This week I will be devoting several posts to a discussion on the attributes of God. It is my prayer that as we look at these things our sense of wonderment and devotion for the one true God would grow.
There are many things that we know about this one God. His attributes have been revealed to us in creation generally, and in the Bible specifically. God’s attributes can be divided into two categories: common and unique. God’s common attributes are those attributes that are found, to a limited degree, in humans (all of whom have been created in the image of God). God’s unique attributes are those that exist only in God.
God’s Common Attributes
- Holiness – God is completely detached from any evil.
Psalm 5:4: For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You.
Application: Because God is absolutely holy it is only by His work that we to can be holy.
- Truth – God is truth, and He is the source of all truth.
John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Application: God is completely trustworthy. We can take confidence in knowing that the Bible is not only true, but it is also useful.
- Righteousness – God is the ultimate standard of right and wrong. He is the perfect judge who always upholds righteousness.
Deuteronomy 32:4: The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.
Application: God must judge all with perfect righteousness. This is why he sent His Son as a Savior. Through the Gospel God is able to be just, yet at the same time the justifier of sinners.
- Love – God alone loves perfectly, and God is the source of all love.
1 John 4:7-8: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Application: We can be comforted to know that God has demonstrated His love to sinners through Jesus. Additionally, we can look to the love of God as a model for the kind of love that we should exhibit.
- Grace/Mercy – God deals with men with grace and mercy, foregoing His wrath and making salvation available to all peoples.
Psalm 86:15: But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
Application: Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of sinners was the ultimate expression of grace and mercy. We should look to this grace as the grounds for our salvation, and seek to exhibit this grace to others in our lives.
- Beauty – God is beautiful and He has revealed that beauty to men through His creation and His word.
Psalm 27:4: One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.
Application: God is beautiful and He is worthy of our worship. His beauty should cause us to take notice of the manifestation of His beauty in creation. Additionally, we should seek to excel in all that we do, just as God has excelled in His beautiful creation.