Saturday, July 27, 2013

Attributes of God

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.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wonderfully Made

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  (Ps 139:14)

Have you ever stopped to consider the amazing creation that is man?  We are both similar and unique at the same time.  Similar in that we all have the same basic makeup.  The same design.  But the most important aspect is that we are all made in the image of God (Gen 1:27).  This, in and of itself, is an amazing concept, and a blessing, that I don’t think we will truly comprehend until we are with Him in eternity.

How about the things that make us unique?  Some things are obvious, skin, eye, and hair color, height and weight.  Any one of these things doesn’t make us unique; it’s in the combination of these things in which we start to see the things that make us different.  From there we can look at our fingerprints or the pattern of the retina in our eyes.  These further distinguish us from each other, even identical twins.  But let’s go deeper.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, is the blueprint for who we are.  There is DNA in each of our cells and scientists tell us we have about 100 trillion cells in our bodies.  DNA is strung together in chains of base pairs called a double helix (see the picture above).  These base pairs are combined from two of four nucleobases, or bases.  Only four! 

When God knit our bodies together in our mother’s womb (Is 44:2) He used these four bases, combined in pairs, to make our DNA.  We have about 6 million of these base pairs in our DNA.  It’s amazing that just these 4 bases can be combined in so many different combinations, each one unique. 

Just to give you an idea of how much DNA is in your body, if the DNA in an individual cell were to be uncoiled, it would be approximately 6 feet long.  If taken from your whole body, it would stretch to the sun and back.  Four times!  This is really just scratching the surface but I am sure you are beginning to see just how amazing a creation we are.  We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Despite the uniqueness each of us possesses, God knows us.  In Mark 12:7 we are told the hairs on our head are numbered.  This goes beyond just knowing us; this is detailed knowledge.  That takes it to another level. 

God love us more than we can imagine.  This love is displayed in many ways.  He created us in His image.  He made each of us unique, using incredibly complex DNA.  He counts the hairs on our head.

Don’t discount yourself.  Each of us is an amazingly unique creation.  We are all children of God.  And deep down in our soul we know this.  Don’t deny yourself the blessings God has in store for you.  Take the time to thank Him for the time and effort He put into making you, unique among billions.