Attributes of God: His Nature and Character

The Bible does not seek to prove the existence of God, but It does reveal the nature of God. And while it may be difficult to fully describe God in a finite manner, the Bible describes God in terms of attributes, which are inherent characteristics of a being. This information comes from Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

God’s Natural Attributes

1. God is Spirit. God has no body or any physical or measurable form; God is invisible. He became visible in human form in the person of Jesus Christ, but His essence is invisible.

2. God is Changeless. While progress and change may characterize some of His work, God Himself does not change otherwise He would not be perfect.

3. God is All-Powerful. His power is unlimited, and He can do anything that is not inconsistent with His nature, character, and purpose. The only limitations on God’s power are those imposed by Himself.

4. God is All-Knowing. God possesses all knowledge. Because God is everywhere at one and the same time, He knows everything simultaneously. God also has the power to know the thoughts and motive of every heart of mankind.

5. God is Everywhere. God is not confined to any part of the universe but is present in all His power at every point in space and every moment in time. Thus God does not belong to any one nation or generation.

6. God is Eternal. Eternity refers to God’s relation to time. The past, present, and future is known equally to Him. Human beings only see a segment at a time; God sees time in its entirety.

God’s Moral Attributes

1. God is Holiness. The word "holy" comes from a root word that means "to separate." It refers to God as separated from or exalted above other things. Holiness refers to God’s moral excellence. Being holy, God demands holiness in His own children.

2. God is Righteousness. Righteousness as applied to God refers to His affirmation of what is right as opposed to what is wrong. The righteousness of God refers to His moral laws laid down to guide the conduct of mankind, as in the Ten Commandments. Righteousness also refers to God’s administration of justice. He brings punishment upon the disobedient. Finally, God’s righteousness is redemptive. In the Book of Romans, the righteousness of God refers to God’s declaring the believer to be in a state of righteousness as though he had never been unrighteous. This is possible because of the sacrificial death of Jesus on our behalf.

3. God is Love. Love is the essential, self-giving nature of God. God’s love for mankind seeks to awaken a responsive love of people for God. Divine love runs like a golden thread through the entire Bible. Nature is eloquent with the skill, wisdom, and power of God. Only Himself and all He possesses to His creatures, in order to win their response and to possess them for Himself.

God loved and gave; He loved and sought just as a Shepherd seeks his sheep. God loved and suffered, providing His love by giving His all on the cross for the redemption of humanity. God, in His love, wills good for all His creatures.

4. God is Truth. All truth, whether natural, physical, or religious, is grounded in God. Thus, any seemingly inconsistent teaching between natural and physical sciences and God’s revelation of Himself is more apparent than real. Truth is magnified in an absolute way through God’s revelation.

5. God is Wisdom. God’s wisdom is revealed in His doing the best thing, in the best way, at the best time, for the best purpose.

Some people have knowledge but little wisdom, while the most wise at times have little knowledge. But God is "the only wise God."

©2003 A resource for learning how to read the Bible.