1689: 2.1 God and the Holy Trinity (Pt 1)
1. The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God.1 He is self-existent2 and infinite in being and perfection. His essence cannot be understood by anyone but him.3 He is a perfectly pure spirit.4 He is invisible and has no body, parts, or changeable emotions.a He alone has immortality, dwelling in light that no one can approach.5 He is unchangeable,6immense,b,7 eternal,8 incomprehensible, almighty,9 in every way infinite, absolutely holy,10 perfectly wise, wholly free, completely absolute. He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and completely righteous will11 for his own glory.12 He is most loving, gracious, merciful, and patient. He overflows with goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. He rewards those who seek him diligently.13 At the same time, he is perfectly just and terrifying in his judgments.14 He hates all sin15 and will certainly not clear the guilty.16
btranscends all space
11 Corinthians 8:4, 6; Deuteronomy 6:4. 2Jeremiah 10:10; Isaiah 48:12. 3Exodus 3:14. 4John 4:24. 51 Timothy 1:17; Deuteronomy 4:15, 16. 6Malachi 3:6. 71 Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 23:23. 8Psalm 90:2. 9Genesis 17:1. 10Isaiah 6:3. 11Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 46:10. 12Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36. 13Exodus 34:6, 7; Hebrews 11:6. 14Nehemiah 9:32, 33. 15Psalm 5:5, 6. 16Exodus 34:7; Nahum 1:2, 3.
Hopefully, you have listened to the lectures/sermons I directed you toward last week. If not, I encourage you to do that now. There is a lot to cover in this particular paragraph and I am not going to rush us past the significance of it- I don't feel rushed in the slightest bit and neither should you. I am going to take this paragraph as it is segmented by its footnotes. So, in this particular section, I want to focus on the first two comments:
1. The Lord our God is one, the only living and true God.1
2. He is self-existent2
Christianity is a monotheistic religion. That is to say that we believe there is one God. We do not believe or confess there are three gods (tritheism or polytheism). We do not confess that our one God manifests Himself at different times as different persons (modalism). We confess that our God is one and the only true and living God. The framers of the Confession utilized 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 and Deuteronomy 6:4 to reinforce this orthodox position.
4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6 NKJV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV)
In these two passages of Scripture we see Paul assert that there is "no other God but one". And if you don't think there is strategic sarcasm in the Bible, you will find it in this particular passage when Paul says "so-called gods" or "an idol is nothing in the world". In other words, there are no other gods. Furthermore, (and I don't want to get to far ahead of myself) Paul mentions both God the Father and the 'Lord Jesus Christ" and puts them demonstrates they are equal by saying all things come through the Father and the Son (and because we know the rest of our Bibles, we know the same to be true of the Spirit, but that is not the aim of this particular post).
Now, Paul is only reasserting what God revealed to Moses long ago (see Deuteronomy 6:4). The Lord God is one. There is none beside Him. He has no equal. No one can usurp His authority. All things were made for Him and by Him.
The second statement is equally important in the Confession. The Framers assert that God is self-existent. That means He does not depend on anything or anyone for His existence. He simply is.
The prophet Jeremiah asserts this in Jeremiah 10:10
"But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation." (NKJV)
Notice the word, everlasting. It means never dying or unending- always going- never starting- never finishing. God is our everlasting King.
Then we have God speaking through Isaiah in chapter 48:12:
“Listen to Me, O Jacob,
And Israel, My called:
I am He, I am the First,
I am also the Last." (NKJV)
First. Last. Believer, the Scripture is clear. Our God is one and He depends on nothing or no one for His existence. This kind of God is worthy of our absolute devotion and praise.