Foundation Topic

What Is God Like?

A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” God has given us a whole book of true ideas about himself—the Bible—that we might put them into our minds and let them shape an accurate vision of him. God has many attributes. He described his character in two ways: through attributes exclusive to God, and attributes can share with him.

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Short Content

What Is God Like?

There might not be a more important question than, “Who is God?” When we ask that question, we tend to mean, “What is God like?”

While we may have some favorite influencer or philosopher we like to consult for such questions, the best source for answering “Who is God?” is God himself. Thankfully, God has told us about himself in his Word, the Bible.

This means that we don’t have to resort to speculation, experience, or guesswork for the answer. We can sit down—right now—and listen to God tell us about himself. Just pick up the Bible and read what he has to say.

Christian scholars throughout the centuries have collected everything God says about himself in the Bible, and they have catalogued them into easy-to-remember categories called “attributes.” The attributes of God are the many terms we use to describe God’s character and nature.

Christians traditionally separate God’s attributes into two categories: those attributes that can be true only of God (his incommunicable attributes) and those attributes that God shares with humans (his communicable attributes). Put simply, these are characteristics about God that are like us or unlike us.

For example, God has all power. The Bible calls him “almighty.” Here is God speaking about himself in Revelation 1:8 (NIV):

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Sometimes we use the more complex term “omnipotence” to speak of this, but it’s easier to say God is “all-powerful.” Regardless of the term, this attribute describes a Being who has every ounce of power that exists in all creation and beyond. Clearly there can’t be more than one Being who has all the power. Therefore, this is an attribute that only God can possess. God alone is omnipotent, so we call his omnipotence one of his incommunicable attributes.

On the other hand, God also has attributes like love (1 John 4:8), and humans share in this attribute. The Bible calls God gracious, merciful, kind, forgiving, among other things. These traits that we possess with him, because we are made in his image, are examples of his communicable attributes.

Interestingly, some Christians have labeled these two categories of attributes differently, as God’s metaphysical attributes (what God is in himself) and his moral attributes (what God commands of us, in reflecting his nature).

We hope you enjoy discovering all the ways God describes himself to us in his Word. But keep in mind, we don’t just read about these attributes so we can fill our heads with facts. We study God’s nature so we can love him for who he is, and better bear his image as we love others (Genesis 1:27-27; Matthew 22:38-40).

We don’t learn about the attributes of God to exercise our minds, but to engage our hearts. As we contemplate God’s incommunicable attributes, we learn that he is worthy of all our trust and praise. And as we study his communicable attributes, we learn how better to serve him and bring him glory in the world.



Theme Verse

Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?


What Are the Attributes of God?

Attributes of God

God’s communicable attributes are those that can be transferred to his creatures, which means they can also be attributes of human beings (such as goodness and love). By contrast, an incommunicable attribute is one that cannot be transferred to his creatures. For example, it is impossible for God to create another god, for everything created is, by definition, a creature.

Helping You Remember
God's Attributes

We made these graphics to help you remember God's attributes. They are divided into two graphics. The first shows God's communicable attributes (ways he is similar to us). The second graphic shows God's incommunicable attributes (ways he is different from us).

Article: 10 Min

The Attributes of God: An Essay

by Richard Lints at The Gospel Coalition



Message Series

Click on an attribute below to hear a phenomenal message by one of the following trusted Bible teachers.

Hear from R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, and W. Robert Godfrey, hosted by Ligonier Ministries.


Immortal, Invisible
God Only Wise

We have made a graphic so you can keep the hymn “Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise” by Walter Chalmers Smith on your phone as your wallpaper or screensaver!



For while the name of
God is secret and his
essential nature
he in condescending love
has by revelation
declared certain things
to be true of himself.
These we call his attributes.