How and Why Did God Create Us?

New City Catechism Q4: “God created us male and female in his own image to know him, love him, live with him, and glorify him. And it is right that we who were created by God should live to his glory.”

God Created Us

God doesn’t act without purpose.


We are created beings. Nothing originated from man. Wisdom, intellect, consciousness, and humanity are all ideas from God. And this is a rarely disputed fact. That God created us is not a belief that is unique to Christianity. In fact, almost all people from all times and in all places assume our creation.


Why do people all throughout history believe that we are created? Romans 1 gives us the answer, “[God’s] invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made.”


God has partially revealed himself through creation. The skies, animals, humans, and everything else all point to an intelligent, creator God.


And we all know that God doesn’t act without purpose. Unlike us, he is not capricious. God created us with a reason, and his intentions will surely be met.

Male and Female

The first thing mentioned by the answer from the catechism is that we were created male and female. This may seem obvious to some, but there is actually deeper truth to be found here that can impact the way that we live our lives.


The first person created was a man name Adam. It wasn’t long after Adam’s creation that God saw that it was not good for him to be alone.So, he created a helpmate for him: a woman named Eve.


We were created male and female because we are meant to complement each other. Man and woman are meant for each other, and are better together. This is God’s good creative order.

In His Image

The doctrine of the Imago Dei is mentioned next. “Imago Dei” is a Latin phrase used throughout church history in reference to the Bible’s teaching on humankind being made in the image of God.


Though the fall has affected us and our nature totally, we maintain that we are still made in the image of God. Being made in the image of God doesn’t refer to any one specific characteristic that we have. Rather, it points to that God has made us with similarities to himself, though not exactly like himself.


Scripture continues to reveal what this means throughout the rest of its pages, and it may not be wise to try to give an exhaustive list of everything that this may mean.


What we do know is that there are many particular ways that God has made us like himself, and we are his representatives toward the rest of creation.

For Relationship with Him

Humans were not made to live life in isolation. In fact, it is very unhealthy for us to be without community with God and with others. From the first page of scripture, we see that God himself is relational: “Let us make man in our image.”


Very soon we also see that “It is not good for man to be alone.” We were created as relational creatures. And our chief relational need is for community with God.


This is a distinction that we have from the rest of creation. Notice how God doesn’t interact with the rest of creation the way he interacts with man in the accounts of creation. God creates and moves on from his creation of water, the skies, and everything else. Except humanity. He then begins talking to us and interacting with us.


Paul Tripp writes, “God knew that even though Adam and Eve were perfect people living in perfect relationship with him, they could not figure out life on their own. They were created to be dependent people.”

For His Glory

We were created to glorify God. There is no being in all of creation that compares to the creator. His love defines love. His wisdom defines wisdom. His perfection defines perfection.


In truth, only God is worthy to be glorified. So, we want to cry out with the Psalmist, “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory.”


We are meant to glorify God in our entire existence. By our breath, our belief, our obedience, our love, and everything else we have and do.
Another Latin phrase we should all be familiar with is “Soli Deo Gloria.” This phrase has been important in recent church history, and it means “Glory to God Alone.”

How You Should See Yourself

The answer to this question should not just affect the way you see God, it should also affect the way you see yourself. You are not an accident in God’s creation. You were created with purpose, and you bear the image of God.


Everyone, bearing the image of God, has inherent dignity and no live is without value. And this includes you.


But we also see from the answer to this question that we desperately need God. We were created for relationship with him. Trying to live your life apart from God is the epitome of foolishness.

How You Should See Others

Every single person alive is a person who is created by God in the image of God. They have a purpose. And nobody should ever be treated as insignificant, unimportant, or lesser than ourselves.


We should also recognize that every single person we will talk to today is in need of a relationship with the eternal God. The good news is that there is a way to have a sure, steadfast eternal relationship with him. This is why we must plead with people to be reconciled to God! They need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is our only hope of reconciliation.


We should treat others kindly, respectfully, and with love. And this love should drive us to deep, genuine care for their souls.


By Brooks Szewczyk

Pastoral Intern

The New City Catechism Question 3

Question: How Many Persons Are There in God?

Answer: There are three persons in the one true and living God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are the same in substance, equal in power and glory.


Importance of The Doctrines of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity has been one of the most foundational, essential beliefs of the Christian church throughout our history. This doctrine was taught by the apostles and by God himself through his word. And specific beliefs regarding the Trinity were clarified by councils and creeds of the early church.


Nature, Persons, Substance, and Essence

One necessary distinction that is made is that between persons and being. God is three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But, he is one being, meaning that he has one nature, substance, and essence.


We do not have three individual gods; Christianity is a monotheistic religion. As stated by the Shema from Deuteronomy 6, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Nevertheless, our unified God exists in three distinct persons.


Following is an explanation of the divinity of each of the three persons of the Trinity.


The Father as God

The first person of the Trinity is the Father. 1 Corinthians 8:6 says that “for us, there is one God, the Father. All things are from him, and we exist for him.”


Not as much of a defense needs to be made for the deity of the Father. This is clear throughout all of scripture and is not disputed by any who claim to be Christians.


The Son as God

In John 8, a group of Jews was challenging Jesus’ authority and teaching. They asked Jesus “You aren’t fifty years old yet, and you’ve seen Abraham?” Abraham had died over 2,000 years before Jesus was born, yet Jesus talked as if they knew each other. To their questions Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”


Jesus response was an echo of what God said to Moses when asked what his name is: I AM who I AM.” Jesus was claiming to be the God of Abraham, the God who spoke to Moses, and the God who existed before any of creation. He is claiming to be God.


Moreover, Paul teaches Christ’s divinity in Colossians when he says “The entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ.”


Not only in these passages, but also in many other passages and in many other ways does the Bible teach the divinity of Jesus.


The Spirit as God

The Bible also identifies the Holy Spirit as God in many passages. One of the clearest is when the apostle Peter rebukes Ananias saying “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit… You have not lied to people but to God.”


This passage shows the belief of the early church that the Holy Spirit was God. This is further confirmed in other passages throughout the Bible so that there is no doubt regarding the divinity of the Holy Spirit.


Historical Confessions

Many confessions and creeds have been written by the church from its beginnings to modernity that affirm and clarify the orthodox Christian beliefs on the doctrine of the Trinity. Some of the more well-known include the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.


The Athanasian Creed states that “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Persons of the Father: another of the Son: and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead… is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.”


Not Neglecting Worship

Our Triune God created us to worship and glorify him. When we neglect any person of the Trinity, we cease to worship God rightly, and we are not accomplishing our true calling.


The scriptures have laid out for us what we must believe about God. Therefore, deviating from the doctrine of the Trinity leaves us as idolaters and not true worshippers of God.


Our job is not to understand the complexities of God, nor is it to be able to fully explain what is meant to be a mystery to us. We cannot understand everything about God, and some things are left unexplained because God intends it that way.


Our job is to be faithful in holding steadfast to the things that God has revealed in his Word. This means being faithful to the worshipping our one God who exists eternally in three distinct persons. All of whom deserve our reverence and worship.


Unity Throughout History

We should also seek to be unified with all of those in the church for the last 2,000 years. This is why adherence to orthodoxy is so vital to us. This is why studying and memorizing confessions, creeds, and catechisms are crucial to us. These documents, these doctrines are the chain links that connect us with those have gone before us and those who will follow us as God continues to build his church on earth.


By Brooks Szewczyk

Pastoral Intern

The New City Catechism Question 2

Question: What is God?


Answer: God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will.


When it comes to the question What is God a foundational question is being asked. It may sound odd to ask the question what about a being, but it’s an important question. The question of who is a question about being and person, but when we ask what is God the aim is to define God. This is important because the question of who is God cannot be answered until we know what is God, just as we cannot identify who is a human until we know what is human.


So then, to answer this question, there are a few significant points that we need to consider. To define what is God we need to look at some of the attributes that characterize God. First and foremost, God is the creator of everyone and everything. He made everything that is in existence. From the birds in the sky, fish in the sea, and the creature that walks on land. God created the Earth. God made the sun and the stars. The creation account is found in Genesis 1. Genesis does not stand alone in this profession of God being the creator, but all throughout the Old and New Testament speaks to this truth (cf. Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 66:2, Colossians 1:16-17). Knowing that God is the creator is an important truth. If God is the creator of all things, then it must be that He is uncreated. He is not the product of another being that is larger than himself. If this were the case, then God would not be worthy of our worship and adoration. Because God created everyone and everything, and God is uncreated, then it stands to reason that God is also eternal. God has no beginning, nor no end. He has existed, and He will always exist. He is completely independent and relies on nothing for his own existence. If God’s existence was contingent on something or someone else, there is, once again, something or someone else deserving of our worship. As the Psalmist rightly states in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth,  or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”


Here are several additional defining attributes of God. He is omniscient. For instance, 1 John 3:20 states that God “knows everything.” God is also all-powerful, or omnipresent. Psalm 115:3 shows us that God can do, in fact, does, whatever He pleases. God is omnipresent. Psalm 139: 7-10 tells us that wherever the Psalmist chooses to go and hide, God will be there. Thus He is infinitely everywhere all the time. A god who lacks any of these attributes is not worthy of our worship.


Last, it is necessary to talk about God’s unchangeable nature. God does not change like us (Malachi 3:6). This is a beautiful truth. A fickle God could love us one moment than smite the next like many of the other gods of false religions. Instead, we know that God is good (Psalm 136:1). God is wise (Romans 11:33). God is just (Romans 3:25-26). God is true (John 3:33). God is love (1 John 4:8). And God is holy (Isaiah 6:3). While this is not an exhaustive list of God’s nature, we can be sure that these attributes of God will always be true. God will never change nor be evil. Nor will He be unjust, a liar, a fool, or wicked. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.


And why is it important to know the attributes of God? Why is it necessary to know, “What is God?” As alluded to before, it is essential to understand the characteristics of God so that we can answer, Who is God? We can know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God. But the what provides the definition for the who.


Along with this, our worship should be affected by meditating on what is God. When we think on all that God is, it should drive us to our knees in adoration, awe, and wonder. Look to the stars in the dead of a clear night. Look at the moon. Soak in their splendor, brightness, beauty and know that it is God who made them. This is a type of worship that can be practiced minute by minute by what we see. And it doesn’t end here. Meditate, daily, on God’s infinitude, his eternal being, his nature. Remind yourself of his glory and greatness, and each day worship our magnificent God.


By Logan Kane

Pastoral Resident

The New City Catechism – Question 1

Q: What is our only hope in life and death?

A: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.


Main Idea

Adam and Eve were created knowing that their only hope in life and death was found in God, their Creator. But they eventually turned away from God by disobeying God’s command (Genesis 3:1-7). And since Adam and Eve’s sin mankind continually find their hope for life and death in anything other than God. From materialism, intellectual assent, or inward self-reliance, hope has been misplaced. Mankind hopes in anything but the God who created them. Sin has a powerful way of deceiving the heart and mind. However, God in his mercy and grace provides a more powerful way for a person to place hope in life and death properly. It says in 2 Corinthians 5: 21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus Christ took on our sin when he died on the cross. Jesus defeated the power of sin when he rose from the grave. And through saving faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ hope in life and death can be properly understood. Romans 14:7-8 sums up what it means for Christians to find their all-satisfying hope in Jesus.


For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.


In short, all people ultimately belong to the Sovereign God of the universe. But only by faith in Jesus Christ can a person understand that they belong to God and, therefore have true lasting hope in this life, and in eternity.


How Do I Apply Question 1?

To know where you place your only hope has remarkable consequences. If your only hope in life and death is in the triune God than what you do, what you say, how you spend time and money will orientate around God. You will not live to please yourself, but you will live to please God. If you know that you belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God than how you view eternity changes. You will experience this temporal life with eternity in view. Christians need to flee the temptation to live unto themselves, unlike Adam and Eve. Instead strive, by the grace of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, live wholly unto God.


Soli Deo Gloria.

Catechism Intro: The Truth of God for Our Mind and Heart

What is a Catechism?

Among many evangelical circles, the word catechism might be foreign. Perhaps even archaic. But catechisms are wonderful. The practice of catechesis is a means to internalize biblical truth. A good catechism is theologically rich, expresses the attributes of God, provide color to the reading of Scripture, and helps a person understand God’s creation, mankind’s sin, and God’s plan of redemption. In greek catechism means “to teach orally or to instruct by word of mouth.” In Galatians 6:6 Paul writes, “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.” The Greek word for “the one who is taught” is katechoumenos, which means the one who is criticized.1 Therefore, the aim of using The New City Catechism is to be taught the truth of God from the Scriptures. The question and answer format of catechisms reflect the oral teaching and learning. But with a much higher literacy rate in the 21st century than from the 1st century, catechism can be learned from what we read, hear, and say.


Why use a Catechism?

The use of a catechism isn’t as foreign as one may think. Catechisms have been in use for centuries. Various catechisms aided the growth and movement of the Reformation. The Heidelberg Catechism of 1563 and Westminster Shorter and Longer catechism of 1648 stand out. Timothy Keller lists out three reasons why catechisms are significant and why churches need to rediscover catechism.


Catechisms were written with at least three purposes. The first was to set forth a comprehensive exposition of the gospel—not only in order to explain clearly what the gospel is, but also to lay out the building blocks on which the gospel is based, such as the biblical doctrine of God, of human nature, of sin, and so forth. The second purpose was to do this exposition in such a way that the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of the time and culture were addressed and counteracted. The third and more pastoral purpose was to form a distinct people, a counterculture that reflected the likeness of Christ not only in individual character but also in the church’s communal life. 2


Catechisms are lovely gospel truths which shape the mind and heart. Catechisms, by its nature, involves more than one person. While a person can sit down and memorize the question and answer it is ideal that catechisms are learned in groups. From a reader-response on a Sunday morning sermon to a Father disciplining his child, catechism invites community.


How will Catechism be used at Redemption Hill Church?

It is because of the reasons listed above, and many others, that Redemption Hill Church embraces catechism. In particular, we will be using the New City Catechism. You can expect to see catechism as apart of our call to worship on Sunday mornings; in Redemption Hill Kids; and parents have the opportunity to disciple their children at home. The goal is to connect and integrate what parents and children hear at church to foster discipleship and family devotions at home.


This blog will serve as a resource to think deeply about the truth of God and to present possible points of application and to connect theological truth with Scripture.


New City Catechism Resources

There are cheap and free resources for The New City Catechism. I encourage parents to download the app and to purchase The New City Catechism for Kids. The app is wonderful. It provides memorable songs that young children will enjoy.