1689: 2.1. God and the Holy Trinity (God is His Attributes and He is Good)
The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God.1 He is self-existent2 and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him.3 He is a perfectly pure spirit.4 He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions.a He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach.5 He is unchangeable,6immense,b,7 eternal,8 incomprehensible, almighty,9 in every way infinite, absolutely holy,10 perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will11 for his own glory.12 He is most loving, gracious, merciful, and patient. He overflows with goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. He rewards those who seek him diligently.13 At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments.14 He hates all sin15 and will certainly not clear the guilty.16
Pause and reflect on the attributes of God listed in today's statement. God is most loving. Gracious. Merciful. Patient. Overflowing with goodness. Truth. Forgiving of iniquity, transgression, and sin. He is the rewarder.
And God doesn't possess these things, He is His attributes. These attributes are never increased or diminished based on the obedience/disobedience of man. These attributes weren't 'things' God acquired after the fall of man. We shouldn't view God's attributes as emotions that fluctuate. They are constant and unchanging because they cannot be separated from God's character (1 John 4:8).
6 "And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth..." (Exodus 34:6- more on this passage next week)
8 "The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy." (Psalm 103:8 NKJV)
Perhaps these attributes of God are best showcased in the salvation He planned for us, Christ accomplished for us, and the Holy Spirit applied to us.
8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 NKJV)
We enjoy the benefits of a God whose love toward us is grounded in His unchanging attributes. Spend some time reflecting on the security of that.