Summary: God atributes are borken down so we can get the full charteristic picture of God. We know them but do we understand what they are describing
The Attributes of God
Attributes is defined by Webster as a quality or characteristic describing someone or something. An object or words uses to identify a charter or person.
When we come to talk about the character of God, we realize that we cannot say everything the bible teaches us about God’s Character at once. We need some way to decide which aspect of God’s character to discuss first, in the same since, do we line up the characteristics by important, by power, or by being.
In trying to decide the order, you have to realize that there are several different methods of classifying God’s attributes. Tonight here at Bible study we will adopt and use the most commonly used classification.
The incommunicable attributes of God and the communicable attributes of God
The incommunicable attributes of God is those attributes, those characteristics, those things that describe God that we don’t share with him.
The communicable attributes of God is a little bit difference, a little bit opposite, it is defined as those attributes, those characteristics, those things of God that we do share and communicate with God
For example, God wisdom would usually be called a communicable attribute, because we also can be wise. But we will never be infinite wise as God. In the same since his incommunicable attributes would be God’s eternity (God has existed for all eternity, but we have not), God’s unchangeableness (God does not change, we do), or his omnipresence (God is everywhere at the same time, we are here at church and that’s it)
Thos attributes we call “incommunicable” are better defined by saying that they are attributes of God that are less shared by us. Not one of the incommunicable attributes of God is completely without some likeness as the character of Human Being
If you look at the 1st incommunicable attribute of God that we will discuss you will see that it not like us. (INDEPENDENCE)
God’s independence is defined as God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy. This attribute of God is sometime called God being self-existence or his aseity (which comes from the Latin words a se which mean from himself
God is absolutely independent and self-sufficient. Paul proclaims to the men of Athens, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines mad by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he need anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything
Read Acts 17:24-28
People have sometimes thought that God created human beings because he was lonely and needed fellowship with other people. If this were true, it would certainly mean that God is not completely independent of, but better yet he is contingent of people meaning that he depends on creation. It would mean that God would need to create people in order to be completely happy himself or need people to be completely fulfilled in his personal existence.
God‘s independence is also seen in his self designation in (Exodus 3:14-15) “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” it is also possible to translate this statement “I will be what I will be” but in both cases the implication suggest that God’s existence and character are determined by himself alone and are not dependent on anyone or anything else. This means that God’s being has always been and will always be exactly what it is. God is not dependent upon any part of creation for his existence.
We come to the next attribute God’s Unchangeableness. We can define this as God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations. This attribute of God is also called God’s immutability.
In Psalm 102 we find a contrast between things that we may think to be permanent s like the earth and the heaven on one hand and on the other hand we have God
Read Psalms 102:25-27
God does not change in his being, in his perfection, also in his purpose, yet we may wonder about places in Scripture where God said he would Judge his people and then because of prayer or because of the people repentance, God did the opposite and did not bring judgment. Or in some cases God said he was sorry that he made Saul King
Read 1 Sam 15:10
These instances should all be understood as true expressions of God’s present attitude or his intentions with respect to the situation as it exists at that moment. If the situation changes, then of course God’s attitude or expression of intention will also change. This just saying that, God responds differently to different situations as they exist.