God has revealed His nature and character to us in The Bible. In Scripture we learn that God is many things—self-existent, omniscient, omnipotent, infinite, self-sufficient, immutable, wise, loving, faithful, good, merciful, kind, sovereign, and just.
There are times when we forget how great God is. Let’s stop and ponder the majesty and holiness of God. Because when we see God for who He truly is, we can worship Him correctly. There is none like Him!
His many attributes can be seen throughout the scriptures. One place we see them clearly is in the names of God, used throughout the Old Testament and occasionally in the New Testament as well. But these attributes are also derived from the scriptures even where they aren’t explicitly named.
Let’s look at 14 attributes of our God.
14 Attributes of God from The Bible
Describing God isn’t easy because in many ways He is unfathomable and far greater than the human mind can understand. But, by His grace, He has made Himself known in His Word.
There was never a time when God was not. God is self-existent. He has always existed and has no beginning (or ending). This core truth about God is foundational to the Christian faith. The frailty of the human mind struggles to grasp this key truth, but it stands. His very name, I AM (Ex 3:14) sums it up perfectly.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.Psalm 90:2 (ESV)
God knows all things. He is omniscient. His knowledge is perfect and complete. He knows the past, present, and future. He does not forget things and He doesn’t have to learn things. Because God knows all things, He is never caught by surprise or overwhelmed by changes in our circumstances. Clinging to this key truth about God brings peace, hope, and rest to believers.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.Psalm 139:1-4 (ESV)
God is all-powerful. There is no being superior to Him and He has complete control over all He has created—which includes everything from the stars to the world’s leaders (Prov 21:1)! Yes, bad things do happen—God did tell believers that they would have trouble in this world (John 16:33), but there is incredible peace knowing that the all-powerful creator God is with us, He is our refuge, and the victory is His.
Raise your eyes on high,Isaiah 40:26 (NASB)
And see who has created these stars,
The One who brings out their multitude by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
God is without limit or constraint – He is infinite. He is not defined by time or place. We see a glimpse of this characteristic when we consider His measureless grace and love (Rom 8:38-39). We can’t fathom the infinitude of God but we don’t need to. Our response should simply be to marvel at and worship the God who is measureless—He can do far more than we ask or think (Eph 3:20)!
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.Psalm 147:5 (ESV)
God is self-sufficient—simply put, He doesn’t need anything! To need something is to display a weakness or lack—something humans are very familiar with. The God who created all things sustains all things, He will never be threatened. He is the one who provides. He is the one who strengthens.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?Isaiah 40:28-29 (ESV)
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
God never changes – He is immutable. The same God who created the world, sent Jesus to rescue us when we turned away from Him. All of his characteristics remain the same. The God (I AM) of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. Because He doesn’t change, His Word is also unchanging and we can put our faith in Him.
“For I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6a (ESV)
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
God is perfect in wisdom (the application of knowledge). God knows all things (omniscient) but is also perfect in how He uses and applies that knowledge. All of God’s decisions are perfectly informed. He doesn’t make mistakes. Not only is God wise, but He is the source and giver of wisdom too (James 1:5)!
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Romans 11:33 (ESV)
“This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.” Isaiah 28:29 (ESV)
God’s very nature is rooted in love (1 John 4:16). In fact, God loves mankind so much that he sent Jesus, His only begotten son to die in our place, to reconcile us to Himself. God’s love is sacrificial and everlasting (Jer 31:3) and it is the motivation and inspiration for believers to love one another too.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 John 4:7-8 (ESV)
He is faithful. God is firm and constant. What He says He will do. The God who created all things will be faithful forever—this is an extension of His immutability (unchanging nature), but it specifically refers to His relationship with people. God keeps His promises (Heb 10:23)! He is faithful to help us flee temptation (I Cor 10:13), forgive us when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9), and protect us from the evil one (2 Thess 3:3).
“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5 (ESV)
God’s goodness in evident in His character (who He is) and in His conduct (what He does). Because God is good, He is a safe place, a refuge for those who walk with Him. Because He is good, He can be trusted. Because He is good, He works all things out for the good of His children (Romans 8:28).
“You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.” Psalm 119:68 (ESV)
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7 (ESV)
God is compassionate and withholds punishment though it is deserved. In His mercy, God freed us from slavery to sin and darkness (Col 1:13-14) by sending Jesus to die in our place. God shows His mercy in that He desires to have a relationship with a sinful and rebellious mankind. Humans struggle to show compassion and have mercy on those who have wronged them, but God is rich in His mercy.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.Ephesians 2:4a (ESV)
God’s kindness is seen in His mercy, compassion, gentleness, patience, and sacrificial love. Kindness is a blanket description for all these and more. We see God’s kindness on display in His creation (Ps 145:9), in His plan for salvation (Eph 2:7), and the way He protects and delivers believers through trials (Ps 34:19). The purpose of God’s kindness is to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:4). And in response to God’s kindness, we are to be kind to one another (Eph 4:32).
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy..Titus 3:4a (ESV)
God is sovereign and in control of all things. From the gargantuan planets to the tiniest sparrow (Matt 10:29) and even our suffering—all things hold together in Him and His purposes stand forever. This is good news! After all, you can’t put your faith in a God who can be moved, manipulated, or overthrown by another force! God does whatever He pleases (Ps 115:3)—and because He is perfect, His plans are perfect.
“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”’ Daniel 4:35 (ESV)
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
God is the perfect judge. Yes, He is merciful and full of compassion but at the same time, He cannot tolerate sin. It must be punished. A price must be paid. And death is that price. Jesus, God in the flesh, took that punishment on Himself to satisfy the wrath of the Holy God against the sin (rebellion) of mankind (John 3:36). Can you see His love AND justice on display at the cross?
Deuteronomy 32:4 (ESV) The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.
God’s Attributes, a Beautiful Tapestry
The attributes of God don’t contradict each other but together weave a tapestry of grace, love, and immeasurable goodness. Can you stand before this God? Have you received His free gift of eternal life through Jesus? Beloved, you need Him. You are His. Turn to Him and live!
Psalm 70:4 (ESV) May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”