Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity
Who is God? What is God like? What does it mean that God is immutable? Does God never change His mind? What is God’s love? What is God’s justice? Does God know all things? What is the Trinity? Is it biblical? Do we believe in three gods? What do the words “essence” and “person” mean?
§1 The Attributes of God
- The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; 1 whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; 2 whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; 3 a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; 4 who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; 5 working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will for his own glory; 6 most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; 7 the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, 8 and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty. 9
- Deut. 6:4; Jer. 10:10; 1 Cor. 8:4,6; 1 Thess. 1:9
- Job 11:7-9; 26:14; Isa. 48:12; Acts 17:24-25
- Ex. 3:14; Job 11:7-8; 26:14; Ps. 145:3; Rom. 11:33-34; 1 Cor. 2:11
- John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15-16; Luke 24:39; Acts 14:11, 15; James 5:17
- Mal. 3:6; James 1:17; 1 Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23-24; Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Gen. 17:1; Rev. 4:8; Isa. 6:3; Rom. 16:27; Ps. 115:3; Ex. 3:14
- Eph. 1:11; Isa. 46:10; Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36
- 1 John 4:8, 16; Ex. 34:6-7
- Heb. 11:6; Gen. 15:1; Matt. 5:12; 10:41-42; Luke 6:35
- Neh 9:32-33; Ps. 5:5-6; 11:5; Nahum 1:2-3; Ex. 34:7
There is but one only living and true God (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 96:5; Jer. 10:10; 1 Cor 8:4, 6). His subsistence is in and of himself, that is, the three Persons of the Trinity, which will be spoken of in paragraph 3. This great God is infinite in being and perfection. He is infinite and perfect in all of His ways and attributes. Furthermore, no one can truly and fully comprehend this great God but Himself (Rom. 11:33-34). He is a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions (1 Tim. 1:17), meaning that He is free of the limitation of physical existence and emotions like humans (passions).
He possesses immortality by a necessity of His nature (1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16). Our immortality is delegated and derived from God, but His immorality is by necessity and thanks to His nature as God. God cannot but be immortal. He is not only immortal, but He is also immutable, i.e., unchanging (Mal 3:6; Jas. 1:17; Num. 23:19). He is immense, which means that He is without limits and immeasurable (1 Kgs. 8:27). He is eternal, meaning that He neither has a beginning or will He have an end (Ps. 90:2). He is almighty, which means that He can do and accomplish anything He pleases (Gen. 17:1; 18:14; Jer. 32:27). He is infinite, great, without limits and perfect in all His ways and attributes. He is most holy, meaning perfect, unique and separate from the rest (Isa. 6:3). He is most wise, in fact, He is the fountain of all knowledge and wisdom (e.g., Col. 2:3). He is most free, meaning that He is not limited or hindered by anything to accomplish His desires (Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Dan. 4:34-35). He is most absolute, meaning that He is the ground of all rea...