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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

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