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New City Catechism - Question 3
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Posted by Paul Tautges, Senior Pastor


The Greek word catechesis refers to “instruction by word of mouth.” Therefore, a catechism may be defined as a systematic tool for teaching doctrine to children and adults. For an explanation of its use here at Cornerstone, please see the previous two blog posts.


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.


KIDS’ ANSWER: There are three persons in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


SCRIPTURE TO MEMORIZE (kids’ portion in bold):

  • 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."

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES TO READ: Genesis 1:26; 3:22; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; Jude 20-21


LIFE APPLICATION: Though the word Trinity is not used in the Bible, the doctrine permeates both Testaments. Therefore, our church’s doctrinal statement states, “We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” According to Scripture, all three persons of the godhead are equally divine and are involved in many works together including creation, resurrection, prayer, and, among others, sanctification. In sanctification, the Father sets us apart for Himself (Eph. 1:4; 1 Cor. 1:2); we now belong to God. The reason for this is that the Son of God redeemed us through His blood (1 Cor. 6:20; Eph. 1:7). The Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Matt. 1:21-25); lived a sinless life (Heb. 4:15); died, was buried, and rose bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4); ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father making intercession for believers (Heb. 9:24). The Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ as He empowers us to obey the Word of God. The Spirit ministers to the believer by leading, teaching, empowering, interceding, producing spiritual fruit, and filling (controlling) those surrendered to God’s Word (Rom. 8:14, 26; 1 Jn. 2:20,27; Acts 1:8; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:18). In short, He sanctifies us. That is, as we behold the glory of Christ in the Word—with a heart attitude of submission—we are gradually, progressively transformed from the inside out. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). These glorious works should compel us to worship the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


CONNECTION TO CORNERSTONE’S STATEMENT OF FAITH: The first seven questions in the NCC focus on God, His creation of man, and our duty to bring Him glory. Therefore, take a few moments to review those related portions of our Statement of Faith.

  • GOD - We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  (Deut. 6:4; Jn. 1-3, 6:27; Acts 5:3,4; Mt. 28:19)
  • MANKIND - We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin, and is therefore lost, and that only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.  (Gen. 1:26, 27, 2:7, 22, 3:1-6; Rom. 3:9-12,23, 5:12,18, 6:23Jn. 3:3, 5-7)
  • SALVATION - We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus by faith are born of the Holy Spirit, become children of God, and are saved for eternity.  (Heb. 9:22Mt. 26:28; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Rom. 3:24, 25; Rom. 5:19, 18; Jn. 1:12; 3:16; Eph. 2:8,9)


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