9. Attributes of God’s Goodness

His Attributes or Moral Qualities

God is love. (1 John 4:7, 16-18 2 Cor. 13:11, John 14:31, Matt. 3:17) God’s love is perfect and can never diminish. He cannot love you any more or less. His love never changes. He does not love us because of who or what we are; He loves us because of who and what He is. God manifested this love in the giving of His Son to die for us, and reconcile us to Himself. (John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-10). All His actions are from the basis of love. His love cares for us, builds us up, protects us, comforts us as well as corrects, and chastises us. His love is eternal and was existing in the Godhead before creation.

God is light. This emphasises His moral character (1 John 1:5) “Light” refers to biblical truth while “darkness” refers to error or falsehood (Ps. 119: 105; Prov. 6:23; John 1:4; 8; 12). He is pure and holy and there “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

God is holy. (Ex. 15:11; 1 Sam. 2:2; 1 John 2:29). The word holy is “qadosh” means “marked off or seperated.” He is “marked off” or separate from all others; He is unique, undefiled, marked off from the common. He is flawless. “”Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex.15:11). He has no flaws, shortcomings, blemishes or weakness. God is pure and hates sin and evil. He is uniquely separate from all creation and untouched or unstained with evil. “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts” (Isa.6:1-4). When Isaiah saw this he said (Vs 5 ) “So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” God rejects sin. “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8)

Moses was told to take off his shoes at the burning bush because the ground was holy. It was the presence of God who made it holy and sacred, it was just common dirt until he manifested himself there. No one was to go up the mountain or touch the border of it (Ex. 19) because God’s presence made it holy. The Most Holy Place was veiled off from the Holy Place (Ex. 26:33; 1 Kings 6:16). The high priest could only go into the Most Holy Place once a year.

Holiness demands great reverence ad awe even silence “Let them praise thy great and terrible name! Holy is he!” (Psalm 99:3). God’s perfection is the standard of our moral character and the motivation for religious practices. (Lev. 11:44-45). The whole moral code follows his holiness. God’s nature of holiness is emphasised throughout the whole Bible.

Believers are called to be holy like God. He cannot tolerate wickedness or evil. (Matt. 5:28). We are to stay away from sin, evil and wickedness and separate ourselves from unclean things and be perfectly holy (2 Cor. 6:14-7:10; 1 Thess. 3:13 and 4:7). The Lord Jesus will present the church completely holy in heaven “…without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she may be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).

God is eternal and self-existent. And has always existed. He was neither created nor brought into being by any power or person. He is independent. Time is merely His invention for the convenience of His creatures. Because God is the author of time He is not subject to it (Ps. 90:2; 102:27; 1 Cor. 2:7; Eph.1: 4). He intervenes in the affairs of men when and how He chooses to do so. God is not in time but time is in God. God is logical and therefore does not need to be chronological (Rom. 14:7). He transcend all creation and “one day is as a thousand years to Him” (2 Peter 3:8).

God is transcendent. He is over and above all time, space and matter and all other reality. “The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain Him” (Ps.33: 5).

God is righteousness. His divine righteousness is perfect and so He demands perfection. Mankind has his own righteousness but it does not impress God. We need His righteousness in order to live with Him. This comes only through Christ imputing it to us. All who believe are justified by His grace” (Rom. 3:22 -23). Adam became exposed by his sin and was naked and ashamed but he was guilty before God. God clothed them with skins from animals, which he himself sacrificed. It was only a symbol of what Christ would do. He would die for our sin and then clothe those who believe with the Lord’s own righteousness.

God is justice. Justice is closely associated with God’s holiness of God. He is the highest form of government, divine rule in the universe and has divine right to completely rule and have authority over all of creation. As the Creator, He has the perfect right to do as He pleases with mankind. As the divine judge He requires man to adhere to His law and His standard. He warns mankind of the consequence of sin, which is death (separation) Gen. 2:17; Rom.6: 23; 12:19). He is fair and impartial in His justice (Rom. 2:5-6; 1 Sam. 8:3; Amos 5:12; Ps. 73; 17-27). We have a spiritual and moral obligation to do right. Man’s rebellion (and also Satan’s) in effect was a refusal to accept His rightful rule. To this day, man does not want to acknowledge the absolute authority of God. Everyone will have to acknowledge the rulership of Jesus Christ, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11). Because God is holy His justice demanded the penalty of sin. Jesus Christ took that penalty that God “might be just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26) Likewise, God can now be both faithful to the believer and yet just in taking care of their sins. (Cf. 1 John 1:9)

God is truth. He is true, real, dependable and genuine. There is no error in Him. He is “the only true God” (John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5; 20). He is the source of all truth and has never lied or been deceitful (Heb. 6:18; 1 Tim. 1:2). Because of His holy character it is impossible for Him to lie, you have no need to doubt Him. . You can depend upon Him in every way. If God were not truth there would be no certainty, no real revelation of Himself to mankind. Men may lie but God does not. “Let God be true , but every man a lair” (Rom. 3:4). “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent; hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken , and shall He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

God is omnipotent and almighty and all-powerful. Nothing happens without His permission. Nothing or no one can oppose Him. “With God noting is impossible” (Luke 1:37). “There is noting to hard for God” including your problems (Jer. 32:17). Satan is creature and God removed Him form his place in heaven he is defeated and is no match for God. God is not at war with Him it is a no match situation; we are at war with Him and need Gods strength and weapons to fight the spiritual battles. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14). His power is perfect and inexhaustible.

God is omniscient. He knows everything about every thing. He knows our actions he sees and hears all. He cannot be deceived. He never gets confused or mixed up. He knows the beginning form the end. He knows our failures but because His grace is so great he loves and cares for us. (1 Sam. 2:3; Jer. 23:24).

God is omnipresent. He is always present. God is not limited by space or time ( Jer. 23:24). He is ever caring for you. And is eternal life; He never ages or gets wrinkles. He has no need to learn new things. To him there is nothing new.

a) God cannot die if he is everywhere.

b) Jesus could not go to the cross and die as God.

c) This was why he was born of the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit was his Father and died as the man Christ Jesus. He was fully God and Fully man , the Hypostatic – Union.

d) Jesus died as the man Christ Jesus, in his humanity not his deity (1 Peter 2:24).

God is benevolent. He is concerned with the welfare of those whom He loves. He has an unselfish interest in them. He is not interested in what He can get out of us, He is totally self-sufficient and needs nothing from us. (John 15:9-17). He is benevolent to every living thing (Ps. 145:16; Matt. 6:25 -33) He cares for the welfare of all mankind (Acts 14:17; Matt. 5:45).

God is gracious. His grace deals with people not on the value of their merit or worthiness but on the basis of His goodness and generosity. He supplies us with undeserved favours and requires nothing in return. Salvation is free and faith is a non-meritorious act (Eph.1: 5-8; 2:8-9; Titus 2:11; 3:3-7; Ex. 34:6).

God is long suffering. He is “slow to anger” (Ex. 34:6; Ps. 86:15; Rom. 2:4; 1 Peter 3:20). The second coming of Christ is delayed because of those who will be saved. He bears blasphemies, rebellion, murders, and the ongoing breaking of His law, waiting patiently while He is calling and redeeming His own. It is not impotence or slackness that delays Him but His patience. Christians are to exercise His nature via the fruit of the Spirit (Matt. 6:12; Gal. 5:22-23). It works out in a practical way in our lives.

God is All Wise

a) His wisdom concentrate on Christ (1 Cor. 1:24).

b) His wisdom devised a plan to permit man to have a relationship with him and be at peace with him.

c) God’s justice and mercy both meet in Christ. Only God’s wisdom could do that.

The Mercy of God

God is merciful. His mercy is seen in His tenderhearted compassion for His people. He is tender hearted towards the poor and needy. God supplies the need of the guilty sinner and shows him mercy by putting his judgement on Jesus Christ His own Son on the cross. He feels for those who suffer physically (Mark 1:41; 6:34) and spiritually (Matt. 9:36).

a) It is a part of God’s nature.

b) The noun denotes compassion and love, not just feelings or emotions, as expressed in tangible ways. It is “loving kindness, compassion, pity, to show mercy, to feel sympathy for. “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” Heb.2:17-18.

c) Because God is the initiator, the mercy he gives is gracious, unmerited, undeserved (Gen. 19:16; Exod. 33:19; Jer.42:12).

d) The experience of God’s people is that God’s mercy, unlike human mercy, cannot be exhausted (2 Sam. 24:14; Lam. 3:22

e) Divine mercy is not blind or dumb; although God tolerated Israel’s rebellion with mercy for a very long time (Neh. 9:17, 19, 31 Jer. 3:12).

f) Ultimately ungodliness in Israel was met by a withdrawal of God’s mercy, leading to judgment (Lam. 2:2,21; Zech. 1:12).

g) But even in judgment and discipline God’s mercy can be seen and hoped for (2 Sam. 24:14; Psalm 57:1; Isa. 55:7; 60:10; Jer.31:20; Hab. 3:2).

1. God desires a relationship with humankind, but must show mercy to them in order for this relationship to be built. The Jews were recipients of God’s mercy for centuries although the gentiles often were recipients of His mercy also. In the New Testament we see it more fully extended to the Gentiles (Rom. 9:15-16; 11:31-32; 15:9). Peter says, in 1 Peter 2:10: “Once you were not a people; but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

“By his great mercy he has given us a new birth through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet.1:3).

2. When applied with special emphasis to the Gentile believers it reminds them of their undeserved blessings, the fact is equally true of Gentiles and Jews: people come into relationship with God only because God shows mercy to them.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because He of His great love with which He has loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) , and raised us up with him , and seated us with him in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph.1:5-7). God wants to display His great riches to us. God has bridged the great divide between sinful people and Himself by His love which activates His grace, which in turn , sets in motion His mercy.

3. Since the source of mercy is inexhaustible (Eph.2:4) people can confidently cry out to God for mercy in time of need (Luke 18:13; 2 Tim. 1:16,18; Matt. 15:22; 17:15).

4. Mercy and love are related. In this relationship, mercy then comes to be seen as the quality in God that directs him to forge a relationship with people who absolutely do not deserve to be in relationship with him. Mercy is manifested in God’s actions on behalf of his people to free them from slavery; it is neither theory nor principle. God’s mercy is a driving force in leading him to create a relationship with Israel and the Church. Within the relationship, God’s mercy is closely linked to forgiveness (Exod. 34:9; Num. 14:19; Jer. 3:12; Dan. 9:9).

Having mercy helps us not loose heart. 2 Cor. 4:1.Threfore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

Having mercy gives us confidence to come to Gods throne. Heb. 4:16. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The Mercy Seat – a Pattern of Heavens Mercy Seat (Throne).

Heb. 9:5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail…vs 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another– 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Joseph received mercy in a jail cell (Gen.39:12).

Ruth found mercy (kindness) in her grief (Ruth1:8-9).

Mephibosheth the grandson of Saul received mercy from David (2 Sam. 9:1-3).

Job found mercy (kindness) in intense pain (Job 10:12).

David Found mercy when he was guilty of sin (Ps.32:10 also Ps.23:6)

Can I Know Him?

Yes! When you realize your humanity and sinfulness separate you from Him, turn in repentance and stop trusting in your own works or system of religion, then put your trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. You will be saved and receive spiritual life which starts a new relationship with almighty God.