“Bible Basics – Lesson 6 – God’s Attributes”

Posted: November 10, 2017 in Bible Basics, Bible Study

 “Getting To Know God”

When it comes to a knowledge of God, many people have all kinds of strange and/or incorrect ideas. However, if we look into the pages of the Scriptures, we can get a better understanding of who God is and how He describes Himself. No longer do we have to refer to ourselves as agnostics (someone who isn’t sure about God’s existence) or as an atheist (one who denies God’s existence). After all, with the universe as big as it is, it would be foolish to suggest that we’ve been everywhere in it and didn’t find God anywhere. The Scriptures remind us that “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). By observing nature we can know that there must be a God who is powerful (Romans 1:20; See Psalm 19:1). Many people disregard this because they don’t want to be accountable to Him as was the case with Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19; See John 3:19). By the way, he wasn’t the brother of Jesus as one cult teaches.

Creator & Sustainer. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “All things [came into being] through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). “For by Him [i. e. God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers [i. e. four categories of angelic spirit beings – See Ephesians 6:12]. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [i. e. are held together]” (Colossians 1:16, 17). Please note that another cult adds the word “all other things” four times in these verses. They deny the deity and equality of God the Son to God the Father and to God the Holy Spirit (See Colossians 2:9). This cult believes that Jesus used to be Michael the archangel.

Trinity. We agree. This teaching in the Scriptures is very difficult to understand. “There is only one true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three co-eternal and co-equal persons, the same in substance [essence] but distinct in subsistence [necessary existence].” – B. B. Warfield. [1] Putting it another way, we could say, “The Father is God; The Son is God; The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. But they all share the same essence, nature, and attributes.”

Unity. “The ‘Shema’ is the initial Hebrew word of this verse; the entire verse is recited as the Jewish confession of faith.” [2] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5).  I [God] am the first and I am the last; Besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6). While He was here on earth, Jesus said, “I and My Father are one [in essence]” (John 10:30) and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). The Apostle John wrote, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).

Intimations. “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This name that is used of God has the “____im” ending to the word “Elohim.” This suggests a plurality within the Godhead. On the sixth day of creation, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…” (Genesis 1:26). These are plural pronouns. After Adam’s and Eve’s fall, God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us…” (Genesis 3:22). As wicked men were building the tower of Babel, God said, “Come, let Us go down and confuse their language…” (Genesis 11:7).

Attributes. A. W. Tozer wrote, “An attribute is whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.” [3] From our understanding of the Scriptures, there are seven attributes. [4] God is:

Good. “The Divine attribute of God whereby the three Persons [in the Godhead] desire and maintain their own happiness and that of others.” – H. L. S. “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17). “Every [genuinely] good and 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). Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children [i. e. those things that will bring them happiness], how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11). Keep in mind that the devil can/does offers enticing gifts that often lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Consider his offer to Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).

Suffering and Death. These things didn’t enter our world until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Romans 5:12). God told Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If he did, he would die two types of death: physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:17; 3:7; 5:1-32). Death is separation, not annihilation as some cults teach.

Strange? The Apostle Peter wrote, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified” (1 Peter 4:14). Why? “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus” will suffer persecution” [while we’re here on earth] (2 Timothy 3:12; See John 16:2; Revelation 21:4). But “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18; See 2 Corinthians 4:17).

Response. The early Christians, after being beaten for preaching in the name of Jesus, “departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name” (Acts 5:40, 41). The Lord told the Apostle Paul through Ananias that “he must suffer for [Christ’s] sake” (Acts 9:16; See 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). To the Christians in the city of Philippi Paul wrote, “For to you [Christians] it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).

Joy. It comes from the Lord and is one part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; See Nehemiah 8:10). Every Christian should always find his/her primary joy (delight) in the Lord, not in other people or things (Philippians 4:4; See 3 John 1:4). There is no premium on being a sad or remorse Christian.

Mercy. It is an extension of God’s goodness. It involves His showing compassion on those who are suffering because of their own sins or the sins of others (See Psalm 136). God wants His people to do what is right, to be compassionate to those who are suffering, and to walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8; Luke 6:36; Galatians 6:10). Are you doing these things? Have you responded to God’s mercy and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? If not yet, why not now?  You may not be alive tomorrow.

Righteous. “[This] is an attribute of God whereby the three Persons [in the Godhead] always act right in reference to One another in keeping with the divine nature, or to others outside of the divine nature.” – H. L. S. The word “righteous” comes from an old English word meaning “rightly acting.” The word “just” comes from Latin. The Psalmist tells us that “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works” (Psalm 145:17). Also, “[God’s] righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. And [His] law is truth” (Psalm 119:142).

Judgment. It finds its basis in righteousness. “He shall judge the world in righteousness…” (Psalm 9:8; See 2 Timothy 4:8). “For [God] shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah” (Psalm 67:4; See Psalm 72:2; 96:10). Do you know when this will take place? (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10;  Revelation 19:16; Isaiah 11:4). He will make things right and take vengeance on the wicked (Romans 12:19; See Revelation 6:10) and on those who have not placed their faith and trust in Him exclusively for their salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Unbelief. The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior (John 16:9). Upon whom or what are you relying to get into heaven? It’s as real as hell – the everlasting lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels/demons. Sadly, unbelievers will end up there too (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8). God counts a person to have acted right when he/she believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:3-5, 16). He sees us as dying for our sins and rising from the dead in the Person of our Substitute.

Crucified. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The “Crown of Righteousness” is laid up for believers who love Christ’s imminent appearing. It will be given to us by the righteous Judge Jesus at the time of the Rapture (2 Timothy 4:8; See John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Will you earn this crown and the four other crowns? You can and should work for them if you’re saved. Discover what we will do with them someday (Revelation 4:10).  (To be continued.)

Help. If this article has helped you gain a better knowledge of God, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future articles as they come out, click “Follow.” Let your friends know about this too. To get this teaching in audio/video format, go to www.youtube.com (Enter: Kelsey Pietsch ) or www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch

[1] https://growrag.wordpress.com/category/b-b-warfield/

[2] Scofield Study Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4 note

[3] A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge Of The Holy, Harper & Row, Publishers, San Francisco, p. 20

[4] Portions adapted from Dr. H. L. Shafer, [H. L. S.] Maturing In Christ, Xulon Press, 2010, pp. 11-16

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf


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