Attributes of God: Non-Moral Attributes
The essence and substance of God is that which underlies all outward manifestation. The attributes of God are the inherent characteristics closely associated with or belonging to God. In this study we will be discussing God’s non-moral attributes.
Omnipresence of God
“Omni” means all and when combined with presence means he is all present or present everywhere at once. This does not mean God’s form is spread out so that parts of him are in every location. God is spirit (John 4:24), he has no physical form. His presence is everywhere in that everything is immediately in His presence. God is not like a thin substance spread out over all the earth. All of Him is everywhere at once.
Psalm 139:7-12 says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night’, even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day Darkness and light are alike to You.” Jeremiah 23:24 says, “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”
No one can hide from God or escape from His presence. What a chilling thought. He is there no matter where we are or what we are doing. That can be very comforting or scary according to our perspective. If you are trying to hide or run from God, give up. Jonah tried it, and in his quest to run away from God he ended up running right into Him.
This is also comforting. His presence is always with us. He promises He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He is always present, but His presence is manifest in special ways when we:
- Worship Him (Psalm 100, Psalm 22:3, Acts 13:1-3).
- Gather in His name (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Submit to His authority (James 4:7-8).
- Draw near to Him in prayer (James 4:8).
- Practice His presence (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20).
- Proclaim His Word (Matthew 28:19-20).
Omniscience of God
God knows the past as well as the future. He knows all that we have done and all that we will do. He also knows the thought and intent of our heart.
- “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).
- He knows our works and deeds (Psalms 33:13-15).
- He knows our thoughts and motives (Psalms 139:1-4).
- He knows our needs and desires (Matthew 6:8 and 32-33)
- We stand naked before Him. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13)”
- Nothing is hidden from God. Everything we’ve done in secret He is aware of. We will give an account of all. “Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 13:24).
Omnipotence of God
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6). Our God is omnipotent. He is the all powerful one. There are five times in the scripture when it is says nothing is too hard or
difficult for God.
- God’s purposes being fulfilled (Job 42:2).
- God’s ability and creative power (Jeremiah 32:17).
- In confronting Abraham concerning Sarah’s laughter and unbelief (Genesis 18:14).
- The impossibility of man to save himself (Matthew 19:26).
- When dealing with Mary’s astonishment at her pregnancy (Luke 1:34-38).
Seeing that God is all powerful, is there anything He cannot do? Yes, there are some things God cannot do. He cannot do anything contrary to His will, character, or nature. Below are five things God cannot do.
- Look on iniquity or sin. He will never allow anyone to stand in His presence apart from Christ (Habakkuk 1:13).
- Deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13).
- Be unfaithful (2 Corinthians 1:20, Lamentations 3:23-24).
- Lie (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2).
- Not do what He says He will do (2 Corinthians 1:20, Numbers 23:19).
- Tempt people to sin (James 1:13). God may test our faith and obedience, as He did Abraham (Genesis 22:1), but He will never tempt us to sin.
- Do what is self contradictory. We’ve all heard absurd questions from unbelievers like, “If God is all powerful, can He make a circle square or a rock so large He cannot move it?” C.S. Lewis responded, “Nonsense is still nonsense, if talking of God or something else” (Know What You Believe, Paul E. Little).
The Immutability of God
God is unchangeable (Hebrews 1:12, James 1:17). Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” This verse refutes Joseph Smith’s doctrine of eternal progression. God cannot change. All change of necessity must go from worse to better or better to worse. Seeing God is perfect, He cannot be more perfect, truthful or holy. For example:
- His plans and purposes do not change (Psalms 33;11, Isaiah 46:10, Romans 11:29).
- His righteousness and justice (Genesis 18:25, Isaiah 28:17). God is always perfectly just and righteous in all He does.
- His goodness and light (James 1:17).
- His Love and mercy (Psalm 103:17).
- His promises ( 1 Kings 8:56, Hebrews 6:17-18).
- His Son (Hebrews 13:8). Immutability being attributed to Jesus declares his deity. Jesus bares the same attributes as the Father.
Omnisapience of God
The omnisapience of God refers to Him being all wise. This also includes His discernment and judgment. Below are a few scriptures declaring God’s infinite wisdom.
- “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite” (Psalms 147:5).
- “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out” (Romans 11:33)!
- “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen” (Romans 16:27).
- “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself (Ephesians 1:8-9).
- “That the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord (Ephesians 3:10-11).
- “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
Sovereignty of God
God does as He pleases, which is encouraging in light of all His attributes. If you had the choice, would you choose to be ruled by blind fate, chance, irrevocable natural law, short sighted and perverted self (man), or an infinite, wise, holy, powerful, all knowing God who loves us and knows what’s best for us? D.S. Clark said, “He who rejects God’s sovereignty may take his choice of what is left” (Pearlman, Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible, page 63). Below are a few scriptures dealing with God’s sovereignty:
- “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:11).
- “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things” (Matthew 20:15)?
- “So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens….Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor” (Romans 9:16-18 and Romans 9:21)?
- “Being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
- Daniel brings to bear God’s sovereignty perhaps better than any other writer. “He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:21).
- “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, What have You done” (Daniel 4:35)?
- “His heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses” (Daniel 5:20-21).
So God’s non-moral attributes consists of His omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability, omnisapience, and His Sovereignty. Wow! What a mighty God we serve!