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Attributes of God Part 1

Updated on May 11, 2012
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I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

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The Knowable, Unknowable God





If you were to ask any number of people: "Who is God?" you'd get all kinds of answers. Every religion has their own understanding of who, or what God is. And, every non-religious person has their own understanding as well. However, those who call themselves Christian believe that God Himself has revealed to us who He is. And we find that revelation in the Bible, the written Word of God. And, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ is "God with us." He has said that "if you have seen me, you have seen the Father" (John 14:9). He is the Living Word. He is God in the flesh.


I. An Attempt to Define God



In explaining the God of the Bible, there is a wonderful definition given in the Westminster Catechism. It states: "God is Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." Although there are no perfect definitions of God, this one is as good as any in capturing how the Scripture views the Sovereign of the universe.


II. Classification of God's Attributes



Beginning with this article, I'd like to begin a study of the attributes of God. An attribute is a feature which is an inherent part of something or someone. For example, color is an attribute of hair, or skin. An attribute is what makes a person or a thing what or who he, she, or it is.

When talking about the attributes of God we can break them down in many ways, and many theologians have done this. Some have broken them down into attributes which God alone possesses, and those which He has given to mankind to possess. These theologians have termed those only God possesses as incommunicable, meaning those attributes that have not been, or cannot be given to other beings. Self-existence, for example, is an incommunicable attribute. Only God exists apart from any other being giving Him life. And only God is eternal in the sense that He never had a beginning and will never have an end.

Then there are also the communicable attributes, meaning those which we creatures created in the image of God possess, or can possess. For example, the Lord tells us to be holy, because He Himself is holy (Leviticus 11:44 and I Peter 1:15,16).

Others have broken the attributes into different categories such as the non-moral attributes like omnipresence, or being present everywhere, and the moral attributes, like love. But whichever way you choose to classify these characteristics, they give us a picture of just who and what our God is and what He is not.


Conclusion

In this study, we're going to attempt to see God as He has revealed Himself to us. The study of God is not an easy task, but it is one of the most rewarding of all fields. For in knowing God we also get to know ourselves and our purpose for existence a little better. After all, we were created, in His image, for His glory. No one can fully understand life as it was meant to be, without first knowing the creator and sustainer of this life. May God receive all the honor and glory as we see Him through His attributes. 




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    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks skye2day. And may the Lord bless you and be glorified through your writing here on Hub Pages.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 

      6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      God Talk I really enjoyed your writing. I will be back for more. Glory to God. Well done good and faithful servant. I can see your love for the Lord shines in and on you brother. Keep on In Christ your sista.

      Phil 4:13!

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks Dave Matthews and Christinme for your comments. And I agree with both of you. If you read the rest of my hubs, you'll see that my belief in God is anything but clinical and impersonal. But the only way to know the personal God is for Him to reveal Himself, and He does that in Scripture and by God the Son, Jesus Christ.

      I have done other hubs which talk more about the relationship that we all must have through Jesus Christ, and I'll cover it again in this series. However, the theme of these upcoming hubs is the attributes of God. This is just an introduction and when we get into the actual attributes we will see more and more, the personality and less of the clinical. For example, one of God's attributes is love. There is no way you can keep that clinical.

      We cannot just pass over these attributes and say, don't give me knowlegde, just give me relationship, for the more we know about a person, the better the relationship we can have. And Scripture plainly teaches all these things about God, so they must be important.

      All I ask is that you bear with me and I believe that my personl relationship with my God and Savior will show through what I'm about to write. Thanks again for reading.

    • Christinme profile image

      Christinme 

      6 years ago

      God is not a God of tradition . To think that we can just pray "the sinners prayer " and be saved forever, however we behave is the biggest of satans lies that is attacking doctrine like a cancer .

      God requires us to KNOW HIM, to walk in HIS truth.

      John10:27 My sheep listen to My voice , I know them and they follow me.

      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

      God intends us to know Him for Himself and not a doctrine about Him .

      Many will fight against this message , however Gods word never comes back to Him void.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      God Talk: This is a very nice hub and I thank you for it.

      BUT, I do find your definition of God to be quite clinical and impersonal.

      I see God as my father, my provider, my teacher, my right hand, my condfidant, my guide, all the things a person expects a real father to be.

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