What is the character of God?

Last updated on May 6, 2022

What is the character of God?

You get to know someone by seeing what he does with his life, meeting him, and doing things together. The same is true about God. Through the stories of the Bible we get to know God, because they show us what God did and what is important to Him. Through the Bible, but also through prayer and worship, you can meet God so that what you know about Him is not just theoretical knowledge, but a personal experience. When you commit your live to Him, He leads you through life. You are His child and relate to Him as your heavenly Father every day. That is the best way to get to know the character of God.

God is spirit

The Bible says that God is spirit (John 4:24). Therefore getting to know God is more difficult than getting to know a fellow human being. God realised that, and had a radical solution: He became man! In Jesus Christ “the whole fullness of God dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). So if we are still in doubt about the character of God, we may look at the life of Jesus. When we know how Jesus is, we know how God is.

So what do we read in the Bible about God’s character?

1. God is trustworthy

If we get to know who God is, we do not need to be afraid that He will be different tomorrow. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). God always keeps His promises. Always.

2. God is love

1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Jesus made that very clear. He loved the people that society spit out. He embraced children. He invited despised tax collectors to follow Him. Sharing God’s love with prostitutes was more important to Him than His reputation. And in this, Jesus is the perfect embodiment of His Father’s love. For it was God who gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

3. God is righteous

“A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4). He loves truth and justice, and He hates lies and injustice. This perfect righteousness we also see in Jesus, who said “which one of you convicts me of sin?” (John 8:46).

4. God is holy

Isaiah 6:3 says “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!“. God is glorious, and His glory sets him apart from sin; that is, God is holy. Sin and God cannot go together. God is everything that is beautiful, sin is everything that is ugly. Because this same holiness is in Jesus, He is called “the Holy One of God” (John 6:69).

5. God is merciful

There is one very striking passage in which the Lord declares His own character. The Lord appears to Moses on the mountain, and the next thing we read in Exodus 34:6-7 is: “The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.’” Here we see all the aspects of God character that were mentioned above. But what is most stressed is God’s mercy in forgiving sinners. That is fulfilled in Jesus. In His mercy, God sent Jesus to die for our sins. If we believe in Jesus, God adopts us as His children.

When we have become children of God, we have a lifetime of discovering more and more of God’s character. But trustworthiness, love, righteousness, holiness, and mercy certainly are at the heart of who God is.

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