The Knowledge of the Holy
The Attributes of God: Their Meaning in the Christian Lifeby A.W. Tozer, 1961
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- Why We Must Think Rightly About God — Wrong ideas about God are idolatry. A right understanding of God lifts the burdens which destroy our souls.
- God Incomprehensible — We cannot know what God is like in Himself. We can only know what God has disclosed about Himself. God shows Himself to faith (an organ of knowledge) and love (an organ of experience) not reason.
- A Divine Attribute: Something True About God — How God is and what God is as far as He has revealed Himself to us.
- The Holy Trinity — God has worked His every act as the Trinity in Unity. He cannot divide Himself into parts. It is a mystery too easily rejected by the mind entranced by faith in secularism and materialism.
- The Self-existence of God — We were created, God was not. Only by faith and love can we catch a glimpse of the true meaning of that. We can never know what it is like to exist by the very nature of our selves. We are completely dependent on the continuing creative impulse of God.
- The Self-sufficiency of God — God needs nothing. He cannot be given anything apart from what He has already given to us. God does not need us to believe in Him, but by His grace He works through anyone who places their faith in Him.
- The Eternity of God — God exists outside the constraints of time. He exists simultaneously at the beginning and end of time. He was not created and He cannot be destroyed. He made us for eternity, yet we find ourselves dwelling in time and yearning for release from its limits. God is not subject to those limits.
- God’s Infinitude — God is not subject to any limits. He cannot be contained within space. He cannot be measured because measurements describe boundaries. God has no boundaries. Because God is infinite, every attribute that describes Him is also infinite.
- The Immutability of God — God never changes. He is always the same. This is the only comfort we have in a world that is constantly in a state of change. He is the only truly reliable person there is. Yet it is the instability of our human lives that is the very basis for our redemption. God can change us from our old selves into new persons possessing the life of God Himself.
- The Divine Omniscience — God cannot learn. He knows everything there is to know. He knows instantly and effortlessly everything we have ever said, done, or thought. There are no deep dark secrets that we can hide from Him. He knows that very thing of which we are most ashamed. So it is that He can forgive us so completely when we accept His gospel. We are no longer subject to any accusation of guilt, because nothing has been held back from His understanding.
- The Wisdom of God — God knows what He is doing. No matter how it looks to us, God always acts with perfect wisdom. He knows better than we do how best our lives should be lived. Only by turning control of our lives over to Him can we benefit from that perfect wisdom.
- The Omnipotence of God — God has all the power. His power is inexhaustible. His power cannot be used up. His power is delegated to His creations, but never relinquished.
- The Divine Transcendence — God is exalted so far above His created universe that we cannot imagine it. He is so completely unlike anything else that exists that it cannot be described. The difference is infinite. He is spirit. Apart from spirit, nothing has any value in the end.
- God’s Omnipresence — God is everywhere. Everything in the universe originated in spirit, flows out of spirit, in essence is spiritual, and is inhabited by the Spirit. His personal presence is everywhere real and perceptible to those who seek Him.
- The Faithfulness of God — God is everything He claims to be. He is completely trustworthy. Every attribute He has revealed is equally true of Him, and can be relied on as truth in our dealings with Him.
- The Goodness of God — God is kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward us. He has only the best in mind for us. It is by the foolishness of our own rebellion that we do not receive the benefits of that goodness.
- The Justice of God — Everything God does is right. He is the standard for what is right. Anything that conforms to the nature of God is good, anything that fails to do so is evil. God is compassionate because He is good, and goodness cannot exist apart from justice.
- The Mercy of God — Mercy is God’s goodness confronting human suffering and guilt. God deals in justice when His mercy is despised. God’s mercy never violates His justice, and God’s justice never overpowers His mercy. We place ourselves in jeopardy when we decide God’s offering of mercy is not to our liking.
- The Grace of God — God bestows benefits and blessings on the underserving. No one can come into God’s divine favour except by grace. Grace always comes to us through Jesus Christ. No matter how big the inequity between ourselves and God’s righteousness, God’s grace is infinitely bigger. Best of all, it is free to those who trust themselves to Him by faith in Christ.
- The Love of God — God desires our everlasting welfare and has the power to secure it. Because of this, we have no need to fear suffering or harm. God takes pleasure in his creation. He loves us and desires that we freely love Him in return.
- The Holiness of God — Only the Holy Spirit can give us a sense of what holiness truly is. God’s holiness is beyond anything we can possibly conceive. Unholiness degrades and destroys God’s creation. God’s wrath is His intolerance of that degradation, and His preservation of what He has made.
- The Sovereignty of God — God is in control. He is free to do whatever He wills at any time. Yet God does not force Himself on our hearts.
- The Open Secret — God is a person. We can get to know Him by spending time with Him. Yet too many turn away from this wonderful possibility. Seek God. Find out who He is and what it takes to get to know Him.