The Attributes of God – Perfection and Blessedness

Yesterday my family and I began reading about what Wayne Grudem calls God’s “summary” attributes in Chapter 13, “The Character of God: ‘Communicable’ Attributes (Part 2),” of his Systematic Theology (Zondervan, 1994), which we’re reading in our after breakfast Bible reading time. Grudem calls them “summary” attributes because they could be taken to describe all the other attributes of God rather than being listed as separate attributes. We considered God’s perfection and His blessedness yesterday and shall consider His beauty later today and His glory tomorrow.

Jesus tells his disciples, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48, ESV; all Bible quotations are from the ESV), and David says about God, “His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). Thus, according to them, God is perfect or complete, possessing fully all desirable attributes.

Paul describes God as “the blessed God” and “the blessed and only Sovereign” (1 Timothy 1:11 and 6:15). Noting that in both cases the Greek word translated “blessed” means “happy,” Grudem defines God’s blessedness as His being happy with Himself and all that reflects His character. Genesis 1:31, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good,” and Isaiah 62:5, “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you,” refer to God’s pleasure in His works of creation and His people.

Grudem closes his consideration of God’s blessedness by observing that we imitate it when we delight in and express thanks for the abilities and other characteristics with which He has provided us and for creation as it reflects Him. He concludes by noting that we find our greatest blessedness by delighting in God Himself, the source of “every good gift and every perfect gift” (James 1:17).

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