The Basics of God's Character

Perhaps the defining question of human existence is “Who is God?” And “what is He like?” In studying theology proper, we learn about the attributes of God (who He is and what He is like). The attributes of God can be summarized by two categories:

1. The Greatness of God (attributes of God’s being…who God is)

2. The Goodness of God (attributes of God’s morality…what God does because of who He is)

There are many attributes of the greatness of God. Today, I want to mention three of them. And next week, we will discuss three more.

So, here are 3 attributes of God’s greatness, and what it can mean to YOU:

1. God is independent: He has no needs. He is self-existent and self-sufficient. (Acts 17:24-25; Exodus 3:14)

What does this mean for you?

It means you can be confident in His Person (who He is). If God has no needs, then He is not manipulative or selfish. 

2. God is omnipotent: He is all-powerful. (Jeremiah 32:17; Isaiah 40:12-14; 25-31)

There is nothing too great for God. He can do anything He desires. Of course, this assumes that whatever God can do cannot oppose His nature and character. For example, God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Hebrews 6:18; Psalm 89:35). This also assumes that God cannot do anything that opposes rational law or thinking. For example, the old question: “Can God create a rock so big He can’t move it?” 

The omnipotence of God means that there is no limit to what God can do. The only limit is His own will and desire. The omnipotence is God is perhaps seen best in His amazing creation. For example, Psalm 147:4 says that God “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” According to a 2017 article on science.com, there is a very rough estimate of 10 trillion galaxies in the universe. Multiplying that by the Milky Way's estimated 100 billion stars results in a large number indeed: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, or a "1" with 24 zeros after it (1 septillion). I cannot fathom that many stars. But the Scripture says God created them (Genesis 1:16), and knows them each by name! That IS omnipotence!!!

Another example of God’s omnipotence seen in His creative ability is the number of cells in the human body. Scientists estimate there are approximately 100 trillion cells in our bodies! God is the God of the immeasurably vast and the microscopically small. That IS omnipotence!!!

What does this mean for you?

It means you can be confident in God’s Power. Nothing is too difficult for God!

3. God is omniscient: He is all-knowing. (Psalm 147:4-5)

Think about this truth for a moment: God knows everything! There is nothing that He does not know. 

Let me mention a few implications of God’s omniscience:

  • God is never surprised.

  • He never needs advice.

  • God never has to learn.

  • He can see all at the same time (He knows the past, present and future). In other words, what will happen is just as sure with God as what has happened. It’s absolutely mind-boggling. 

What does this mean for you?

It means you can be confident in His perspective. Because God knows and sees everything (including the past, present and future; as well as every moving part of every situation), God’s will for you is always best. He can see what we cannot. Therefore, we can trust God’s plan and His will for our lives. He knows best because He can see all.

It is staggering to try to fathom and comprehend the greatness of God. When we begin to understand just a fraction of what that means, it has tremendous implications for our lives. It leads us to a greater faith in the One who is great!

The Citizenship Question

What Is the Last Thing God Told You to Do?