26 January 2003
John 4:24, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 147:5, Revelation 19:6, Isaiah 57:15, Deuteronomy 32:4 & Romans 2:4
The Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English:
Q.4. What is God?
A. God is a spirit, Whose being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable
1. Why is this question so fundamental for the soul of man?
It is essential for Hebrews 11:6 states, “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists.” If man can accept the first words of Scripture, “In the beginning, God...” he is on the right road, for this is a truth upon which all other truths depend.
2. How can we accept and know this basic truth?
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, reveals God to us and it is only through Christ that we come to God. The Bible says, “No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (John 1:18). “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
3. In the light of the answer to Question Number Four, with what attitude should we approach God?
We should approach Him as the Almighty, Sovereign God. In the front of a particular church, in plain sight of the congregation there was a sign: “Know Whom Before You Stand!” We should always approach Him in our thoughts, words and deeds with the recognition that He is all that the answer to this question proclaims Him to be.
4. What is meant by the statement, “God is a Spirit?”
The meaning is that He is invisible, without body or bodily parts, not like a man or any other creature. (From Minutes of Session of Westminster Assembly).
5. In theology what term do we use in regard to the adjectives used to describe God?
We call these the attributes of God and separate them into His incommunicable and communicable attributes.
6. Why do we separate them in this way?
We separate them in this way because His incommunicable attributes are not found in any way in his creatures. These are His infinity, eternity and unchangeableness. His communicable attributes (being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth), are found in some degree in man. Obviously, in man, these attributes are faint, limited and imperfect as compared with God.