Summary: The nature and character of God


I. His general characteristics

a. The self existing one – the I AM – Ex 3:14

Exodus 3:14 (NIV) God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ’I AM has sent me to you.’"

b. The creator – Gen. 1:1

Genesis 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

c. All knowing – Ps 147:5

Psalms 147:5 (NIV) Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

d. All powerful – Jer. 32:17

Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV) "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

e. Everywhere – Ps 139:7-10

Psalms 139:7-10 (NIV) 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

f. God is One – Deut. 6:4

Deuteronomy 6:4 (NIV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

g. God is one in three persons

i. Father – Mat. 5:45

Matthew 5:45 (NIV) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

ii. Son – Jn 1:1-2, 8:58-59

John 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 8:58-59 (NIV) 58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

iii. Holy Spirit – Acts 5:3-4

Acts 5:3-4 (NIV) 3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."

iv. The tri-unity is seen in the Old Testament

1. The word used for God in the Hebrew, Elohim, is a plural used as a singular - Gen. 1:1, Isa. 6:8

Genesis 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Isaiah 6:8 (NIV) 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

2. When God is speaking of Himself concerning the creation of Adam and Eve He uses “our” and “us” – Gen. 1:26

Genesis 1:26 (NIV) 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

II. His moral characteristics

a. He is love – 1 Jn 4:8, 16

1 John 4:8 (NIV) 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16 (NIV) 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

b. He is holy – Isa. 6:3, Rev 4:8

Isaiah 6:3 (NIV) 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

Revelation 4:8 (NIV) 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

c. Gracious and compassionate – 2 Chron. 30:9

2 Chronicles 30:9 (NIV) 9 If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."

d. Merciful and forgiving – Dan 9:9

Daniel 9:9 (NIV) 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;

e. Righteous – Dan 9:14

Daniel 9:14 (NIV) 14 The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.

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