Doctrine of the Trinity
From Willmington's Complete Guide to the Bible
(1) Existence of God. The greatest and most profound idea the human mind can ever conceivably entertain concerns the possibility of the existence of a personal God. The sheer importance of man's response to this idea cannot be exaggerated, for it will not only govern his life down here but also determine his ultimate destiny. Unless one satisfactorily answer the “who” question, he cannot possibly solve the how, why, when and where problems of his own existence.
Some philosophical arguments for the existence of God.
1.The universal belief argument: All mankind has some idea of a Supreme Being. This argument has often been challenged but never been refuted. While the concepts of God found among many cultures and civilizations differ greatly on the number, name and nature of this Supreme Being, nevertheless the idea remains.
2.The cosmological argument: Every effect must have an adequate cause, Robert Culver writes: “One of the great names of British science, mathematics, and philosophy is Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Sir Isaac had a miniature model of the solar system made. A large golden ball representing the planets-Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and others. They were each kept in an orbit relatively the same as in the real solar system. By means of rods, cogwheels, and belts, they all moved around the center gold ball in exact precision. A friend called on the noted man one day while he was studying the model. The friend was not a believer in the biblical doctrine of divine creation. According to reports, their conversation went as follows: Friend `My Newton what an exquisite thing! Who made it for you?' Newton ` Nobody. 'Friend `Nobody?' Newton ` That's right! I said nobody! All of these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together, and wonder of wonders, by chance they began revolving in their set orbits, with perfect timing!' Of course the visitor understood the unexpressed argument:' In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.'
1.The ontological argument: Man has an idea of a Most Perfect Being. This idea includes the idea of existence, since a being, otherwise perfect; who did not exist would not be as perfect as a perfect being who did exist. Therefore, since the idea of existence is contained in the idea of the Most Perfect Being, the Most Perfect Being must exist.
2. The anthropological argument: The conscience and moral nature of man demands a self-conscious and moral Maker. This built in barometer supplies no information, and the information on which it passes judgment may be incorrect. But nevertheless, conscience tells us we ought to do what is right regarding the information we have. Robert Culver writes: “ This sense of duty may be weak (1Cor 8:12), good (1 Pet 3:16), defiled (1Cor 8:7), seared (1Tim 4:2), strong or pure (1Cor 8:7,9). But it is never absent. The only adequate explanation is that the great Moral Being, who created us all, planted the moral sense in us. No other explanation is adequate.
(B) Scriptural arguments for the existence of God. None. The Bible simply assumes existence of God. Ps 14:1, Heb 11:6.
Clark Pinnock aptly summarisizes all this when he writes: “For the Scripture then, the existence of God is both a historical truth (god acted into history), and an existential truth (God reveals himself to every soul). His existence is both objectively and subjectively evident. It is necessary logically because our assumption of order, design and rationality rests upon it. It is necessary morally because there is no explanation for the shape of morality apart from it. It is necessary morally because the exhaustion of all material possibilities still cannot give satisfaction to the heart, The deepest proof for God's existence apart from history is just life itself. God has created man in His image, and man cannot elude the implications of this fact. Everywhere their identity pursues them.”
2.The definition of God: “There is but only one living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working in all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments; hating all sin, and who will be no means clear the guilty.” (Westminister Catechism)
3.The Names of God: A. Elohim: Used 2.570 times, it refers to God's power and might. Gen 1:1, Ps 19:1. B. El: Four compounds for his name. There are two significant places where this name was used in the Old Testament. One came from the lips of Jerusalem's first sovereign, and the other from history's first sinner.
Elyon: The Strongest one a. Jerusalem's first sovereign (Melchizedek) Gen 14:17-20. b. History's first sinner (Satan) Isa 14:13,14.
Roi: The Strong One who sees. In Genesis 16 an angered and barren Sarai had cast into the wilderness her pregnant and arrogant handmaiden Hagar. When all hope for survival had fled, this pagan Egyptian girl was visited and ministered to by El Roi himself- the strong God who sees. Gen 16:13.
Shaddai: The breasted One. Used forty-eight times in Old Testament. The Hebrew word “shad” is often used to designate the bosom of a nursing mother. Gen 17:1. This revelation came to Abraham at a much-needed time in his life. His sin in marrying Hagar (Gen 16) had doubtless prevented that full and unhindered fellowship which had previously flowed between him and God. In addition, he now was an old man, nearly 100, humanly unable to father the long-anticipated heir. Ps 91:1.
Olam: The everlasting God. Isa 40 is usually regarded as one of the greatest Old Testament chapters. The prophet begins by predicting both the first and second advent of Christ. He then contrasts the awesome power of the true God with the miserable impotence of all idols. But carnal Israel had trouble accepting all this, wondering just how these wonderful events could transpire to answer their doubts Isaiah declares: Isa 40:28-31.
C. Adonai: Master, Lord, God owns all his creation: Mal 1:6. The Hebrew Old Testament names Adonai and its Greek New Testament counterpart Kurios describe the relationship between masters and slave. Adonai thus carries with it a twofold implication.
The master has a right to expect obedience. Robert Lightner writes: “In Old Testament times the slave was the absolute possession of his master, having no rights of his own. His chief business was to carry out the wishes of his mater. The slave had a relationship and responsibility different from that of the hired servant. The hired servant could quit if he did not like the orders of his master. But not so with the slave; he could do nothing but obey. Gen 24:1-12.
The slave may expect provision. Again to quote Robert Lightner: “ The slave had no worry of his own. It was the master's business to provide food, shelter, and the necessities of life. Since the slave is the possession of the master, his needs become the master's. Obedience is the only condition for this provision. This truth is marvelously displayed in Paul, who was himself a bond slave, when he assured the Philippians that God would supply all their needs. (Phil 4:19). Only the obedient slave can expect this from his master.”
D. Jehovah: God's most common name. It occurs 6,823 times, the self-existent One, the God of the covenant (Gen 2:4). Nine compound names of Jehovah are:
Jireh: The Lord will provide. Gen 22:13,14.
Nissi: The Lord my Banner. Ex 17:15.
Shalom: The Lord is Peace. Judges 6: 24. As one studies the thrilling account of Gideon he reads how Jehovah-shalom did indeed bring peace to Israel over the Medianites through this warrior and his 300 trumpet-blowing soldiers.
Sabaoth: The Lord of hosts. Saboath is derived from the Hebrew word “tsaba”, meaning “host”. The Lord of hosts is a reference to the captain of heaven's armies. These armies are said to be composed of angels, (Ps 68:17; 104:4; 148:2;Mt 26:53.) Christ himself is their leader. (Josh 5:14) The great prophet Isaiah describes his vision during which he was allowed to see Jehovah of hosts (Isa 6:3) Isa 6:1-3.
Maccaddeschcem: The Lord my Sanctifier. Ex 31:13. This great name for God, first mentioned in Exodus, appears many times in the following book Leviticus. To be sanctified is to be set apart. And that is what God desired to do for his people- to set them apart for special service.
Rohi (Raah): The Lord my Shepherd. Ps 23:1. Of all compound names of Jehovah, this one is at once the most easily understood title-that good, and great, and chief Shepherd God.
Tsidkenu: The Lord our Righteousness. Jer 23:6. According to Jeremiah the official name for the Messiah during the future millennium will be Jehovah-Tsidkenu.
Shammah: The Lord who is present. Ezek 48:35. In this passage Ezekiel describes for us the dimensions of the millennial temple and then gives us the new name for Jerusalem during earth's golden age: Jehovah-shammah. 9. Rapha: The Lord our healer. Ex 15:26. By this new name God introduced to Israel the terms of his heavenly “medicare” health plan while they were on their way to Canaan. If only they had accepted this gracious policy.
4. The Nature of God.
A. God is Spirit. Emory Bancroft has written: “God as Spirit is incorporeal, invisible, without material substance, without physical parts or passions and therefore free from all temporal limitations. Jesus made this clear when he told the Samaritan woman (John 4:24). Some have been disturbed, however, as they compare this statement with certain Old Testament expressions which speak of God's arms (Deut 33:27), his eyes (Ps 33:18), ears (2Ki 19:16), and mouth (Isa58:14). However, these terms are simply anthropomorphic expressions. An anthropomorphic expression is a term, which is used to explain some function or characteristic of God by using words descriptive of human elements. Robert Lightner writes: “Such expressions do not mean that God possesses these physical part. He is Spirit in John 4:24. Rather, they mean since God is spirit and eternal, He is capable of doing precisely the functions which are performed by these physical properties in man.”
B. God is a Person. Again, to quote from Robert Lightner: “Personality, involves existence with the power of self-consciousness and self-determination. To be self-conscious means to be able to be aware of one's self among others. It is more than mere consciousness. Even animals possess something, which makes them aware of things around them. The brute, however, is not able to objectify himself. Man in contrast to the brute, possesses both consciousness and self-consciousness. Self-determination has to do with the ability to look to the future and prepare and intelligent course of actions. It also involves the power of choice. The brute also has determination, but he does not have self-determination-the power to act from his own free will and thus determine his acts. It is usually admitted that there are three elements of personality-intellect, emotion, and will.” Thus, as a Person, God exhibits all those elements involved in personality.
He Creates. Gen 1:1
He destroys. Gen 18:20; 19:24,25.)
He provides. Ps 104:27-30.
He promotes. Ps 75:6,7.
He cares. 1Pet 5:6,7.
He hears. Ps 94:9,10.
He hates. Prov 6:16.
He grieves. Gen 6:6.
He loves. John 3:16.
C. God is One. Deut 6:4,5; 1 Ki 8:60; Isa 44:6-8; Isa 45:5,6; Isa 46:9; Eph 4:4-6, 1Tim 2:5.
D. God is Trinity. C.C. Ryrie writes: “There is only one God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three eternal and c-equal Persons, the same in substance, but distinct in subsistence.” Robert Culver writes: “Two expressions have been traditionally employed to designate certain inner relations between the Father and the Son, and the Father and the Son with the Spirit. These two expressions are the eternal generation of the Son by the Father and the eternal spiration (or procession) of the Spirit from the Father and the Son. They began to be employed about the time of the council of Nicea (A.D.325). They expressed in scriptural language the idea that the Son and the Spirit were eternally with the Godhead. John 1:14 refers to our Lord as the `only begotten' of the Father. And John 14:16,26 and 15:26 speak of the Spirit as `proceeding from the Father and the Son'.”
False views concerning the Trinity. There are two serious errors about the doctrine of the Trinity. a. The error of tri-theism. This says that the Trinity consists of three separate (but co-operating) Gods. b. The error of modalism. According to this view there is but one God who simply reveals himself through three different modes, or roles. For example, a particular man could be considered a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and an employee to his boss.
Proposed illustrations demonstrating the Trinity. Throughout church history various illustrations have been offered to demonstrate the Trinity. Seven such examples are as follows. The first four are totally unscriptural, while the final three possess some limited possibilities. a. a three-leaf clover b. the three states of water (liquid, vapor, and solid) c. the threefold nature of man (body, soul;, and spirit) d. the three parts of an egg (shell, white, and yolk) e. the nature of light, consisting of three kinds of rays.(i) chemical rays-rays that are invisible, and can neither be felt nor seen. (ii) light rays-rays that are seen, but cannot be felt. (iii) heat rays-rays that are felt, but never seen. f. the dimensional example: A book has height, width, and length. These three cannot be separated, yet they are not the same. g .a triangle.
Old Testament passages regarding the Trinity. (a) The first name used for God: Elohim (Gen1:1). This name is in plural form but is joined to a singular verb. (b) The creation of man. (Gen1:26) (c) The explusion from Eden. (Gen 3:22) (d) The confusion of Babel. (Gen 11:7) (e) The usage of the same word, echad, in Gen 2:24 and in Deut 6:4. Echad is Hebrew for “one.” (f) The teachings of King Agur. (Prov 30:4) (g) The plural forms used in (1) Eccl 12:1 (2) Isa 54:5. (h) The triune conversations in Isaiah. (Isa 6:8; 48:16; 63:9,10.) (i) The conversation between the Father and Son in the Psalms. (Ps 2:1-7; 45:6-8; 110:1-5.)
New Testament passages regarding the Trinity. (a) The baptism of Christ. (Matt 3:16,17) (b) The temptation of Christ. (Matt 4:1) (c) The teachings of Christ. (Jn 14:16) The Greek word here translated “another” is allos, meaning another of the same kind. Heteros is the Greek word for another of a different kind. It is never used in referring to the Trinity. (Jn 14:26) (d) The baptismal formula. (Matt 28:19.20) (e) The apostolic benediction. (2Cor 13:14)
A scriptural summary of the Trinity. (a) The Father is God. (Jn 6:44-46; Rom 1:7; 1Pet 1:2.) (b) The Son is God. (Isa 9:6; Jn 1:1; 20:28; 1Tim 3:16; Tit 2:13; Heb 9:14)
5. The Attributes of God. Reduced to its simplest definition, an attribute of God is whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself. Some theologians prefer the word “perfection” to that of attribute. A. W. Tozer has written” “If an attribute is something true of God, it is also something that we can conceive as being true of him. God, being infinite, must possess attributes about which we can know nothing.” Finally, it must be concluded that there are hidden facets of God's nature wholly unknown (and perhaps unknowable) by any created being, even angels. They are known only by Jehovah God himself. We now consider some twenty-one attributes or perfections of God.
God is self-existent. (Ex 3:13,14) We have already discussed in a previous study the existence of God, but one of his attributes is self-existence. This is simply to say (with staggering implications) that God exists because he exists. He is not dependant upon anything or anyone for his thoughts (Rom 11:33,34), his will (Rom 9:19; Eph 1:5), his power (Ps 115:3), or his counsel (Ps 33:10,11).
God is self-sufficient. (Ps 50:10-12) This attribute is closely connected to the attribute of self-existence, but carries it a step further. This means God has never had in eternity past, nor can ever have in ages to come, a single need for which his own divine nature has not already provided.
God is eternal. Simply defined, this means God is absolutely free from the tyranny of time. In him there is no past or future, but one always and never-ending present. He is neither conditioned nor confined by time. (Deut 33:27; Ps 102:11,12; Jn 8:56,57; Ps 90:2)
God is infinite. God has no limitations. He is bounded only by his own nature and will. (1Ki 8:22,23,27; Jer 23:24)
God is omnipresent. The great theologian A. H. Strong defines this attribute as follow: “God, in totality of His essence, without diffusion or expansion, multiplication or division, penetrates and fills the universe in all its parts.” The omnipresence of God thus means he is present everywhere with his whole being at the same time. The great danger to avoid in rightly understanding this attribute is the grievous error of pantheism, which says that God is everywhere, and everything is God. This is totally false. Two aspects should be kept in mind as one studies the omnipresence of God. 1. God's immanence. This speaks of God being in the world, acting within and through his creation. 2. God's transcendence. This affirms tat God is above and beyond his creation. (Ps 139:7-12; Matt 18:20)
God is omnipotent. (All-powerful). (Gen 18:14; Rev 19:6) This means God can do anything if it can be done and if it does not contradict his own nature. To illustrate two things: God cannot create a rock so heavy that he couldn't lift it, because the very nature of this act would be impossible to perform. God cannot lie, or steal, for these things would contradict his own nature. Here are some areas in which God's omnipotence is clearly seen.
Over nature. (a) He separates light from darkness. (Gen 1:4) (b) He separates the waters by the firmament (space). (Gen 1:7) (c) He separates the seas from the dry land. (Gen 1:10) (d) He measures oceans in his hands. (Isa 40:12) (e) He weighs mountains in his scale. (Isa 40:12) (f) He regards nations as a drop in the bucket. (Isa 40:15) (g) He looks upon the islands as small particles of dirt. (Isa 40:15).
Over men. (Dan 4:30-32)
Over angels (Ps 103:20)
Over satan. (Job 1:12; 2:6)
Over death. (Heb 2:14,15)
God is omniscient (all-knowing). God possesses (without prior discovery of facts) complete and universal knowledge of all things past, present and future. This includes not only the actual, but also the possible. This total and immediate knowledge is based on his eternity (he has always, and will always exist), and his omnipresence (he has been is and will always be everywhere at the same time). (Ps 147:5; Heb 4:13; Ps 104:24)
He sees all things. (Provs 15:3)
He knows all things (the big and small of his universe). (Ps 147:4; Matt 10:29,30)
He knows mankind.
Our thoughts (Ps 139:2b; Ps 44:21)
Our words. (Ps 139:4)
Our deeds. (Ps 139:3; Rev 2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8, 15).
Our sorrows. (Ex 3:7)
Our needs. (Matt 6:32)
Our devotion. (Gen 18:17-19; Gen 22:11,12; 2Chron 16:9)
Our frailties. (Ps 103:14)
Our foolishness. (Ps 69:5)
He knows his own. (Jn 10:14; 2Tim 2:19) 4. He knows the past, present, and future. (Acts 15:18) 5. He knows what might of could have been. (Matt 11:23)
God is wise. We have already noted God's omniscience is based upon his eternity and omnipresence. We may now suggest his wisdom is grounded upon his omniscience. Robert Lightner writes: “ Though very closely related, knowledge and wisdom are not the same. Nor do they always accompany each other. No doubt we have all known those who had acquired a great deal of facts but who lacked the ability to use them wisely. Both knowledge and wisdom are imperfect in man but perfect and perfectly related to God. Only he knows how to use His infinite knowledge to the best possible end. Through His wisdom God applies His knowledge to the fulfillment of His own purpose in ways which will bring the most glory of Him.” Following are but a few passages, which declares the wisdom of God. (Ps 136:5; Prov 3:19; 1Cor 2:7; 1Tim 1:17; Jude 1:25).
God is immutable. In a sentence, this says that God never differs from himself. He may on occasion alter his dealings with men in a dispensational sense, but his divine character remains constant. This is a vital attribute of God, without which he could not be God. For example, a person may only change in two directions. He may go from better to worse or from worse to better. But it is unthinkable that God could travel down either of these roads. (Heb 1:10-12; Jas 1:17; Acts 1:11)
God is sovereign. This means that God is the absolute and sole ruler in the universe. To be truly sovereign demands that on have the total freedom, power, knowledge, wisdom, and determination to carry out a predetermined course of action. God possesses all these in infinite measure and is this sovereign. Two ancient problems usually surface during any discussion of the sovereignty of God.
If God is sovereign, how do we explain the presence of evil? A. W. Tozer writes: “The Zend-Avesta, sacred book of Zoroastrianism, loftiest of the great non-biblical religions, got around this difficulty neatly enough by postulating a theological dualism. There were two gods, Ormazi and Ahriman, and these between them created the world. The good Ormazi made all good things and the evil Ahriman made the rest. It was quite simple. Ormazi had no sovereignty to worry about, and apparently did not mind sharing his prerogatives with another.” This explanation is of course totally unscriptural. The only positive statement in our present ignorance is that the sovereign God has indeed allowed for (but not arranged for) sine to entire this universe, that through it all he might receive the most glory (Rev 4:11) and the elect (Rom 8:28) might receive the most good.
If God is sovereign, how do we reconcile the responsibility and freedom of man? A. W. Tozer writes: “Here is my view: God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it. Inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it.” (Ps 135:6; Isa 46:9-11)
God is incomprehensible. By this it is stated that no one except God himself can even remotely understand and comprehend God. (Job 5:7-9; Job 11:7-9; Ps 36:5,6; Rom 11:33) To illustrate this attribute, consider the following: Let us suppose in heaven we are able to double our learning each year concerning the person and attributes of God. This is not at all an unreasonable assumption, for the Christian will possess a sinless and glorified body, along with a holy and tireless desire to know more about Jesus. So here is a believer who begins eternity with X amount of knowledge about God. At the beginning of his second year he has doubled this, the third year he learns four times as much, the fourth year, eight times as much, etc. By the end of his eleventh year he will have increased his knowledge concerning God 1000-fold. At the conclusion of year number twenty-one the figure jumps to million. At the end of the thirty-first year the number leaps to one billion. Following the forty-first year it reaches one trillion! As he finishes his first century in eternity his knowledge of God (doubling each year) would reach 10³º (one followed by 30 zeros)! This figure is thousands of times more than the combined total of all the grains of sand on all the seashores of the earth. But this number simply marks his first one hundred years. How much knowledge doubling will he have experienced at the end of his first one million years? This staggering figure cannot even be comprehended by the mortal min, but whatever it is, and however many zeros it represents, it will double itself the very next year! The point of all the above is simply this: Throughout the untold and unnumbered trillions of years in timeless eternity, each child of God can double his or her learning about the Creator each year and yet never even remotely exhaust the awesome height, depth, or length to be known of the person of God.
God is inscrutable. (Rom 11:33) This attribute refers to the inexplicable and mysterious ways of God. It raises the most painful question of all: Why does a loving and wise God allow certain terrible tragedies to occur? As an example, here is a young, spirit-filled pastor. He has spent a number of years diligently preparing for his ministry. His wife has sacrificed to help put him through school. But now all this is paying off. His church is experiencing an amazing growth. Souls are saved weekly. New converts are baptized each Sunday. Additionally Sunday school buses are purchased and a new building is planned. A skeptical community slowly finds itself being profoundly influenced by this vibrant and exciting pastor and his people. Suddenly, without any warning, the minister is killed in a freak accident. Shortly after the funeral the still confused and stunned congregation extends a call to another man. But the new minister shows little compassion and less leadership ability. Soon the flock is scattered and the one thrilling testimony of a growing and glowing work is all but stilled. How many times since Abel's martyrdom at the dawn of human history have similar tragedies taken place? One need only change the names, places and rearrange some of the details. But the searing and searching question still remains: Why does God permit such terrible things? A clue to this question is seen in Revelation 10:7. But until the sound of that blessed trumpet, the perplexed child of God can arrive at no better conclusion that one offered by Abraham in Genesis 18:25. This sublime statement is amplified on at least three other biblical occasions.
By Moses: Deut 32:4
By Job: Job 13:15
By a Galilean crowd in Jesus' days: Mk 7:37.
God is Holy. Without a doubt the most prominent attribute of God as presented by both Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures is His holiness. This is one single perfection would perhaps come closer to describing the eternal Creator that any other characteristic He possesses. It has been suggested that His holiness is the union of all other attributes, as pure white light is the union of all colored rays of the spectrum. ( Lev 19:2; Ps 99:9; 1 Pet 1:15) In the Bible God underlines His holiness by direct commands, objects, personal visions, and individual judgments. 1. The direct commands.
The moral law. (Ten commandments) (Ex 10:10-25; 20:1-17)
The spiritual law. (Feasts and offerings) (Ex 35- 40; Lev 1-7; 23)
The ceremonial law. (Diets, sanitation, etc.) (Lev 11-15) 2. The objects. The main object was the tabernacle itself. 3. Personal provisions. a. Moses' vision. (Ex 33:18-23) b. Isaiah's vision. (Isa 6:1-5) c. Daniel's vision. (Dan 7:9-14) d. John's vision. (Rev 4:8-11) 4. Individual judgments. a. Upon Nadah and Abihu, for offering strange fire. (Lev 10:1-3) b. Upon Korah, for rebellion. (Num 16:4-12,31-33)
Upon Herod, for blasphemy. (Acts 12:20-23)
Upon Christ, for the sins of the world. (Isa 53:1-10; Ps 22:1; Heb 2:7; 1 Pet 2:21-25; 3:18)
God is righteous and just. Righteousness can be defined as moral equity. Justice is the illustration of this moral equity. In righteousness God reveals His love for holiness. In justice God reveals His hate for sin. The Scriptures present this twin attribute in a threefold light.
The intrinsic righteousness and justice of God. (Ex 9:27; Ezra 9:15; Neh 9:8; Dan 9:14)
The legislative righteousness and justice of God. (Ps 67:4; Ps 7:9; Ps 96:10; Ps 119:137) a. Rewarding the good. (2 Tim 4:8) It should be pointed out, however that while God's righteousness guarantees rewards, it does not bestow them. b. Punishing the evil. (2 Tim 4:14; Rev 16:5-7)
The imputed righteousness of God. (Rom 4:3; 4:6-8; Phil 3:7-9; 1 Pet 2:24)
God is true. Truth is therefore anything factual about God. (Tit 1:1,2; Jn 17:3; 1 Thess 1:9; Rom 3:4) God is the ultimate and only source and standard of truth. (Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18; Ps 50:10-12)
God is faithful. (Deut 7:9; Ps 36:5; Ps 89:1,2; Lam 3:22,23) God's faithfulness refers to His self-loyalty and to that of His entire creation. He will not change His character nor fail to perform all He has promised. God's faithfulness is seen in many areas.
In nature. (Ps 119:90; Gen 8:22; Col 1:17)
In keeping His promises to His friends. a. Adam.(Gal 4:4) b. Abraham. (Gen 4:4; Gen 15:4; Gen 21:1,2) c. Moses (Ex 3:21; 12:35,36) d. Joshua (Josh 1:1-5; 23:14) e. David (2 Sam 7:12,13; Lk 1:31-33) f. Hezekiah (2 Ki 19:32-34)
In keeping His promises to His enemies. a. Ahab. (1 Ki 21:17-19; 22:34-38) b. Jezebel (1 Ki 1:23; 2 Ki 9:30; 9:35-27)
In times of temptation. (1 Cor 10:13)
In chastening His children. (Ps 119:75; Heb 12:6)
In forgiving our sins. (1Jn 1:9)
In answering our prayers. (Ps143:1)
In keeping the saved saved. (1Cor 1:8,9; 1Thess 5:23,24; 2Thess 3:3)
In defending His people. (Ps 89:20; Ps 89:24; 1Sam 12:22; 2 Timothy 2:13)
God is light. He is both the source and strength of all illumination. This refers not only to those golden beams of energy radiating from the sun and stars, but also to moral, mental, and spiritual rays of information and inspiration. (1Pet 2:9; 1Jn 1:7; 2Cor 4:6; 1Tim 6:16; Jas 1:17; 1Jn 1:5)
God is good. A. W. Tozer writes: The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and His unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of His people. (Ps 107:8; Ps 23:6; Rom 2:4)
God is merciful. Mercy is the eternal principle of God's nature, which leads Him to seek the temporal good and eternal salvation to those who have opposed themselves to His will, even at the cost of infinite salvation. ( A.W. Strong) God's mercy is optional, in that He is no way obligated to save sinners, as He is to punish sinners. But He chooses to do so.
Example of David. (Ps 51)
Example of Israel. (Ps 103:8-17; Heb 8:8,12)
Example of Joshua (Jonah 4:2)
Example of Paul. (1Tim 1:13,16)
God is gracious. The very simplest definition of this beautiful attribute is unmerited favor. It is helpful at this point to contrast mercy with grace. God's mercy allows Him to withhold merited punishment. God's grace allows Him to freely bestow unmerited favor. Mercy is not getting what we deserve, namely hell. Grace is getting what we don't deserve, namely heaven. (Ps 111:4; Ps 116:5; 1Pet 2:3; 1Pet 5:10)
God's grace is seen through all dispensation in history. It is first mentioned on the eve of the first universal world destruction, (Gen 6:8) and the last reference occurs in Scriptures final verse. (Rev 22:21)
God's grace is always a free gift. (Rom 3:24; Eph 1:8,9)
God's grace always precedes His peace. (Rom 1:7)
God's grace was incarnate in Christ. (Jn1:17; Jn 1:14; Tit 2:11)
God's grace is greater than man's sin. (Rom 5:20)
God's grace was displayed at Calvary. (Heb 2:9)
God's grace makes the sinner what he is. (2Cor 12:9; 1Cor 15:10; Heb 4:16)
God's grace was perhaps the attribute, which prompted Him to create the world in the first place. (Eph 2)
God is love. This is at once the most universally know and universally misunderstood attribute of all. Millions have simply equated love with God, thus weakening or totally denying His other perfections. A man and woman may have an affair hidden from their spouses and justify their adulterous relationship by their great “love” for each other. But God's love cannot be separated or isolated from His holiness and hatred of sin. Having said all this, however, it must be admitted that of all His attributes, God's love is probably more quickly seized upon by seeking sinners than any other perfection. The smallest child can sing with great understanding: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” 1. Love is unselfish concern about another's welfare. 2. Love is that act of one person seeking the highest good for another person. Following are a few examples of God's love.
God's love for Israel. (Deut 7:7,8; Isa 49:15; Jer 31:3; Hos 11:1; Mal 1:2)
God's love for the world. (Jn 3:16; 1Tim 2:3,4; 2Pet 3:9)
God loves the church. (Eph 5:25-32)
God loves the sinner. (Rom 5:8)
God loves the spiritual Christian. (Gal 2:20)
God loves the carnal Christian (Lk 15:12-24)
God loves His Son. (Jn 3:35; Jn 10:17; Jn 15:9; Jn 17:23,24; Matt 3:17; Matt 17:5)
God loves the cheerful giver. (2Cor 9:7)