A photo depicting a serene landscape, with rays of sunlight breaking through dark clouds, symbolizing God's omnipresence, transcendence, and benevolence.

The 3 Defining Characteristics Of God

For thousands of years, humanity has pondered the nature and characteristics of God. Most major religions describe God as supremely powerful, completely good, and all-knowing. In this in-depth article, we will explore the 3 defining traits that set God apart: omnipotence, omnibenevolence, and omniscience.

God is Omnipotent

The Unlimited Power of God

The omnipotence of God refers to His absolute power and authority over all creation. As the creator of the universe, God has unlimited might and ability to do all that He desires. There is nothing too difficult for Him and no limit to what He can accomplish (Jeremiah 32:17).

God’s power is infinite, transcending all bounds and restrictions. He possesses complete control over nature, history, and human affairs to work His sovereign will. Throughout Scripture, God’s omnipotence is celebrated and displayed through accounts of miraculous signs and wonders.

Evidence of God’s Omnipotence in Scripture

All throughout the Bible, we find demonstrations of God’s limitless power. Here are some examples:

  • God created the entire universe out of nothing (Genesis 1:1).
  • God parted the Red Sea to deliver the Israelites from Egypt (Exodus 14:21-22).
  • God caused the sun to stand still for Joshua in battle (Joshua 10:12-14).
  • God shut the mouths of lions to protect Daniel (Daniel 6:22).
  • God healed the sick and raised the dead through Jesus (Matthew 8:5-13, John 11:43-44).
  • God supernaturally empowered the early church beyond expectation (Acts 2:41).

Truly nothing is beyond the capability of our Almighty God!

God’s Power Over Nature

As the creator of heaven and earth, God has absolute authority over the natural world. Scripture shows that all nature bends to the will of God:

  • God caused floodwaters to cover the earth in Noah’s day (Genesis 7:11-12).
  • God brought plagues upon Egypt like turning the Nile to blood (Exodus 7:14-24).
  • God made the sun stand still for a full day in Joshua’s battle (Joshua 10:12-13).
  • Jesus calmed a raging storm with a word (Mark 4:35-41).
  • God will rearrange the cosmos in the end times (Revelation 6:12-14).

As the omnipotent Creator, all the forces of nature are at God’s command to accomplish His purposes.

God’s Power Over Human Affairs

In addition to the natural world, God’s supreme authority extends over nations, rulers, and human events. Many examples in Scripture reveal how God orchestrates history and human activity to fulfill His will:

  • God caused Pharaoh to oppose Moses before the Exodus (Exodus 3:19-20).
  • God appointed rulers and brought kingdoms to power (Daniel 2:21, Romans 13:1).
  • God frustrates the schemes of the wicked (Nehemiah 4:15, Psalm 33:10).
  • God works every circumstance for good for believers (Romans 8:28).
  • Jesus has power over disease, demons, nature, and death (Matthew 8-9, Mark 4:35-5:43).
  • God empowers His church to spread the gospel worldwide (Acts 1:8).

What an awesome God we serve! He holds supreme power over all things and providentially guides the course of history for the fulfillment of His perfect will. When confronted with the chaotic and confusing events of life, we can take refuge in the omnipotent God who causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

He will accomplish His wise and loving purposes for His glory in His perfect timing.

God is Omnibenevolent

God’s benevolence refers to His perfect goodness, love, mercy, and care for all creation. As an omnibenevolent being, God desires the happiness, well-being, and salvation of all people. He is the epitome of moral excellence.

The Perfect Goodness of God

Theologians have long upheld God’s attribute of omnibenevolence. As a maximally great being, God must be perfectly good, kind, and generous. His motives, intentions, and actions are always directed by His morally excellent nature.

Unlike humans, God has no flaws in character that lead to defects in love. His benevolence stems from His holy essence.

God’s Love and Mercy

The Bible frequently speaks of God’s steadfast love and compassion. He cares tenderly for His people, like a loving father (Psalm 103:13). His mercies are endless; He is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness (Psalm 86:15).

Even when His people stray, God eagerly awaits their return so He can lavish them with undeserved grace.

Evidence of God’s Goodness in Scripture

All throughout Scripture, we see demonstrations of God’s benevolence. From the creation account to Christ’s death on the cross, God pursues the well-being and salvation of humanity. For example:

  • God created a good world for humans to inhabit (Genesis 1)
  • He delivers His people from oppression (Exodus 3-14)
  • He heals sickness and disease (Luke 4:38-44)
  • He seeks and saves the lost (Luke 19:10)

Responses to the Problem of Evil

The presence of suffering and evil in the world poses a challenge to God’s benevolence. However, theologians have offered thoughtful explanations for why God allows evil without denying His goodness, such as:

  • Moral evil results from human free will.
  • Natural evil brings people together and produces virtues like courage.
  • God uses suffering to draw people to salvation (Romans 8:28).
  • God will eradicate all evil in due time (Revelation 21:4).

While evil remains perplexing, we can trust that God has morally sufficient reasons for allowing it within His wise and loving plan. His benevolence remains intact.

God is Omniscient

God’s omniscience refers to His all-encompassing knowledge. As an eternal, infinite, and almighty Being, God knows everything that can be known. His knowledge stretches across time and space to encompass all things – past, present, and future.

The All-Encompassing Knowledge of God

God’s knowledge is total and complete. He knows all actual and potential events, all truths about reality, and even the secret thoughts and intentions of every person. As Psalms 147:5 (NIV) says, “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”

Unlike humans whose knowledge is limited, God’s understanding is infinite. He knows the exact number of hairs on every person’s head (Matthew 10:30) and observes the minute details of nature, down to each sparrow that falls (Matthew 10:29).

God’s Foreknowledge and Divine Plan

One major aspect of God’s omniscience is His foreknowledge – He knows everything that will happen in the future. As Isaiah 46:10 (NIV) states, God declares “the end from the beginning” – He foresees and foretells future events.

Based on His foreknowledge, God ordains His perfect plan and works everything toward His divine purposes. As Ephesians 1:11 (ESV) explains, God “works all things according to the counsel of His will.” Though humans have free will, God stills governs the universe and sovereignly guides its path.

God’s Wisdom and Understanding

In addition to facts and events, God’s omniscience encompasses wisdom and discernment. As Job 12:13 (NIV) declares, “To God belong wisdom and power.” He has infinite understanding of all aspects of truth, morality, justice, beauty, and meaning.

God’s wisdom far surpasses any human philosophy. He knows the right goals to pursue and the best ways to achieve them. As Isaiah 55:9 (NIV) states, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The Limits of Human Knowledge

Unlike God, humans have very limited knowledge and perspective. People can only directly observe the present world around them, and conjecturing about the full expanse of reality stretches beyond their mental capabilities.

As Psalm 139:6 (NIV) poetically states about God’s omniscience in comparison to humanity, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Only God has the capability to comprehend everything that transpired across time – from the infinite past to the eternal future.


In conclusion, the 3 defining characteristics of the Judeo-Christian God are omnipotence, omnibenevolence, and omniscience. These traits set God apart from all created beings. While humans struggle with limitations of power, morality, and knowledge, God transcends these boundaries.

Understanding the unmatched might, goodness, and wisdom of God can lead us to greater humility, faith, and trust in divine providence.

Similar Posts