Natural Attributes of God
God's natural attributes are: infinity, eternity and immortality, immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.
God is infinite. He has no limitations nor imperfections. Man is limited by relations of time and space. He has mental and physical limitations and imperfections. Man is finite; God is infinite. God's powers are unlimited. He has universal and perfect relations with all other existence.
God is unsearchable. Finite man cannot comprehend the fullness of the infinite God. Man can know God and much about God, but he cannot know everything there is to know about God in all details of His total perfections. Man can know God because He has revealed Himself to man. The infinite God is unsearchable. (Job 11:7; Psalm 145:3; Isaiah 40:28; Rom. 11:33-36.)
II. Eternity and Immortality
God is eternal. There never was a time when God did not exist. He always was, always is, and always will be. Eternity is infinite time.
Eternity extends in both directions. It is just as far backward into eternity as it is forward into eternity. For the believer, eternal life has a beginning but will have no ending. God, however, not only will live forever in the future, but also has lived forever in the past.
God is immortal. He is not subject to death. That which is immortal is deathless, imperishable, incorruptible, indestructible, indissoluble. It never fades, never dies, never ends. It does not depreciate, decay, or corrode. It results in unending existence; it is exempt from death.
|1 Timothy 1:17||Now unto the King immortal|
|Romans 1:23||The uncorruptible God|
|1 Timothy 6:16||Who only hath immortality|
The fact that God is eternal refers to His endless duration of existence. The fact that God is immortal refers to the type of physical nature He has that enables Him to have that eternal existence. God's eternity and immortality are linked together.
God is unchangeable. What He now is He always has been and always will be. God cannot change for the better because He is already best. He cannot change for the worse because He thereby would cease to be perfect. Infinite perfection is unchangeable.
|Psalm 102:26, 27||Earth changes, God is the same|
|Malachi 3:6||I am the Lord, I change not|
|James 1:17||No variableness|
|Hebrews 6:17, 18||Immutability of His counsel|
|Exodus 3:14||Always in present tense|
All created things are subject to change and deterioration, but God remains always the same. Stars burn out, mountains wear away, buildings crumble; plants wither, flowers fade, animals die; metal rusts, food decays, machinery wears out. Mankind changes, suffers, and dies. In our changing universe, only God is unchangeable.
God is perfect in knowledge. God's mind is perfect. His knowledge is infinite, eternal, and complete.
|Job 37:16||Perfect in knowledge|
|Psalm 147:5||His understanding is infinite|
|Acts 15:18||All His works from beginning|
|1 John. 3:20||God knoweth all things|
|Hebrews 4:13||All things opened unto His eyes|
|Psalm 139:1-6, 23||Hast searched me and known me|
|Isaiah 40:13, 14, 28||Who hath taught Him?|
|Romans 11:33, 34||O the depths of the riches|
God is everywhere present. Wherever we are we can say, "God is here!" He is our nearest environment. One is no nearer to the presence of God on a mountain than he is in a cavern. Nearness to God is not a matter of geography. No point is nearer to God's presence than any other point. One needs not shout across the empty miles to an absent God. God is here; He can hear your faintest whisper.
|Psalm 139:7-12||Whither flee from thy presence|
|Jeremiah 23:23, 24||His presence fills heaven, earth|
|Acts 17:24-28||Not far from every one of us|
|Psalm 23:4||Thou art with me|
|1 Kings 8:27||Heaven cannot contain thee|
God is not everywhere present in the same sense. God is in heaven, His dwelling place (1 Kings 8:30); Christ is in heaven at God's right hand (Eph. 1:20); God's throne is in heaven (Rev. 21:2; Isa. 66:1). Heaven is a real place. Although God is in heaven, through His power and presence He is everywhere present and acting.
God is all powerful. He is almighty. His power is infinite. There is nothing that He cannot do. With Him all things are possible.
|Revelation 19:6||The Lord God omnipotent|
|Revelation 21:22||The Lord God Almighty|
|Job 42:2||Thou canst do everything|
|Genesis 18:14||Is anything too hard for the Lord|
|Luke 1:37||With God nothing impossible|
|Matthew 19:26||All things are possible|
|Genesis 17:1||I am the Almighty God|
The power of God is designated in the Bible as God's Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the impersonal power of God. The Bible uses the words power and spirit interchangeably. Every work that God does is performed through His power or Spirit.
Moral Attributes of God
God's moral attributes describe His character. They designate the properties within God's nature that determine His moral relationships with mankind. What God does is determined by what God is. The works of God are based upon the character of God.
The three fundamental moral attributes of God are holiness, love, and truth. Holiness includes righteousness and justice. Love includes mercy, grace, lovingkindness, and goodness. Truth includes veracity and faithfulness.
God is holy. Holiness refers to God's moral perfection. The holiness of God involves a positive aspect and a negative aspect. The positive aspect of God's holiness is the fact that in Him all goodness dwells. The negative aspect is the fact that in Him no moral evil exists. The first thought is designated by the word excellence. The second is designated by the word purity.
The Bible presents God's power in contrast to man's weakness, God's wisdom in contrast to man's ignorance, and God's holiness in contrast to man's sin.
God is love. Love is an outstanding moral attribute of God. Love has no existence apart from God; God performs no work apart from His holy love. Love is a basic characteristic of His nature. The truth is not merely that God loves, but that God is love. Love is not simply something God does; it is His nature. His love is neither occasional nor limited. There are no times when God does not love, and there are no spheres which His love does not cover. The glorious truth is that God is love. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (I John 4:8). "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16).
The fact that God is love means that He desires and delights in the welfare of His creatures. Through desire God longs for us, seeks after us, and claims us as His own. Through delight God rejoices in us and bestows upon us His richest treasures.
God's love fills the universe. Every particle of creation is submerged in the love of God. The circle of His affection compasses all His creatures. "For God so loved the world." Although life may be filled with disappointments, one knows that God is love and His love eventually will triumph.
God Is Truth. This means that what God knows agrees perfectly with what God is. He is divinely self-consistent. He is real, genuine, true to His nature. The truth of God is the guarantee of reality, the stability of existence, the foundation of certainty. Men can discover scientific facts and truths in history only because God is truth and is the source of all truth.
We trust in God because He is trustworthy. We depend upon Him because He is dependable. We have faith in God because He is faithful. We believe in God because He has revealed Himself as Truth through His Word.
(Adapted from Systematic Theology, by Alva Huffer, published by Church of God General Conference, Oregon, Illinois 61061, U.S.A.)
© Church of God General Conference. This lesson may be reproduced without change for non-commercial purposes without prior permission.