Attributes of God – Holy Characteristics
Attributes of God – The Meaning
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So says A.W. Tozer in his classic book on the attributes of God, The Knowledge of the Holy. Why would he make such an extreme pronouncement? Tozer goes on to say, “Man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.”
In our hearts we know the above is true. It is not enough to follow “god.” That word has come to mean so many different things today that it actually means very little. If we just make up our own minds concerning what He is like, then we are just creating an idol in our heads.
Attributes of God – The Basis
Jesus came to reveal the God of the Bible. And God has revealed Himself in His book. Any deviation from that insight from Him is a made-up god. Tozer in Knowledge of the Holy finds 18 characteristics of God in the Bible. They are repeated here, although not in the same order. Tozer’s definitions, when used, will appear in quotes.
The Bible says to praise God for who He is, especially in prayer. Much of Psalms is a good example of this. Most people concentrate their praise in just a few areas, such as God’s love, and then spend the rest of their prayers asking Him for things. (So that you can remember all of the attributes of God they are presented in the order of this acronym: WISH TO FLOSS JIM EGGO.)
Attributes of God – The Characteristics
Wisdom: “Wisdom is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve these ends by the most perfect means.” In other words, God makes no mistakes. He is the Father who truly knows best, as Paul explains in Romans 11:33: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!”
Infinitude: God knows no boundaries. He is without measure. This attribute by definition impacts all of the others. Since God is infinite, everything else about Him must also be infinite.
Sovereignty: This is “the attribute by which He rules His entire creation.” It is the application of His other attributes of being all-knowing and all-powerful. It makes Him absolutely free to do what He knows to be best. God is in control of everything that happens. Man still has a free will, and is responsible for his choices in life.
Holiness: This is the attribute that sets God apart from all created beings. It refers to His majesty and His perfect moral purity. There is absolutely no sin or evil thought in God at all. His holiness is the definition of that which is pure and righteous in all the universe. Wherever God has appeared, such as to Moses at the burning bush, that place becomes holy just for God having been there.
Trinity: Though the actual word is not used in the Bible, the truth of God revealing Himself in three persons is included. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all called God, given worship as God, exist eternally, and are involved in doing things only God could do. Although, God reveals Himself in three persons, God is One and cannot be divided. All are involved completely whenever One of the Three is active.
Omniscience: “God possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. God has never learned and cannot learn.” Omniscience means all-knowing. God knows everything, and His knowledge is infinite. It is impossible to hide anything from God.
Faithfulness: Everything that God has promised will come to pass. His faithfulness guarantees this fact. He does not lie. What He has said in the Bible about Himself is true. Jesus even said that He is the Truth. This is extremely important for the followers of Jesus because it is on His faithfulness that our hope of eternal life rests. He will honor His promise that our sins will be forgiven and that we will live forever with Him.
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