attributes of god
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DESCRIPTIONA Position Paper on the "Attributes of God." This Exposition is part of a continuing series on many subjects by Dr. Terry W. Preslar PO Box 388 Mineral Springs, NC 28108 -- email@example.com
The Attributes of GodIn Light of HIS Sovereignty
By Dr. Terry W. Preslar Copyright (C) 2008. Terry W. Preslar All rights reserved.
...when thou comest, bring with thee...the books, but especially the parchments. (2 Tim. 4:13) Psalms 107:2 S S Romans 12:1-2P.O. Box 388 Mineral Springs, N.C. 28108 1(704)843-3858E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Attributes of GODIn Light of HIS SovereigntyAcquaint now thyself with HIM, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee (Job 22:21)
The Greatness of God!!I. Greatness in the General Aspect (Comprehensive) (Psa. 48:1) II. Greatness in the Personal Aspect (Intimate) (Psa. 145:3) III. Greatness in the Majesty Aspect (Potentate) (Psa. 147:5)
Introduction to the Matter God is an eternal being. God is not subject to the microscopic scrutiny of man. God is the subject of revelation. John 1:18 says, No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. First John 4:12 says, No man hath seen God at any time. The Lord said to Moses in Exodus 33:20, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me. Now, Moses talked to God and had a revelation of Him, but he did not see the Lords face directly. Jesus, who is a real man in the Bible, was Gods Son, coming down from heaven to reveal God the Father to sinners. So, when He spoke to Philip in John 14:7-10, Jesus said that He is the revelation of God. He said, He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. If GOD is a person, as can be seen through the Scripture; HE must have a personality. Personality, of course, is characterized by a being possessing knowledge, feeling and will power. An idol is devoid of personality, for an idol neither knows, feels, nor responds. Our God is an individual who is living and has definite personality characteristics. God is a person, not an influence or an unseen force or power like electricity. Jeremiah 10:10 says, But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God.... Acts 14:15 says, ...Turn from these vanities unto the living God. First Thes. 1:9 says the converts turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God. We read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, ...The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect.... The revealed view of GOD is an awesome sight, striking fear in the observer. Attributes are qualities or characteristics of a person or thing. Although general revelation may give us a glimpse of Gods attributes (surely the Creator of the universe is omnipotent), it is not until we come to Gods Word that we understand the character of God as he has revealed it to us. Special revelation is absolutely necessary in order to understand the Creator. These attributes are divided into two major groups His Natural Attributes (Incommunicable) and His Moral Attributes (Communicable). Natural attributes are the very nature of Gods Being. They are unique to Him and cannot be the characteristics of man either now or in the future. This is sometimes questioned because of 1 John 3:2 (...but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.). This reference does not refer to His natural attributes but His Moral Attributes (Love, Holiness, mercy, etc.) We can never become like Him in His Natural Attributes (Eternity, omniscience, omnipotence, etc.) (Mormons teach and it is a central doctrine, that men can become gods by obedience to Mormon teachings Christians are monotheistic and it would be pagan to accept the concept of man becoming a god. Deut. 6:4) Some of the Natural Attributes are: 1- Transcendence God is above His creation. (Isa. 57:15) 2- Immanence Although God is above all (transcendence), He has seen fit to be actively involved within His creation. Christ is the example of this attribute (Isa. 57:15; Eph. 4:6). 3- Eternity God has no beginning nor ending. There is no past, present, nor future with God. He is not limited to time. (Psa. 90:2) 4- Infinity God has no limitation in space. All of His attributes are without limit. (1 Kings 8:27; Psa. 103:17; 139:7-12; 147:5; Isa. 55:8-9; Jer. 23:24) -2-
5- Immutability God is not capable of nor susceptible to change; He is unchangeable, invariable, and permanent (Psa. 102:23-27; Isa. 46:9-10; James 1:17). 6- Omniscience The word means that God is all-knowing. He knows the future as well as the past. He knows all things whether actual or merely possible. He knows things immediately and spontaneously. He knows the thoughts of man better than man knows them himself. (Psa. 139:2; Isa. 40:26; 46:10; Rom. 11:23 7- Omnipresence The word means that God is everywhere present in the universe in the whole of His being. It would be incorrect to suggest that God can be divided up in some material way so that only a part of Him is present in each part of the universe. He fills every part of space with His entire being. (Psa. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:23-24; 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Thes. 1:8-9) 8- Omnipotence The word means that God is all-powerful and is able to do whatever he wills to do. By His power He created the universe and its creatures, He maintains in existence all that He has created, and He determines the events and final end of the universe and its inhabitants. (Gen. 17:1; Job 42:1-2; Jer. 32:17; Matt. 19:26; Rev. 19:6; Col. 1:16-17; 1 John 5:11, 14) Gods Moral Attributes are characteristics of God revealed in His personal interaction with mankind. They include His love, grace, mercy, justice, holiness, righteousness, truth and goodness. These attributes of God are examples of what should be in every man. Although we can never be like God in His natural attributes (omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.), we should vstrive to be like Him in His Moral Attributes. (1 John 3:2) Many of the Moral Attributes of God are: 1- Holiness Holiness is that perfection of God whereby He abhors that which is evil and demands purity. God is separated totally from sin and evil (James 1:13). If we approach God at all, we must come through the merits (or holiness) of Another. (Ex. 15:11, Psa. 22:1-3; Matt. 27:46; Rom. 5:1-2; Rev. 15:4) 2- Justice Justice is the attribute of God by which He carries out the laws that He has imposed. It has two sides. It is remunerative (rewarding) and retributive (chastising). Since God cannot act contrary to His laws, sin must be punished. Gods justice is satisfied in the death of Christ as the sinners substitute. (Hos. 12:6; Micah 6:8) 3- Righteousness This describes the attribute of God that causes God to always be right. (Gen. 18:25). This wonderful attribute guarantees that He will always keep His promises. (Neh. 9:7-8; Dan. 9:16; 2 Tim. 4:8) 4- Love Love is the attribute which moves God to communicate His concern for the ultimate welfare of the ones that He loves. Therefore His love moved Him to sacrifice His life for the sake of another. (John 3:16; 15:13; Rom. 8:32) 5- Mercy Mercy is Gods compassion for the sinner (Rom.5:8) in not giving him what he deserves. (Micah 7:18) In Hebrew the word Mercy comes from the same root as the word for a mothers womb. It is the caring for that which is completely helpless. (Micah 6:8) 6- Grace Grace is the unmerited goodness and love of God for those who have forfeited it (Eph. 1:6-7; 2:7-9; Titus 2:11). Grace is Gods giving us what we do not deserve. 7- Goodness This attribute of God is revealed in His bountiful dealing with mankind. (Psa. 145:9; Matt. 5:45) 8- Truth God cannot lie nor tolerate untruth. God could commend Rahabs faith (Heb. 11:31; James 2:25) but could not commend her lie (Josh. 2:4). Truth can be said to be intellectual purity. (Num. 23:19; 1 Kings 8:56; John 14:6; 17:17) For some long time I have hoped to start the study of the nature of GOD or at least to get an opportunity to put on paper, those words as could be used to state the joy of knowing HIM who is altogether lovely. These words are difficult only in that the vernacular of the human can hardly speak the notes of the supernatural in the manner needed to pass this information to another. In this first attempt at the goal, let us -3-
look at HIM through eyes focused on the mark and pray that GOD HIMSELF will direct our ways. HE is the possessor of infinite power of which we must avail ourselves or our service toward HIM is vain and useless. HE is full of wisdom and HIS ways are past finding out. However it is HIS goodness that we must see in the next pages if we hope to see HIM in the cloud and the whirlwind or in the mysteries of the mind of CHRIST. It is HIS goodness that will WED the Church to the GROOM -it is HIS goodness that wakes the sleeping church member to pray for the world for whom HIS SON died -but; the fruit is in the fact that it is HIS goodness that will WOE the sinner to the cross where HE will find room for him though millions have come.
The Goodness Of GODHE loveth righteousness and judgement: the earth is full of the goodness of GOD. (Psa. 33:5) ...despisest thou the riches of HIS goodness...not knowing that the goodness of GOD leadeth thee to repentance? (Rom. 2:4) HIS GOODNESS -HIS GOODNESS!!! Who but HOLY GOD would have put it so simply? (Isa.35:8 ...the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not ere therein. ) This way has been confused by many and many have erred but this is not the wish of this benefactor of Grace. HIS way -is plain and well marked as was the roads to the cities of refuge and open guidance precedes the way as in the wilderness. (Isa.35:8) Why would any ere in the way if HE stretches forth HIS hand take it into the joys of redemption.
The Half Has Not Yet Been Told(2 Chron.9:6) I. The half of HIS power has not yet been told (Nahum 1:3-6) A)ln HIS Severity (HIS Wrath - Greatness) B)ln HIS Sovereignty (HIS Will - Grace) C)ln HIS Salvation (HIS Word - Goodness) II- The half of HIS Wisdom has not yet been told, as Compared: