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Christian Biblical Studies
Unless otherwise denoted, all Scripture references are to the
New International Version (NIV; British text)
Question: What does the Bible tell us about God’s attributes of character?
Answer: Apart from His numerous graces of character, all supreme in perfection, God has four chief attributes:
Wisdom: This attribute of God may be defined as the confident and hopeful use of His omniscience (knowledge of all things) in order to secure good results. Job 12: 13 refers to this quality: “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.”
Power: As an attribute of God’s character, this quality may be defined as His strength of will in which He acts with self-control and perseverance in furthering His plans and purposes. Isaiah 45: 22, 23: “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself have I sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”
Justice: God's righteous demands cannot be met by fallen man, so He provided Christ as a sin-offering to satisfy His justice. Romans 3: 23-26: “[For] all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Love: This is God’s crowning attribute, for “God is love” (1 John 4: 16; 1 Corinthians 13: 13). In general, Love consists of four elements: (1) A delight in good principles; (2) an appreciation of those who are in harmony with good principles; (3) sympathy with the righteous and pity for the unrighteous; (4) a delight to sacrifice in order to further good principles in and for others.
There is no better way to appreciate God’s four chief attributes than by an understanding of His Divine Plan of salvation for mankind:
• Wisdom developed the Plan for man’s salvation;
• Power carries out that Plan to a successful completion;
• Justice ensures that God’s perfect Law which governs all of His free moral agents, will eventually become universal; and
• Love has been, and continues to be, the moving force behind that Plan.
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