|Catechism Sec. 2: What God IsPDF Print VersionQ4. What is God?A4. God is Spirit1 - infinite2, eternal3, and unchangeable4 - in his being5, wisdom, power6, holiness7, justice, goodness and truth8.
1. John 4:24, God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
2. Job 11:7, Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven— what can you do? Deeper than Sheol— what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.
3. Psalm 90:2, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
4. James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
5. Exodus 3:14, And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
6. Psalm 147:5, Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
7. Rev. 4:8, The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:“ Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
8. Exodus 34:6-7, And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Comments:1. Since God is Spirit, we should not question His existence simply because we cannot see, touch, or weigh Him. We cannot see electricity, but we know it is there when the bulb lights up. Atheism (i.e. believing that there is no God) and agnosticism (i.e. believing that it is not possible to know the existence of God) are unreasonable since they fail to take into consideration the evidences such as the existence of, and the design and orderliness in, all things and creatures, and the revelation of Scriptures. Although God is Spirit, the Bible often uses anthropomorphism, i.e. speaking as though God has human qualities, to convey the revelation of God, e.g. Ex. 6:6; Num. 12:8; 2 Chron. 16:9.
2. God has certain incommunicable attributes (characteristics or qualities), viz. His infiniteness, eternity, and immutability. These attributes mean that, unlike man, God is not limited by space or time, and is not subject to change. His other attributes are communicable to man, but remain infinite, eternal and unchangeable in Himself. When the Son of God took upon Himself perfect human nature, His divine nature remained unchanged. Apart from wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth, there are many other attributes of God, such as His mercy, longsuffering, and love, which are subsumed under the ones mentioned. The true God is the greatest and best of being!
Q5. Are there more Gods than one?A5. There is but one only1,2, the living and true God3.
1. Deut. 6:4, Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
2. Isaiah 44:6, Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.’
3. Jer. 10:10, But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.
Comments:1. There is a propensity in man to worship idols made by his own hands (Isa. 44:9-20). Man then projects, by his own imagination, superhuman qualities and actions upon these idols. He also worships certain men and creatures, believing that they have superhuman abilities (Rom. 1:22-23, 25 cf. Acts 10:25-26). The spirits that are supposed to dwell in these objects or creatures cannot be the good angels who serve the true God (Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9). If present, as often they are, these must be bad spirits, or demons (Matt. 8:28; Acts 19:13-16). Evil spirits may pretend to do good to man with the view of gaining his devotion and worship (1 Cor. 10:18-20).
2. The Bible forbids us representing the true God with images (Ex. 20:2-3), worshipping idols (1 Cor. 10:14; Gal. 4:8-9; 1 Thess. 1:9), and having fellowship with demons (1 Cor. 10:21-22; 2 Cor. 6:16).
Q6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?A6. There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God1, the same in substance, equal in power and glory2,3.1. Matt. 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
2. 2 Cor. 13:14, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
3. 1 John 5:7, For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
Comments:1. In the first 300 years after the apostles, the church was plagued with wrong teachings on the Godhead. There were those who claimed that the God of the New Testament is not the same as the God of the Old Testament, that the Father alone is the true God while Jesus Christ is the highest of His creatures, that Jesus Christ is not truly human or not truly divine, that the three Persons of the Godhead are not exactly equal, or that the three Persons are different modes of existence of the one God. The answer to this question of the Catechism is a precise and concise statement of the true doctrine on the Trinity.
2. Just as we reject the many gods of paganism, we also reject the one god of other religions different from the Trinitarian God of the Bible. The Jews have an inadequate understanding of the one, true, God derived from the Old Testament, while others claim to worship one god but which is not of the Bible. Attempting to worship the true God, even if unknown, is different from worshipping one god that is not of the Bible (Acts 17:22-23 cf. 1 Cor. 8:5-6; 2 Cor. 11:4).
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