Attributes, Characteristics and Qualities
In this chapter we are introduced to several of the attributes,
characteristics, or qualities of God. From other scriptures we know that
God is an unchanging God, therefore, his attributes are unchanging.
There can be no precept or doctrine that violates the attributes of God.
In verse 1 we read "In the beginning God created the
heaven and the earth." The first attribute of God revealed in the
scriptures is that God is eternal. He was before the beginning. "The
beginning" is the beginning of time. God was before time. Thus, God is
eternal. Now, we know that the scriptures teach that when we are born of
the Spirit we are given eternal life in the inner man. Also, we know
that we have a hope of eternal life in our outer man which will come to
fruition in the resurrection. However, the way in which we have eternal
life is different than the way God has eternal life. For us, eternal
life deals with the future. It is unending life in the future. With God,
however, eternal life is both in the past and in the future. God is
eternal, both past and future. The concept of God having no beginning is
perhaps one of the most difficult for us to understand. We live in a
time based world. Everything we see in nature had a beginning and has an
ending. The concept of eternity past is therefore extremely difficult
for us to comprehend, yet it is true.
Next, the first word used for God comes from the Hebrew
word, "elohiym." This is a singular noun consisting of a plurality and
takes a singular verb. There are many words in the English language we
can compare this concept to. However, I will look at just one. The local
"church" consists of several members. The church that I pastor has about
45 members. I can say that the "church" is located at Denton, Texas. The
noun "church" in that sentence is singular and has a singular verb.
However there are 45 members that make up the "church." The word, "elohiym,"
carries the connotation that a plurality makes up the Godhead. This is
exactly what the scriptures teach. This concept is further illustrated
in the first chapter of Genesis in verse 26: "And God said, Let us make
man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle,
and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth." The word, "God," is singular, yet the pronoun "us" indicates
a plurality in the Godhead. The foundation of the precept of the Godhead
consisting of Father, Word, and Holy Spirit is laid for us in this first
chapter of Genesis.
Further, the word, "elohiym," is used in connection with
God as the creator of all things. The strictest definition of "creation"
is to make something out of nothing. Only God can make something out of
nothing. He is the only Creator. To create something takes a power far
beyond any ability of man. In the first chapter of Genesis the attribute
of God as "omnipotent" is abundantly illustrated in the creation of the
heaven and the earth. God illustrates this power by simply speaking the
universe into being and all that is contained therein!
Moreover, the first chapter teaches us that God is a God
of order. God orderly arranged the creation of each day into categories
of his choosing. This orderly arrangement and the interaction of those
things created and the complexity of those things created illustrate to
us the "Wisdom of God." Oftentimes the evolutionists will try to
convince us that life began as a simple cell. The truth is that the very
simplest of cells is extremely complicated. Within a single cell there
generally are at least 60,000 chemical reactions that are continuously
taking place. Moreover, each cell has the capability of replicating
itself. Furthermore, each cell has a built in protective defense system.
These things are extremely complex. To promote that some amino acids
threw themselves together to form something so exceedingly complex as a
"simple cell" is ludicrous. Only by the wisdom and power of an Almighty
God could something as vast as the universe in which we live and so
complicated as even a simple cell is be brought into existence.
As we contemplate the things which God created and the
plants and animals he created we are led to focus on the "sovereignty of
God." God made this universe and all that is contained therein as it
pleased him. He was under no obligation to anyone to create anything.
Further, His creation and what he created was of his sovereign choosing.
He created it the way he wanted it and he placed within the universe
those plants, animals, birds, man, etc. as it pleased him. The thing
formed could not say unto him that formed it, "why hast thou made me
Finally, in this chapter we see the character of God as
Master illustrated as he gives to man by his sovereign will in verse 28:
"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living
thing that moveth upon the earth." This right for man to replenish,
subdue, and have dominion is given by God and illustrates to us that God
is the Master and that man's service is given to him by God.