes to something we can observe today. Just because you have power or ability to do something, you can always choose not to exercise or use it in.
Jesus because He is God, can choose not to use His power (omni-science, presence, potence) if He wants to, and dwell in one place (a body) limiting his knowledge and power in submission to the Father to be a supreme example to all of us humans [ as we see in Matt 24.36, Mark 13.32, as an example of when Jesus ‘chooses’ to not know the time of His return]. This is exclusively spoken of in:
Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father. – John 10.17-18
Christ… who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. – Philippians 2. 6-8
God does however give us glimpses to the true nature of Christ, as we see in the transfiguration, that behind the mask of humanity is the infinitely brilliant God of creation.
Jesus was changed. His face became bright like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. – Matthew 17.2
He is Holy Spirit (Ghost)
God is the Holy Spirit. After Jesus returned to the Father, He sent the Holy Ghost to dwell inside, and with all believers. For the children of God, He is our Comforter and Councilor. (John 14.26)
Verses in Which all Personalities of the Godhead are Mentioned Together:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” – Matt. 28:19
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” – 2 Cor. 13:14
As soon as Jesus Christ was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and landing on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” – Mt 3:16–17; Mk 1:10–11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32
“The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.’” – Luke 1:35
“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God – Hebrews 9.14
Criticism Concerning the Trinity:
The Trinity/ Godhead doesn’t make sense, I don’t want to worship a God I don’t understand!
Many people don’t want to worship a God they cannot understand, but ultimately a person’s ideas about God doesn’t change who God is, and God will never be COMPLETELY understood by any of His creations because He is infinite, and all created beings are finite.
It is an ignorant statement to say you don’t want to believe a truth, simply because you cannot understand it. Scientists don’t completely understand gravity, yet it remains in full effect every day.
What we should do is seek God with everything He has given us to understand Him more fully. The Bible is God’s word and in it we can find out more and more about who He is!
To say that the godhead doesn’t make since or is illogical is not a correct statement. In order for something to be illogical there must be a law or concept of logic that is broken. We see many examples of triunities all around us, such as a triangle; it has 3 sides yet is one shape.
Examples of Trinity
A triangle is one of the best, logical examples to conceptually understand the concept of a trinity. It has 3 equal sides which together make up the whole triangle. We have to remember this is only an example in our limited, material universe that our finite mind is able to compare to something infinitely larger.
Hebrew Name for God – EL SHADDAI אל שדי (God is Almighty) In the Greek, the word pantokrator which means ‘all-powerful’ and is used to describe God in various placed throughout the Bible. (2Cor 6.18, Rev 1.8, 4.8, 11.17, 15.3, 16.7).
Omnipotence is a non-moral attribute of God, meaning this attribute is not based on the principles of God’s behavior but rather is an indistinguishable factor of who He is. Omnipotence Literally means unlimited power. God is able to perform any work or action that He desires, His power is unlimited and uninhibited by anything else.
Although God is unlimited, He will never do what is contradictor to what is in His nature (Heb 6.18, 2Tim 2.13, Titus 1.2), therefore God limits His own power to remain consistent to His own nature [i.e. example He will not forcefully break mankind’s freewill ex. Matthew 23.37].
Therefore Gods other divine attributes reveal how He will use his unlimited power [i.e. because He is just, He will use His power to first judge, then decide good to be rewarded from evil that will be punished and execute it!]
Therefore omnipotence means that God is also free to not use His power or limit it when He desires; but He cannot increase His power.
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. – Gen 17.1
Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases. – Psalms 115.3
With God all things are possible. – Matthew 19.26
Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; – Heb 1.3
” Can God create a rock so big, that not even He could move it? “
This has been a question brought up by many people, often as a joke but it raises a real question as to the limits of God’s power.
When you ask this question, it means there is a part of God we are not understanding, or we are not taking all of His attributes into consideration.
God’s power is infinite and therefore he can move anything He creates, because all creation is finite! If He created a rock equivalent to Himself (infinite) then simple mathematics would tell us that it would become God (infinite + infinity = infinity) and God cannot create Himself because He is not a creation, but is the creator. Only God can be infinite because all creation must have laws, boundaries and measures in order to exist.
Omnipresent (Everywhere All The Time; Non-Temporal)
Hebrew Name for God – YHVH SHAMMAH שָׁם יְהֹוָה (The Lord is present) ; Hebrew Name for God – EMMANUEL עִמָּנוּאֵל (God is with us)
Literally this means that God is present everywhere at the same time. There is no where that God is not present, yet he is NOT the world or creation, God is separate from His creation. Pantheism is the belief that God IS the world, this view opposes God’s description of Himself.
God is not ‘in’ or limited by space or time; all created beings are subject to both space and time, for their attributes limit them to the amount of space they use and where that space is located. God is eternal and He exists outside of both time and space (in the same way that a software programmer exists outside of the computer program that he writes [creates]).
God must exist outside (above) His creation in order to be able to architecturally design every intricate detail: from the laws of physics and sub-atomic particles to the edges of space-time.
A good way to understand God’s presence in the universe is the way we understand that the mind is in the brain, or beauty is in a painting, or thought creates a sentence; even though the ‘present’ verb is what makes the subject exist, it is not directly found as any part of the subject.
If I go up to heaven, you (God) are there: or if I make my bed in hell (the underworld), you are there. – Psalms 139.8
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. – Proverbs 15.3
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. – Acts 17.28
Omniscient (All-Knowing) & All-Wise
God knows everything; all information and intelligence and wisdom- belongs to Him. God knows and understands everything that has happened, and is going to happen; and He knows every possibility that could happen.
God exists without limits, thus His knowledge is also without limits. The only one who knows God all the way (infinitely) is God himself (thus only the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are able to fully know (infinitely), and understand God because they are God; logically only an infinity being could understand an infinite being ‘completely’ because it would require infinite knowledge to be able to do so).
The Hebrew word for wisdom is Chokam, the Greek word is Sophia. They both mean wisdom or skill and relate to the ability to choose the right means for the desired outcome.
Knowledge is the accumulation of information, and wisdom is the application of that knowledge for right cause.
One perfect in knowledge is with you – Job 36.9
You have knowledge when I am seated and when I get up, you see my thoughts from far away. You keep watch over my steps and my sleep, and have knowledge of all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue which is not clear to you, O Lord. – Psalms 139. 2-4
Great is our Lord, and great his power; there is no limit to his wisdom. – Psalms 147:5
So be not like them; because your Father has knowledge of your needs even before you make your requests to him. – Matthew 6:8
All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen. – Romans 16.27
But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. – 1 Corinthians 2.10-11
And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do. – Hebrews 4:13
History is laid out before God because He is above (outside) of time, and sees the past present and future all at the same ‘time,’ because He dwells in eternity. This is why the Bible is able to predict the future from God because He sees or ‘knows’ everything. ONLY the Bible has 100% accurate prophecy because it only it is from God. (Deut 18.22; Isa 46.11)
God is Supreme or Sovereign
Hebrew Name for God – ELOHIM אֱלֹהִ֔ים (God is Supreme)
Hebrew Name for God – EL ELYON עליון (God most high)
Hebrew Name for God – ADONAI YHVH יְהֹוָה (the Lord our sovereign)
There is no one like God. God alone is ruler and has unlimited control over everything, He made everything and He owns everything that exists and His purposes will always prevail. Even Satan himself has to come to God to seek permission to act (Job 1). No one can resist Gods will (Rom 9.19).
They continue this day according to Thine ordinances: for all are Thy servants. – Psalms 119.91
(God says) I made the light and the darkness. I bring peace, and I cause calamity. I, the LORD, do all these things. – Isaiah 45.7
God is Eternal or Everlasting (& God’s Immensity)
Hebrew Name for God – EL OLAM אֵל עוֹלָם (God is Everlasting)
Just as in the explanation of where God came from, God is infinite and eternal, he has no beginning and no end. He is Spirit, supernatural and existing outside the boundaries of created matter that needs a beginning as we understand it. God also ‘dwells’ or ‘lives in’ eternity. In contrast, all created being are ‘temporal’, meaning they are subject to time.
God created time, and we are to understand that there is a ‘dimension’ beyond or ‘higher’ then the existence of time; God exists outside the boundaries or limits of time. Before time existed (or above the place time exists), God was (is) there! So in other words, it is an incorrect question to say “where did God come from,” because it means you are not thinking about the situation correctly; He always Exists (He always did and will exist).
Eternity is incorrectly understood by some as an infinite number of moments (time); we have to understand that eternity is infinitely outside or beyond created time.
Heb 1.2 says that Jesus “framed the ages,” Jude 25 says to the only God be glory before all ages (time), now and forever; thus to be before or above time and to exist in a place where you are able to create time, is to be outside of time. We see from this that the Bible teaches that creation did not occur in time, but all creation occurred with the creation of time; and God who exists superior to all creation, exists ‘above’ or superior to time as well..
Immensity– This attribute of God is the fact that He is “not measurable,” and is unlimited in space. God is present in every point in space, but is not ‘in’ space. He is transcendent to space & time. Similar to the way a painter is not in his painting, yet is present everywhere ‘to’ his painting at the same time.
“But will God indeed dwell on the Earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! – 1 Kings 8.27
Our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. – Psalms 8.1
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the Earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. – Ps 90.2
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. – Revelation 1.8
God is Unchanging (Immutable & Impassibility)
Hebrew Name for God – EHYEH אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה ( “I AM THAT I AM” God is unchanging)
God does not change, He is always the same and will always continue to be the same. Who He is, is who He was and whom He will always continue to be.
His eternal essential attributes He CANNOT change, He will always be holy, eternal and supreme. His moral attributes He WILL NOT change; His nature will always be good and just and loving, which is a very good thing for all of His creations!
Impassible – God is not subject to anything swaying His will or intentions. His eternal and unchangeable nature remains consistent regardless of all actions in the universe, because He is the mover (doer) or all things in the universe!
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. – Heb 13.8
For I, the LORD, do not change… – Malachi 3.6
(Speaking about the heavens and the Earth) They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; Yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, And thy years shall have no end. – Psalms 102. 26-27
And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent (change His mind). – 1Sam 15.29
God is All-Sufficient (Aseity & Necessity)
Hebrew Name for God – YHWH יְהֹוָה (Yah, Jah or Yahweh) ‘I AM’
There is no deficiency in God so that He should need anything. God is self-sufficient, He is the self-existing one. All creation completely depends on God for their existence and for their existence to be sustained.
False gods and demons always demanded sacrifices and human service, but God gives to us our existence and everything we need. Jesus came to serve not to be served, and gives to us what we need. God does not need anything, rather it is all creation that relies on Him for everything (Acts 17.28; Rom 11.35)
Necessity – Another way to look at this is to understand that Gods existence is absolutely necessary. Gods nonexistence is not possible. Everything exists thus God the initiator must also exist, there had to be a beginner in order for everything else to begin, and they MUST be different from one another and they must each exist according to different laws or measures (thus is the difference between Creator and Creation).
And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. – Exodus 3.13-14
In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. – Job 12.10
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; – Acts 17.24-25
For truly the Son of man did not come to have servants, but to be a servant, and to give his life for the salvation of men. – Mark 10.45
God is Holy
Hebrew Name for God – EL HAKKADOSH קדשׁ לָם (God is holy)
Hebrew Name for God – EL KEDOSHIM (Holy God)
[The Bible refers to holiness & Sanctity over 650 times]
The word in Hebrew for Holy is Qadash revealing that God is sacred, clean, pure and spotless. Holiness is the sacred setting apart from creation and all evil. The Greek word is Hagiasmos meaning holiness and sanctification. It means literally ‘to be set apart for God.’
God is absolutely perfect, utterly pure. God alone is the source of holiness. The holiness of God is the only attribute of God that is mentioned in triplicate! Holiness also refers to the fact that God is so pure, that He cannot even be near or have any part in sin and that He utterly abhors it; because sin is opposite to His nature, and the corruption of purity.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. – Psalms 45.7
Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. – Psalms 99.5
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole Earth is full of his glory. – Isaiah 6.3 (Rev 4.8)
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? – Habakkuk 1.13
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: – Heb 12.14
God Is Righteous, Just and Perfect
Hebrew Name for God – EL TSADDIK צדּיק לָם (God is Righteous); This is a moral attribute of God meaning it refers to a person moral that pertains to God.
The word for righteous in Hebrew is Tsaddik and in Greek is dikaios, which literally means to be just or right. God alone is the ultimate standard for what is correct, right and just. God’s righteousness refers to the fact that God’s ways are correct, the way of purity and perfection, the good way to go, becasue God alone is good!
- Justice is getting what you deserve
- Mercy is not getting what you deserve
- Grace is getting what you don’t deserve
God is Just
Hebrew Name for God – ELOHIM SHOPHTIM BA-ARETS (God that judges the Earth)
Hebrew Name for God – YHVH HASHOPET (The LORD the Judge)
God delights in Justice to be done. He will judge between right and wrong and send the guilty to hell. It is also through His justice that forgiveness is allowed for sins, and gives mercy to those whom ask for it.God will do no injustice, He will execute justice in its proper time upon everything and ensure punishment is set upon the wicked.
God is Perfect
God exists perfectly without flaw. All of God, and everything He does, is without flaw, it is perfect.
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? – Genesis 18.25
“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. – Deut 32.4
This God–his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. – 2Samuel 22.31
So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the Earth. – Psalms 58.11
TZADDI. Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. – Ps 119.13
For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. – Isaiah 61.8
God is Jealous, Fearsome & Wrathful
Hebrew name for God – קנּא אל EL QANNA (Jealous God)
The Hebrew word for Jealously is kannaw, literally “to be desirous of”, and “to be zealous about”, “to be excited to anger over.”
God is a fearsome and wrathful God. He destroys the wicked and punishes the unjust. In the last days He will throw all unbelievers and rebels into the lake of fire, forever. He even disciplines His own children as necessary.
God is jealous for His own, and will punish His children for disobedience until they return to Him (both nationally and personally), because He desires His children and people so much, it stirs Him to jealously and wrath when they walk in disobedience to Him. The fear of the Lord brings wisdom to a person because it allows them to execute knowledge for moral excellence, and do what is right in God’s eyes.
God is Wrathful
The word for wrath in Hebrews is ‘charown’ which literally means burning anger or fury. Another Hebrew word is ‘ebrah’ meaning outburst of anger, rage and passion. The Greek word for wrath is ‘orge’ which means strong desire, violent passion; as is applied at Gods hatred and anger for sin. God’s wrathfulness is not a direct personal attribute of God, but is rather a result of His perfect righteous judgment of evil, and the result of His actions towards it.
For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God – Exodus 34.14
Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven. – Job 25.2
A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. – Nahum 1.2
As you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling – Philippians 2.12
When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might – 2 Thessalonians 1.7-9
For the Lord disciplines (chastises) the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. – Hebrew 12.7
Objection to God’s Jealousy
Some might ask, how can God get angry or jealous if He is omniscient and knows what is going to happen?
A.) God does not change and is patient towards every one of us, but there is a point that God will not allow things to go any further and will use his wrath to put an end to wickedness. God knows when wickedness will be chosen by men, there is no contradiction in God simply waiting until it happens before He unleashes His wrath on the person or situation.
Why does God command us not to be jealous but He is allowed to be?
Answer.) Once again God is not on the same standards as humans are. He made us and can do what He chooses; but beyond this, God has infinite wisdom and is perfect and has a right to get angry and the take the life He made because He is perfect justice. It is our place as humans to seek to understand things like our creator and become more like Him.
The Fact is God allows us to be angry, but do not sin (Eph 4.26). There are many instances where we are allowed to be jealous for things that are good, but always must be wise about the situation, such as being jealous for God or for our wives, etc.. (Numbers 25.11, Pr 6.34, James 4.5)
God is Omni-Benevolent (Good & Loving)
He is Love
The Hebrew word for love is ‘chesed’ literally goodness, affection, good-will, loving-kindness, or tender. It is in this definition we see the correlation between love, goodness and compassion. The Greek word for God’s love is ‘Agape,’ literally benevolence, self-less sacrificial love, or total devotion ( given over unto). The true definition of Love is Biblically defined in 1 Corin 13. The word describing ‘God’s love’ in Greek is agape, it mean that someone is utterly devoted to something.
1Co 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
1Co 13:5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
1Co 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
1Co 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Co 13:8 Love never ends.
God is compassionate, He knows and feels our pains and desires us to be happy and joy filled and satisfied in Him.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, – Titus 3.4
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5.7
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. – 1John 4.8
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. – 1 John 4.16
God is Kind
The word for kind in the Greek is chrestos, meaning gracious, good, kind or easy. God loves and is kind, compassionate and merciful to all His creation. God is so loving and kind, that He does not treat anyone with partiality, not even the wicked and evil being. He gives to all beings the same benevolence and kindness and retains the best intentions for all His creation. The Bible continually tells us that He gives to both the righteous and the wicked.
This kindness is not however without balance to his equally powerful attributes of justice and wrath, if one continually takes advantage of God’s mercy they will be destroyed.
I will be kind to those to whom I will be kind, and have mercy on those on whom I will have mercy. – Exodus 33.19
But be loving to those who are against you and do them good, and give them your money, not giving up hope, and your reward will be great and you will be the sons of the Most High: for he is kind to evil men, and to those who have hard hearts. – Luke 6.35
So that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven; for his sun gives light to the evil and to the good, and he sends rain on the upright man and on the sinner. – Matthew 5.45
For one man is not different from another before God. – Romans 2.11
He is Good
Hebrew Name for God – YHVH HATOV (The Lord is Good)
In Hebrew the word for good (toob) mean fair, good, favorable, joy or well. In Greek the word for good (chrestotes) means moral excellence, gentleness and kindness. God alone defines what good is, as He is the ONLY one who is good, and all that He does is good. [Mankind’s typical understanding of ‘good,’ is usually wrong because people never learn to define good beyond anything other then what their own relativistic view of what they believe is morally good.]
God judges based on what that which is good and evil, but He is exceedingly patient, giving opportunity to all people so they would come to repentance and be redeemed because of His goodness and kindness.
He is Merciful
There are a few different words in Hebrew that are associated with God’s mercy; ‘chesed’ (same as above for love), ‘kopher’ literally ransom or propitiation, ‘Racham’ which means to love and have compassion on. In Greek the words used for mercy are ‘eleeo’ which means to show mercy, to pity, or have compassion on. God’s giving nature, mercy and grace comes from his goodness (Matt 12.35). God has mercy on those whom His loving-kindness rests upon.
He gives mercy equally upon all men, but when He passes His final judgment, only those who trusted in Him will receive His eternal mercy and go to heaven. All those who took advantage of His mercy and never came to believe or trust in Him, will be swept away in wrath eternal. God is most merciful, but He will not contend against man forever. This is why people must learn to fear God and stop taking advantage of His kindness and mercies.
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man – Genesis 6.3
And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. – Exodus 33.18-19
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? – Rom 2.4
The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. – ps 145.9
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. – Ps 118.1
God is Glorious and Majestic
Hebrew Name for God – EL HAKKAVOD (God is glorious) In Hebrew the word for glory is kabod, meaning the weight or value (of God), which is infinite. It is the splendor and beauty of God. In Greek the word is Doxa, which means dignity, glorious, praise or worship.
In the Bible, God majesty is associated with His strength and honor. There are many words in Hebrew used to describe His majesty and glory such as excellence, splendor, eminence, exaltation, magnificence; all signifying that God’s majesty consists of unsurpassed greatness, highest eminence, unparalleled exaltation and unmatched glory (1 Chron 16.27, 29.11; Job 37.4, 22; Psalms 29.4, 45.3,4, 96.6, 104.1, 145.5; Mic 5.4; Jude 25). God is the most beautiful being and His splendor is without constraint.
The word for Glory is associated with weight or value. The value of God is infinite, and is infinity above all things. This is why He is the greatest treasure in all existence. [ Gen 15.1, Matt 6.20] His value and weight is more important than anything else because He is God, He deserves everything and all the attention of all creation all the time. He is the giver and the provider of everything, He is the intimate God who deserves to be the center of all our attention; this is why we should always have a thankful heart towards Him.
When we see or experience God we stand in awe of Him and who He is, and we worship Him. We are struck by an overwhelming feeling of splendor, benevolence, purity, beauty, delight and majesty because of His glory!
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. – Ps 113.4
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. – John 1.14
God is Truth
Hebrew Name for God – ELOHIM EMET אמת אֱלֹהִ֔ים (God is true) The Hebrew word ’emeth’ and the Greek word ‘aletheia’ both mean truth, stable, correct, dependable, real, reliable. Truth is absolute, it is reality. There is no truth apart from God, anything that is true comes from God for He is truth.
When we don’t believe something God told us, we blaspheme and call Him a liar. The devil is the father of all lies, and when we lie it comes from the devil (John 8.44). God speaks truth and cannot lie because whatever He speaks is done or comes into existence. Although, this does not take away from the fact God may ask us questions or tests our hearts with things that may not comes to pass (Deut 9.13-14).
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. – Ps 31.5
For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. – Psalms 33.9
So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. – Hebrews 6.18
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. – 1Jn 5.10
God is Life (Immortal)
Hebrew Name for God – ELOHIM CHAYIM חי אלהים (God is living)
Hebrew Name for God – EL HAY (The living God)
The Hebrew word for life is Chay literally meaning active, alive, moving, fountain of life. The Greek word for life is zoe, meaning literally living, or lifetime. God is alive. He is the source of all life, He is not just the giver of life, but literally is life itself. To define life, it involves the being or bringing of consciousness with the ability to act. Immortality, or eternal life, is given to those whom trust in Him.
God is life, and is life eternal. The Bible continually describes life coming from God’s breath which makes something become a living being (Gen 2.7, Gen 7.21-22). Physiologically, you can have a very well made carcass but it won’t be ‘alive’ until life is ‘breathed’ into it, and all life originates from the breath of God.
If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. – Job 34.14-15
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the Earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. – Jer 10.10
As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. – John 6.57
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: – John 11.25
To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; – Romans 2.7
God is Creator
Hebrew Name for God – YHVH BORE (God is creator)
God created all things, He is the creator! God is the perfect Designer, Engineer and Artisan and He created everything originally to be good and wonderful (although mans sins have caused the corruption of everything we see). All creation reflects something or an attribute of God and who He is, and therefore we are able to analogically know God and what He is like through the things He has made.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth. – Genesis 1.1
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: – Ecclesiastes 3.1
I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. – Psalms 139.14
Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the Earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. – Nehemiah 9.6
For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: – Romans 1.20
God is Light
Hebrew Name for God – YHVH ORI אור יְהֹוָה (the LORD my light)
The word light in Greek is Pho meaning to shine or make manifest. In Hebrew the word for light is ore, meaning illumination. In God there is no darkness (obscurity, shadiness) at all. God brings everything hidden into plain view so that all can see, there is nothing hidden from God.
God created physical light, but there is a deeper meaning behind its representation, a spiritual light that is an attribute of God which may be connected to physical light. In the same way man is in the image of God, the physical light we see is most likely an image of the spiritual attribute of God’s light.
God is light; He is pure, radiant, brilliant! There will come a day when we will no longer need the light of the sun, rather God will be our light on the Earth (Isa 60.19). Light allows us to see and know where we are and where we are going (Ps 19.8), this directly reflects the spiritual attributes of light as God alone can reveal spiritual truth and guide us on the right path.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. – 1John 1.5
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. – John 3.19
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. – Ps119.130
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. – 1 Timothy 6.16
GOD IS, (PERSONALITY)
After learning about who God really is, we can now learn that stemming from His attributes are many of His personality traits that He shares with us. There is no personality trait that outweighs or is better or stronger than the other, they each equally have the same value. God is equally happy and merciful towards righteousness and goodness as He is wrathful and judging towards evil and sin.
God is Happy
There are many verse in the Bible that refer to God as the ‘blessed God,’ the word for blessed directly translates to happy. God is infinitely joyful and happy, and in Him are pleasures forever.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Ps 16.11
According to the glorious gospel of the Blessed (Happy) God 1 Tim 1.11
God is Forgiving
God is the most merciful being; He is all forgiving to those whom come to accept His forgiveness. His nature of kindness and compassion makes Him willing to overlook misdeeds and wrongful behavior, and extend His mercy to those that sin against His ways but afterwards repent and seek forgiveness.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Ps 103.12
God is Awesome & Fearsome
God is awesome and magnificent in being and deed. God is radiant and beautiful and everything He does is perfect. His nature is astonishing and magnificent.
For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. Ps 47.2
O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God. Ps 68.35
God is Giving
As a part of God’s kind and gracious nature, God is the most generous being and desires to give His children everything. He holds every pleasure in His right hand and desires His children to experience the fullness of His presence.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12.32
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom 8.18
God is Gentle and Patient
God does not force anything upon anyone, but gives free choice to all His creation. He is kind and gentle, desiring that all men would come to trust in Him. This part of His nature will not be a hindrance when it comes time to destroy those who reject Him, but He is sorrowful for those whom he must destroy. God’s gentle nature is patient towards all men.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Rom 2.4
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3.17
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3.9
God is Vengeful
God will pay retribution upon all sinners and blasphemers. He will destroy evil and take vengeance upon the wicked. There is no more a just judge in the universe then the infinitely wise, good, and merciful God. He is able to weigh every situation in hand better than any other being and knows how to execute a perfect judgment, which He will do to all His creatures.
God also disciplines His own and judges men according to His righteous judgments on a continual bases.
To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. -Deut 32.35
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. -Matthew 7.2
avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. -Rom 12.19
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? -Heb 12.7
God is Peaceful
God is peaceable, and is the king of peace. God desires good, calm peaceable beautiful and glorious dwelling for those whom He loves. He is not a God of disorder, but of organization and neat order. Gods work and burden is light and his work is easy, He gives rest for the weary soul.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. -Isa 9.6
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. -Matt 11.28
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. -1 Corin 14.33
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. -Rom 14.17
Bible.org – Definitions and Types of Theology – From Moody Handbook, Doctrines of God by Robert Lightner