God’s Attributes Work Together

It is important to understand that the attributes of God complement one another.

We learned that God is omnipotent (all-powerful) and that He is also righteous. If He were a God of perfect righteousness, but without power, we could not be sure that justice would ultimately prevail. On the other hand, if He was a God of unlimited power, yet lacking righteousness, how unthinkably horrible our universe would be.

Similarly, in God’s holiness, He is unapproachable by sinful people. But in His love, God approaches us. Because God is holy, just, and righteous, He hates sin and judges it. Yet because He is loving and patient, He gives us chance after chance.

Many people ask, “How can God be loving, yet hate something?” God is the essence of love, but that is not His only attribute. As parents, we love our children with all our hearts. Because of that strong love, we would hate anything that would harm them. If a wolf came after a toddler, a loving parent would hate it and stop it. In much the same way, God hates the sin that separates us from Him.

Other people ask, “How can a God of love send someone to Hell?” Our just God has given His law. Because He is righteous, He has said, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). But it is not His intention to send anyone to Hell. In fact, Hell was not even created for mankind, but for the devil and his demons.

Because God loves humanity, He sent His only Son to die in our place and take the punishment for our sins. Only Jesus, as God incarnate, was qualified to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful man. If we reject God’s loving offer of forgiveness and harden our hearts to His Word, we essentially seal our own fate. God has made a provision for man’s salvation, but He cannot change the outcome if man refuses to accept His grace (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:14; John 3:36).

In the same way, the principle of gravity will not change if someone dives off the Golden Gate Bridge, and gravity would not be to blame for the tragic outcome of such a decision. The person who jumped is responsible for his actions, just as the person who ends up in Hell is responsible for his or her fate. The outcome is a consequence of choice. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “The gates of Hell are locked from the inside.”

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