The Westminster Shorter Catechism: Question Four.

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

Question four of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC) begins a series of questions and answers concerning the nature of God, and starts with the very basic statement that “God is a Spirit.” It then goes on to describe the attributes of this Spirit; as Robert Reymond writes in A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith:

…God is a personal (see the ‘his’), noncorporeal Being who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his wisdom; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his power; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his holiness; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his justice; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his goodness; and infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his truth.” (page 164)

Because God chose to create man in His own image, He originally gave to him wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth to a degree, but with Adam’s sin this imago Dei [image of God] was unspeakably marred. But, even in man’s original non-fallen state, he was never infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. This is why some theologians have divided God’s attributes into two categories, communicable (those attributes that God shares with man at a certain level) and incommunicable (those attributes that are God’s alone).

One must always realize that the finite (man) can never comprehend completely the infinite (God), but graciously God has chosen to reveal Himself to man in nature (“the heavens declare the glory of God”), but, primarily, through His written Word. It is in God’s Word that we discover who God is, what He requires, the extent of His wrath, and the breadth of His marvelous mercy. God is not who we want Him to be; He is who the Bible says He is.

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