This book is intended not only as a help to those elders who must teach Hellenbroek, leaving it to them to make suitable application and exhortation to their hearers, but we hope there will also be some serious-minded young people, as well as parents and older ones, who are interested in learning more about our doctrine. Although it is an explanation of each question in the catechism, there is enough connection between them that it could be read as a book.
Chapter 1: The Knowledge of God
Q1: Whence do we know that there is a God?
A. From nature, and from the Holy Scriptures.
That there is a Supreme Being seems almost unnecessary to prove. It is an indisputable fact that, as Dr. John Gill says, "when we endeavor to confirm this leading truth by a long and labored series of arguments, we may seem, instead of a service, to do a kind of injury to both God and man; for why should we use the pitiful light of a candle to discover the sun and eagerly go about to prove the being of Him Who gave being to everything else?" But there have always been, as we read in Psalm 14:1, "fools who say in their hearts, There is no God." And Scripture says we are not answer a fool so as to be like him, yet we are, by all means, to "answer him according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." Also, it may be both profitable and pleasant for all of us to gather together some thoughts on this most important subject, as it is the foundation upon which the whole edifice of religion is built. It is absolutely necessary for us to know for ourselves that there is a God, that we may seek to know Him for time and eternity, and that we may seek to be reconciled with Him.
The answer to this first question tells us that we know that there is a God from nature, and from the Holy Scriptures. By nature we know there is a God; by the Holy Scriptures we learn Who He is. May the Holy Spirit teach us, not only He is, but that we may come to know Him experientiallly as our God and Father through the mediatorial work of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.