God's Characteristics

by David Lasseter


As we begin our study of worship I would like for us to consider a few of God's characteristics.  The Bible tells us much about the nature of God, and His nature directly impacts man's relationship with Him.  Since we are all created in His image (Genesis 1:27) every human being has a relationship with God.  However, that relationship may be either good or bad.  An understanding of God's nature will allow each individual to determine whether their relationship with their Heavenly Father is positive or negative.

  1. God doesn't change.  Unlike human beings, who frequently change from one position to another, God is unchangeable.  Malachi records, "For I am the Lord, I change not;" (Malachi 3:6).  We read in Hebrews 13:8 of the unchanging nature of Jesus:  "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever."  The fact of God's unchanging nature is a tremendous blessing to mankind.  We don't have to wonder what God's "mood" will be today.  I'm sure everyone reading this study has experienced repeatedly the changing moods of their fellow man and the frustration these changes bring to a relationship.  In our relationship with God, we are the only  ones changing!  If we have a poor relationship with God, it's our own fault!  If we strive to learn what God expects from us and are obedient to his will, we know we have a good relationship with Him.
  2. God is no respecter of persons.  Peter states in Acts 10:34,35, "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him."  Paul, in Colossians 3:25, records:  "But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done:  and there is no respect of persons."    Again, in 1 Peter 1:17, we read, "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” Again consider the frustration you've likely experienced when another human being wrongs you simply because their respect for another exceeds their respect for you.  It happens on the athletic field, at work, and at home.  You know your qualifications exceed those of another but still you aren't given the promotion at work simply because of man's respect of persons.  However, in your relationship with God you don't have to worry about God's unwillingness to accept you.  If you fear Him and work righteousness you will be accepted.  But does He accept everyone?  No!  If He did He'd be a respecter of persons!  Think about that statement for a moment.  On the right hand we have a person who has diligently feared God and kept His commandments to the best of his ability.  On the left hand we have one who has no fear of God and has refused to keep His commandments.  Does God love them both?  Yes!  We read in Romans 5:8 how God showed his love for us in His willingness to send Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners.  However, will both be accepted of God?  No!  He cannot accept the one who is disobedient and continue to be one who doesn't respect one person over another.  Only the one who has feared Him and kept His commandments will be accepted of Him.  Please consider this point in light of point number 1.  Since God doesn't change and He is no respecter of persons, He has never been and never will be a respecter of persons!  Since the creation of mankind God has accepted those who fear Him and keep His commandments, and He will continue to do so until Jesus comes again!
  3. God seeks men to worship Him.  Jesus states in John 4:23, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:  for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."  Let's break this verse down.  First, we learn that the hour of which Jesus speaks has now come ("But the hour cometh, and now is").  But what hour is that?  The time when true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth ("when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth").  He concludes the verse with this statement: "for the Father seeketh such to worship Him."  So we are now in the period of time when those who truly worship God will do so in spirit and in truth.  But Jesus doesn't say that all worshipers will worship in this fashion.  Only the "true worshipers" will worship God in spirit and in truth.  If there are "true worshipers" present today there must also be "false worshipers."  (Since Jesus refers to one group of people there must also be the second group.  There would be no need to include the adjective "true" when referring to those who worship the Father in spirit and in truth if there weren't also those who worship in a false manner.)  What separates the true from the false?  How they worship!  The true worshipers worship in spirit and in truth, and the false worshipers don't.  Do both worship?  Yes!  Is the worship of both groups acceptable to God?  No!  Only those who worship in spirit and in truth are sought by God to worship Him.  Notice how a true worshiper applies both spirit and truth to his worship of God.  A false worshiper may fail to apply either or may apply only one of the two.  Now please consider characteristic 3 in light of numbers 1 and 2.  God has always sought men to worship Him in the manner He authorized and He always will.  Those who did so were always accepted and those who failed to do so were always rejected.  This will not change.

(I've published more of God's characteristics to another study on this site.  Please follow this link if you'd like to learn more about God and His nature.)


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