Grace Bible Church

Preaching the Living Word through the Written Word













A.    Introduction


1.     In my humble opinion, studying the attributes of God is the crème de la crème of theology. As we understand who God is by understanding His attributes, it results in an indelible mark on our souls.

2.     We are able to worship God properly when we understand God’s attributes. In addition, we are able to know how He deals with mankind and mankind is able to know how he is to respond to God.

3.     Attributes are in reality a part of God’s nature and essence. Even though we systematize them to understand them, we must realize that God’s attributes are woven together so that no attribute is manifested independently or is preeminent over the rest. Therefore, God is who He is (“I AM WHO I AM” Ex 3:14).


B.    Definition For The Attributes Of God


1.     The attributes of God are the qualities or characteristics inherent in and ascribed to God. These could also be called the “perfections of God” because God is the very essence of the totality of these perfect attributes.

2.     The attributes of God could be defined as, those distinguishing characteristics of the divine nature which are inseparable from the idea of God and which constitute the basis and ground for his various manifestations to his creatures. (A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology (Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson, 1907), p. 244.)


C.    Aspects Of The Attributes Of God


1.     Customarily the attributes of God are divided into categories: Natural or Moral; Absolute or Relative; and Communicable or Incommunicable. Each has their own distinction and emphasis.

2.     The terms, communicable and incommunicable express those attributes of God which are distinct to God alone (Incommunicable) and those which can be found in man albeit in an imperfect and finite resemblance (Communicable).


D.    Incommunicable Attributes Of God


1.     Self-Existence (Aseity)


a)    Definitions

(1)   Unlike man, God does not have a beginning or a cause, therefore God exists in and of Himself. Thomas Aquinas said, He is the first cause; himself uncaused.

(2)   This means that God has the ground of His existence in Himself, and unlike man, does not depend on anything outside of Himself. He is independent in His Being, in His virtues and actions, and causes all His creatures to depend on Him. (Louis Berkhof, Summary of Christian Doctrine)

b)    God’s self-existence is expressed in His name, “I AM” (hayah) in Ex 3:14.

(1)   The Hebrew verb, “I AM” is a common Qal Imperfect of hayah (“to be” verb) which connotes continuous unfinished action, i.e. “the One Who Always Is.”

(2)   In the LXX, it is expressed, egō eimi ho ōn (I am the One who is) with a present “to be verb” (eimi) and a present participle (ōn).

(3)   There appears to be a connection between a description of God’s name “I AM” and “LORD” (Yahweh) in Ex 3:13-15. In Ex 3:14 God states that “I AM” has sent you and in Ex 3:15 He states that the “LORD” (Yahweh) has sent you.

(4)   The name “Yahweh” expresses the basic  idea that God has always existed and is the Self-existent One (Is 43:10; 44:6; 48:12) and His covenants need only be based on Himself (Is 41:4; 42:6).

(5)   Though Christ became a man, it is clear He retained His deity as the great “I AM” (Joh 8:58 cf. Jn 6:35; 8:12; 10:7; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1).

c)     God is called a “Necessary Being.” All existent things depend upon other things for their existence, therefore, there must exist at least one thing that is a Necessary Being, that Necessary Being is God.

d)    God alone possesses existence and life in Himself (Jn 5:26). All other things originate from Him and are dependent upon Him for their existence (Da 5:23; Ps 36:9).

(1)   All creation (Col 1:17)

(2)   All living creatures (Ge 1:20, 24)

(3)   Mankind (Job 12:10)

(4)   Man’s Being (Ge 2:7; Ac 17:28)

e)     Application

(1)   Since God is the Self-Existent One and He is the giver of all life, then man must honor God as God and give thanks to him for life (Ro 1:19).

(2)   It is also true then that God alone knows our true needs and He alone can meet our true spiritual needs.




Grace Bible Church · 4000 E. Collins Rd ·  PO Box #3762 · Gillette, WY · (307) 686-1516