Westminster Shorter Catechism: Q4

Question: What is God?

Answer: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth

Scripture memory:

ESV John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

An explanation:

The Shorter Catechism in question four focuses our attention on the essence of God, or on God’s being. God is one in essence, three in Persons as the Triune God. The Father is God; the Son is God; the Spirit is God. “There is one God, in respect of His essence and being, but one in three distinct persons, of Father, Son and Holy Ghost” (J. Owen’s Catechism). God’s essence is considered by listing God’s attributes. Our forefathers taught correctly that when considering God’s attributes, we should remember that God is the most simple being, or is free from all composition and division. His attributes are not parts of God (God cannot be divided). Whatever is in God, is God. Dividing up God’s attributes in this way are to aid us in knowing Him better.

What God is, He is eternally and unchangeably. Though God’s attributes are many, yet they are nothing but God’s revelation of His single, undivided Essence, or Being. What a Glorious God! Let us meditate upon His attributes, and commune with our Triune God. Let us include God’s revelation of Himself in our prayers.

God is…infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being. Think of how God is glorious in that He is Almighty, all-powerful, everywhere present, has always existed and always will, and will never change! Take time to reflect on each particular attribute in this way: Say “God is…infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His…wisdom; …in His power;…in His holiness;…in His justice;…in His goodness; …in His truth.” Meditate quietly before God’s throne (Hab. 2:20).

Think about this Glorious God who personally loves you and has revealed Himself to you, who possesses in His being, not merely goodness, but omnipotent goodness; a God who is powerful, but who is also holy and loves to do good, and never evil; a God who cannot do evil, not merely because He wills not to do evil, but because it isn’t “in Him” that is, in His being to do any wrong or evil, rather there is wisdom, and truth, and goodness. His justice is perfectly holy. He is kind to all in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the perfect manifestation and revelation of this Glorious God. Let us look in the face of Christ and see the One who is the radiance of the Glory of God, the exact imprint of His nature, who upholds the universe by the Word of His power, and after making purification for sins, sat down at the right hand of God! Rejoice! (Heb. 1:3-4).

A prayer: I humble myself quietly before you, O Great and Good God. Thank you for salvation. Let me properly meditate upon your greatness, your attributes this day. Help me to walk with you and commune with you personally. May I delight in you, and find you to be my portion (Psa. 27:4; 73:28).

In Christ’s Love,

Pastors Biggs and Halley