The Attributes of God

Notes by Peter Philippi

An ATTRIBUTE = a quality of God

It is who God is in His very essence and nature

We can only know the nature of God in the statement and manifestation of His attributes

We can only know God through His Son Jesus Christ

God never violates any of His attributes in order to exercise another attribute

God has revealed Himself to man

God wants man to know Him

God wants a personal and intimate relationship with man

God is glorified as we acknowledge His attributes

1. God is self-existent
Definition: God has the ground of His existence in Himself


2. God is infinite
Definition: God is unlimited in His being and perfections

Immensity of God
God is not limited, confined, bound or enclosed by space

3. God is eternal
Definition: God has no beginning or end

Infinite = space
Eternal = time

Eternity with God is one NOW

4. God is spirit
Definition: God is immaterial (no matter or ďphysicalnessĒ), invisible, alive & person

This defines Godís nature as spiritual

As person He possesses:
Self consciousness
Self determination

5. God is one
Definition: God is undivided and indivisible

God does not consist of parts, nor can He be broken down into various parts

God is one, and the only one

6. God is triune
Definition: God exists in three distinct persons known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit

ECHAD Ė compound unity
ELOHIM Ė plurality

Is only known by revelation
Can only be accepted by faith in Godís revelation

7. God is omniscient Ė all knowing
Definition: God knows all things actual or possible; past, present and future; perfectly and from all eternity

Doesnít mean He predetermines everything

Things do not take place because they are foreseen; they are foreseen because they will take place

8. God is omnipotent Ė all powerful
Definition: God is able to do whatever He wills

Self-limited by His nature

He always exercises His power in harmony with His essence, attributes and perfections

There are many things God cannot do

Doesnít mean He is the cause of everything that touches the life of the Christian

9. God is omnipresent Ė present everywhere
Definition: Because God is infinite and immense, He is present everywhere

A threat and warning to the unbeliever

A source of great comfort to the believer: the nearness of God

10. God is immutable - unchanging
Definition: God is unchangeable in His essence, nature and attributes

All change in nature, essence or attributes would be for better or for worse

He does change how He deals with man in keeping with manís responses, while not violating any of His attributes

11. God is Holy
Definition: God is absolutely separate from and exalted above all His creatures, and totally separate from all evil and sin

It has to do with Godís perfection and purity

Holiness appears to occupy the highest rank among all His attributes

There is a huge chasm between God and the sinner;
Man cannot approach God on His own merits, but only through the merits of another;
We approach God with reverence;
A right view of the holiness of God leads to a right view of sin

12. God is perfect
Definition: God is without blemish or spot, upright, complete

Only used once of God

Used primarily of His Word and His work in man

13. God is truth
Definition: Godís knowledge, declarations and representations eternally conform to reality

Everything that proceeds from God is true

Because God is true He can be fully trusted

14. God is righteous/just
Definition: Because of Who God is (Holy) He demands perfection and must punish sin, and do so without partiality 

Out of Godís righteousness came a righteous Law with rewards and punishments

We have no righteousness of our own

The righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel of His Son

Godís justice is accurate, inescapable (apart from His provision), severe and perfectly fair

Righteousness cannot come by works

Righteousness comes by faith, through Jesus Christ

A Question for You:
Will you face the righteousness and justice of God on your own merit?


Having received a gift-righteousness by faith in the cross-work of Christ?

15. God is sovereign
Definition: Godís right and prerogative to act in keeping with the perfections of His nature

God acts without permission or approval from anyone

God rules and reigns sovereignly over His creation

16. God is gracious
Definition: God shows kindness and goodness to those who do not deserve it

Grace is Godís infinite generosity
Grace cannot impose conditions
Grace cannot have limits
Grace cannot be diminished
Grace cannot be withdrawn
Grace cannot regard merit
Grace cannot respect demerit
Grace honors God
Grace brings salvation
Grace teaches us how to live

17. God is Love
Definition: Godís love is defined by its characteristics and demonstrations

Godís love doesnít change or violate His other attributes (justice, holiness)
The love of God is extremely personal (recipient)
God is impersonal love (Giver)
God is unconditional love
The love of God is infinite
17. God is Love (contíd)
The love of God draws us into a most personal relationship with Himself
The love of God extends to the whole world
The love of God never stops or changes
The ultimate demonstration of how much God loves every one of us is Christ dying on the cross for us
Grace has freed love to flow unhindered
17. God is Love (contíd)
Love is the giving of oneself to meet the needs of another
There is nothing that can come between Godís love and the believer
The love of God is the greatest driving force in the believer
Love is recognized by what it does or doesnít do

18. God is Good
Definition: God is in His very nature and constitution upright and honorable, desiring to bless

19. God is merciful
Definition: Because God is compassionate and good He does not desire to inflict on us what we deserve

20. God is Kind
Definition: God is disposed to do good, desiring our happiness

21. God is Faithful
Definition: God is always true to His Word and can therefore be fully trusted

22. God is Longsuffering
Definition: God bears provocation for a looooong

23. God is Jealous
Definition: Because of His great love God has a passion that arises when affections are placed on a rival, resulting in judgment 

24. God is a God of wrath
Definition: Godís holy and just indignation and punishment against sin

25. God is not partial
Definition: God is perfect in all His judgments and blessings