What the Bible Teaches us About God
Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:22NKJV
Question 6 of the Larger Catechism asks, “What do the scriptures make known of God?” It gives the answer, “The scriptures make known what God is, the persons of the Godhead, his decrees, and the execution of his decrees.” Think of it, everything that the Bible teaches us concerning God is summed up in these four categories:
What God is.
The persons of the Godhead.
The execution of His decrees.
We have already seen that all men know that God is – or to say it somewhat imperfectly, that God exists – from the creation itself. The heavens declare His glory (Ps.19). His eternal power and divine nature are seen in “the things that are made” (Rom. 1). These truths about God are revealed naturally or generally to all, through the ordinary activity of all of God’s created universe. This revealing activity is so constant and plain that it leaves all rational beings without excuse before God, for His invisible attributes are clearly seen by them. The science of theology refers to this constant teaching that is given to mankind by and through all created beings as “general revelation.” Theologians differ on whether people can know the persons of the Godhead, or to what degree we can know God’s decrees from general revelation, but all agree that the being of God is clearly declared by both general and “special revelation.”
Special revelation provides far more than truths about the being of God. Special revelation includes every instance of God’s revealing of some truth specially and supernaturally, in a moment of time to a specific audience. Thus, God speaking through prophets, through angels, to Moses in the burning bush, and in the Scriptures are examples of special revelation. It is special in that it is not revelation given generally to all, but only to those who heard that prophet, saw those angels, were at the burning bush, or to those who actually pick up a Bible and read it, or hear it read or preached in a language they can understand. Furthermore, since those former ways of speaking through angels and prophets have now ceased (Heb.1:1-2), special revelation today exclusively refers to the knowledge we have through the Scriptures. In the Bible alone God certainly and unambiguously speaks.
And so what does the catechism mean by this fourfold answer as to what the Scriptures make known of God? First, the Bible teaches that God is. “The fool says in his heart ‘There is no God,’” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1). The Bible says there is a God. Second, the Bible teaches that there is one God in three persons. The Godhead is composed of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is fully God in that He has all the attributes of God, but there are not three separate gods, there is only one God. God is one in His essence or being and three in His persons. While this is a mystery in that we cannot fully understand it, it is not a contradiction or it would make no sense of all. God is one in one kind of thing: being, and three in another kind of thing: person. Third the Bible teaches us about God’s decrees. It tells us what God has done, that He has made a creation and that He governs it according to His own will. God’s decrees include all that God has done, is doing, and will do in and for His creation. Finally, the Bible reveals how God carries out His decrees. It reveals to us how God created, how He rules over all things, and how He brings His elect to the fullness of salvation. Everything God wants us to know about Himself, He has put in the Bible, and with each addition He provided irrefutable proof that it was His inerrant, infallible, and powerful word that was given and not the word of mere men. The Bible is not man’s thoughts about God but God revealing to us His mind and will, which is sufficient for the full life and godliness of every person. If you do not already commit to reading God’s special revelation every day.