Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity

  1. The Lord our God is the one and only living and true God.1 His subsistence [life or existence] is in and of himself.2 He is infinite in being and perfection, and his essence cannot be understood by anyone but himself.3 He is perfectly and purely spirit,4 invisible, without body, parts, or passions. He alone has immortality, and dwells in the light which no man can approach.5 He is unchangeable,6 immense [beyond containment],7 eternal,8 incomprehensible, almighty, infinite in every way,9 perfectly holy, perfectly wise, entirely free, completely absolute.10 He works all things according to the counsel of his own unchangeable and entirely righteous will11 for his own glory.12 He is perfectly loving, gracious, merciful, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and is the rewarder of those that diligently seek him.13 At the same time, he is entirely just14 and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin,15 and will by no means clear [acquit] the guilty.16

1 1Cor 8.4-6; Dt 6.4 2 Jer 10.10; Is 48.12 3 Ex 3.14 4 Jn 4.24 5 1Tim 1.17; Dt 4.15-16 6 Mal 3.6 7 1Kgs 8.27; Jer 23.23 8 Ps 90.2 9 Gen 17.1 10 Is 6.3 11 Ps 115.3; Is 46.10 12 Prv 16.4; Rom 11.36 13 Ex 34.6-7; Heb 11.6 14 Neh 9.32-33 15 Ps 5.5-6 16 Ex 34.7; Nah 1.2-3

  1. God has all life,17 glory,18 goodness, and blessedness19 in and of himself. He alone is all-sufficient in and to himself; he does not stand in need of any creature which he has made, nor does he derive any glory from them;20 rather, he manifests his own glory in, by, to, and upon them. He only is the fountain [source] of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things,21 and he has absolutely sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatever pleases him.22 In his sight all things are clear and manifest [plain];23 his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent of created beings,24 so that to him nothing is contingent or uncertain. He is entirely holy in all his counsels, in all his works,25 and in all his commands. He is entitled to whatever worship,26 service, or obedience angels and men considered as creatures owe to the Creator, and whatever else he is pleased to require of them.

17 Jn 5.26 18 Ps 148.13 19 Ps 119.68 20 Jb 22.2-3 21 Rom 11.34-36 22 Dan 4.25, 34-35 23 Heb 4.13 24 Ez 11.5; Acts 15.18 25 Ps 145.17 26 Rev 5.12-14

  1. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences [or persons], the Father, the Word (or Son), and Holy Spirit.27 These three are of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided.28 The Father is not derived from anyone – he is neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father;29 the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.30 They are all infinite, without beginning, and therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being. Nevertheless, they are distinguished by several distinctive, relative properties, and by personal relations. This doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion [fellowship] with God, and our comfortable [secure and assured] dependence on him.

27 1Jn 5.7; Mt 28.19; 2Cor 13.14 28 Ex 3.14; Jn 14.11; 1Cor 8.6 29 Jn 1.14, 18 30 Jn 15.26; Gal 4.6