Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

The Attributes of God

Pagan mythology paints a very unflattering picture of “the gods.” The pagans viewed deity through the filter of their own humanity. In fact, this is a non-technical, but powerful argument showing the difference between the inspired record of Jehovah, and the imaginations of men which led to the pagan superstitions of antiquity. For the pagan, the gods were jealous, petty, capricious, and flawed. Though they had superhuman powers, they were limited, and behaved like corrupt men. War, treachery, infidelity, immaturity and envy are common themes in pagan mythology.

The descriptions of Jehovah God in the Bible stand in stark contrast to these flawed products of man’s imagination. Note first the Apostle Paul’s address to the Athenians concerning their superstitions on Mars Hill in Acts 17. He speaks to them concerning the “Unknown God”, the true God which was unknown to them:

“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (vvs. 24-29).

This picture of God is remarkably uniform throughout the Bible. In both the Old and New Testaments, God is known as eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, just and loving. He is sovereign in the universe, and the first cause or creator. The following scriptures are descriptive of His character and person.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'” (Revelation 1:8).

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” (Micah 5:2).

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10).

“So He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.'” (Matthew 19:17).

“No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

While representative, the above scriptures are hardly exhaustive in relating the nature and character of Jehovah. God is longsuffering, loving, merciful, wise, omnipresent, perfect, righteous, unchangeable, and unsearchable. As the Psalmist said, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.” (Psalms 139:6).

It is from within this context of God’s nature that we are called to holiness in our lives. As Paul maintained, such a transformation in life and focus is “your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). What God requires of us is not a series of arbitrary tests imposed by an autocrat. Our service is required because of who God is, and we should always rejoice in meager efforts to please Him.