Attributes Of God

All three persons in the Trinity possess the same divine attributes equally.

Holy. God is distinct and set apart from all else. He is morally pure and devoid of evil. He cannot sin. His attitudes, thoughts, words, motives, actions, and reactions are inherently righteous. His revelations, proclamations, commandments, principles, designs, and assessments are forever true.

Infinite. God is boundless. His attributes are immeasurable. Jesus was infinite while he resided on earth, but he lived within the bounds of his humanity in certain respects. For example, he constrained his power.

Eternal. God always was, always is, and always will be. He has no beginning or end. Time is his creation. He exists apart from it. Jesus subjected himself to the constraints of time generally, but he sometimes acted outside them. His first miracle—turning water into wine—was one such occasion. He compressed into an instant the years required to produce a fine vintage.

Self-existent. God is neither a conception nor a creation. He exists independent of any cause. If he was a construct, his designer would be God. Like God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, Jesus has been alive since eternity past. A little more than 2,000 years ago, he physically left heaven to live on earth among us.

Self-sufficient. God is complete in every respect. He has no needs or deficiencies. He cannot improve. God is self-sustaining. He requires no outside support. He never wearies. His life cannot be extinguished. God imparts and sustains all other life.

Jesus set aside his self-sufficiency during his time on earth. For example, he required parental care in his childhood. He needed to eat and sleep throughout his life.

Jesus voluntarily gave up his human life on the cross to pay the price for sin. However, he never died spiritually. His body did not decay during its entombment. Three days after his burial, Jesus left his tomb and began appearing to individuals and groups in his resurrected body.

Omniscient. God knows everything about everything. His knowledge of the past, present, and future is complete. He always knows how current events will unfold. He cannot learn. Jesus set aside his omniscience, temporarily, upon leaving heaven. The Bible says he grew physically, spiritually, socially, and intellectually during his youth. In other words, he increasingly displayed, as he grew older, what he already was and knew as God.

Omnipotent. God is all-powerful. He rules every realm—seen and unseen. His power is unlimited and unwavering. It neither waxes nor wanes. It never requires replenishment.

God rested on the seventh creation day to set an example for us, not because he was tired. Consistent with his humanity, Jesus tired and slept like us. Consistent with his divinity, however, he exhibited his omnipotence when he performed miracles that validated his deity.

Omnipresent. God is completely, perpetually, and transcendently everywhere, at the same time. He does not inhabit natural things like trees, rocks, or animals, but we are always in his presence. For the most part, Jesus traveled within the bounds of his human limitations during his earthly life. After his resurrection, he moved from place to place without these restrictions.

Sovereign. God reigns supreme over everything. His plans always prevail. God acts in accordance with his will alone. He is not subject to the will of others. He never does anything he is unwilling to do. He cannot be manipulated or coerced.

Immutable. God cannot change who he is. He is unchangeable. He is the same person today that he was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

Wise. God knows best. His assessments and decisions are always fully informed and correct. He thinks logically and acts judiciously, with an eternal perspective. He is never mistaken.

Faithful. God is true to his word. He cannot lie. He always keeps his promises and fulfills his commitments. His allegiance is steadfast. He is utterly dependable.

Love. God cares deeply about his creation, especially us. He is profoundly warm and tenderly affectionate. His love is boundless, unfailing, and unending.

Good. Everything God thinks, says, and does is virtuous. He can only do good things. He cannot commit or sponsor evil. He cannot initiate suffering. As God attends to our afflictions, he produces goodness from them.

Gracious. God is kind, generous, and magnanimous. He is free of all resentment and vindictiveness. He is selflessly devoted to our well-being.

Just. God holds everyone accountable for their unrighteousness, without bias. He will not allow himself to be mocked, without recourse. He eventually avenges the unrepentant enemies who defy him, abuse his people, and misuse his name. God’s justice is always reasonable, equitable, and proportionate. His judgments are always guided by truth and fairness.

Merciful. God is compassionate, benevolent, patient, and forbearing. He blesses us more than we deserve. He postpones his justice so the defiant among us have time to repent of their sins. Only after they have sufficiently ignored his entreaties does he unleash his justice.