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. In the last few weeks I’ve been showing where the Bible teaches that God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equal with God the Father. We’ve seen that they are both called ‘God’ and share some of the Father’s attributes. This week I want to show that they both do things that only God does, which means they must be God too.
The Bible teaches us that God alone is the creator of the world and all that is in it: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1). But both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are said to create and sustain life. For example Paul says about Jesus: ‘For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:16-17). And regarding the Holy Spirit, the Psalmist says that the creatures of the earth are created by the Spirit: ‘When you send your Spirit, they are created’ (Psalm 104:30). Therefore, both Jesus and the Holy Spirit must also be God if they are creators too.
The Bible also teaches us that God is the only one who forgives sin. David writes: ‘Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin’ (Psalm 32:5). Yet we also learn in the same Scriptures that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit forgive sins. Jesus tells the paralysed man ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’ (Mark 2:5), which incidentally upsets the religious leaders quite a lot as they rightly acknowledge, ‘Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ (Mark 2:7). The only problem with the religious leaders is that they failed to understand that Jesus is God and so Jesus was quite within his right to forgive sins. And as for the Holy Spirit, we also read the Holy Spirit is responsible for the removal of sin: ‘He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life’ (Titus 3:5-7). Thus both Jesus and the Holy Spirit must be God if they can forgive sins like God alone can.
Do you worship Jesus and the Holy Spirit as God because you recognise that they do things only God can do?