Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7)
Where do you start when you want to talk about God? It can easily lead to confusion and more questions than answers. Scripture tells us God is both incomprehensible and knowable. Job 11:7 and Isaiah 40:18 both attest to God being incomprehensible to man. Simply put, God is infinite, we are not. By itself, this makes it impossible to know Him, but if that is the case, is there a point in trying? And if he is beyond our comprehension how can we know Him?
Luckily, God Himself is the source of our knowledge of Him and one way He has done this is through the bible. The whole of the bible is a revelation, initiated by Him for us, so we could know him and what He has in store for us. Among other verses, John 14:7 and 17:3 both attest we can know God. Another reason taking time to study our bible is so important.
So if we can know God, where is a good place to start? How about by looking at some of His attributes? Attributes are qualities that are inherent to a subject, in this case, God. The various attributes of God are not component parts of God; they all describe His total being. While He may display one attribute or another at a given time, no attribute is independent of or preeminent over any of the others. These attributes also apply equally to the other persons of the Trinity; Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.
Let’s take a look at some of them:
Omnipotent – God is all-powerful. His power is unlimited and uninhibited by anything else. (Ps. 135:6; Jer. 32:17; Eph. 1:19; Luke 18:27; Heb. 1:3)
Omnipresent – God is everywhere, present with His whole being at all times. (Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23:23-24; Matt 6:6)
Omniscient – God knows everything—past present and future: He knows the actual and possible, effortlessly and equally well. (Job 21:22, 37:16; Ps. 139:2-4, 17-18; PS 147:4-5; Matt 10:29-30; Heb. 4:13)
Sovereign – God is in complete control of all things. (Ps. 8:1, 97:9; Col 1:16; Heb1:3, 2:10; Rev 4:11)
Eternal – God existence extends endlessly backwards and forwards without interruption or limitation. God has no past, present, or future; He simply exists in an eternal present. (Is 57:15; John 17:5; 2 Tim1:9; Jude 25)
Simple – God is a singular being, He is absolutely one. He does not have multiple parts and cannot be divided. (Deut. 6:4; Is 45:18; 1 Cor 8:4; Eph. 4:6)
Holy – God is completely set apart from all creation and evil. (Lev 11:44, 21:8; Joshua 24:19; Ps. 99:5 and 9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Rev 4:8)
Immutable – God is unchangeable and thus unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. (1 Samuel 15:29; Ps. 102:26-27; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; James 1:17)
Infinite – God is limitless in His Being. He has no boundaries. (1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 147:5; Job 11:7-9; Is 55:8-9; Rom 11:33)
Self-existent – God is an uncaused being. He existed prior to and independent of creation. He exists in and of Himself. (Gen 1:1; Ps 90:2; Rom 11:36; Col 1:17)
Impassible – God cannot be changed by external causes. (Job 35:6-7; Is 40:13-14,28)
Omnisapient – God is all-wise. He has the unerring ability to choose the best means to accomplish the best ends. (Job 12:13; 1 Cor. 1:24, 2:7; Eph. 3:10; Rev 7:12)
I’m sure you have heard of most of these, and I hope I may have introduced you to one or two that you may not have heard of previously. There may also be a few you are familiar with that I did not mention; obviously this is an incomplete list. If you think about some of these attributes, can we really list all of them? And that leads to another question.
Will we ever truly know God? There is only so much we will be able to learn in this life. Several years ago I asked my pastor and teacher at the time, what we would be doing when we are in heaven? He said there is so much we don’t know but one thing he believes is that one of the things we will be doing is spending eternity learning more and more about God. I like that. Add it to the list of wonders we will experience when we are with God in eternity.
So, where do you start when you want to talk about God? What I have written here hardly even scratches the surface, but I hope it gives you a starting point. As you read your bible, look for the different way in which God’s attributes are manifested. It’s a great way to get to know Him better.