In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. This week I want to answer the question, ‘What do the scriptures make known about God?’
Firstly, the Bible teaches us who God is. We learn from the Bible that he exists. Even God’s name, ‘I am’, tells us that God exists: ‘God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’’”’ (Exodus 3:14).
Secondly the Bible teaches us that God is three in one. In Deuteronomy, Moses teaches the Israelites that God is one: ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one’ (Deuteronomy 6:4). Yet we also see that God is three persons in one God. For example, we learn this when Jesus says that people are to be baptised into God’s name: ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19). Notice Jesus baptises them into one ‘name’, not ‘names’. But then gives three people for one ‘name’. Thus the Bible teaches that within the Godhead there is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Individual persons, yet all God.
Thirdly the Bible teaches us about God’s decrees – what God planned would happen and what God plans will happen. For example God decreed that Jesus would die on the cross for sinful humans: ‘This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross’ (Acts 2:23). And it happened. But the Bible also tells us that God’s decrees even extend to you and your life in this world: ‘From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live’ (Act 17:26). And not only that, but God has decreed whether you will become a Christian: ‘In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory’ (Ephesians 1:11-12).
So do you read the Bible to find out who God is and what he has done and what he plans to do?