Attributes of God From A to Z: Preeminent, Principled Judge
Updated: May 1
The Attributes Of God From A To Z series has been on hold for quite some time now as we worked on changes within the company. We’re picking the study back up today with the “P” attribute. Depicting the complex and complete nature of God in one simple word is impossible due to how great He is. However, it does help to learn fragments of what God’s nature is like for basic belief. Without God revealing Himself, there would be no reason to believe in Him, yet alone show Him the reverence and praise He deserves. We’ll focus on the preeminent and principled aspects of God’s nature in this post in the Attributes Of God From A To Z series.
The Preeminent Nature of Christ
The ESV (English Standard Version) Bible translation translates the word used in Colossians 1:18 as “preeminent.” The actual Greek word that is used here is “prōteuō,” meaning “to have first place.” The English definition of “preeminent” means “to be distinguished above all else” (Grammar-Dictionary, 2021) or “having paramount rank, dignity, or importance” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2021). The preeminent nature of Christ is seen throughout all of scripture yet specifically mentioned in a few passages. From Him all things were created. He is also the firstborn of the dead, the bond that holds all things together, and the reconciler of all things. His preeminent nature qualifies Him as the Messiah that was prophesied specifically about in Isaiah (Isaiah 9:1-7, 6-7, Isaiah 53) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:5, 33:14-15) but also in other Old Testament books such as Hezekiah and Zechariah (Zechariah 12:8).
For God to rule as the only true God, one attribute He must possess is preeminence. Creation also bears the signature of God due to its order and complexity as well as humanity that possesses body, mind, and soul.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15, ESV).
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Col 1:16, ESV). “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn of the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Col 1:18, ESV).
”he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” ( Col 1:22, ESV).
God as the Principled Judge
For Christianity to have no theological or moral errors and its ancient text hold up under scrutiny, teachings must not change. Therefore, the cornerstone of its belief system, Jesus, must not change either. Thankfully, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and ever more. The eternal judge, father, and savior of the universe has never changed nor shared in the expression of sin. With His objective moral nature, He makes perfect judgments, of which no human judge could be accredited for.
God’s judgment, unlike human judgment, can stand the test of time due to his eternal and holy attributes. Humans can judge crime since they cannot control the soul or heal/conquer sin. God can kill the body, throw the soul in heaven or hell, and conquer sin and death. His principalities on the moral code keep subjectivism stifled. He searches the heart of man and not just the outward appearance. He also knows and searches the thoughts of man. A principled judge must be able to have sound, unerosive justice. Throughout the Old Testament, there are several accounts of how a nation should be ruled, punishment of crime and sin, and treatment of diseases (this included bioethics) according to what God’s moral law required such as those seen in Exodus 21:22-25 and Leviticus 24:19-20. In the New Testament, Christ came to fulfill the moral Law that was written in the first books of the Bible. In Judges, we see more of the aspect of political law (and yes, there is such a thing as political ethics). “Without law as a foundation, there can be no justice” (Bible Tools, 2021). See Matthew 5:17. Below are scriptural accounts of God’s judgments.
“And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is judge” (Psalms 50:6)
“For the Lord will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by the Lord will be many” (Isaiah 66:6)
“to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect. . .” (Hebrews 12:23)
“Now I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed someone, has the power to throw that person into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4-5, NASB)
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