To study God’s attributes is to study his character, to answer questions like, “Who is God?”, and “What is God like?”. A typical classification of God’s attributes divides them into those that are incommunicable (those that he does not share or “communicate” to anyone or anything else) and communicable (those that he shares with other beings). Like most theological classifications, this one is imperfect but still helpful as we seek to understand what is so far beyond ourselves.
God’s communicable attributes can be further categorized into: attributes of God’s being, mental attributes, moral attributes, attributes of purpose and “summary” attributes (attributes that, in a more particular way, modify each of the others).
It is important to consider that God is not simply the sum of his attributes. His attributes are not separate from one another, but each one modifies or qualifies each of the others.
Tim Challies’s Visual Theology - The Attributes of God summarizes these attributes well:
God is self-existent and self-sufficient and has no need of human beings or the rest of creation.
God is the possessor and the sum of all desirable qualities.
God delights fully in himself and in all that reflects his character.
God has always existed, having no beginning and no end, and experiencing no succession of moments.
God does whatever he pleases.
The created brightness that surrounds God’s revelation of himself.
God is the final standard of all good, and all he is and does is worthy of approval.
God is separated from sin and he is committed to seeking holiness is observed in His creation.
God cannot change in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises.
God’s total essence, all of his being, will never be visible to us.
God always seeks to protect his own honor.
God fully knows himself and all actual and possible things. (This is also know as God’s omniscience)
God eternally gives of himself to others.
God is good to those in misery and distress and he is merciful.
God is able to do all his holy will. (This is also known as God’s sovereignty)
God has no size or shape and is present in all places with his entire being.
God, in his being and actions, is separate from all confusion and disorder.
God fully possesses all excellent qualities and lacks no qualities that would be desirable for him.
God is the final standard of what is right and he always acts in accordance with what is right. (This is also known as God’s justice)
God is a being who is not made up of matter and who cannot be perceived by our bodily senses.
God is the true God whose knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of the truth.
God’s whole being includes all of his attributes at all times. These attributes are never in opposition.
God approves and determines to bring about every action necessary for the existence and activity of all that exists.
God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals.
God intensely hates all sin.