Westminster Shorter Catechism Q4

"Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old." Micah 7:18-20

Q. 4. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

In reformed theology, there is what we call the categorical distinction between God and man. God is the Creator, we are creatures. This has major implications in the lives of believers: we are not God, nor will we ever become like God. We do not share in His nature or being, nor do we have the same knowledge as God does. 

Fransiscus Junius, in his "On True Theology", makes the distinction of archetypal theology and ectypal theology. Archetypal theology is the knowledge that God knows of Himself, which is perfect knowledge; only God has archetypal theology. We have ectypal theology; the knowledge of God as He has revealed Himself (Deuteronomy 29:29). It is not that God is hiding something from His creatures, but from the good pleasure of His will, He has revealed Himself to our capacity as creatures. This is paramount, for in our sin, we put God in the same category as us. But He is not. He is completely, 100% different from us, an entirely different category. 

He is Spirit, we are flesh. He is infinite and eternal; we are finite and mortal. He is unchanging in all His being and ways; we are fickle. He is holy, and without sin; we are depraved, and full of sin. 

What else has this God revealed about Himself? He is love. He is merciful. He is full of Grace. He is a Father. He has sent His only Son to be the propitiating sacrifice and imputing righteousness for His people (1 John 2:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He gives His Spirit without measure (John 3:34). He is the God who keeps His promises. 

Oh sinners and saints, praise this God who is not like us. It is only this God who is worthy to be praised.

Comment

Rob Smith

Hello friends, here's my story and I'm sticking to it: The Lord saved my soul 9 years ago, and after years of immaturity and growing in grace, all the praise and glory goes to our Triune God for carrying me all the way! I define being "Reformed" by what I've coined as  the "3 Big C's": Confessional, Covenantal, and Calvinistic, all of which I am spiritually convicted of and unashamedly hold to, as far as they agree with the Word of God. In total, I am Presbyterian. I love reading old reformed systematic theologies, and am a huge Church History buff. I am happily married to the most godly and beautiful woman who never stops laughing, Ryan. We have two gorgeous covenant daughters, Charlotte and Lilian-James (Lilian-James is still baking in the oven). My family and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, living for God's glory and our enjoyment of Him, all of which is by His work of Grace alone.