When we talk about the attributes of God we are talking about His nature—who God is in His manifested character. These 10 attributes are not the only ones set forth in scripture. However, these will give you a better appreciation of who God is.
God knows everything and His knowledge is complete. This is called His omniscience. Isaiah said that Israel had not seen everything that God had planned (Isaiah 40:28). Job said that God had all knowledge (Job 37:16). The psalmist said that God’s understanding was infinite (Psalm 147:5). The New Testament also claims God’s omniscience in 1 John 3:20 and Romans 11:33.
God is able to bring to pass everything that He chooses. He has no external limitations. His only limits are those He places upon Himself. The book of Job (42:2) says that He can do all things and that nothing can restrain him. Genesis 18:14 simply asks, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” The answer, of course, is “no.”
God’s omnipresence speaks to the fact that He is present in all places at all times. While God is in Heaven, His throne, He is also present in every place. Proverbs 15:3 says that His eyes are in every place. Jeremiah says that God is close at hand and that no one can hide himself from God (Jeremiah 23:23, 24). The classic passage on God’s omnipresence is Psalm 139:7-12 where the psalmist says that he can never be out of the sight of God.
By nature, God is absolutely unchanging. For this reason, the attributes He possessed before the creation of the world are the same ones He has today. Psalm 90:2 says that before anything was created God was eternal and existed in the same state that He is in now. Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the Lord, I change not.”
Though all the attributes of God are important and dependent on one another, the fact of God’s holiness seems to be the one He wishes us to put emphasis upon. When God revealed Himself to man (Moses, Job, Isaiah, Mount of Transfiguration, etc.) each encounter mentions His holiness. Isaiah called God “the Holy One” more than 30 times. Psalm 99:9 says, “the Lord our God is holy.” Because of His holiness He cannot accept, nor even look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13).
God’s holiness is manifested in His righteousness. Because He is holy, He is righteous. This attribute of righteousness is the way His holiness is expressed when dealing with men. Psalm 116:5 and Ezra 9:15 say that God is righteous. Many verses declare His righteousness (Exodus 9:23-27; Psalm 129:4; 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1; 1 John 1:9)
God’s sovereignty is how He rules His creation. This is what makes Him free to do what He knows is best for us. Though He is in complete control, He has also given us a free will to obey or reject His leading. The first verse of the Bible says that God does what He chooses to do. The entire first chapter shows God’s authority and sovereignty over His creation. The Bible is full of passages that show God leading or commanding people to do certain things.
If there is one attribute that people love to embrace, it is the fact that God is love. This word encapsulates for us His mercy, grace and loving-kindness. God is not like the deities of other religions who are thought of as angry and hateful. God is loving towards His creatures. He wants to share a personal relationship with us. 1 John 4 talks extensively about God’s love. Not just that God has love, but that He is love.
God’s mercy has been defined as God not giving us what we deserve. We, as sinners, deserve eternal punishment away from His presence, yet in His mercy He has chosen to offer us a way for salvation (Ephesians 2:4; Romans 5:8). Deuteronomy 4:31 and Psalm 103:8 say that God is merciful. A beautiful picture of God’s mercy is shown in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15.
While God is one, He manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament often the plural form of the Hebrew word God is used when speaking about Him (Elohim). The Bible refers to the “Angel of the Lord” several times. This is a reference to a physical manifestation of God (Genesis 16, 18). The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in the Old Testament (Genesis 1:2; Judges 6:34).
The doctrine of the Trinity is taught even more clearly in the New Testament. The baptism of Christ in Matthew 3:16, 17 shows the three persons of the Trinity. God speaks as the Holy Spirit descends from heaven to Jesus. Another example is the way in which we are instructed to be baptized in Matthew 28—in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Jesus also said that He would ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit as a comforter in John 14. The Bible also claims that each one of the three are God (the Father, Romans 1:7; the Son, Hebrews 1:8; the Spirit, Acts 5:3, 4).
The Holy Bible, King James Version