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 continue answering the question, ‘What is God?’ Last time I wrote on the subject, we saw that God is a spirit, infinite, glorious, blessed and perfect.
Sixthly, God is all-sufficient. God has no need of anything from anyone. Paul says to the Athenians: ‘The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else’ (Acts 17:24-25).
Seventhly, God is eternal. He has always existed and always will exist. The Psalmist writes: ‘Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God’ (Psalm 90:2).
Eighthly, God is unchangeable. Unlike humans who constantly change, God does not: ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’ (James 1:17).
Ninthly, God is incomprehensible. You may have already realised this, particularly if you’ve understood that God is infinite and eternal. But Solomon also tells us this when he dedicates God’s temple that he built: ‘But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!’ (1 Kings 8:27). It is ridiculous to think that God can be contained in our feeble minds or anything which we might build.
Tenthly, God is everywhere. There is nowhere that God is not. The Psalmist tells us this: ‘Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you’ (Psalm 139:7-12).
So do you recognise that God is all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible and everywhere? Or do you sinfully imagine God to be something he is not?