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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of three person in the Godhead.

Q. 6. How many Persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There are three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in Power and Glory.

Q. 1. What mean you by the word Godhead?
A. It is the Nature, Essence, or Being of God, as the Apostle speaks. Acts 17:29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art, and man's device.

Q. 2. What is a Person in the Godhead?
A. It is the Godhead distinguished by personal properties; each Person having his distinct personal Properties. Hebrews 1:3. Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power.

Q. 3. How doth it appear there are three persons, and no more?
A. First, from Christ's Baptism. Matthew 3:16-17. And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, and lo a voice from heave, saying, This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.

Q. 4. How else, in the second place doth it appear?
A. From the Institution of our Baptism. Matthew 28:19. Go ye therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, of the son, and of the holy Ghost.

Q. 5. What is the third Proof from Scripture?
A. From the Apostolic Benediction. 2 Corinthians 3:14. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, Amen. Where three distinct blessings are wished from the three divine Persons in the Godhead; Grace from Christ, Love from the Father, and Communion with the Spirit.

Q. 6. What further evidence is there of it in the Scripture?
A. From plain, positive assertions of the Scripture, asserting, First, A Trinity of Persons. Secondly, A Unity of Essence. 1 John 5:7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the word, and the holy Ghost, and these three are one.

Q. 7. What is the first Instruction from the Trinity?
A. That the Doctrine of the Gospel concerning Christ, is fully confirmed and ratified by three witnesses from Heaven, who are above all exceptions. 1 John 5:6. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the father, the word, and the Holy Ghost.

Q. 8. What is the second Inference from the Trinity?
A. Hence we learn the true order and manner of worshipping God the Son. John 6:23. Whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name, he will give it you. And by the Spirit. Ephesians 6:18. Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the spirit.

Q. 9. What is the third Inference from the Trinity?
A. That the Covenant of grace conveys a rich portion to Believers, in making over all three persons to them. Jeremiah 31:33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Q. 10. What is the fourth Instruction from the Trinity?
A. That as it is the duty of all the Saints to give distinct Glory to the three Persons in the Godhead; so it will be a special part of their blessedness in Heaven, to contemplate the distinct benefits received from them all. Revelation 1:5. And from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the Kings of the earth; unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

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