The attributes of God are a subject that helps people know God more deeply and profoundly. If you, as a layperson or serious theologian, want to know more about God, then a study of the attributes of God is the way to go. Today, people tend to focus on what they want to focus on instead of looking at the whole picture. Doing so, they lose out on some of the mighty things that can be learned about our amazing God. Because of this, I have decided to write this article in the hope that I can stir up the desire in some readers to begin studying the attributes of God.
These things are immensely biblical and no serious Christian would deny them, but somehow they tend to get lost in the superficial thinking of today’s Church. We simply cannot say “God is love” yet remove the reality that God is also the judge of all our actions and sovereign Lord who is angry at sin. Let us, instead, look at all of the biblical teaching on the attributes of God and learn to appreciate him for all that he is, rather than all that we want him to be.
There are two things that I want to magnify in this short article. The first is that the more we study God’s attributes, the more our worship is informed. The second thing we will see is that understanding who our God is will help us trust in his sufficiency for the outworking of our faith.
Worship is the expression of our relationship to God. We take everything the Bible says about him, everything we have experienced him, and all our passion for him, and we give him praise for those things. Worship is the lifeblood of our Christian living, the thing that keeps us in check and reminds us that we were bought for a price (1 Cor. 6:20), which God beautifully orchestrated before the foundation of the universe (Eph. 1:4).
One of the most recent books about the attributes of God is by Steven Lawson, where he writes: “As our knowledge of God goes, so goes the direction of our lives. A high view of God will lead us to lofty worship of Him.” The experienced Christian will be able to testify that this is true. We know that when we grow in understanding how sinful we are, yet how amazing is our God, we are filled with greater thankfulness and greater zeal for His work.
How much better can we grow in understanding him if we commit ourselves to study his attributes? We can take books written on the attributes like Show Me Your Glory by Steven Lawson or The Attributes of God by A. W. Pink and begin our studies of God’s magnificent character. When we have read those books, we can go deeper, reading the Puritans, Stephen Charnock, and George Swinnock for an even deeper understanding of God’s attributes. The train does not stop here, though, as every attribute could merit a book of its own, so once you have read all those books, then go and find more books on God’s love, sovereignty, holiness, etc. All of these things will work together to help you understand what the Bible teaches about its Author, God, and your worship will deepen the more you understand him.
At the same time, as you grow in your intellectual understanding of God by studying his attributes, you will also be equipped for better understanding him in the midst of your life circumstances. What better way to help ourselves prepare for hard times than to understand God’s overall sovereignty in this universe? Knowing that he is sovereign will inform how you respond to difficult life circumstances and help you respond in worship when things do start to go wrong. What more can our hearts do than soar to God in worship when we are so acquainted with these realities?
Moreso, when we look inward and see the depths of our sin, then we continue to learn about God’s amazing splendor. Drawing a comparison to our dark sinfulness and God’s burning, glorious perfection, we are lost in the wonder that we are saved at all. God, through the sacrifice of Jesus, enabled our salvation and punished his Son in our place. We are amazed at such a reality, and the more we realize the depths of our sin, the more we realize what it cost him and how amazing it is that he did this for us.
Worship deepening, we know that this study will be worthwhile. To learn more about God so that our worship is more profound than the deepest abyss in the ocean is surely worth the effort. Do you want richer worship? Study the attributes of God, live in the light of those attributes, and work hard to understand him. Doing so will inform your mind and your heart, making worship a pleasant experience of praise to the One who has worked all things into this universe to testify to his eternal glory.
Help in the Life of Faith
When we study the attributes of God, we also learn how things are in the outworking of our faith. We learn to grow in our trust in God, knowing that He is sovereign. We learn to love him more, knowing what he has achieved for us in eternity. However, we do not currently live-in eternity; we still live in this difficult and harsh world. Studying the attributes of God will help us to deal with the pressures of this world, but the question remains: how?
Simply put, I think that the more we understand about God, the more we see his love, care, compassion, provision, and overall concern for our souls. Understanding this, we can then live our lives knowing that we live in the shadow of our incredible Provider. He works all things around to our good, so we know that ultimately there is nothing to worry about in this life (Rom. 8:28).
However, Romans 8 does not simply end there; it goes on in the next verse to talk about our conformity to Christ: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” God brings about all things for our good to conform us to the image of Christ. This means that God works all things around for our good so that we can be more like His Son. This is because the more we are like Christ, the more we bring God glory in this life. All things workaround for the glory of God, even in our personal living. That is amazing.
Considering this, we then must understand that when we do a deeper study into the attributes of God that we must live as God commands. Lawson also states: “A growing understanding of His character will lead to holy and righteous living in the pursuit of His will…Inevitably, base views of Him will lead to low and empty living.” Perhaps that is how you feel right now? Maybe you feel that you have not been giving your life to the Lord as much as you should. You look back to your conversion day and realize that somewhere along the path, you have lost sight of who God is and need to rekindle that fire. Read God’s Word and see what it says about God himself. It would take a truly cold and dark heart to read all about God’s attributes and remain switched off to any positive affections in response to his glory.
When you come face to face with the biblical portrayal of your God, then you will be blessed immeasurably. Your life should constantly be changing as you conform to the image of Christ. Studying God’s attributes will help develop that conformity as his glory is amplified through your life. You will have strength for the hard days, joy for the easier days, and, most importantly, you will know how the holiest Being in the universe expects you to live. All of this combined informs us, helping us be obedient and firm when our hearts are moved with the wonders of everything that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do in this life.
This brief article can only do so much, but I hope you have found this to be a jolt of inspiration towards studying the attributes of God. There is a multitude of things that you can learn which you will never study to exhaustion. It does take work. We should be seriously and constantly reminded that we can only get to the fruit of labor with hard labor. But it is work that is worthwhile. It is worthwhile because this study brings us as close to the throne of God as is possible in this life. Studying the attributes of God, we get the fullest picture possible of God by way of preparation to meet him in person when we get to Heaven. What better way to prepare ourselves for that fateful day than to study him now and grow in our understanding of his attributes?
 Steven Lawson. Show Me Your Glory: Understanding the Majestic Splendor of God. Reformation Trust. Sanford: FL. 2020. 4
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