WCF 2.1 — Pastoral Comments

Posted on Jan 28, 2018 by admin

2.1 There is but one only,1 living, and true God,2 who is infinite in being and perfection,3 a most pure spirit,4 invisible,5 without body, parts,6 or passions;7 immutable,8 immense,9 eternal,10 incomprehensible,11 almighty,12 most wise,13 most holy,14 most free,15 most absolute;16 working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will,17 for His own glory;18 most loving,19 gracious, merciful, long–suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;20 the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him;21 and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments,22 hating all sin,23 and who will by no means clear the guilty.24

1 Deut 6:4; 1 Cor 8:4, 6; 2 1 Thes 1:9; Jer 10:10;  3 Job 11:7–9; 26:14;  4 Jn 4:24;  5 1 Tim 1:17;  6 Deut 4:15–16; Jn 4:24; Lk 24:39;  7 Acts 14:11, 15;  8 Jas  1:17; Mal 3:6;  9 1 Kgs 8:27; Jer 23:23–24;  10 Ps 90:2; 1 Tim 1:17;  11 Ps 145:3;  12 Gen 17:1; Rev 4:8;  13 Rom 16:27;  14 Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8;  15 Ps 115:3; 16 Ex 3:14;  17 Eph 1:11;  18 Prov 16:4; Rom 11:36;  19 1 Jn 4:8, 16;  20 Ex 34:6–7;  21 Heb 11:6;  22 Neh 9:32–33;  23 Ps 5:5–6;  24 Nah 1:2, 3; Ex 34:7.

What does the word “God” mean to you? Most people have a certain idea or definition of God when using the word or talking about Him. However, it is clear that not everyone understands or uses the word in the same way. For some, God is merely an impersonal force or source of energy. For others, God is merely an idea that human beings have invented to explain the unexplainable. And still for others, there are many gods in the universe but no one ultimate and supreme God.

When we, as Christians, talk about God, we are talking about the God of the Bible, that is, the God who has revealed Himself to us in His Word. And the first thing we learn about God from the Bible is that He alone is God and there are no other gods beside Him. This means that all other gods (and all other ideas of god) beside the God of the Bible are necessarily false and to be rejected. Secondly, we learn that God is very different from us and indeed from all of creation. For example, He alone is infinite, eternal, unchangeable, almighty, all-wise and so on. And unlike human beings, He has no physical body or parts or passions, which are the motions of the soul worked out through the body in relation to perceived good or evil. Thirdly, we learn that He is a good God – that is, a God of love, grace, mercy, and patience; and a God who delights in forgiving sinners and rewarding those who truly seek after Him. Fourthly, we learn that He is a God of justice and judgment and truth – a God who hates all sin and who will not allow any sin to go unpunished.

One final but important comment before we end – when we think about God, we should be careful not to take one characteristic or attribute of God and make it everything to the neglect of His other attributes. So for example, we should not emphasize God’s love so much that we neglect His justice; or highlight His sovereignty and power to the neglect of His wisdom and righteousness. We need to seek to integrate all that the Bible teaches us about God with the same balance that the Bible itself gives. In this way, we will not become imbalanced in our understanding of God or worse still, end up worshipping a God of our own making and imagination.

Westminster Confession of Faith — With Brief Pastoral Comments
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