The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 5 and 6

Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?

A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

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.

I believe these two questions should be looked at together since they present two very important aspects of “what man is to believe concerning God.” At the heart of the Biblical doctrine of God is the fact that He is one God. Deuteronomy 6:4 clearly states: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” The Bible makes no effort to prove the existence of God; it simply begins with the assumption that He exists, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Moses drove this fact home to the children of Israel when he proclaimed, “know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)

Although the oneness of God is proclaimed throughout Scripture we clearly see that the Father is called God, the Son is called God, and the Holy Spirit is called God. We are told to pray to “Our Father who art in heaven.” When John began his Gospel describing Jesus he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In Titus 2:13 Jesus is called “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

As for the Holy Spirit, in Acts 5:3-4 we read: “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.’” In verse 3 it speaks of Ananias lying to the Holy Spirit and in verse 4, He is called God.

So, how can God be both one, and, yet, exist in three Persons? I can’t explain it, but it is the clear testimony of Scripture, and the Catechism states it well that “these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.” As I have stated earlier, our God is an infinite God and is bigger than we can ever understand, but He is One in whom we can put our trust.

“Lord, we thank You that You have chosen to reveal Yourself to us, even though You are far too great for us to ever comprehend.”


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