This is part of an ongoing series of posts that provides some resources on theology and applications behind each question of the New City Catechism. This is an expansion of the resources provided on the official site. We hope these posts will help you better understand biblical teaching as you study and memorize each question and answer.
Q2. What is God?
God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will.
Ps 86:8-9,15. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. . . . You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Heb 11:3. “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
Ps 102:25-27. Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Isa 14:24. The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.”
Ps 34:8. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
Rom 16:27. To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
God is an eternal, independent being…. He gives being to all creatures…. God is an eternal, unchangeable being…. His being is without any limits. Angels and men have their beings, but then they are bounded and limited;…but God is an immense being that cannot be included within any bounds…. There never was nor shall be time wherein God could not say of himself, ‘I am’…. He is a God that gives being to all things…. He is the Being of beings, subsisting by himself;…‘I am that I am, and as I am, so will I be to all eternity’…. He is infinite in power, sovereign in dominion, and not bounded as creatures are…. He is so strong that he is almighty, he is one to whom nothing is impossible…. He wanteth nothing, but is infinitely blessed with the infinite perfection of his glorious being…self-sufficient, all-sufficient, absolutely perfect…. There is no succession or variation in God, but he is eternally the same…. God ever was, ever is, and ever shall be. Though the manifestations of himself unto the creatures are in time, yet his essence or being never did nor shall be bound up by time. Look backward or forward, God from eternity to eternity, is a most self-sufficient, infinite, perfect, blessed being, the first cause of our being, and without any cause of his own being; an eternal infinite fulness, and possession to himself and of himself. What God is, he was from eternity, and what God is, he will be so to eternity.
– Thomas Brooks (1608–1680)
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).
– Matthew Henry
I believe, O sovereign Goodness, O mighty Wisdom, that thou dost sweetly order and govern all things, even the most minute, even the most noxious, to thy glory, and the good of those that love thee. I believe, O Father of the families of heaven and earth, that thou so disposest all events, as may best magnify thy goodness to all thy children, especially those whose eyes wait upon thee. I most humbly beseech thee, teach me to adore all thy ways, though I cannot comprehend them; teach me to be glad that thou art king, and to give thee thanks for all things that befall me; seeing thou hast chosen that for me, and hast thereby ‘set to thy seal that they are good.’ And for that which is to come, give me thy grace to do in all things what pleaseth thee; and then, with an absolute submission to thy wisdom, to leave the issues of them in thy hand.
– John Wesley (1703–1791)