His Moral Attributes
1. God is love.
God's love is unconditional and selfless toward mankind, supremely expressed when He sent His own Son Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. "But God commendeth his love toward us," Paul wrote to the Romans, "in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 KJV). The apostle John writes, "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." (1 John 4:8-9 KJV). "God is love," John wrote; the very essence of love is personified in God and Christ. Probably the most well known of all Bible verses states, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17 KJV). Such as man has different degrees of love, so God does also. A man may love his neighbor, his parents, and his wife, but the love for each varies by degrees based on how close and intimate the relationship is. So with God, He has a special love for those who return His love and follow Him. "The Father himself loveth you," Jesus told His disciples, "because ye have loved me, and believed that I came out from God." Of the twelve disciples, Jesus had the "inner circle", those who were closest to Him - Peter, James and John. To these three, He revealed things about Himself that the others did not see. Mark tells us in his gospel that Jesus "taketh with him Peter, James, and John, and leadeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them..... and there appeared unto them Elias (Elijah) with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus." (Mark 9:2-9 KJV). When Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, He permitted no one to follow Him to Jairus' house but Peter, James and John (Mark 5:35-43). During Jesus' most trying time, as the hour of His crucifixion approached, He went to the Garden of Gethsemane, and He told His disciples to sit down, while He and Peter, James and John went a little further to pray (Mark 14:32-36). Perhaps John had tapped into Jesus' love even more than the members of the inner circle, for he referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 21:20).
2. God is good.
God is good, and all that He originally created before the Fall was good (Genesis 1). God is good to His people giving them daily benefits. "Blessed be the Lord," David wrote, "who daily loadeth us with benefits" (Psalm 68:19 KJV). "God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart." (Psalm 73:1 KJV). "Good and upright is the Lord," said the Psalmist, "therefore will he teach sinners in the way" (Psalm 25:8 KJV). "Praise ye the Lord," David cried, "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good" (Psalm 106:1 KJV). Jesus even said of Himself, "Why called thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God" (Matthew 16:17 KJV). God is good to His creation sustaining it and keeping it. Psalms 104 says God makes the grass to grow for the cattle. He sends springs of water into the valleys to give drink to every beast of the field. The cedars of Lebanon He has planted, and in them the birds make their nests. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats. He makes the darkness where "the young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God." The beasts of the sea "wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season." Jesus added to this in His teaching, "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. " (Matthew 6:25-33). God is also good to the ungodly in His mercy. Jesus said your Father "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45 KJV).
3. God is full of mercy.
Our sins demand punishment and damnation, but God does not destroy mankind. Instead He offers the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Solomon cried, "O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like unto thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepeth covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts" (2 Chronicles 6:14 KJV). Nehemiah spoke of God's mercy in his prayer, "I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments" (Nehemiah 1:5 KJV). David repeatedly throughout the Psalms asked for God's mercy or praised His mercy. "His mercy endureth forever" he penned in Psalm 136. God's mercy is extended to the sinner and to the unjust. "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord," Isaiah pleaded, " and he will have mercy upon him" (Isaiah 55:7 KJV). The prophet Micah said "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18 KJV). Paul said in his letter to the church at Ephesus that they, in times past, were lustful and sought to fulfill the desires of their flesh and mind. "But God, who is rich in mercy....." Paul wrote, "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:1-6 KJV). The Lord said through the prophet Joel, "Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Joel 2:12-13 KJV).
4. God is patient.
God expressed His patience first with Adam and Eve, for He did not destroy them as He could have done. He even made for them clothing from animal skins to cover their nakedness. As humanity grew extremely wicked, God was angry and regretted that He had even made man. He vowed to destroy mankind, but waited patiently while Noah constructed the ark (1 Peter 3:20). Revelation tells us that God has again vowed to destroy the earth and create in their place a new heaven and new earth. In the meanwhile, God waits patiently giving all men a chance to repent. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise.....", Peter wrote, "but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9) KJV). Paul wrote to the Romans, "What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory" (Romans 9:22-23 KJV). "But thou, O Lord," David wrote, "art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." (Psalms 86:15 KJV). John said in the opening of Revelation, "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9 KJV). Paul, again to the Romans, said that we who are strong should bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves, even as Christ did not. "Whatsoever things were written," Paul instructed, "were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus (Romans 15:1-5 KJV).