Moral Attributes of God



Many of the characteristics of God, particularly His moral attributes, bear similarity to human qualities; however, His attributes all exist to a degree incomparably greater than they do in us. For example, even though both God and man possess the ability to love, no human is able to love to the degree and intensity that God does. Moreover, it must be stressed that our ability to exercise these characteristics is related to our being created in God's image.

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female, created He them." Genesis 1:27

God is good. All that God originally created was good, an extension of His own nature. He continues to be good to His creation by sustaining it on behalf of all His creatures. He even provides for the ungodly.

This goodness of God is threefold:

1. Perfect goodness - indicating that there is nothing evil or perverted in the character of God

"Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever." Psalms 106:1

2. Benevolent goodness - indicating that God shows mercy to the righteous as well as the unrighteous.

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:45

3. Character goodness - indicating that God is the source of all virtue and morality.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1: 17

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is not law." Galatians 5:22, 23

God is love. His love is a selfless love that embraces the entire world of sinful mankind. The chief expression of that love was His sending of His only Son Jesus to die for sinners. In addition, God has a special family love for those who through Jesus are reconciled to Him.

"For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God." John 16:27

On four occasions the Scriptures declare that "God is...."

God is a "Spirit"

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:24

God is "a consuming fire"

"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29

God is "light"

"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

God is "love"

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16

Respectively, these descriptions depict God's substance, holiness, perfection, and goodness. It would be impossible to place any one of these aspects above the other.

God is merciful and gracious. He does not cut off and destroy humanity as our sins deserve, but offer forgiveness as a free gift to be received through faith in Jesus Christ. He is free in His goodness to those who have neither deserved nor merited, in any manner His goodness. God gives out of love, not out of obligation or necessity.

To those in misery and need, God displays His love through a tender, personal, and eternal interest. For this reason He is addressed as "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort."

"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort" 1 Corinthians 1:3

"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
For I have said, Mercy shall be build up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens." Psalms 89:1,2

God is compassionate. To be compassionate means to feel sorrow for someone else's suffering, with a desire to help. Out of His compassion for humanity, God provided forgiveness and salvation; likewise, Jesus, the Son of God, showed compassion for the crowds when He preached the gospel to the poor, proclaimed freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, and released the oppressed.

"But thou. O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Psalms 86:15

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18,19

God is Patient (longsuffering) and slow to anger.

God first expressed this characteristic in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve's sin, when He did not destroy the human race as He had a right to do. God was also patient in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built. And God is still patient with the sinful human race; He does not presently judge so as to destroy the world, because He is patiently giving everyone the opportunity to repent and be saved.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 1 Peter 32:9

God is truth.

Jesus called Himself "the truth" and the Holy Spirit is known as the Spirit of truth". Because God is entirely trustworthy and true in all He says and does, His word is also described as truth. In keeping with this fact, the Bible makes it plain that God does not tolerate lies or falsehood of any kind.

"God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" Numbers 23:19

"That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refute to lay hold upon the hope set before us." Hebrews 6:18

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
John 14:17

God is to be blessed.

The blessedness of God refers to His inexpressible perfection - the sum of all His identifying parts. When the Scriptures state, "Blessed be the Lord." the idea is this: Let God is to be adored and worshiped and praised. Originally, the word "blessed" meant to bow the knees, but it came to be used commonly in the sense of "to worship, adore, and praise." Therefore, to bless God is to exalt Him above all.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." 1 Peter 1:3, 4

God's final revelation of Himself is in Jesus Christ; in other words, if we want to understand completely the personhood of God, we must look at Christ, for In Him all the fullness of the Deity lives.

""For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9