The Westminster Shorter Catechism asserts that “God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” What is the force and effect of that magisterial summary of the attributes of God? It is to bow before the God of glory and grace in adoration and praise. The value to us of the attributes of God is not located in their practical implications for our day-to-day lives (though they have profound implications for every detail of our lives). The value of the attributes of God is that they buckle our knees and remind us that we are creatures, God alone is the Creator, and we owe Him our worship.
When we confess that God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, we are saying that He is worthy of unlimited, unceasing, and unqualified worship forever. When we confess that He is wise, we are saying that as He has ordered all things perfectly in accordance with His plan, we owe Him our thanksgiving. He has displayed His wisdom supremely in the cross (1 Cor. 1:22–24), and in view of such wisdom we adore our God who saves us. When we confess that He is powerful, we are grounding our worship in the fact that God makes no empty promises. He is “able to do far more abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Eph. 3:20). When we confess that He is just, we rejoice in the knowledge that His wisdom and power serve righteousness and justice in all God’s works. When injustice and inequality are the great concern of our society, Christians worship the God who rules the nations in equity (Pss. 98:9; 99:4) and establishes justice for the oppressed (146:7). We adore the One who sent His Son to endure the just penalty of our sin at Calvary, that He might be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom. 3:26). That God is good fuels our praise because in all His ways He is pure and wholesome.
Early in the ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a woman who was immersed in spiritism attended a service at the chapel where he preached. There she was wonderfully converted. She later told Lloyd-Jones:
The moment I entered your chapel and sat down on a seat amongst the people, I was conscious of a supernatural power. I was conscious of the same sort of supernatural power as I was accustomed to in our spiritist meetings, but there was one big difference; I had a feeling that the power in your chapel was a clean power.
The power of God is good; it is wholesome; it is clean. And so, with clean and pure hearts we rejoice in His goodness forever. That God is true means not just that He is reliable but that truth is defined by Him and in relation to Him. He is both true and truth itself. When our culture teaches us to value appearances more than substance, our God is worthy to be adored because He is who He says He is always. He is true. Our God is worthy; adore Him!