Lesson #8 – Is God Gracious and Merciful?

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Lesson #8 – Is God Gracious and Merciful?

For our concluding study of the attributes of God we want to consider God’s moral attributes. These include His holiness, goodness, grace, mercy, love, and justice.

God’s holiness has been called His crowning attribute because it is referred to in Scripture more than any of His other characteristics. Consider Isaiah 6:3 –“ _____, ______, ________ is the Lord of Hosts.” Also, Rev. 4:2 - “Holy, holy, holy is the _____ _____ the Almighty who was who is and who is to come.” Likewise, “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you – majestic in __________, awesome in glory, working wonders? Exodus 15:11
“Holiness is the most sparkling jewel in God’s crown. It is the name by which He is known.” said Thomas Watson. “Holiness is to be regarded not as a distinct attribute but as the perfection of all God’s moral attributes together.” - R. L. Dabney. Consult a dictionary to see what holy means: __________________________________________
In the original language it means “to cut” or “to separate.” When holy is used in reference to God, it refers to His total separation from evil. Not even a hint of a blemish could be found in our God; He is completely pure. “God is _________ and in Him is no ___________ at all” (1 John 1:5).

What would our planet be like if there were no light source (e.g., the sun)? What would we be like morally and spiritually if the splendid Light of the World (John 9:5-9) had not come?


God's holiness is the fountain from which flows His other moral attributes: compassion, grace, love, truth and justice. All of these are reflected in His dealings with humankind (Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 86:15; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2). Let us look at some specific ways we see these. Choose a verse to illustrate God’s attitude toward us:

• God's lovingkindness is His special benevolent goodness to His chosen people

(Psalm 6:4; 51:1; Isaiah 54:8-10; Romans 2:4; Colossians 3:12).


• God's compassion is His goodness to those in difficulty (2 Samuel 24:14; Nehemiah

9:19; Lamentations 3:22; Psalm 103:13; Ephesians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3).


• God's grace is goodness favorably applied to undeserving people (Exodus 33:12;

John 1:14; Romans 5:15; 1 Peter 5:10).


• God's longsuffering is His patience toward those who deserve to be punished

(Romans 3:25; 9:22 1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9, 15).


• God's love is His goodness in action, mostly toward His chosen people (1 John 4:7-

10; John 3:16; 14:23; 16:27; Romans 5:8; 8:37; 9:13).


• God's wrath is a product of His holiness and the application of His justice (Exodus

20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 32:4).


God’s holiness is His utter separation from sin. God’s perfection is seen in creation: “God saw all He had made and behold it was very _______________.” Gen. 1:31. However, all of that changed in Genesis 3: “God made man __________ but they have sought out many devices" – Ecclesiastes 7:29. What did Solomon observe in Ecc. 7:20? ___________________________________________________________________________________________

How much of creation has been affected by sin? (cf. Romans 8:20-22) Does that include humans (Rom. 3:23) __________________________________________________________________________________________

His Judgment – All His verdicts are holy. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25. “The Lord, the righteous Judge.” 2 Timothy 4:8. As Judge of all, God deals righteously with us. This righteous justice encompasses God's mercy and grace, which reflect God's love (John 3:16). Isaiah 42:4says, “He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope." God is the final arbiter (judge) of what is right and what is wrong. Over and over we are reminded in Scripture that the world will have to give an account to this righteous Judge (2 Cor. 5:9-10).
“God’s goodness is His mercy, which denotes the ready inclination of God to relieve the misery of fallen creatures. Thus, ‘mercy’ presupposes sin.” A. W. Pink

We cannot see our need for God’s mercy and grace until we have grasped just how far we fall short of His righteous standard (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). Since God’s eyes are too pure to approve evil (Habbakuk 1:13) how can a sinful person possibly approach Him? ________________________________________________________

God's wrath, which is a product of His holiness and the application of His justice, is another of His moral attributes. God will visit His wrath on those who refuse to believe in Him and trust in His remedy for sin. How does 1 John 4:10 define God’s love for us?



An atoning sacrifice was required for sins to be forgiven and for God’s righteous standard to be met. In Romans 3:26 we are told that the Just One is the Justifier of those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. We can never be recipients of God’s unmerited favor until we have recognized our sinfulness and the need for God’s forgiveness. Read John 14:6 – what is the only avenue to God? ____________________________________________________

God's holiness is the basis for our call to holiness, "like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). A fuller knowledge of God's holiness serves us well in godly living. Please notice that the Apostle Peter does not call us to be holy to the degree God is holy, but rather we are to pursue holy because God is holy.
The Israelites knew that worship of God involved personal holiness, “You shall consecrate [sanctify] yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God” - Leviticus 20:7. For Israel, genuine worship involved separating themselves from any defilement. In Romans 12:1-2 – we read that we are to be ______________ sacrifices, wholly _________________ to God which our _______________ act of worship. Not ______________ to the world but __________________ by the ________________ of our minds.” (For fill-in the blanks choose from: renewing, reasonable, conformed, living, acceptable, transformed).

Once we are part of God’s forever family, we can and should be growing in all of God’s moral characteristics. Since we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we are able to pursue Christlike qualities of love, mercy, grace, patience, and compassion. After reading Ephesians 4:24-32 describe what that process of change is going to involve. _____________________________________________________________________________________


We must never forget that grace and mercy spring from the Divine goodness. “The Lord God is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” Exodus 34:6. My prayer is that each of us will know Him, love Him, and submit to Him so that the Word of God is honored (Titus 2:5).

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