a summary of god's nature
Holy - Holiness is the essence of God's nature. Instead of thinking of holiness as something that is 'done,' or contrasted with something that is 'un-holy', it is perhaps more clear to consider that whatever God is, or does, is a nature that we call 'Holy'. Therefore, anything that is contrary to God is un-holy. So holy is not a list of things to do or not to do, nor is it something that we can achieve because we are not God. It is simply what God is. Another word for it in the Bible is 'Good', but again, it is simply a name given to God's nature. It is the ultimate benchmark. The word 'Holy' stems from an ancient word that literally means 'separate'. This is an indication of God's nature as different from ours.
"..Who is like you? Majestic in holiness, awesome in glory..."
Eternal - One axiom of the observed natural world (despite scientists best efforts to ignore it when it doesn't fit their needs) is that everything has a cause. But of course, the only alternative to an infinite regression (which is philosophically impossible because that would mean an infinite number of events would have had to take place to reach our current time frame) is for there to be a first cause, that is in existence in and of itself. So in essence, to be Eternal means to be apart from time. This being is God.
"...the High and Lofty One...He who lives forever, whose name is Holy..."
Omnipotent - Literally translated, means 'All-Powerful'. This is clearly a title for a being who creates the cosmos and time, but it does not mean that He could do something 'impossible' such as making square circles or immovable objects, or anything against His nature (sin.) What it does mean is that there is none more powerful. In my opinion, the most significant lesson we can take from a study of God's omnipotence is that we are not.
"Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you."
Omnipresent - Like God's relationship to time, God's relationship to space is separate from it. This means that He exists apart from space, and cannot be contained by it or anything else of His creation. He is here, and is power makes all things hold together. It does not mean that He is actually present in all things, however. He is with us, yet we are not made of Him. It can be the most comforting or frightful thought one can consider - that the Creator, Holy and Omnipotent, is constantly with us.
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the Heavens, you are there; if I make by bed in the depths, you are there." Psalm 139:7-8
Omniscient - Naturally, a Being who is Omnipotent and Omnipresent is 'All-Knowing'. The Creator Of All Things by definition would 'know all things' that are within His nature to know.
"...for God...knows everything."
1 John 3:20b
Transcendent - A Being with qualities such as those above would by definition be separate from the creation that He has created. He is not a part of it, He is different from it, and not contained or controlled by any of it. This is the definition of transcendent.
"...I AM WHO I AM..."
Personal - Although God is by definition separate and transcendent, perhaps His most revealing feature is His personality. When we learn more about this aspect of God's nature, we learn more about our position in the creation and our relationship to God. He is self-conscious, self-determinant, clearly experiences emotions, and has a first person distinction from others. Perhaps the most telling aspect of His personal-ness is His distinctions defined by the Trinity - three persons but one God.
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...'"
Love - The most amazing feature of God is His LOVE nature. Perhaps synonymous with Holy, His LOVE is what HE is. Not the weakened flavor of LOVE that mankind has degraded into desire, lust, or thrill, but rather a LOVE that is pure GIVING. God created the world and GAVE us life, and GAVE it to us in His image; He GAVE us His only begotten son; He GAVE us free will to choose our own manner of existence instead of forcing His will upon us. God has chosen to describe this LOVE to us using the language of a Father, and in fact allowing us the temporal experiences of the furious LOVE toward our own children to get a glimpse of His LOVE toward us. That the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Transcendent Creator of the cosmos LOVES us is truly a staggering thought. It is at the same time frightening yet comforting.
"...love comes from God...God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him."
1 John 4:7b, 8b, 9
What does all this mean? The bottom line is, a being with these attributes deserves our acknowledgement and our attention. In other words, GOD IS TO BE REVERED! He is not to be ignored, or His attributes diminished! To do so would be the most foolish thing a person could do.