Attributes of God - OrthodoxSermons.org

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Transcript Attributes of God - OrthodoxSermons.org

 Without knowing who He is, how can we begin
having a relationship with Him?
 Without knowing who He is and His Attributes, how
can we believe in Him and trust Him with our lives?
 How can we believe He is a God who desires to save us
and is even capable of saving us?
 Without knowing who He is, we cannot be saved.
 We can only apprehend God, not comprehend Him!
 Apprehend is to understand what God has revealed to
us
 Comprehend is to fully wrap our minds around God,
to dissect Him and understand Him completely,
Which we CANNOT do
 We only know as much as God reveals to us.
 Also known as Negative Theology
 Can only best be describe but what He is not
 Examples:
 Ineffable
 Infinite
 incomprehensible
 God knows no boundaries. He is without measure.
 God is not subject to any of the limitations of
humanity or his creation.
 He is not limited to Space or Time.
 This attribute by definition impacts all of the others.
Since God is infinite, everything else about Him must
also be infinite.
 “But will God indeed dwell
on the earth? Even heaven
and the highest heaven
cannot contain you, much
less this house that I have
built! (1 Kings 8:27).”
 This is what the LORD
says: "Heaven is my
throne, and the earth is
my footstool. Where is the
house you will build for
me? Where will my resting
place be?" (Isaiah 66:1).
 “Am I only a God nearby, declares the LORD, and
not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret
places so that I cannot see him? Do not I fill
heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:23,24).
 “The LORD will reign for ever and ever.”
(Exodus 15:18).
 “The eternal God is your refuge, and
underneath are the everlasting
arms…”(Deuteronomy 33:27).
 "Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who
is from everlasting to everlasting.” (Nehemiah
9:5).
 “Before the mountains were born or you
brought forth the earth and the world, from
everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm
90:2).
 The Eternality of God refers to his timeless nature.
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God exists forever. God had no beginning, and will
have no end.
This is one of the foundational beliefs of
Christianity. If God is not eternal, then eternal
life is not His to give to anyone.
Also, if God had a beginning He too would have
to have a creator, at which point He is not the
one true God.
Without the eternality of God, Christianity is futile.
God's eternal Nature is very important to us
because it ensures that God will always be there
for us. Whenever we need Him, no matter when
we are troubled, our eternal God will always be
there for us.
 "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was
and is and is to come!”
(Revelation 4:8)
 "For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who
inhabits eternity...” Isaiah 57:15
 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth
the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting
you are God.” (Psalm 90:2).
 Omniscience means All-
Knowing. He possesses
perfect knowledge. God
knows everything, and His
knowledge is infinite. It is
impossible to hide anything
from God.
 This knowledge includes the past, the present, and the
future. It includes actuality, and contingencies. That is,
He knows what will happen (Foreknowledge), and He
knows what "could" happen. There was never a time
when God did not know anything.
 God has no need to learn. God has never learned and
cannot learn.
 “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His
understanding is infinite.” (Psa.147:5)
 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who
has been his counselor?" (Romans 11:34)
 And there is no creature hidden from His sight,
but all things are naked and open to the eyes of
Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews
4:13)
 “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater
than our heart, and knows all things.” (1 John
3:20)
 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
Before you were born I sanctified you”
(Jeremiah 1:5)
 Omni-sapient means All-Wise.
 “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.
 God works everything out for the good of His people, and
for His glory. He knows which course of action is best.
 Even when things look the worst, God has a reason for
allowing them to happen. He is carrying out His
perfect wisdom. He never fails, never lacks any
foresight, and never estimates.
 He is wise in allowing freedom and wise in His
intervention.
 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your
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ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and
knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His
decisions and His ways!” (Romans 11:33)
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being
predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all
things after the counsel of His own will. That we should be
to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
(Ephesians 1:11-12)
“To Him who by wisdom made the heavens…” (Psalm 136:5)
“With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days
understanding. With him is wisdom and strength, he hath
counsel and understanding.” (Job 12:12-13)
 Omnipotence: Literally means All-Powerful. Since God is
infinite and possesses power, He possesses infinite power.
 God expends no energy that must be replenished.
When the Bible says God rested on the seventh day, it
was to set an example for us and our need for rest, not
because He was tired. Also, God stopped creating the
world, He did not rest out of being “tired”
 God is also in control and is living and active. He does not
sit idle. He uses His power, and All-Powerful also means
He has the power to Create anything.
 He is Almighty- Sovereign, the Pantocrator. He
controls all things.
 “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and
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as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty
thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God
Omnipotent reigneth.” (Revelation 19:6)
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord
appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty
God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there
anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of
yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
“But Jesus looked at them and said, “for mortals it is
impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26)
 “Great is our Lord, and
mighty in power; His
understanding is
infinite.” (Psa.147:5)
 "For who has known the
mind of the Lord, or who
has been his counselor?"
(Romans 11:34)
 “For He spoke and it came to be; he commanded and
it stood firm.” (Psalm 33:9)
 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
 “And God said, let their be light: and there was light.”
(Genesis 1:3)
 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is
the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the
earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his
understanding no one can fathom.” (Isaiah 40:28)
 “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power
toward us who believe, according to the working of His
mighty power.” (Ephesians 1:19)
 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly
above all that we ask or think, according to the power
that works in us,” (Ephesians 3:20)
 “He has made the earth by His power,
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And has stretched out the heavens at His
discretion.” (Jeremiah 10:12)
 God has no beginning or end. He just exists. Nothing else
in all the universe is self-caused. Only God.
 In fact, if anything else had created Him, that thing
would be God. This is a difficult concept for our minds
to comprehend since everything else we will ever
encounter comes from something other than itself.
 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the
earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are
God.” (PSALM 90:2)
 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
 God's self-existence means that he does not
need us or the rest of creation for anything.
While everything other than God depends on God
for everything, God depends on no one for
existence.
 He is unlike other “gods” who need sacrifices
to keep them going.
 He created us out of Love!
 “…is not served by human hands, as if he needed
anything, because He Himself gives all men life
and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:23-25).
 Omnipresence means “always present.”
 Since God is infinite, His Being knows no
boundaries. So, clearly He is always present
everywhere, Even in Hades!!!
 This truth is taught throughout the Bible as the
phrase “I am with you always” is repeated 22 times in
both the Old and New Testaments.
 God is everywhere. "This is not to say that God’s
form is spread out so that parts of Him exist in
every location. God is spirit; He has no physical
form. He is present everywhere in that everything
is immediately in His presence. At the same time
He is present everywhere in the universe. No one
can hide from Him and nothing escapes His
notice.”
 “Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him? says the LORD; Do I not fill heaven
and earth?” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24)
 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from
Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take
the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts
of the sea. Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your
right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven
and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much
less this temple which I have built!” (1 kings 8:27)
 God is not fundamentally composed of matter, for He is spirit,
and He created all matter (and all spirit other than Himself).
 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is
seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who
worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:2324)
 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his
eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being
understood from what has been made, so that men are without
excuse." (Romans 1:20)
 "He is the image of the invisible God..." (Colossians 1:15)
 Immutability means that God never changes. He is
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Unchanging.
God never changes in His Being (who He is) or promises.
He does not change His mind. He doesn’t change from the
OT to the NT God
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews
13:8)
“For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not
consumed, O sons of Jacob.” (Malachi 3:6)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes
down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation
or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of
promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an
oath,” (Hebrews 6:17)
 To understand this point, one must understand that the fullness
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of God’s Being and attributes cannot be fully comprehended by
human minds.
Therefore, we try to understand God according to our own
limited understanding, and God communicates Himself to
us according to our language and our understanding.
Does God have a right hand? Does God have a back as Moses had
seen?
Do the terms passionate, angry, love, happy, pleased, joyful, sad,
jealous, have the same exact meaning as we understand it in
relation to God???
We cannot fully comprehend God so He uses our language to
relate Himself to us.
 Classic theism treats such biblical statements as
anthropopathisms—figurative expressions ascribing
human passions to God. They are the emotional equivalent
of those familiar physical metaphors known as
anthropomorphisms—in which hands (Exodus 15:17), feet (1
Kings 5:3), eyes (2 Chronicles 16:9), or other human body
parts are ascribed to God.
 Impassable means without “passion.”
 In our theological explanation, we mean that God is
not incapacitated or weakened or stifled by any event
or any amount of grief or love.
 God is not subject to suffering, pain, or the ebb and flow of
involuntary passions.
 Rather, the question is whether or not God's so called “passions”
are voluntary or involuntary. Does God actually react to His
creation in an emotional way? Can humanity hurt God,
emotionally? That would mean we have some control over
God! It would contradict His other attributes.
 Rather, God is totally self-controlled. While God does “grieve”
and does “passionately love” we cannot say it is an involuntary
action or emotion He is subject to and we cannot say it is exactly
the same passion as we humans feel.
 Let us not say that God does not become sad or that God does
not love, for St John said that “God IS Love.”
 But God’s love is a love which we humans cannot fully
comprehend and is not exactly the same as our love.
 This will help us understand what God means when He
says He is Jealous, angry/wrathful, pleased, etc…
 Trinity: Although, God reveals Himself
in three persons, God is One and
cannot be divided.
 The Holy Trinity will be discusses in
detail in another meeting.
 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.
 "To say that God is holy is to say that He is eternally
separate and distinct from all impurity. The term
holiness in Hebrew, qodesh, has the notion of
separation, of uniqueness, of one-of-kindness as it
were." -Bruce Ware
 In the previous talk on Original Sin, it was understood
that for Humanity to dwell with God, humanity must
be holy, for God is all-holy. Please review the talk on
Ancestral Sin in connection to God’s attribute of
Holiness.
 "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for
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Thou only art holy" (Rev. 15:4)
"The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works"
(Ps. 145:17)
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of
His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3)
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy
place by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19)
“For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them,
but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His
holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10)
"He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth". (1
Peter 2:22)
 God’s attribute of Holiness also means He is Faithful, cannot
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lie.
God is Truth. No lie can be found in Him.
God will not tempt anyone, nor can He be tempted.
God is Just.
“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised
before the beginning of time,” (Titus 1:2)
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God
cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone” (James 1:13)
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to
mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also
provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
 Love is such an important part of God’s character
that the apostle John wrote, “God is love.”
 This means that God holds the well-being of
others as His primary concern. He is tender toward
them, and does not take pleasure in their suffering
or condemnation. He seeks the best for us.
 For a full definition of love, read 1 Corinthians 13.
 To see love in action, we study the life of Jesus. His
sacrifice on the cross for the sins of others is the
ultimate act of love. God’s love is not a love of
emotion but of action.
 His Love is perfect and infinite.
 "He who does not love does not know God, for God
is love." 1 John 4:8 (NKJV)
 “In this the love of God was made manifest among
us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so
that we might live through him. 10 In this is love,
not that we have loved God but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
sins.” (1 John 4: 9-10)
 Mercy is the attribute of God which disposes Him to
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be actively compassionate.
It will never end since it is a part of God’s nature.
His Mercy and His justice are Perfect and Infinite
and do not contradict each other because God is
Wise.
For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever
I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on
whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15)
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great
love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4)
 God’s character is what defines what being just really is.
 Being just brings moral equity to everyone. When
there are evil acts, justice demands there be a penalty.
 Since God is perfect and has never done evil, no penalty
would ever be necessary; however, because of His love, God
paid the penalty for our evil deeds by going to the cross
Himself.
 Our Justification was through the Person of Jesus Christ.
 His Mercy and His justice are Perfect and Infinite and
do not contradict each other because God is Wise.
 “Much more then, having now been justified
by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath
through Him.” (Romans 5:9)
 “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies.” (Romans 8:33)
 “Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the
Almighty pervert justice.” (Job 34:12)
 “As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is
excellent in power, In judgment and abundant
justice; He does not oppress.” (Job 37:23)
 God is Perfect and He is perfect in all His
attributes.
 “And having been perfected, He became the
author of eternal salvation to all who obey
Him” (Hebrews 5:9)
 “The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to
be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will
toward men.”
 This attribute of God is why He bestows all the
blessing He does on His followers.
 God enjoys giving great gifts to those who love Him, even
when they do not deserve it. Grace is the way we describe
that inclination.
 “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
 “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one
man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and
the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ,
abounded to many.” (Romans 5:15)
 Faithfulness: Everything that God has promised will come to
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pass. His faithfulness guarantees this fact. He does not lie
This is extremely important for the followers of Jesus
because it is on His faithfulness that our hope of eternal
life rests.
“in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie,
promised before the beginning of time,” (Titus 1:2)
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to
mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will
also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians
10:13)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
God is humble, Longsuffering,
Joy, Gentle, Kind, etc.