The Moral Attributes of God

INTRODUCTION

            The doctrine of God has been taught and understood in different fashions based on orientations of people from different religious and philosophical backgrounds; as such, this doctrine had experienced crisis as the result of divergent and misconception thoughts regarding the existence of God. Philosophers of ages had used metaphysical approach to explain the existence of God unitarily instead of considering God as the individual who had revealed himself through Jesus Christ. Their failure to accept God as the triune God who has revealed himself through the persons of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had made God to be misunderstood as the God who has no relational affiliation with humanity. This has caused religious catastrophe birthing multiplicity of ideologies with respect to existence of God of the bible and the god of philosophy. Meanwhile this research paper delineates on the philosophical and biblical views of God in conjunction with his moral attributes.

            God’s attributes are categorically divided into moral and non-moral characters which classify and distinguish God from humans with respect to attainment of such characteristics based on commonalities and differences; however, this document narrowly discusses only the moral attributes of God classified into God’s moral purity, integrity, and love.

PLATO’S VIEW OF THE DOCTRINE OF GOD

            It is significant to give a synopsis of how the Greek Philosopher, Plato developed the ideology regarding the existence of God to enable us differentiate the god of the Greek Philosophers and the God of the Bible who had revealed himself through natural and special revelations. When I speak in term of natural revelation, I am speaking in term of creation as a whole. The trees, animals, the Milky Way galaxies or constellations in the heavenliest are made up the products of the process of God’s creation. For this reason, even the atheists are inexcusable of the wrath of God which is contingently scheduled for evil doers and all those that reject Jesus as the Lord of their lives. Apostle Paul, in his address to the Romans, writes,

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.[1](Romans 1:18-20 [NIV]).

            Heaven declares the glory of God through natural revelation as stated in the above quotation from the biblical text. God’s invisible qualities or attributes such as omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, holiness etc. have been revealed to creation through what he has made. Men will have no excuse to give to God when he returns in his glory and power to judge this sinful and perverted generation.

            With respect to how Plato viewed God, let us look at his ideology. For Plato, he did not use capital letter for God because he did not have understanding about the God of the bible rather he was speaking in term of metaphysics. He lived in the days of polytheistic worship of the gods in Greece at the time; ideologically, he figured out that it was not possible to consider multiple of gods; rather, there was a being responsible for the good. He called it the ‘Good.” Chung-Hwan states, “Of this [the Good] then, which every soul of man pursues and makes the end of all his actions— of a principle such and as great as his ought the best men in our State, to whom everything is entrusted, to be in the darkness of ignorance?[2] Plato believed that there is what is called “Good” and that Good is responsible for the existence of “being”. There must be someone responsible for the creation or the existence of this “being.’ For all things associated with this “being” must have come from the highest “being”. He had an idea of God’s existence, but this idea was philosophical in nature and practice. Understanding the existence of God can not be confined to philosophical idea if we are to comprehend the God of the Bible. Plato’s understanding of God and his existence still have influence on Western philosophy today and this tend to influence even some Christians’ understanding of the existence of God. There is a disconnect between the Greek philosophical god and the God of the Bible. This is one of the reasons that brought the conflict between the Hellenistic Greek culture and the Hellenistic Judean Christians during the days of the apostles.

            Chung-Hwan states, “Third, if the “Good,’ the ultimate principle of all things, exercises its telic function only upon human actions, in what other form of causation can it effect other things? We should not forget that the idea of beauty has name but that of being just.”[3] Plato is still arguing that “Good” which is the ultimate being exercises its function to produce beauty which gives admirations to things; then, there is someone who does this and that “being” is higher than human. This god has absolute power than any other gods or beings on earth. He concluded that there is a god who creates everything and that is the only one. Hopkins writes,

What Plato’s Socretes’ characteristics as “beyond being” is the idea of the Good.” And the being that the Good is beyond is definitely not that of what contemporary discourse mistakenly refers to as Socretes’ teaching about the “primacy of the same,” but that of the eidetic arithmos of Motion and Rest, both of which together compose Being. The idea of the Good, moreover, is not beyond Being because it is other than being, but because it is what is responsible for Being and this its “cause”(aitia).[4]

            In my opinion, Plato is referring to this “Good” as the highest power who created everything. This is the Greek philosophical god contextually in which Plato speaks.

THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF THE DOCTRINE OF GOD

To understand the God of the bible is to put philosophical idea aside about God and to go to the basis. We can use philosophy to understand some aspects of God’s self-disclosure to humanity; however, the bible should be used as a yardstick or the bridge to understand a minute aspect of who God is and what he wants us to be and to do. God in his pre-plan redemptive approach, revealed himself through Christ Jesus through the process of incarnation. According to the Gospel of John, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”[5] (John 1:14[NIV]). God has revealed himself through Jesus Christ called special revelation. Men can not escape the wrath of God because God has provided sufficient evidence regarding his existence through special and general revelation. Morally, ontologically, teleologically, anthropologically, and cosmologically, this has been proven and humanity is without excuse. Having given a synopsis of Plato’s view regarding God’s existence, it is evidential that Plato did not talk about the God revealed in the Bible, but his argument was based on Greek classical philosophy regarding the existence of God. To understand this minute aspect of God of the Bible, Jesus should be used as the reference because he is the one who has revealed his Father and talked about the Spirit whom the Father would send to be with his disciples. In Acts chapter 1:1-6[6], Jesus ascends into heaven and in Acts 2:1-4[7], the Holy Spirit comes down on the disciples in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. The validity of the triune nature of God is seen in these scriptures. In discussing the moral attributes of God, it should be understood that these attributes refer to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The attributes of God as introduced in the thesis statement will be discussed as stated on preceding pages of this research paper by subheadings.

PURITY

            The moral purity of God is one of the sets of his attributes which sets him apart from his creation. Though God desires to share this set of attributes with his creation, it is one set of his other division of attributes called grace which enables us to share these attributes based on his divine power which works in us to bring us close to him made possible by the death of his Son Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had worked together to bring about salvation in the human race.

God sent his Son to die for sin. The Son came on earth in human flesh to fulfill this mission through his death. His Son died, rose, and ascended into heaven. After his ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father. When sinners accept the Savior through faith, the grace is given to them to live for God accessing holiness and righteousness. These attributes identify believers in the kingdom and set them apart to live for God. Peter writes, “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”[8](2 Peter 1:4[NIV]. It is impossible to escape sin if these attributes are lacking in the life of a believer. It is his divine power which enables us to participate in his divine nature called holiness. In term of God with respect to moral purity, it is the freedom God has which separates him from anything that is evil or wicked. Erickson writes, “By moral purity we are referring to God absolute freedom from anything wicked or evil. His moral purity includes the dimensions of (1) holiness, (2) righteousness, and (3) justice.”[9] These moral attributes separate God completely from his creation. Among these moral purities is holiness which God has decided to share with humanity. Without this attribute, no man will see God according to scriptures. Erickson writes, “The other aspect of God’s holiness is his absolute purity. This means that he is untouched and unstained by the evil in the world. He does not in any sense participate in it.”[10]

The moral purity of God is encapsulated into his transcendence which enables him to rule and to judge all powers and principalities. God is the judge because he is holy, righteous, and full of justice. He is perfect in all what he does. He does not make mistakes as we do neither does he do any wrong as we do. Among the moral purities of God is his righteousness. Because God is holy and full of righteousness, he can carry out justice remuneratively and punitively in the divine judicial system where God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are members.

Erickson writes, “The righteousness of God means, first of all, that the law of God, being a true expression of his nature, is as perfect as he is. Psalm 19:7-9 puts it this way: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”[11] God’s righteousness is an expression of his holiness as well. These attributes of God are interconnected to one another. Boff writes, “Righteousness is the expression of God’s holiness. Holiness has to do with God’s character, but his holiness is expressed by righteousness in his relation to man. The righteousness of God may be said to be his love of holiness. God hates sin (Psalm 5:4; 11:5; Proverb 6:16; Hab. 1:13).[12] In the absence of righteousness, no man can live holy life. Righteousness is the state of our spiritual existence and holiness is what we do daily through total obedience to the word of God; therefore, the righteousness of an individual is the expression of his or her holiness in the Lord. Because God’s nature is righteousness, he is holy and his holiness is immutable. Because God’s holiness is unchanging as compared to men’s holiness, he is incapable of making mistakes intellectually as the result of his omniscience nature. Boff writes, “We have seen that God is incapable of making intellectual mistakes because of his omniscience. It is equally impossible for him to make moral mistakes because of his holiness.”[13] Man is capable of making mistakes because man is mutable, finite, passable, and depraved no matter how stronger that man is will respect to obeying God’s word. Boff, writes, “The strongest men have some weakness of character that unfits them for perfect holiness. The crown of supremacy belongs to God, not only by an arbitrary act of coronation, but by his own inherent fitness to wear it.”[14] In essence, the name of God could also be called holy by reason of intrinsic possession of holiness. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, “said the prophet, Isaiah[15].

            Among the moral purities of God is his justice. God does not show favoritism to anyone, but he judges according to his code of ethical standard set up in heaven. God has promised that he will punish wrong doers of their sins. He will eventually punish sin. He has created hell for the devil and all evil doers including those who reject him as Lord and Savior. The justice of God is correlated to his judgment of the wicked and the judgment of the righteous. God will punish the wicked and reward the righteous. This is the expression of the fairness of his judicial system. ETA states, “God’s justice is the result of his holiness. While the righteousness of God may be said to be his love of holiness, the justice of God is his judgment of sin.”[16] If God compromises to punish sin, his righteousness and holiness will be incomplete and he will lose virtue of his transcendence nature. “God is not a man that he should lie, neither a son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”[17]

INTEGRITY

            The second set of groups of God’s moral attributes is integrity which indicates the state of being genuine, truthful, and faithful despite of situations which an individual faces to miss the mark of life situation. To be a man or a woman of integrity, these elements must be seen in the life of an individual. I often hear that he or she is a man or a woman of integrity. This word is often misused by people to refer to a servant of God whose life is indicative of the features listed above. God wants or desires that we have these three elements listed to show true integrity; unfortunately, many miss the mark to possessing these characters. The reason men fail is the result of his finite nature and depravity before God. God is the only one who absolutely possesses these attributes in full without limitation because he is immutable, impassable, infinite, and transcendental contrary compared to humans. Because God has integrity in fullness, he can not be guilty of deception. Deusterman writes, “God is not subject to those infirmities which lead men into falsehood. He who keepeth truth forever knows about deception and hypocrisy, so common to man. God cannot be guilty of deception.”[18] Men are full of infirmities which lead them to deception; on the contrary, God is not susceptible to infirmities as men are. Despite of men standing conditions before God, God requires men to acquire these attributes to fully represent him on earth before humanity. As Christians, we are Christ’s ambassadors as though God was making an appeal through us.[19] An ambassador of a nation represents his or her country to another nation; as such, his or her lifestyle has to be different to ordinary citizens of such country. He or she does not go to all gatherings as ordinary people do because any deceptive act, the reproach goes not only to him or her, but the reproach goes to the nation he or she represents as ambassador. This analogy fits the Christian situation recorded in II Corinthians 5:20. God is truthful; therefore, he wants us to be truthful as well.

            The second element under integrity which God shares with humanity is faithfulness. God was able to preserve humanity and animals as the result of Noah’s faithfulness before him. Despite of distractive sinful behavior manifested by the people in the days of Noah, Noah remained faithful to God and eventually built the Ark as commanded by God. Gibson and Zahl write, “The great catastrophe which swept away the human race, with the exception of one family, proves that overwhelming numbers do not influence God’s judgment.”[20] God is faithful; therefore, he wants believers to be faithful to him in every aspect of their lives. Faithfulness demands commitment or dedication to God and his service. The spiritual ministry of service to the church and the personal ministry between God and the believers are vital to the fellowship of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in a realistic Christian service and ministry. Believers are married to God and their failure to be faithful to God in everything evokes jealousy. Believers must be faithful in paying of tithes and offerings to God’s house. Believers are to be kingdom builders through service of generosity materially, spiritually, morally, and financially. For it is God who works in us to will and to act according to his good purpose.[21] If God is working in us to will and to act according to his good purpose; then, it is the result of his grace apportioned us to enable us daily practice dedication in our Christian service to him and to the church. We must be slaves of Christ and servants to the church ministry. Changing this order will eventually lead us to unfaithfulness before God and become men’s pleasers. This is dangerous to the Christian spiritual health.

            The third element of God’s sub-attributes is truthfulness. God is truthful as the result of his integrity. Humans lose integrity in society as the result of their failures to be truthful to the people they are leading. This is a dangerous state of a leader who misses these marks of integrity. In the marital relationship, when either partner lacks genuineness, faithfulness, and truthfulness to one another, that relationship will not hold; consequently, divorce is inevitable. Dewick comments, “Truthfulness is one of those qualities which are absolutely indispensable in the character of all who would become leaders of men. And by “truthfulness” we mean, not only a scrupulous accuracy of statement, but a complete honesty of purpose, an absence of the intention to deceive, whether by word, or actions or by the silence which is sometimes as eloquent as any speech.”[22]

            Truth is vital in leadership. Lacking of truth produces credibility dilemma in the life of a leader. People believe and follow a leader because such leader is truthful. Truth is guided and protected by honesty. There is no school of honesty; as such, honesty is in the heart. This is the reason no one gains some accelerated level of integrity until the person proximately draws to God in spiritual ministry who gives this attribute. The centrality or the core of the Christian value is encapsulated in truthfulness. Johnson writes, “I found the core of my life when I decided that I was going to be authentic and tell the truth. That would guide my ministry, knowing that I will have all kinds of appositions. Working out that sense of integrity, knowing that I am a beloved child of God, that is my core.”[23]

            We live in a society where people do not want truth even in the church. Anyone who stands for the truth whether in the religious or political communities, will suffer in the hands of those who oppose him or her; notwithstanding, God demands that we as Christians, we must live by the truth. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.[24] Jesus is the truth. Knowing Jesus will enable us to practice the truth in our daily Christian journey. Joshua writes, “Truth telling is hard and painful, but it is holy work.”[25] I disagree with this statement. Truth telling can not be painful neither hard work. Truth telling should be a joy for the believer instead of a painful moment. Telling the truth is freedom and giving falsehood is captivity.

LOVE

            The third set of God’s moral attributes is love. This is predicated in John 3:16 regarding how God loves this world by sending his son. This love is agape love which can not be compared to any other loves. This agape love is expressed in God‘s benevolence, grace, mercy, and patience. God’s benevolence defines his goodness toward his creation. God is generous and he wants us to be generous as well. James talks about true religion which has to do with catering to the orphans, the widows, and the needy. This is a holistic ministry which God wants us to be involved. Jesus did not only heal, but he fed the five thousand people during the days of his ministry on earth. James states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”[26](James 1:27[NIV]). If the world will acknowledge the God we serve, we need to demonstrate true love expressed in generosity.

            God is the God of the social order regarding class system. During the era of the divided kingdom and the restoration of the remnants after their return from Babylon, God instituted social order commanding the children of Israel to take care of the resident aliens, orphans and widows. Mayes writes, “The Pentateuch have also been applied to the laws commanding just and charitable treatment for the resident alien, fatherless (orphans), and widow. These studies have concluded that these laws were incorporated into Israel’s legal corpus as a result of various sociological changes during the course of the divided monarchy, exile, and restoration in Israel.”[27]

            Among the elements of love as named is grace which is an unmerited favor expressed to God’s creation in the time of need. Grace is the base for God’s mercy to be expressed to an individual in need. It is by the grace of God we are saved through faith. Had it not been God’s grace, we all would have been doomed for hell because we are unfit to be forgiven as the result of our disobedience. The writer of Hebrews writes, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”[28] God is gracious in dealing with sinful generations. We are alive as the result of his grace expressed towards us in the time of dilemma. We are protected as the result of his grace apportioned us graciously with respect to our everyday circumstances which confront us on the daily basis. Wilkins writes, “According to Aquinas, sanctifying grace stands to the virtues as the soul, a principle of spiritual being (quoddam spirituale esse). It is being created anew, ex hihilo, in the sense that it is strictly unrelated to prior merit.”[29] God’s grace is put into place to affect the souls of mankind. Since we are saved by grace; then, our soul is the entity which is affected positively by Grace. Through grace, we have eternal life which comes from God the Father. For it is by his grace we are saved through faith, not by works of righteousness we have done; as the result, we can not boast.[30] Humans do not have the standing position to transmit grace to people because of their depravity before God. Grace is divine; therefore, it is ascribed only to God. In my opinion, human can show mercy in some degree but not has God does. The same way human can have some goods, but not all goods as God can have. In essence, grace could become synonymous for God because he is full of grace.

            The third element of sub-attributes associated with love is mercy. Because God is gracious, he is also merciful. It is the result of his grace which puts him in a situation to have mercy on people. People get delivered, healed, and restored as the result of God’s mercy shown toward them. In other words, there is a process over product relationship which gives spiritual renaissance to reality to affect human conditions. Grace is the process of God working out things for our betterments and mercy becomes the product of the process called grace. Had it not been the grace of God, Jesus would not have been sent to earth to die for human sinfulness. It is because of God’s grace, we have received mercy for the forgiveness of our sins. The blind man in the gospel got healed because of God’s grace predicated in God’s mercy. The blind man called for mercy because the grace of God was already present to deliver this mercy. Mark comments as stated below:

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Go, “said Jesus, “your faith has healed you. “Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.[31]( Mark 10:46-52[NIV]).

            Jesus told the blind man that it was the result of his faith he got healed. In other words, it was the result of God’s grace obtained through faith that mercy was delivered to him which he asked for. He asked for healing as the result of his condition. We are asked to go to the throne of grace so that we can have mercy in the time of need.[32] Does God extend mercy to the wicked? God does provide room for repentance. The prophet, Habakkuk, accused God of allowing the Babylonians to take Judah. Angel writes, “Habakkuk accuses God of poor educational judgment by allowing the wicked Babylonians to conquer Judah, and he boldly demanded a response (Hab. 1:2-4).”[33] Habakkuk’s accusation was a primary difficulty he had with God when God showed favor to the Babylonians at the time of the destruction of the temple. We can not understand God because his action and doing are completely beyond our repertoires. God can have mercy on whom he wants to have mercy and no one can question his decision. Does it mean that God shows favoritism? I do not think so. Our decision is contrary to what God thinks and this makes him God. His ability to think contrary to human philosophical and ideological to decision making makes him God. When God is understood by humanity, he can no longer be God. He is unfathomable and unsearchable. Paul writes,

For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For scripture says to Pharaoh. “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”[34](Romans 9:15-18[NIV]).

Miller writes, “To justify Raphael’s dishonesty have waned over time because of the paradigm shift that revolutionized biblical studies in the nineteenth century. Interpreters of the premodern period literally struggled to make sense of Raphael’s statement. It was inconceivable in their view that an angel could sin and still be allowed to enjoy God’s presence.[35]

            The last element of sub-attributes which pertains to love is patience. God is a patient God. Patience is steadfastness or endurance. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians.5:16-22 [36] The word “patience” has two forms in the Greek language which is transliterated as “hupomone[37] and “makrothumia.”[38] The former is defined as the quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not surrender to any circumstances or trials. It is an opposite of fear and it associated with Faith. This kind of patience enables a believer to go through persecution without giving out to deny Christ. The later is the quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not retaliate. It is the opposite of anger and it is associated   with mercy. Because God is impassable, the former does not belong to him, but it belongs to believers. The later called “makrothumia” mostly works in God with respect to changing situation. There must always be a condition presented by God. For example, if you do this; then, I will not do that. The bible says that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some count slackness, but not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.[39] God’s unwilling to see a person goes to hell captivates him to have patience for humanity.

            In conclusion, it is vitally required that one understands the God of the Bible and the god of philosophy as to enable one to understand God’s existence and his true characters and how those characters are associated with humanity and God himself. Understanding this aspect of the doctrine of God encourages us as believers to desire and spiritually become susceptible to these divine traits and become Christ like individual.

Bibliography

Amy, Johnson Frykholm. Living My Truth: United Methodist Pastor Amy Delong, 129 no 1 Jan. 11, 2012.

Angel, Hayyim. Biblical Prayers and Rabbinic Responses: Balancing Truthfulness and Respect Before God, 6 no 1 AP 1916.

Boff, Leonardo. Trinity and Society. New York: Orbis Books, 1998.

Carney, Joshua. Living by the Word: Reflection on the Lectionary [Ag 5, 2012], 29 no Jl 25, 2012.

Chen, Chung-Hwan. Plato’s Theistic Teleology, 43 no 1 Ja 1961.

David, Geoffrey Miller. Raphael the Liar: Angelic Deceit and Testing in the Book of Tobit, 74 no 3 Jl 2012.

Dewick, EC. Truthfulness in Religion, 6 no 1 AP 1916.

Deusternman, Ken. Stephen Charnock’s Doctrine of God: An Anthology of the Existence and Attributes of God

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology, 2nd ed. Michigan: Grand Rapids, 1998.

ETA. The Triune God: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Weaton: ETA, 1970.

Hopkins, Burt C. The Other of Contemporary Discourse About the Other: Plato’s (not the Platonic) idea of the Good. 34 no 4 Fall 1964.

Mayes, Preston. The Resident Alien, the Fatherless, and the Widow in Deuteronomy: The Priority of Relationship with Israel’s God for Social Benevolence. Ns 33 no 2 Fall 2012.

Smith and Thayer. “Greek Lexicon entry for Makrothumia”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon“. . 1999.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/makrothumia.html

Wilkins, Jeremy D. Grace and Growth; Aquinas, Lonergan, and the: Problematic of Habitual Grace, 72 no 4 D, 2011.

Zahl, Bonnie Doon & Gibson, Nicholas J.S. God Representations, Attachment to God, and Satisfaction with Life: A Comparison of Doctrine and Experiential Representations of God in Christian Young Adults.

http://biblesuite.com/greek/5281.htm


[1]Romans 1:18-20.

[2]Chung-Hwan Chen, Plato’s Theistic Teleology, 43 no 1 Ja 1961, p. 71-87.

[3]

[4]Burt C. Hopkins, The Other of Contemporary Discourse About the Other: Plato’s (not the Platonic) idea of the Good. 34 no 4 Fall 1964, p. 113.

[5]John 1:14.

[6]Acts 1:1-6.

[7]Acts 2:1-4.

[8]2 Peter 1:4

[9]Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. Michigan: Grand Rapids, 1998, 310.

[10]Ibid, pp. 311

[11]Ibid, pp. 313

[12]Leonardo Boff, Trinity and Society. New York: Orbis Books, 1998, 22.

[12] Acts 1.

[13]Ibid, pp. 19.

[14]Ibid, pp. 19

[15]Isaiah 6:3.

[16]ETA, The Triune God: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Weaton: ETA, 1970, 22.

[17]Numbers 23:19.

[18]Ken Deusterman, Stephen Charnock’s Doctrine of God: An Anthology of the Existence and Attributes of God

[19]2 Cor. 5:20.

[20]Bonnie Doon Zahl & Nicholas J.S. Gibson, God Representations, Attachment to God, and Satisfaction with Life: A Comparison of Doctrine and Experiential Representations of God in Christian Young Adults, p. 758-802.

[21]Ephesians 2:10.

[22]EC Dewick, Truthfulness in Religion, 6 no 1 AP 1916, p 29.

[23]Johnson Frykholm Amy, Living My Truth: United Methodist Pastor Amy Delong, 129 no 1 Jan. 11, 2012, p 26.

[24]John 8:32.

[25]Joshua Carney, Living by the Word: Reflection on the Lectionary [Ag 5, 2012], 29 no Jl 25, 2012, p 21.

[26]James 1:27.

[27]Preston Mayes, The Resident Alien, the Fatherless, and the Widow in Deuteronomy: The Priority of Relationship with Israel’s God for Social Benevolence. Ns 33 no 2 Fall 2012, p 290.

[28]Hebrews 4:16

[29]Jeremy D. Wilkins, Grace and Growth; Aquinas, Lonergan, and the :Problematic of Habitual Grace, 72 no 4 D, 2011, p 723.

[30]Ephesians 2:8.

[31]Mark 10:46-52.

[32]Hebrews 4:16.

[33]Hayyim Angel, Biblical Prayers and Rabbinic Responses: Balancing Truthfulness and Respect Before God, 6 no 1 AP 1916, p 23.

[34]Romans 9:15-18.

[35]Geoffrey Miller David, Raphael the Liar: Angelic Deceit and Testing in the Book of Tobit, 74 no 3 Jl 2012, p 492.

[36]Gal. 5:16-22.

[37]http://biblesuite.com/greek/5281.htm

[38]Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Makrothumia”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon“. . 1999.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/makrothumia.html

[39]2 Peter 3:9.