Faith - May 7, 2019

The Attributes of God

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you know I’ve been focusing on prayer for the last few months. As I’ve been exploring prayer and implementing more of it into my life, I began to think about how important it is for me to really know who I am praying to. Not just a general knowledge, but a detailed knowledge of God that tells me what he is like and what kind of God he is to his people.

I want to know these things about who I am praying to, ya know? I often hear He is a God unlike anything or anyone I could ever imagine, but I want to be deeply familiar with how he is unique from anything else my mind could fathom. He has also shared some of his attributes with US, and while I can’t live them out perfectly like he can, it’s important to know how we are like our Father because we play a HUGE part in expressing him to the world.

I’m going to break this down into two major sections of attributes: Incommunicable and Communicable Attributes.

Incommunicable Attributes of God

The incommunicable attributes of God are true of God and God alone.

This is so important because we need to have a solid understanding of how God is NOT like us. Why?

I don’t know about you, but so often I try to be like God in the ways He is uniquely Him. I want to be all knowing and everywhere at once, but only God is omniscient and omnipresent. Our current culture often encourages us to think we can possess these abilities, but guys, we aren’t built for this. When we familiarize ourselves with these incommunicable attributes only God uniquely possesses we realize what a unique, divine being God is and how to discern him from the world around us.

  • Infinite: God is unlimited in time and space. (Revelation 1:8)
  • Incomprehensible: God is incomprehensible in that He cannot be fully and directly known by finite creatures, because of His uniqueness and His infinitude. (Psalm 86:8)
  • Self-Existent: God has always existed – He has no beginning or end. (Colossians 1:17)
  • Self-Sufficient: God has no needs. (John 5:26)
  • Eternal: God never had a beginning; God will never have an end.(Psalm 90:2)
  • Immutable: God is complete and perfect. (Psalm 102:27)
  • Omnipresent: God is always present in all places and we are never outside of His presence. (Jeremiah 23:23–24)
  • Omniscient: God knows everything of the past, present, and future. (Job 37:16)
  • Omnipotent: God is the most powerful Being in all existence, able to accomplish his will, though unwilling to do anything contrary to his nature. (Genesis 18:14)
  • Sovereign: God has supreme power and authority. (Psalm 115:3)

Communicable Attributes

Good new, guys! God loves to share and therefore some of his attributes are reflected in US! We don’t portray these attributes to the same measure as God, but we can be like him in displaying these communicable attributes and reflect who God as Christ did to the world around us. The purification process we refer to as sanctification will continue, over the span of our lives, to reveal more of him and less of ourselves, which overflows our life with joy.

Communicable attributes of God
  • Holy: God is morally perfect and set apart in nature and this gives us vision for growing in our own moral character. (Psalm 99:9)
  • Loving: God is love and when we know God, we know his love that compels us to love other people unconditionally. (1 John 4:8)
  • Good: God is good and has established a difference between good and evil. We can learn what goodness looks like by looking at the moral character of Jesus so we know how to exhibit goodness to others in our own lives. (Luke 18:19)
  • Merciful/Gracious: God freely gives grace/mercy to those who don’t deserve such favor, so we can imitate what we are freely given in our conduct towards others. (Exodus 34:6)
  • Faithful: God always does what he promises to do, and we can depend on him never to be unfaithful to his promises showing us how to be reliable in our word to others. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  • Patient: God is patient because He is love and His patient mercy waits to return and bring about the complete restoration of creation, which gives us a perspective of patience we can pursue. (2 Peter 3:9)
  • Truthful: God’s character is authentic and trustworthy and we can put away all hindrance to truth in our own lives by his Spirit. (John 14:6)
  • Wise: God is wise and gives us the wisdom to discern good from evil. (Romans 11:33)

Familiarizing ourselves with these attributes help us know Him and draw us into worship of Him. We also know ourselves better because we know who we are created to be to the world. Knowing these attributes equips us to pray specifically as we ask Him to conform us into His image.

I’m going to start a series on Instagram to discuss some of these attributes in more depth in hopes to further equip you in your own prayer life, but also to encourage you to completely rely on a God that is so incredibly qualified to be trusted with every detail of your life.