A spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every human being. The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental understanding of His perfections as revealed in Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshiped (AW Pink, The Attributes of God, p.7)
Believers should not only desire to have a true knowledge of God, but should also desire others to have it. First Peter 2:9 says:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Here, Peter elaborates on the blessings which belong to believers. The redeemed are a chosen race who have obtained membership into THE Chosen race, not by physical descent from Abraham, but by coming to Christ and believing in Him. We are also a royal priesthood and a holy nation, a people for God’s possession. Yet, we are not redeemed simply for our own enjoyment, but that we would glorify Him.
Seeking our own eternal well being, though that is right, could never provide a truly satisfying goal for life. The answer to our search for ultimate meaning lies in ‘proclaiming the perfections of God‘. The perfections of God include many different things, but can be summed up as ‘all He is and all He has done.’
Attributes are an aspect of God’s Perfections. All that He does is borne out of all that He is. One type of attribute is Incommunicable. These are those attributes of our Creator that He does not share with His creatures:
- Perfection of character without flaw and without sin. It is the sum of all moral excellency. It is absolute purity, untarnished by the shadow of sin. (Psalm 71:22; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:16).
- God’s nature does not change in any way. He is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. (Psalm 90:2; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).
- Sometimes referred to as His eternity, it indicates His transcendence over time. There are no constraints upon Him from outside of Himself that would restrict Him in His scope or duration (Genesis 21:33; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 90:2).
- God is active in this world and in our daily lives. God’s immanence refers to His presence within His creation. (It is not to be confused with imminence, which refers to the timing of Jesus’ return to earth.) A belief in God’s immanence holds that God is present in all of creation, while remaining distinct from it. He cares about every aspect of our existence and invites us to welcome His guidance, grace, and love. (Col 1:15-17)
- God is capable of performing anything He desires. He is all-powerful and able to do whatever he wills (Psalm 33:9; Isaiah 40:28; 46:10).
- God is in all places and in all dimensions simultaneously. Also known as Immensity, it expresses His transcendence over space. Nothing in the universe exists outside the presence of God (Psalm 139:7-12; Jeremiah 23:24).
- God has perfect, complete knowledge. He never learns, nor does He forget. He encompasses all knowledge of the universe past, present, and future. God cannot grow in knowledge, understanding, or wisdom (Romans 16:27; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20).
- God is not dependent upon anything else for His existence. Sometimes referred to as His Aseity, He is uncaused–the infinite Being who has always existed (Psalm 90:2; 93:2; Hebrews 13:8; 1 Tim. 6:15;Revelation 1:8). He is entirely self-sufficient and not dependent or contingent upon anything else. In other words, He is the eternal, independent, and personal cause of the universe.
- God is without passions. He is not overwhelmed by any emotion, he is not incapacitated or weakened or stifled by any event or any amount of grief or love. Rather, God is totally self-controlled. He does not exhibit emotions as mere humans do! He does not have mood swings. All of God’s emotions are rooted in his holy nature and are always expressed sinlessly. They flow from his perfection the way he has perfectly ordained them. (Numbers 23:19, James 1:17)
- God has ability to exercise His holy will or supremacy. He has unlimited power to do what He has resolved. Being absolutely independent, God does as He pleases. It is God’s rule over all reality (1 Timothy 6:15; Isaiah 46:10).
There are other incommunicable attributes, as well. There are also His communicable ones, which He does share with His creation to a degree.
….to be continued