Who is God?
This question is ever so weighty. God is far beyond anything that our finite minds can comprehend. Can we know things about God? Yes. But knowing certain things about God is different than truly knowing the totality of who God is. God has revealed Himself to us through His Creation, His prophets, His Word, and most importantly His Son.
Through the Word of God, we get bits and pieces of the character and nature of God. Meaning as the Scriptures unfold we see God displaying different attributes at different times. Some believe that God is changing. But God is not changing, He is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). Rather, God is revealing to us more of His character and how He is working within His Creation. We must remember that God is a living being. He is not a set of facts to be memorized. Or a machine that selects certain attributes to use in a situation. He is a Person to know and interact with.
The following list is a list of some of the attributes of God as He lays out for us in His Word. These are my basic understanding of who God is. Yet, we will be plunging the depths of God for all of eternity and never fully understand it all. Eternal life isn't a get-out-of-hell-free card, or a golf course to be played, or a place where we reconnect with all of our loved ones. Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (John 17:3). Let us seek for God now. That we would know Him now through His Son.
Below you will find a list of God's attributes. It is not a comprehensive list, but it is a start. Most of the definitions are taken from Pastor Travis's book, Knowing the God We Proclaim.
God’s unity means that: God is not separated into different parts. Even though different attributes of God are observed more fully at different times everything God does, is, and remains consistent with ALL His attributes (Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 6:4). (For more on God's Unity: Click Here).
God has in Himself every attribute and characteristic that is excellent and lacks nothing that would be required for Him to have. God's perfection theologically regards His character. Yet, God's perfection practically regards His works. The way in which God uses His characteristics is also perfect. There is nothing that God does that isn't done correctly and perfectly. (The first part of this definition is taken from: Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 218.) (For more on God's Perfection: Click Here)
God's holiness means that He is separated from sin and devoted to seeking His own honor (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:14-16; Isaiah 6:3). Holiness is challenging to describe because it means; other, different, separate, transcendent above His creation (Isaiah 6:1-5). (For more on God's Holiness: Click Here)
He was never created, but is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. There is nothing on this earth—or in all of creation—that is comparable to Him (Revelation 4:8). (For more on God's Eternality: Click Here)
The Bible teaches that there is one eternal God (Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4). The one true God exists in three distinct Persons who share the same divine nature. The Father is God (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 6:27; 1 Peter 1:2). The Son is God (John 1:1; 1:18; 20:28; Hebrews 1:8). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:9). There is One God. The Father is not the Son and/or the Spirit. The Son is not the Father and/or the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father and/or the Son. There are three divine Persons who are co-existent, co-eternal, and co-equal (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19). (For more on God as Trinity: Click Here)
The all-knowing God doesn’t need to learn or reason, nor does He forget. He knows everything perfectly and knows how to respond to everything perfectly. God knows everything that has happened and all potential outcomes of everything that will happen. His knowledge is absolute (Psalm 139:1-6; 1 John 3:19-20; 1 Corinthians 2:11). (For more on God's Omniscience: Click Here)
When the Scriptures declare that God is good it means that God is morally perfect (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19). That God has no moral flaw nor is He capable of anything that is immoral (Psalm 119:68; 145:9; Matthew 19:17). (For more on God is Good: Click Here)
God always acts in accordance with what is right and He Himself is the final standard of what is right (Deuteronomy 32:4; Romans 9:20-21; Daniel 4:37; Psalm 89:14). God has set the standard in His goodness, by telling us what He approves of. (For more on God's Righteousness: Click Here)
God will not allow any sin, transgression, iniquity to go unpunished (Proverbs 11:21). He will always do what is right, judging according to His standard set of what is good (Genesis 18:25). (For more on God's Justice: Click Here)
God saves because He is a savior (Isaiah 45:21-22). He doesn't need any motivation to save, nor does He need anything from the object of saving. He saves because He is a savior. (For more on God as Savior: Click Here)
God's love is a wholehearted giving of oneself to others (Romans 5:8; John 15:3). This love is a choice (Hebrews 12:2; John 3:16). The choice is always accompanied by emotion and followed by an action (Luke 22:39-46). The actions of love are the acts of the free selfless giving of oneself to others despite the emotions and feelings attached. (For more on God as Love: Click Here)
Sovereign & All-Powerful
This means that God is all-powerful, that God is able to do all His holy will and no one can thwart His plans (Luke 1:37; Jeremiah 32:17; Psalm 115:3; Job 42:2). Thus, when we say that God is sovereign, we are declaring that there is no one above God (Isaiah 45:5). That He has the only supreme power (Psalm 147:5, Jeremiah 32:17, Job 42:2. He has the only authority over what He has made (Daniel 4:35, Revelation 1:8, 19:6, Matthew 28:18). (For more on God's Sovereignty and Power: Click Here)
Patient & Long Suffering
God is slow to administer justice so that mankind could be saved (2 Peter 3:15; Romans 2:4). He has self-restraint in allowing offenses toward Himself. Mankind has been shaking their fists at God in rebellion to Him and His ways since the fall. God has been long-suffering and patient with His creation as He is not willing for any to perish but for all to have eternal life in Christ (2 Peter 3:9). (For more on God's Patience and Long-Suffering: Click Here)
God is generous in giving life and breath to people who are undeserving (Romans 2:4). Providing for them so that they would have the time and strength to repent and believe in Jesus, the eternal Son of God (John 3:36). (For more on God's kindness: Click Here)
Jealous & Avenging
God is fiercely protective of His own glory. He will punish all His enemies in time for the glory and praise of His great name (Nahum 1:2). God is jealous for His name and His glory (Exodus 34:14) and will avenge in His own time and for His own glory. (For more on God's Vengeance and Jealousy: Click Here)
God does not punish those who are worthy of punishment. Rather, instead, He blesses them (Psalm 86:15; 1 Kings 11:13; Psalm 106:45; Leviticus 16:14). We, sinful humans, are worthy of punishment every moment of every day. From the least of us to the greatest all men have earned only condemnation. Yet, He not only doesn't punish us, He blesses us. Ultimately, His mercy is eternally demonstrated in Christ Jesus and for those who are by faith in Christ (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-11; Isaiah 53:7-10). (For more on God's Mercy: Click Here)