The Traits of God
The Traits of God
A person has traits. God is a person, and he has traits. If we are to be children of his, it’s important that we understand them so we can please him with our lives. Let’s take a brief look at some of the traits of God. A fast way to do this is to go to Galatians 5.
Galatians 5 contains two important lists of traits. The first (Gal 5:19-21) lists traits God doesn’t like, known as deeds of the flesh. They are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, envying, drunkenness, caurousing, and “things like these.” These are human traits, not traits of God, and God does not approve them. (Actually, two in that list could be argued that God does share with us: jealousy (Ex 20:5) and outbursts of anger (Num 11:1). However, exhibited by God, these traits are righteous and for the good of his creation; exhibited by man, they are self-serving and destructive.)
The second is a list of traits God possesses, known as fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. “Against these things there is no law.” Humans can share these with God. They are traits he approves and wants to see in us. When we share these traits with God, we are more like him. We are his image.
The traits known as deeds of the flesh are self-serving and destructive; therefore, they are not right. God, on the other hand, is right, or righteous. He wants us to be righteous, too, but we cannot achieve this by our own power. The blood of Christ is the only way we can be seen as righteous by God. If we are not clothed in Christ through baptism (Gal 3:27), we are not walking with God and we are not sharing his traits, the fruit of the Spirit, with him. Therefore, we are unrighteous.
In Matthew 7:15-23, Jesus says that we, like a tree, are identified by the fruit we bear in life, and that this identification comes with us to judgment. Let’s not wait until it’s too late to learn how to be like God! Put on Christ in baptism, learn his traits, make them your own, spend eternity with God. Leave the deeds of the flesh for the dead and dying world.
May God bless you in becoming more like him.