Q: What is God?
A: God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.
Over the past several months, we have considered the various attributes of God displayed in the answer to question 4 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. In this article, we will draw our study to a close by looking at the truth (or faithfulness) of God.
God is the God of truth. By that I mean not only that God establishes the truth by His decree, but that God is true to all the promises He makes. He does not lie to us. What He promises to us He will bring to pass. In other words, God is faithful.
We find the faithfulness of God in His very name, given to us in the Old Testament: Yahweh. When you read the Old Testament and see the word “LORD” in all capital letters, you are being told that God’s name, Yahweh, is being used there. The name Yahweh has a very special meaning, which we see in Exodus 3:13-15:
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘Yahweh has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
What’s going on here? The name of God, Yahweh, is derived from the Hebrew word for “I am” or, perhaps more accurately, “I will be.” While this certainly manifests the nature of God as the eternally abiding, all-sufficient, independent One, it also shows us that when it comes to His saving relationship to His people, He will not change. To say that God’s name is “Yahweh” in connection to Him being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is to say that the covenant established with them had not failed. Though Israel was in the chains of Egypt, though they were driven to and fro by the harsh whips of their task masters, God’s promises would come about. He would redeem them by His mighty hand and outstretched arm, because He promised to do so.
One of the ways in which we clearly see the faithfulness of God to us is found in the covenant of grace that He has made with His people in Christ. We broke His covenant by being unfaithful to Him. Adam failed to keep the covenant of works, and all subsequent to Him are neither willing nor able to keep that covenant. As a result, God’s curse rightly falls upon us. Yet He promised to save His people from their sins. How was Yahweh to fulfill His promise to save His people? He was so faithful to His promise to make for Himself a fully redeemed people that He came in the person of His Son to suffer and die for our sins. Though we were unfaithful to Him, He was faithful to us. Though we deserved His curse because of our sins, Yahweh incarnate became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) that we might be His redeemed people. If you want to see how faithful God is to keep His covenant promises, look to Jesus. He is the means by which Yahweh brings about all His promises to His elect, “for all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Do you know the unfailing promises of our faithful God that were accomplished in Christ? They are innumerable! Search the Scriptures. Find God’s promises to those who believe in Christ. Claim them as your own through faith in Christ. “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).