Attributes, Characteristics and Qualities of God

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 thus?"


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.