Stuart Olyott Writes:
It is not enough to say that he is a personal Spirit, who is everywhere, eternal, all-knowing and all-powerful. What is this God like? What sort of God is he?
He is holy
He is holy. ‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ (1 John 1:5). His character is perfect. He is pure and entirely free from wicked and dishonest motives, thoughts, words and actions. But it is hard to explain precisely what holiness is. The heavenly creatures which surround God’s throne are totally free from all impurity, and yet they cannot look on the majesty of God, and call to one another in perpetual amazement, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts ...’ (Isaiah 6:3). No wonder that God is described as ‘glorious in holiness’ (Exodus 15:11)! It is this characteristic which cuts him off, and marks him out as quite different from all his creatures (Psalm 99:3; Isaiah 40:25). How can a man approach such a God (Psalm 24:3)? He is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness (Habakkuk 1:13).
He is righteous
He is righteous. ‘The Lord is righteous in all His ways’ (Psalm 145:17), and this never alters (Zephaniah 3:5). His rule of his creation is firmly founded on the twin pillars of righteousness and justice (Psalm 97:2). He always does what is right. Every sentence he gives is justified, and he can never be blamed for any judgement that he makes, for he is inflexibly just (Genesis 18:25; Psalm 51:4). How comforting that it is he, and he alone, who will judge the world! The last judgement will be fair. No mistakes will be made. Nobody will receive from God either more or less than he deserved (Psalm 96:13).
He is loving
He is loving. ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8, 16). He is ‘the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth’ (Exodus 34:6); a God of ‘lovingkindness’ and ‘tender mercies’ (Psalm 51:1); ‘slow to anger, and of great kindness’ (Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2); who ‘delights in mercy’ (Micah 7:18). How marvellous! The holy God, who is inflexibly just, is love! His justice demanded my punishment, and it was satisfied when the innocent Substitute died in my place (1 Peter 3:18). His love planned my salvation, and that is why he sent the Saviour to die (1 John 4:10). Love and justice are not opposites. Both are found in God, and both are found in his action at the cross.
He is good
He is good. ‘The Lord is good to all’ (Psalm 145:9). ‘You are good, and do good’ (Psalm 119:68). By nature men and women prefer not to have God in their thoughts, and choose to go their own way. They are opposed to the idea that he should rule their lives, and would rather choose their own objects of worship. Yet every day God is actively good to such people who are, in fact, his enemies. ‘He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness’ (Acts 14:17). The ripening of the harvest, the sustenance of the animals, and every other good thing which this universe enjoys, come from him (Psalm 85:12; 104:24–31; James 1:17). But the greatest evidence of his goodness is seen in his treatment of those of his enemies who forsake their hateful attitude, and turn to him for pardon. ‘For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You’ (Psalm 86:5).
He is wise
He is wise. ‘Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever, for wisdom and might are His’ (Daniel 2:20). When we see the beauty and harmony of his creation, and the intricacy of the design of the smallest creature, we are compelled to say, ‘O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. e earth is full of Your possessions’ (Psalm 104:24). The skills which men exercise and develop, the very existence of knowledge and understanding in our race, the way that all that takes place brings God’s purposes to pass—all these things are due to the wisdom of God (Isaiah 28:23–29; 31:2; Daniel 2:21). His wisdom and understanding are in nite, and totally beyond our power to investigate and understand. ‘Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counsellor?” “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen’ (Romans 11:33–36).