Attributes are those characteristics or qualities belonging to a person. These attributes make God who and what He is, and fall into two main categories:
Essential and Moral
Essential attributes Belong to God alone. Essential Characteristics of His Being, which exist apart from any relationship to His creatures.
Moral Attributes are the perfect qualities of God’s Being, especially in relation to His creatures, and which He intends man to also possess.
These attributes make God, God. They are incommunicable and cannot be possessed by any other Being. These qualities of God’s Being, when meditated upon, expand the mind and heart to worship Him in His awesomeness and Majesty, and humble the heart.
God is Eternal
- No beginning and no end. Always been and always will be.
- Never was a time when God was not.
- God exists from eternity to eternity.
- Time past, present and future is comprehended in the I AM, and He is entirely independent of restrictions regarding time. All that was, is, and will be is a present reality to Him.
- God in His essential Being is infinite, having no limitation. He is bounded only by His own nature and will.
Scriptures to consider in regard to God’s eternal Being:
Exodus 3:14; Psalm 102:24; Isaiah 57:15; Deut 33:27; Revelation 1:8; 1:4; 4:8; 1 Timothy 1:17
God is Self-existent
- God exists in and from Himself.
- He is the reason for His own existence.
- He is not dependent on anything or anyone for His existence, and depends on no one for His thoughts (Rom 11:33-34), will (Rom 9:19; Eph 1:5), counsel (Psalm 33:11) or power (Psalm 115:3).
- He is the Source of all life, and His life is underived and inexhaustible.
- God is completely self-sufficient and has never had in eternity past, nor can ever have in the ages to come, a single need for which His own divine nature has not already provided.
Scriptures to consider in regard to God’s Self-Existence:
John 1:4; 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Isaiah 41:4; Psalm 36:9; 1 Kings 8:22,23,27; Psalm 50:10-12; Exodus 3:13-14
God is Immutable
- Unchanged, and unchangeable as to His character and being.
- The laws of His being are eternal and unchanging.
- As Father, Son and Holy Ghost, God is unchanged and unchangeable. He never differs from Himself.
- In His essential and moral attributes He is entirely perfect, and change is impossible. In the perfections of His character He is unchangeable. God may vary His actions and dealings with mankind and His creation, but in His being He does not change. He is eternally God, the same.
Scriptures to consider in regard to God’s immutability
James 1:17; Psalm 33;11; Heb 13:8; Psalm 102:27; Malachi 3:6; 1 Sam 15:29; Numbers 23:19; Heb 6:18; Isaiah 46:10; Rom 11:29
God is Omnipotent (all powerful)
- God is all-powerful.
- Nothing is impossible for or with Him (if it is consistent with His holy nature. For example, it would be impossible for God to lie).
- God has the power to do whatever He wills, and He has the absolute Sovereign right to govern and dispose of His creatures as He pleases.
- He has power and authority in all realms, both natural and spiritual.
Within God’s Sovereign will He has decreed that man exercise free-will concerning his own personal actions and choices, even if these choices contradict and violate God’s desire for them.
Scriptures to consider in regard to God’s Omnipotence:
Rev 19:6; Gen 17:1; Ge 1:1; Rev 4:11; Jer 32:17,27; Job 42:2; Heb 1:1-4 (AMPLIFIED); Matt 19:26; Gen 18:14; Dan 4:32, 35; Rev 17:17; Rom 9:18; Isa 40:12-15; Psalm 103:20
God is Omniscient (All-knowing)
- Knowing all things at all times without prior discovery of the facts. He has complete and universal knowledge of all things actual and possible, past, present and future.
- He has actual and immediate knowledge of everything, being present everywhere at all times and therefore being witness to all that is said, done or even thought at any given moment in eternity.
- His knowledge is absolute and unaquired,
- He has perfect knowledge, perfect wisdom and perfect understanding.
Scriptures to consider in regard to God’s Omniscience:
Prov 3:19; Jer 23:23-35; Psalm 139:2,4; 147:5; Isa 29:15-16; 40:13-14; Prov 15:3,11; 1 John 3:20; Acts 15:18; Rom 11:33; Heb 4:12-13; Acts 2:23; 3:18; Dan Ch 2 and 7; Matt Ch 24 and 25; Jude 1:25
A. W. Tozer has written:
“God perfectly knows Himself and, being the source and author of all things, it follows that He knows all that can be known. And this He knows instantly and with a fullness of perfection that includes every possible item of knowledge concerning everything that exists or could have existed anywhere in the universe at any time in the past or that may exist in the centuries or ages yet unborn. God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all beings and every being, all creaturehood, and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell.” (The Knowledge of the Holy)
God is Omnipresent (Present everywhere at the same time)
- Unlimited by time or space. Always present simultaneously and universally in the entire universe.
- He fills and extends beyond space. He is not limited to or by space, and space is comprehended in Him. Finite space and all that it encompasses depends for its continued existence upon Him, and consists and is held together by His Word of power. (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3)
Theologian A H Strong defines this attribute in “Systematic Theology”:
“God, in the totality of His essence, without diffusion or expansion, multiplication or division, penetrates and fills the universe in all its parts”
In considering God’s omnipresence some have erred toward pantheistic theology which states not only that God is in everything, but that everything is God. God is both immanent (present closely with His creation) and transcendent (absolutely other than, above and beyond His creation).
Scriptures to consider in regard to God’s Omnipresence:
Acts 17:27-28; Psalm 139:7-12; Jer 23:23-24; Matt 18:20; Isaiah 66:1; 43:2; 6:3; Eph 1:23; 2 Chron 6:18; Amos 9:2-4