Theology & the Christian Life
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Russell Duke
September 19, 2002
"Attributes of God"

I. God is Spirit
A.    God is Spirit (not a spirit - John 4:24)
B.    God is simple - uncompounded, not complex in essence, indivisible, unique in His essential being (John 1:18, 1Tim 1:17, 6:15-16)
C.    God is one
1. Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
2. Mark 12:29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
3. Strict monotheism - One God and only one personality
D.    God has always been (eternal) - (Ps 36:10, Is 52:7, Rom 12:26)
E.    He existed before creation (Ps 90:2)
F.    He created time & space
1. Isa. 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says Ñ he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
2. ex nihilo - God created the world from nothing
G.    The Son is eternal (John 1:2; Rev 1:8, 17)
H.    The Spirit is also eternal (Heb 9:14)
II. Divine Timefulness - K. Barth
A.    External events progress sequentially, but are ever present with God, whose memory of the past is as vivid as the present
B.    God is both timely and timeful, as he does have successive thoughts and actions
1. God's essence cannot change
2. God's will for salvation and humanity does not change
3. God's manner for dealing with His people can change
C.    He is first and last - Is 41:4
III. God is Immutable (not changing)
A.    God does not change in essence nor purpose of creation (Is 40:8)
B.    He is always perfect in knowledge, power, wisdom, righteousness, mercy, and love
C.    God cannot increase or decrease in dimension or eternity
D.    His plan for humanity is constant (Mal 3:6) although he may change details as in succeeding covenants and in response to human decisions
E.    God's will is inflexible; his ways are flexible
1.    Process Theology sees God as interdependent with His creation
IV.    God is Omnipotent
A.    God is all-powerful to produce any effects He desires (Mt 19:26)
B.    God wills and it is done (Gen 1:3)
C.    God's power does not deny self-choice to His creation
D.    His power does not violate his love or holiness (Job 37:23)
E.    God is love - 1John 4:8, 10
F.    God seeks the highest good of humans at His own infinite cost (Ps 103:17; Eph 2:4-5)
G.    God is concerned for our eternal welfare (John 3:16)
H.    God is holy and as such, He calls for justice in that He does not show favoritism (Acts 10:28, 34-35, Rom 2:11)
I.    God is the supreme ruler, independent of any authority outside himself (Eph 1:21)
J.    God is self-determined as to what is right (Is 45:19) and self-limiting as to what He does (Job 23:13)
K.    God does not cause everything, though all things are known and limited by Him
V. God is Omniscient
A.    Infinite in knowledge (Ps 147:5; Prov 2:19, 20; 15:11)
B.    He sees all (2 Chr 16:9)
C.    He knows the future (Ps 139:4, 16) though He does not impose decisions on humans
D.    There is no concealment from God (no place to hide)
E.    "To believe in the omniscience of God means to affirm an overarching providence that sustains the world in its sin and misery but which is not the direct cause of its sin and misery" (Bloesch 30)
VI.    God is Omnipresent
A.    As uncreated Spirit, God's essence is undivided, for He hears no body, either physical or spiritual
B.    God is present for all his creatures (Acts 17:24)
C.    God sees all (Prov 15:3, 2Chro 16:9)
D.    God is not in all things, for evil and matter exists within his sovereign