III. His Moral Attributes - Attributes are characteristics revealed in personal interaction with mankind. Some of God’s moral attributes include:
A. Holiness – Holiness means “to be totally separated from sin and evil.” It is the perfection of God whereby He abhors that which is evil and demands purity. Because of God’s holiness, a sinful individual has no right to come into God’s presence. For this reason, God turned His back on His own Son when Jesus “became sin for us.” God is a Holy God – 1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” This is His greatest attribute. All other attributes of God are subject to His holiness. It is this holiness that is announced perpetually and eternally in Heaven: “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)
B. Justice – God is a just God. He exists eternally as a Judge who will mete out judgment. A Judge must condemn the guilty or let the innocent go free. As a Judge, God is remunerative (rewarding) and retributive (chastening). Since God cannot act contrary to His laws, our crimes must be punished. A person must suffer for his own sin or accept God’s plan of redemption.
God is the one who has been wronged by sin, therefore He is the only one who can determine how restitution is made. God has determined that restitution be made by the shedding of innocent blood. Only Christ’s blood is innocent, so Christ died for our sins and shed His blood to satisfy the Judge of all the universe. A person who believes on God’s Son, Jesus, Christ, as their personal Saviour is then pardoned and justified from all of their sins as the Judge considers the payment to have been paid in full by His Son Jesus Christ. “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39)
C. Righteousness – The attribute that causes God to always do right. “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) This wonderful attribute of God guarantees that He will always keep His promises. It would be wrong for Him to not keep His word. This is why the believer gains so much assurance by holding to the promises of God – God is righteous and will keep His Word. “O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.” (Daniel 9:16) Because He is a righteous God, it is impossible for Him to do wrong or to lie.
D. Love – The world uses the word “love” so flippantly that many believers have a very shallow view of Biblical love. Love is concern for the welfare of another even above one’s own welfare. The world’s idea of love is usually lust or, at best, selfishness. Lust is getting. Love is giving. Lust cannot wait to get. Love cannot wait to give.
As believers, we are commanded to love other believers, our enemies, and our Lord. We are to show our love for God by keeping His commandments and for others by sacrificing our lives for them. This is the type of love that was showed to us by God. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
E. Mercy – Mercy is God’s compassion in not giving the sinner what he deserves. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” (Micah 7:18) “Mercy” comes from a Hebrew word that is the same root as the word for a mother’s womb. It is caring for someone who is completely helpless. God cares for helpless people by His moral attribute of mercy.
F. Grace – Grace is the unmerited goodness and love of God for those who have forfeited it. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Ephesians 2:8) Whereas mercy is God not giving us what we deserve, grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. Grace is when God gives us His enablement and power to become what we ought to be, to go where we ought to go, and to do what we ought to do. Grace is God giving us all of His resources at every experience we have. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
G. Truth – God is a God of truth. He hates every lie. “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?” (Numbers 23:19) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” (Hebrews 6:18)
These are just some of God’s moral attributes that He has revealed to us through His Word.