Welcome back to week 4 in our series on the modified Baptist Catechism. So far, we’ve addressed the first eight questions of this document. Today, we pick up we left off last week – on what God is.
Question 9: Are there more gods than one?
Answer 9: There is only one living and true God.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4; Jeremiah 10:10; Psalm 96:4-5.
So, having learned what God is from the previous question, we now concern ourselves with whether He is the only being like this. The question is slightly nuanced, in that while He is indeed the only “living and true God”, He is not the only “god” in the eyes of man.
We see that God is living; He is not an impersonal force, but rather He is a conscious and active being. While this should come as no surprise, we still ought to consider the implications. Meditate on this for a while, and really drive it home to yourself that God is living. Some of us have a tendency to forget this, at least partially, and act as though God is a concept or a force. No: our God is a mighty, living King.
We also see that our God is true. The pagan “gods” are idols of stone, wood, metal – perishable things, blind, deaf, and mute. The Bible is full of instances where God shames the “gods” of the people – the 10 plagues of Exodus are judgments on specific “gods” of Egypt. When the Ark of the Covenant was stolen and brought into the temple of Dagon, in the morning the people found the idol of Dagon bowed towards the Ark (1 Sam 5). And in 1 Kings 18: 20-39, God puts Baal to shame – seriously, if you’re not familiar with this story, go and read it. It’s not very long, and it’s fantastic.
In conclusion: There is only one God who is living and true. The idols of man are not living, and the demons are not true “gods”. Our God reigns with no real opposition – at least, none which concerns Him.
Question 10: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer 10: There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:11; 8:6; John 1:1; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28; Acts 5:3,4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3.
This question regards the Trinity. That is, the orthodox doctrine that there are three persons who are God – three persons making up one being. This is difficult for us to understand because we are one person making up one being. But let’s address what we know about this.
First, Jesus is God. Titus 2:13 states this clear as day.
Second, Jesus is separate from the Father: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” – John 1:1.
Third, there is identified “another Helper to be with you forever” (John 14:16-17) who is identified as the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3) and lying to the Holy Spirit is the same thing as lying to God (Acts 5: 3-4).
Fourth, the Father exists and is in Jesus as Jesus is in the Father (John 14:10).
These three persons are all God – they’re the same in essence – and all three are equal in power and glory.
That concludes our fourth week in the Baptist Catechism. This was a fairly short one, as this week’s questions both regard basic doctrines of the orthodox Christian faith. Next week, however, we’ll be digging deep with the decrees of God. I hope you’ll join us then!