What Christians Should Know about the Characteristics and Attributes of God (2023)

God. Has there ever been a shorter name that has so much meaning? When you think of the majesty and wonder of who he is it can literally leave you breathless. It will definitely leave you in awe. When tasked with writing about the characteristics and attributes of God, the question is where do you begin? In my limited space and finite mind let me try to help you understand more about who God is. There are so many places you can choose from in the Bible to attempt to describe God’s attributes but there is one passage of Scripture that I believe paints a picture of the essence of who he is. That passage is 1 Corinthians 13. Within these verses we see the characteristics and attributes of God laid out beautifully. I want to present 1 Corinthians 13 possibly in a way you haven’t thought about it before.

What Are the Characteristics of God?

God Is Love

For 1 Corinthians 13 to make sense in this portrayal of the characteristics and attributes of God you first need to consider the book of 1 John. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8

At the center of who God is, he is love. It is interesting that the Bible doesn’t say he contains love or he gives love. The Bible says he is love. This means that when you get to the core of God’s character. . . when you get to the place to see who he really is, what you will find is love. The reason this is so important is because everything else flows out of this which brings us to 1 Corinthians 13. Look at these familiar words of Scripture.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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While this passage is talking about love, the same word in Greek for love that is used here is the same word that is used in 1 John. We know that word as agape or unconditional love. Let’s now apply this to the characteristics and attributes of God.

The 1 Corinthians 13 Answer to the Characteristics of God

To connect these verses to the characteristics and attributes of God you must do one simple thing. Since God is love then you must simply replace the word love with God. Once you do that then there are other verses of scripture that support these characteristics of God. Let’s take a look.

God is patient.
“You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.” – Nehemiah 9:29-31

God is kind.
"Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" – Romans 2:4 (NLT)

God does not envy.
“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” – Isaiah 45:5 (God doesn’t envy because he doesn’t have to. There is no one equal or greater than he is.)

God does not boast or is proud.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” - Psalm 19:1 (God’s majesty and glory are seen in his creation)

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God does not dishonor others.
"Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” – Ezekiel 18:30-32

God is not self-seeking.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:5-8

God is not easily angered.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” – Psalm 103:8

God keeps no record of wrongs.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:12

God does not delight in evil.
"For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.” – Psalm 5:4

God rejoices with the truth.
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” – Proverbs 12:22 (NLT)

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God always protects.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:10-13

God always trusts.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10

God always hopes.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

God always perseveres.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10

God never fails.
“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” – Nehemiah 9:45

The characteristics of God will all come together one day

I hope you enjoyed that journey. Feel free to read it again to let those verses sink in. What is fascinating as you journey through these verses is that they only scratch the surface. Think about all the characteristics and attributes of God that we didn’t talk about. The Bible says in this same chapter in Corinthians that we know in part and prophecy or proclaim in part. However, there is a day coming when we shall see face to face.

(Video) Character of God

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV)

It will be in that day that we will see the full characteristics and attributes of God on display. I believe that it will take all eternity to fully understand the wonder and beauty and majesty of this great God we serve. I am just so thankful that I get eternity with him to experience it all.

Further Reading

15 Amazing Attributes of God: What They Mean and Why They Matter

10 Incredible Attributes of God (And Why It's So Good to Reflect on God's Character)

Attributes of God - The Communicable and Incommunicable Characteristics

(Video) What are the attributes of God?

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/arkira

What Christians Should Know about the Characteristics and Attributes of God (1)Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author ofThe Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.


What do Christians believe about the character of God? ›

God's character is to show mercy to his creation. As we learn to be like God, we become more merciful ourselves, forgiving others just as God forgives us. This grace opens the way for us to become whole and to live in God's kingdom today.

Why do we need to know the attributes of God? ›

The all-important distinction between God's essential attributes and his relational ones is the key to understanding how God can understand our suffering and at the same time be able to rescue us from it. God's eternity and his immutability are necessary for us to have assurance of our salvation.

What does the Bible say about the characteristics of God? ›

Another characteristic of God is that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, NIV) He is also gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). God the Father committed history's most powerful act of love by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us, die for us, and forgive us.

What are the 5 attributes of God? ›

In this article, we're going to unpack five attributes of God's holiness.
  • God's Holiness is Providential. First, God is holy in His omniscience, or providential knowledge. ...
  • God's Holiness is Present. ...
  • God's Holiness is Powerful. ...
  • God's Holiness is Infinite. ...
  • God's Holiness is Incomparable.
Dec 9, 2019

What are the character and attributes of God? ›

The Westminster Shorter Catechism's definition of God is an enumeration of his attributes: "God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." This answer has been criticised, however, as having "nothing specifically Christian about it." The ...

What is God's greatest attribute? ›

God has many attributes we could look at but arguably His greatest attribute is His holiness. [Exo 15:11 KJV] 11 Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders? We should approach unto God with a reverence and awe of who He is..

What are the characteristics God wants us to have? ›

5 Characteristics God Desires in the Life of the Believer
  • All Humility. James said in James 4:10 to “humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will life you up.” When we are obeying the Bible, we are walking the worthy walk and it all starts in our hearts. ...
  • Gentleness. ...
  • Patience.
Aug 5, 2021

What can we learn in the attributes of God? ›

Here are 15 attributes of God, what they mean and why they matter:
  • God Is Infinite – He is Self-Existing, Without Origin. ...
  • God Is Immutable – He Never Changes. ...
  • God Is Self-Sufficient – He Has No Needs. ...
  • God is Omnipotent – He Is All Powerful. ...
  • God Is Omniscient – He Is All-Knowing. ...
  • God Is Omnipresent – He Is Always Everywhere.
Jan 6, 2023

Why are attributes so important? ›

The global importance of attributes is a stable characteristic that depends on an individual's values and needs. The local importance is a volatile characteristic that depends on the stimulus set in a judgment task.

What are the four main characteristics of God? ›

  • Omnipotence.
  • Omnipresence.
  • Omnibenevolence.
  • Omniscience.

What are God's attributes in Romans 8 28? ›

Romans 8:28 says that God uses all things for our good, not that all things are good. No matter how optimistic you are, some things just suck. Things like war, death, human trafficking, and the like are awful. But our God is more powerful than all the forces of evil and all the rotten things that happen in our lives.

What is the most important thing God wants us to do? ›

We cannot hope to appease God by working our way into righteousness, nor sacrificing others for our own sin. Instead, Micah listed out the three principles of what God asks of His people: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him.

What are the 7 characteristics of Christianity? ›

Those are the 7 basics that every Christian should know.
The 7 Basics of Christianity:
  • God. You need to understand that God consists of three equal persons: ...
  • Jesus. ...
  • The Holy Spirit. ...
  • The Bible. ...
  • Prayer. ...
  • Grace. ...
  • Community.

What are attributes very short answer? ›

An attribute is a quality or characteristic given to a person, group, or some other thing.

What is the difference between attribute and characteristics? ›

What's the Difference Between Attributes and Characteristics? Attributes are specific qualities or features that describe something, while characteristics are broader traits that encompass many different aspects of someone or something.

What are your 3 strongest attributes? ›

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Creativity.
  • Discipline.
  • Patience.
  • Respectfulness.
  • Determination.
  • Dedication.

What is the main message of Romans 8? ›

The central theme of Romans 8:1–17 is the Spirit. Believers have received the Spirit and, as God's children and joint-heirs with Christ, are to live by the Spirit and not by the corrupted impulses of the flesh.

What are the attributes of God in Psalms? ›

God also is awesome, compassionate, faithful, a fortress, good, great, holy, majestic, merciful, mighty, miraculous, a refuge, a savior, trustworthy, and wonderful. Furthermore, God is a deliverer, enthroned, glorious, hope, light, lover, and protector.

What is the importance of knowing the word of God? ›

It is important for students to study the Word of God because it is our spiritual GPS for living a faithful Christian life. The Word of God tells us the do's and the don'ts of life; it gives us the rules that we must follow, but most importantly, it is the gospel: the good news of Jesus Christ.

What are the benefits of knowing the word of God? ›

Six benefits of studying God's Word with others
  • It follows Jesus' example. As believers, we seek to follow Jesus' example in all things. ...
  • It directs us in wisdom. ...
  • It creates meaningful connections. ...
  • It provides necessary encouragement. ...
  • It keeps us accountable. ...
  • It transforms our families, workplaces and communities.
Nov 11, 2020

Why do we need to remember the goodness of God? ›

Remembering God's goodness moves us to respond to our world in hope rather than fear. Remembering God's love for us fuels our love for others. The discipline of remembering inspires us to act. Throughout the Bible, God's people are exhorted to place their trust in him and join him as he restores and redeems our world.

Why is God important to Christianity? ›

God in Christianity is believed to be the eternal, supreme being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe in a monotheistic conception of God, which is both transcendent (wholly independent of, and removed from, the material universe) and immanent (involved in the material universe).

Why is the Word God important to Christians? ›

For Christians the word 'God' is important as the name of someone very important: the Creator of the universe and all that is in it, including people and animals. It is important to draw inferences from the story as to what God is like.

How can I improve my knowledge of God? ›

We can do this by studying the scriptures and words of the prophets, praying, living righteously, attending school or taking other courses, taking interest in the things around us, and seeking to understand our experiences. As we gain knowledge, we will learn to appreciate all that the Lord has provided for us.

What is the main message of the Word of God? ›

The whole point of the Bible is that we should come to know and enjoy and love and serve and believe in and live for Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is the Savior, the Lord of all.

What does the Bible say about studying the Word of God? ›

2 Timothy 3:16-17

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Why is it important to remember what God has done in the past? ›

By recalling what God has done for us and for others, faith is restored, joy is uncovered and our hearts turn from despair to praise. The following Psalm 78, written by the same author, encourages us to teach future generations about Jesus.

What are three benefits of studying God's Word? ›

Regular Bible Study will strengthen you and give you courage. You'll grow in confidence of God's truth. You'll feel more of His emotions towards you as you understand all that God has done for you through Jesus Christ.

What Scripture says about remembering God? ›

Remembering God's Love: 15 Verses to Help
  • “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” ( ...
  • "Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you." (Psalm 63:3)
  • "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." (Psalm 136:1)
Feb 8, 2021


1. What are the attributes of Jesus Christ? - Billy Graham
(Apologetics - Jude 1:3)
2. What Makes God, God? The Attributes of God 1 | Allen Nolan
(Cornerstone Fellowship)
3. The 5 characteristics of a genuine Christian
(The King's Sanctuary Channel)
4. What is God Like? | Sunday School lesson about the attributes of God
(Douglas Talks)
5. Steven Lawson: The Attributes of God (Seminar)
(Ligonier Ministries)
6. A Guide to God's Attributes


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