Ah Lord GOD! It is you who made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Great in counsel and mighty in deed.
Jeremiah 32:17, 19a (NRS)
In the introduction of this series, “The Whole Counsel of God”, I emphasized the importance of understanding who God is. Our view of God creates the framework on which our faith and life is to be built. This is also true with regard to following God’s revealed will and purpose for our life. Last week in our discussion on the reliability of God’s counsel, I concluded that God can be trusted because of our relationship with Him and because of who He is. Today we will continue with specifics into the reliability of God by examining a few of His key attributes.
The Attributes of God
When we speak of attributes of God, we are referring to those qualities that make up who God is—they are characteristics of His nature. We are not referring to the acts which God performs, such as creating, guiding or preserving nor to the roles He executes as Creator, Guide, or Protector. Attributes are the essence of who God is and are qualities shared by the entire Godhead—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The whole counsel of God, His truth revealed in His purpose and His will, proves reliable because they flow from the very nature of who God is. God cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). In response to challenges to their Christian beliefs, believers often use the adage, “God said it and that settles it”. Although their comeback may sound comical or ridiculous to some, their position of belief is biblically sound, because it is based on the source of their information—God Himself.
Reliability in God’s Attributes
All the attributes of God—His Goodness and His Greatness, support the dependability of God’s counsel. For time sake, I will highlight the two that will answer the question most frequently asked by those concerned with the reliability of God’s counsel—does it change?
Does God’s counsel change?
This is usually asked by those who feel that the Bible is “outdated” or “out of touch” with the life styles of the 21st century. Such questions, although often sincere, are a serious threat to the biblical authority of Scripture. Although the Bible is tangible, we must remember that it is THE WORD OF GOD—alive and active (Heb. 4:12) and coming directly from God Himself (2 Tim. 3:16). The following attributes of God support the reliability of His counsel:
- The constancy or immutability of God is the attribute that states that “God never changes (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17). He is the same—yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). To say God never changes, does not mean God is static but God is “stable”. The truth that God reveals to man from Genesis to Revelations is the same truth for 21st century living (Heb. 6:17-19).
- God’s attribute of integrity or truthfulness speaks to His faithfulness in all He says and does. God keeps all His promises. This is a function of his limitless power and capability; because of that God can never commitment Himself to something He is incapable of doing. (Don’t you love that!) God will never revise His Word or default on a promise. Throughout biblical history and today, God always fulfills what He says He will do (Is. 25:1).
We, as believer in Christ, can trust in the reliability of God’s counsel because of who God is and because of our relationship with Him. It is not necessary for us to check the credentials of God or ask for references; check within the pages of Scripture and see where God has proven Himself to faithful and true. But better yet, look within the pages of your own life and see where God has shown Himself to be a faithful and true Counselor.
Next week will close this series with “Reasons God’s Counsel is Rejected”.