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The Attributes of God

In his outstanding little book, Discovering God, Philip Ryken tells how the Westminster divines decided to describe the majesty and glory of God. The year was 1647. A hundred or more of Britain’s most learned ministers and Bible scholars were meeting at Westminster Abbey in London to put the great doctrines of the Reformation down on paper. Their work proceeded steadily until they came to the divine attributes.

When it came to God, the Westminster divines hardly knew where to begin. For a while they tried – unsuccessfully – to write a suitable definition of deity. They became so discouraged that one of the members of the assembly suggested that they spend a season in prayer.

The young Scotsman George Gillespie stood up and prayed, “O God, thou who art a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in thy being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth –“ At which point someone interrupted and said something like, ‘Wait a minute; someone ought to be writing this down!’

There is some question as to whether or not that story is actually true, admits Ryken; however, there is little dispute about the quality of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC #4) answer to that question, “What is God?” God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” It is a good answer to the most profound of all questions.

Though more could be said, this Shorter Catechism Q/A #4 will provide the structure for this series on the attributes of God. We will consider the spirituality, infinity, eternity, impassibility, aseity, omniscience, omnipotence, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth of God, as well as his love.

Sermons & Summaries

Click on the link to access articles, summaries and audio for the series.