GOD’S CHARACTER

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

Question: What does the Bible reveal about God’s character?

 

Answer: Many false views about God have been held and expressed by Christians and non

Christians alike. This is due to either a failure to accept, or a misunderstanding of the only source

of the correct view of God − the Divinely inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17).

 

God’s Attitude Toward Evil

 

We first ask: What is God’s attitude toward evil? The Bible answers that God has a right attitude

toward evil − He abhors, avoids and opposes it as the following Scriptures prove:

  • Abhorrence of evil − Psalm 92: 15:

“To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

  • Avoidance of evil − Job 34: 10, 12:

“Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do

wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. . . . Yea, surely God

will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.”

  • Opposition to evil − Galatians 6: 7:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also

reap.”

 

God’s Four Chief Attributes

 

The Bible presents God as possessing numerous graces of character, all supreme in perfection,

but His four chief attributes are: wisdom, power, justice, and love:

(1.)  Wisdom: This attribute may be defined as the confident and hopeful use of God’s

omniscience (knowledge of all things) in order to secure good results.

Job 12: 13: “With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.”

(2.)  Power: This quality may be defined as God’s strength of will in which He acts

with self-control and perseverance in furthering His plans and purposes.

Jeremiah 32: 17: “Ah LORD God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by

thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.”

(3.)  Justice: This attribute may be defined as the love, or good will, that by right God

owes to Himself and others. The love that He owes to Himself refers to His love of

good principles with all His heart, mind, soul and strength; and the love that God owes

to others refers to the duty-love He possesses which goes out to others, as His

creatures.

Deuteronomy 32: 4: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are

judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”

(4.)  Love: This quality can be referred to as unselfish love in order to distinguish it

from justice, and may properly be called God’s crowning attribute. It 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, and (4) a delight to sacrifice in order to further good principles in and for

others.

1 John 4: 16: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is

love. . . .”

 

The Glory of the Lord

 

The Bible not only shows the above four chief attributes of God to be perfect in the supreme

degree, but that they all act harmoniously together. Though there may be times when one or

more of the attributes are more active, yet there is never a time when any of God’s attributes will

work without the full approval of the others. All four attributes acting harmoniously together is

symbolically shown in Ezekiel 1: 5-14, in which Wisdom is pictured by the face of an eagle,

Power by the face of a lion, Justice by the face of an ox and Love by the face of a man:

 

Verse 5: “Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was

their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.”

Verse 6: “And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.”

Verse 7: “And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s

foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.”

Verse 8: “And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four

had their faces and their wings.”

Verse 9: “Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went

every one straight forward.”

Verse 10: “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a

lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the

face of an eagle.”

Verse 11: “Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every

one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.”

Verse 12: “And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went;

and they turned not when they went.”

Verse 13: “As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of

fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the

fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.”

Verse 14: “And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.”

 

Attributes shown by Divine Plan

 

There is no better way to appreciate God’s four chief attributes than by an understanding of His

Divine Plan of salvation for mankind. With Wisdom He 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, and

continues to be the moving force behind that Plan.

 

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