the communicable attributes of god

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A summary of the chapter from Wayne Grudem's book "Bible Doctrine".


The "Communicable" Attributes of GodJanurary 23, 2010

OutlineDescriptions of God's Being 1. Spirituality 2. Invisibility Mental Attributes 1. Knowledge 2. Wisdom 3. Truthfulness Moral Attributes 1. Goodness 2. Love 3. Holiness 4. Rightesouness (or Justice) 5. Jealousy and Wrath Purpose and Summary Attributes

What is God Made of?Flesh and Blood? Pure energy? Pure thought? Material form?

God is Spirit - John 4:24God can be worshiped anywhere! (Woman at the well in Samaria) You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth (Ex 20) - nothing here is like him Not made of matter which would limit him So how are we like spirit? We are given the spirit to pray (John 4:24, 1 Cor 14:14)

InvisibilityNo one has ever seen God. - John 1 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. - John 646

[God] alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. - 1 Tim 6 ... But hasn't God shown himself to people in the Bible? To whom has God shown himself?

Theophany - an appearance of GodThe LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. (Ex 33) ubb=print_topic;f=56;t=00006111

God appeared to: 1. Abraham (Gen 18) 2. Jacob (Gen 32) 3. The people of Israel (Ex 13) 4. The elders of Israel (Ex 24) 5. Manoah and his wife (Samson's parents) 6. Isaiah 7. Many people saw Jesus

To See God's Face is DeathBut, he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." (Ex 33) Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel... Under his feet (Ex 24)9 10

"We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife. "We have seen God!" ... it was an angel (Judges 13)22

Moses sees God's back in Ex 33 ... what is that??? - the afterglow of God? A part of his glory?

What does it mean to See God?What does this mean?8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matt 5)

After we die we will see him: But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.(1 John 3)[a]

The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face (Rev 22)4

Knowledge - Omniscience"who is perfect in knowledge" (Job 37) For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3) Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4)13

Where do we see this: "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (Matt 11)21

WisdomGod uses his knowledge to make wise decisions.13

"To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. (Job 12) How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; (Ps 104)


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom 8)28 [j] [k]

We can always go to him for wisdom for he can make "wise the simple" for he "gives to all men generously".


But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. (Jer 10)

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God3

Conclusions: Every other God is an idol!!19

God is not a man, that he should lie, (Num 23)

We are to imitate God's truthfulnessDo not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Col 3)9 10

One whom God loves 1. speaks truth from his heart (Ps 15:2) 2. hates falsehood (Prov. 13:5)

Goodness"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is goodexcept God alone. (Luke 18)19 5


For the LORD is good and his love endures forever (Ps 100) God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Gen 1)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.(James 1)17

God is the standard for Goodness! (what other doctrine point is there?)

God Generously Gives Good Thingsno good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Ps 84) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people (Gal 6)10

God gives MERCY and GRACE: Mercy : God's goodness to those in misery Grace : God's goodness to those who deserve punishment. the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Ex 34)

Within the Trinity: "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world . (John 17)24

Love - God is Love - 1 John 4

but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me . (John 14)31

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matt 22)37 [b] 38 39 [c] 40

Holiness - separated from sin and evilO Holy One of Israel. (Ps 71) the LORD our God is holy. (Ps 99) 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. (Lev 19) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Heb 10)14

Righteousness or Justice4

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deut 32)

Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen 18) through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice (Rom 3:25)2

"Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!" (Job 40)

JealousyWe assume negative conotations. But, I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy (1 Cor 11)2

for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God (Ex 20) Our jealousy comes from our pride but, What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Cor 4) For God it is different: For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. (Isa 48:11)11

Wrath - because God hates sinWhoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."(John 3)36

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men (Rom 1)18

What is God did not hate sin? You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions (Heb 1)9

But will God's Wrath Turn Against Us?serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the deadJesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thess 1)10 8


The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; (Ps 103)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet 3)9

His Purpose - WillIn him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, (Eph 1)11 [e]

for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Rev 4) Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established (Rom 13)1

What Does God's Will mean for Us?Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (James 4)13 14 15

It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3)17

Secret vs. Revealed WillThe secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (Deut 29)29

your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6) Secret Will : future events, hardships or blessings as part of a larger plan. Revealed Will : what we should do or what we are commanded to do. What are examples of these from the Bible?

God's Will at workFrom the Bible: Joseph and Jesus you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. (Matt 11)26

God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2)4

and yet some are not saved. Still we know, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. (Ezek 33)

Are we not to blame then?3

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. (Ps 115)

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. (Prov21:1)1

so much power but wo

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