Facts of the Matter: Character of God

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WHAT IS GOD?

(Westminster Catechism Q4)

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

 


 

What does this mean? It means:

There is a God, he is defined specifically, and it matters: being, space, time, shape

God is a Spirit

Spirit being: non physical

Infinite

Infinite regarding His space: unending in size; ultimately big

Eternal

Eternal regarding His time: unending in time; outside of time

Unchangeable

Unchangeable regarding His shape: complete in form

 

In HIS  This is a personal masculine pronoun, not impersonal ‘it.’

He is infinite, eternal & unchangeable in the following ways:

  • infinite (ultimately big), eternal (unending) & unchangeable (complete)
    •  in being, not a static ‘power’ but a unique volitional person

The Bible says “In him we live and move and have our being” [biblegateway passage=”Acts 17:28″ display=”Acts 17:28″]. What is interesting about this is that God defines himself as this.  I AM ([biblegateway passage=”Exodus 3:14″ display=”Exodus 3:14″]).  Any attributive would diminish his completeness so he calls Himself the “End All.”  In HIM we exist.  Because He exists, we exist.  “In Him was life, and that life was the light of man…” [biblegateway passage=”John 1:4″]

  • infinite, eternal, unchangeable wisdom, the start-all & end-all of knowledge
  • infinite, eternal, unchangeable power, the highest form of strength & ability
  • infinite, eternal, unchangeable holiness, ultimately holy and defining of purity of thought and action
  • infinite, eternal, unchangeable justice, absolutely just and does not excuse away crime against His law
  • infinite, eternal, unchangeable goodness, definition within himself of “goodness”
  • infinite, eternal, unchangeable truth, in him all truth finds its home, no deception or falsehood

A great book introducing you to the ATTRIBUTES OF GOD is Knowing God by JI Packer.

There are many more attributes of God than those concisely compiled in this Westminster Catechism answer.  For example, we speak of His:  Infinitude, Sovereignty, Trinity, Omniscience, Faithfulness, Love, Omnipotence, Self-existence, Self-sufficiency, Immutability, Mercy, Eternal, Grace, Omnipresence.  

But those attributes can each fit into a subset or combination of these six attributes and three characteristics of each those attributes stated in the Catechism answer.

Infinite Wisdom is Omniscience;

Unchangeable Power is Omnipotence;

Goodness+ Wisdom+ Justice is Mercy, for instance.

But, as God said, HE IS.  End of story.  Everything combines together to make Him who HE IS.


IN THE BOOK TRUNK OF SCROLLS

When you know God, you are better able to deal with difficulties.

That is not to say that it is easier to go through tragedy per se. But a deep confidence surrounds you knowing that there is truth to knowing God knows “the end from the beginning” [biblegateway passage=”Isaiah 46:10″] and “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose” [biblegateway passage=”Romans 8:28″ display=”Romans 8:28″] (emphasis added).

This is the significant lesson that Marcellus and his cousins learn throughout the book Trunk of Scrolls.


I encourage you to know God more.  Your life depends on it.

As you read your Bible, try to find examples of God’s attributes.  For the more you know God, the more peace and joy you will have, no matter what Life throws at you.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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