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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q.4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

1. Is God a Spirit? Yes: for Christ himself has said, God is a Spirit, John 4:24. Is he a pure Spirit? Yes: for God is light, and with him is no darkness at all, 1 John 1:5. Has he a body as we have? No: Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as a man seeth? Job 10:4. Can he be seen with bodily eyes? No. For he is one whom no man hath seen, or can see, 1 Tim. 6:16. Are not the angels spirits? Yes: He maketh his angels spirits, Ps. 104:4. Are not the souls of men spirits? Yes: for he formeth the spirit of man within him, Zech. 12:1. But is God a Spirit like unto them? No: for he is the Father of spirits, Heb. 12:9.

2.Is God infinite? Yes: for we cannot by searching find out God, Job 11: 7. Is he contained in any place? No: for the heaven of heavens cannot contain him, 1 Kings 8:27. Is he everywhere present? Yes: for whither can we go from his Spirit, or flee from his presence? Ps. 139:7. Can any hide himself in secret places that God shall not see him? No: for do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord, Jer. 23:24.

3.Is God eternal? Yes: from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God, Ps. 90:2. Had he beginning of days? No: for he is the Ancient of days, Dan. 7:9. Shall there be any end of his life? No: for he is the same, and his years have no end, Ps. 102:27. Is there with him any succession of time? No : for his days are not as the days of man, Job 10: 5. Can he die? No: he is the only potentate, that hath immortality, 1 Tim. 6:16.

4. Is God unchangeable? Yes: for he is the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, nor shadow of turning, Jam. 1:17. Is there any decay of his perfections? No : for he fainteth not, neither is weary, Isa. 40:28. Is there any alteration in his counsels? No: for he is not a man that he should repent, 1 Sam. 15: 29. Is it well for us that he is unchangeable? Yes: I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed, Mal. 3: 6.

5. Is God infinite in his being? Yes: for he has said, I AM THAT I AM, Exod. 3:14. Is he self-existent? Yes: for the Father hath life in himself John 5:26. Is he the best of beings? Yes: for who is a God like unto him? Exod. 15:11. Is he the first of causes? Yes: for he is the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, 1 Cor. 8:6. Is he the highest of powers? Yes: for he King of kings, and Lord of lords, 1 Tim. 6:15.

6. Is he a God of perfect knowledge? Yes: for his understanding is infinite, Ps. 147:5. Can any thing be hid from him? No: for all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do, Heb. 4:13. Does he know things to come? Yes: for he declareth the end from the beginning, Isa. 46:10. Does he know our hearts? Yes: for he understandeth our thoughts afar off; Ps. 139:2. Does he know all our actions? Yes: for his eyes are upon the ways of man, Job 34:21.

7. Is God infinitely wise? Yes: for wisdom and might are his, Dan. 2:20. Are all his works wisely done? Yes: in wisdom he hath made them all, Ps. 104:24. And particularly the work of redemption? Yes: for it is the wisdom of God in a mystery, 1 Cor. 2:7. Can the wisdom of God's counsels be fathomed? No : 0 the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! Rom. 11:33.

8. Is. he a God of power? Yes: God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God, Ps. 62:11. Is he Almighty? Yes: he is the Lord God Almighty, Rev. xv. 3. Is his power irresistible ? Yes: for none can stay his hand, Dan. 4:35. Is his sovereignty incontestable? Yes: for he giveth not account of any of his matters, Job 33:13. Is any thing too hard for him? No: for with God all things are possible, Matt. 19:26.

9. Is he a God of perfect holiness? Yes: for holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, Isa. 6:3. Is there iniquity with God? No: he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, Heb. 1:13. Is this his glory? Yes: for he is glorious in holiness, Exod. 15:11. And must we give him the glory of it? Yes: give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, Ps. 30:4. And must we study herein to resemble him? Yes: Be ye holy, for I am holy, I Pet. 1:16.

10. Is he a just and righteous Governor? Yes : the Lord is righteous in all his ways, Ps. 145:17. Did he ever do wrong to any of' his creatures? No: there is no unrighteousness in him, Ps. 92:15. And does justice please him? Yes: the righteous Lord loveth righteousness, Ps. 11:7.

11. Is he a merciful God ? Yes: he is the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, Exod. 34:6. And a good God? Yes: thou art good, and dost good, Ps. 119:68. Is he universally good? Yes: for he is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works, Ps. 145:9. Is he in a special manner good to his own people? Yes: for truly God is good to Israel, Ps 73:1. And should we acquaint ourselves with his goodness? Yes: 0 taste, and see that the Lord is good, Ps. 34:8.

12. Is he a God of truth? Yes: the truth of the Lord endures for ever, Ps. 117:2. Will he perform all his promises? Yes : for he is faithful that hath promised, Heb. 10:23. Is there any danger of his deceiving us? No: it is impossible for God to lie, Heb. 6:18.

13. Is this a complete description of God? No: for, lo, these are but part of his ways; and how little a portion is heard of him! Job 26:14. Must we therefore always speak of God with reverence? Yes: for behold God is great, and we know him not, Job 36: 26. And must we pray to him to teach us what we shall say? Yes: for we cannot order our speech by reason of darkness, Job 37:19.

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