With all that’s been said, if we want to know God, we can do so by studying what the Bible reveals about who God is, God’s character and attributes.
Maybe you’ve heard people say God is love. And because of that your idea of God is that he would forgive unconditionally without any consequences.
Yes, God is love. It says that in 1 John 4:8. But love is only a facet of God’s nature. He is also righteous and just, for example. God can’t just forgive us unconditionally. We can be saved because God punished Jesus on the cross instead of punishing us. God’s holy wrath had to be fulfilled. God cannot be unjust.
Our God is both just and loving. He is both. Therefore we can trust that He will deal with the evil and the righteous according to justice. But He also loves and offers mercy to sinners who are without hope.
God is one nature, one divine being. Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD”. But God has different characteristics, we call them attributes. They are like many sparkling facets to one diamond. By observing each angle of God’s being closely, in detail, we can start to admire who God is, and grow in our awe, reverence, and worship of Him who is beyond our comprehension, whose ways are of an infinite wisdom, who is deserving of our praise and submission always forever and ever.
By learning about God’s attributes, about who God is, we also learn about how God designed and intended us to live. We were created as the image of God. We were created to reflect His divine nature in our lives and shine forth the glory of His nature to all those around us. In our new lives as Christians, God is changing us from people with sinful and God-dishonouring attributes and inclinations, to having divine and God-honouring attributes mirrored in our lives.
The more we think about, ponder, and meditate on who God’s attributes, His Word will transform us, sowing together our new hearts that are able to enjoy and glorify Him!
Thomas Watson, a puritan once said, “Meditate on God’s attributes. The attributes of God are the various beams by which the divine nature shines forth to us”.
If there’s one place to go to grasp a quick snapshot of God’s attributes, it would have to be Psalm 145. Go and read it for yourself! We learn that God is great, He is full of majesty, wondrous works and awesome and mighty deeds. We see how God is a sovereign king over an everlasting kingdom. We learn how He is “righteous in all His ways”. But on the other hand, we get to know that God is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. [He] is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.” We learn that God is “faithful in all His words and kind in all His works”. We learn He cares for the fallen and suffering, drawing near to all who call on Him in truth. He hears the cries of those who fear Him and saves them.
This is our God! The more we get to know Him, the more we will humbly realise how much we don’t know, how great our God is, and how we cannot do anything in response but bow down and worship Him.
“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:1-3)
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