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ŇLo, this is our God!Ó
There is no possibility of salvation, no possibility of eternal life, no possibility of true Christianity apart from knowing God in his true character as he is revealed in Holy Scripture. It is of utmost importance that we have some knowledge and understanding of the Divine character, that we know something of the attributes of GodŐs Being, the perfections of his nature. This is essential to saving faith. That person who claims to believe God, but has no idea what his character is, is deluded with a false faith. Our Lord Jesus tells us plainly, ŇAnd this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.Ó A knowledge of GodŐs character, his attributes, lies at the very foundation of true religion.
Knowledge Essential to Faith
It is impossible to trust and love God until we know who he is, until we know the character of his Being. Indeed, it is impossible for us to know our need of such a Savior as Christ is until we have some concept of the infinitely holy character of God. We may be terrified by the fear of wrath to come and of eternal judgment; and we may be delighted by the hope of escaping the wrath of God in hell through Christ; but that is not salvation. Jesus Christ is not a fire-escape from hell. He is the revelation of and way to the living God. Eternal life, true Christianity, true salvation is a knowledge of God as God, faith in God as God, and love for God as God. Because God is Spirit (John 4:24), he cannot be known by natural senses and abilities. He can be known by us only as he is pleased to reveal himself to us in his Word and works, through the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3, 14-18).
The attributes of God are the perfections of his nature, the characteristics of his Being as God. GodŐs attributes are those traits of character essential to divinity. If even one of these attributes did not belong to him, he would not and could not be God. These are the things which are essential to godhood.
Theologians have many ways of classifying the divine attributes. Some have classified them as communicable and incommunicable. Communicable attributes are those which are communicated to rational creatures (angels and men). They would be wisdom, power, righteousness, love, and mercy. Incommunicable attributes are attributes belonging to God alone, such as infinity, immutability, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Others have attempted to classify the attributes of God as natural and moral. They would, for example, say that infinity, eternality, and omnipotence are among GodŐs natural attributes, and that holiness, justice, and truth are moral attributes.
The Bible never makes such distinctions. Instead, Scripture simply declares who God is by revealing his whole character as God, by which he is distinguished from all his creatures. Beholding any or all of his glorious attributes with the reverent wander of simplicity, we say, ŇLo, this is our God!Ó