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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of one God.

Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.


Q. 1. How doth it appear that there is but one God?
A. It is evident from Scripture that there is but one God. Deuteronomy 6:4. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Jeremiah 10:10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King; and as Scripture reveals no more, so Reason will allow no more.

Q. 2. Why will Reason allow no more but one God?
A. Because God is the First Being. Revelation 1:12. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and there can be but one First Being, and God is the most perfect, and excellent Being. Psalm 71:19. Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hath done great things: O God, who is like unto thee? And there can be but one most perfect and Excellent Being.

Q. 3. But doth not the Scripture say in 1 Corinthians 8:5. That there are Gods many ,and Lords many?
A. Yes, there are many in Title, and many in Opinion; but one only in Truth. Jeremiah 10:10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King.

Q. 4. Why is he called the true God?
A. To distinguish him from the Idols and false Gods of the Heathens. 1 Thessalonians 1:9. How ye turned to God from Idols, to serve the living and true God. Acts 14:15. We preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.

Q. 5. Why is he called the living God?
A. Because all Life, Natural, Spiritual, and Eternal, is in him, and from him only. First Natural Life. Acts 17:28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Secondly, Spiritual Life. Ephesians 2:1. You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Thirdly, Eternal Life in glory. Colossians 3:4. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Q. 6. What is the first Instruction from hence?
A. If but one God, then all his children should be of one heart, having one and the same Father. Ephesians 4:5-6. One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Q. 7. What is the second Instruction from hence?
A. That it is Idolatry to perform worship to any other but God only. Psalm 86: 9-10. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name, for thou art great, and doest wondrous things, thou art God alone.

Q. 8. What is the third Inference from it?
A. That our supreme love is due to God only, and 'tis very sinful to place it on any other. Deuteronomy 6:4, 6. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy might.

Q. 9. What is the fourth Inference from God's Unity?
A. That God only must have the reliance and dependance of our Souls. Jeremiah 17:5, 7. Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Q. 10. What is the last inference from it?
A. That we have great cause to be thankful for the Gospel which discovers the only true God to us, and that we are not as the heathens, worshipping many false Gods. 1 Corinthians 8:5-6. For though there be that are called Gods many, whether in heaven, or in earth, as there be Gods many, and Lords many: but to us there is but one God, the father of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

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