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?’ Previously we’ve seen ten things about God: He is a spirit, infinite, glorious, blessed, perfect, all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible and everywhere.
Another thing we must understand about God is that he knows all things. This means he knows all about his creation, including the sins of his creatures: ‘Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account’ (Hebrews 4:13). Most unsettling to think God knows every one of your sins.
But God doesn’t just know everything, he is also able to apply that knowledge which demonstrates his wisdom. And, like his knowledge, his wisdom is greater than anyone’s. Thus it is no surprise that Paul says elsewhere: ‘Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!’ (Romans 11:33).
Also we know that God is holy. To be holy means to be set apart – to be different from others. And God is most definitely different from everything else and therefore holier than everything else. Thus we read in Isaiah that the Seraphim in heaven cry in God’s presence: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory’ (Isaiah 6:3).
And as God is holy, it is no surprise that God is just: ‘He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he’ (Deuteronomy 32:4). This means God does not let people who do wrong escape: ‘the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished’ (Nahum 1:3). This is scary to understand because we are all guilty and deserve to be punished. But thankfully God punishes his Son for our sins so that his justice is met and we can go free and dwell forever with him. But we must accept his offer of salvation through his Son by trusting that Jesus was indeed punished for us.
So do you recognise that God is all knowing, all wise, holy and just? Have you accepted Jesus as your Saviour so that God’s justice is met in him for your sins? Or will the just God one day personally punish you for your sins?