Q3: How many persons are there in God?
A: There are three persons in the one true and living God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are the same in substance, equal in power and glory. (Crossway 2017)
2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (ESV)
The Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
Understanding the true nature of God reveals to us the fullness of God and his love for us. We see the Father who loves us so much that he sent the Son. We see the Son who, also in love, gave his life as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. We see the Spirit, who because of God’s love dwells in us giving us power to live for God. Each “person” of God plays a significant role in both our ability to know God and be known by him. God uses his nature to make his love for us both known and available. By knowing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we come to know and experience the fullness of God.
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
- 1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
- John 10:14-18 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
- John 14:15-17 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
When we see God’s love in its fullness, we better understand what it means to love others in His ways. We love others as the Father extravagantly loves us. We love others sacrificially as the Son loves us. We love others powerfully as the Spirit enables.
- Philippians 2:1-11 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
By diving into the Scriptures to learn more and more about the full nature of God. To grow more and more in our knowledge of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in a way that changes our lives and how we reflect God to the world around us.
- Ephesians 3:14-19 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Note to readers
New City Catechism is a tool intended to spark family discussions and to inspire pursuits of greater understanding and spiritual growth. Gain greater insights by reading referenced scriptures in context and/or full chapters in your Bible. As a part of your prayers, ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding. The Bible reads, in James 1:5, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
More Questions & Answers:
Q1: What is God? A: God is “the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice, and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will...” (Crossway...