Thursday, October 2, 2008

There is but One Living and True God

The Westminster Confession of Faith- Chapter Two
1.) There is but one living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the council of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal most just and terrible in His judgements; hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
2.) God hath all, life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He hath made, not deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory, in, by, unto, and upon them: he is alone the fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them.
3) In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.

I would like to point out a few things from the above doctrine:
The writers of the Westminster Catechism were saturated in their bibles. People don't write things like this who are not in their bibles. As we read this section of the catechism we aren't faced with someone's "opinion" or the "politically correct" conception of the day; as we read these paragraphs we are faced with the revelation of scripture.

Mankind, if he is left to himself, cannot come to the properly knowledge of the one true and living God. Two things are essential in arriving at a proper understanding of who God is, scripture and grace. It is essential to be in the Word of God everyday reading, studying, and memorizing. This is where we learn and this is where we are corrected. Secondly, the grace of God is what brings us to a saving grace and keeps us persevering to the end.

It is also important to know that God is all sufficient and the source of all being. As the one who created all things, the one who sustains the world and upholds all things by the word of His power; does not have any need to reason with man concerning His existence or authority. He reveals Himself in Genesis 1:1 very simply and very plainly, "In the Beginning God...". There is a profound sense of presupposition from the revelation set forth in the Bible. God does reveal Himself through nature, yet we cannot "see" Him because of our sin.

The Bible reveals God as one in three, yet three in one (the Trinity). As we read the New Testament this revelation is brought to bear upon the Old Testament, which revealed the truth that Yaweh is but one God. When reading and interpreting the Bible it is important to know the entire teaching of scripture and not just that of the Old or New Testaments. In the history of the church there have been numerous instances where people denied the teaching of Scripture concerning God and his character or being. These people did not hold a proper scriptural conception of who God is. Arianism for instance is a heresy that denies Jesus Christ is God. Jehovah's Witnesses would be an example of modern day Arians.

It doesn't take long to learn of a person's conception of who God is. Listen to the way they pray listen to the way they talk. Ask yourself, where is God in their life? Do some personal reflection and ask yourself where is God in your life? How aware of this God are you? In your personal prayers and family worship do you see an awe and reverence? Holy fear should characterize those people who know the true and living God.

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