The attributes of God in Christianity

The incommunicable attributes of God are those that belong just to God (omniscience, omnipotence, Aseity, etc.); the communicable attributes of God are those that we can also have (love, mercy, etc.).

Incommunicable Attributes of God (belong just to God)

  1. Omnipotence: God is capable of do anything that is logically possible (consistent with His nature).
  2. Omnipresence: God is everywhere. One view is that God must be everywhere in virtue of being all-powerful and all-knowing.
  3. Omniscience: Knowledge of everything. God has complete knowledge.  He knows all things that exist and all things that could have existed.
    In other words: For every true proposition, p, God believes (and knows) p, and God doesn’t believe any proposition that is false.
  4. Omnibenevolence: God is all-good. Absolute goodness, perfection.
  5. Holiness: Holiness means that God is without flaw and without sin.
  6. Immutability: God’s nature does not and cannot change.  His essence has always been and will always be the same
  7. Aseity: Self-existence. God is not dependent upon anything else for His existence.  He is uncaused-a Being that has always existed and cannot not exist (God is a metaphysically, factually necessary being).
  8. Self-sufficiency: God needs nothing outside of Himself; He does not need us.
  9. Sovereignty: God is the supreme being who answers to no one and has the right to do with His creation as He desires.
  10. Transcendence: God transcends space and time insofar as He is not dependent on them nor affected by them.
  11. Immanence: God is involved and present in creation.
  12. Providence: God is in control and cares for creation, according to His plan.
  13. Impassability: God cannot suffer, unless He chooses to suffer. Jesus didn’t suffer in his divine nature; rather, Jesus suffered in his human nature.
  14. Impeccability: It’s impossible for God to sin. It’s impossible for Jesus to sin in his divine nature.
  15. Simplicity: Divine simplicity. God is not composed of parts (i.e. spatial parts); God is identical to His attributes instead of having attributes (e.g. God does not have goodness; rather, He is goodness). On classical theism, God’s existence is identical to His essence; God is pure actuality.
  16. Incomprehensibility: God cannot be fully known by us.
  17. Mystery: God and His plans are mostly mysterious to us. (Difficult/impossible to understand, know)
  18. Veracity: God only tells the truth; God can’t lie.
  19. Oneness: God is one. There is only one God and no other god(s).
  20. Trinity: God is one God and God is three persons. The three persons are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God, the Son is God, and the Father is God. The Father is not the Son, and The Father is not the Spirit. The Son is not the Father, and the Son is not the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father, and the Spirit is not the Son.

Communicable Attributes of God (can be possessed by creation)

  1. Goodness: We can emulate the goodness of God, but we can never be perfectly good (Omnibenevolence).
  2. Justice: God always does what is perfectly right, we do not behave perfectly.
  3. Knowledge: God knows all things, but we just know partially.  Our knowledge is incomplete.
  4. Love: God is love. Because we are marred by sin, our love towards others will is imperfect; however, we are still able to express it.
  5. There are more incommunicable and communicable attributes of God that I didn’t list here.

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