Only One True God

INTRODUCTION: It can be difficult to understand how Christ Jesus is the eternal God since he had a physical birth and walked among men. There are sufficient passages to reassure the Christian of the fact that the one true God is Father, son, and Holy Spirit with no contradiction within that truth. This is a mystery about the character and nature of God that can only be revealed to the limits of human understanding as God enlightens through his Spirit. Those who reject the scripture as the word of God, and those who claim to be Christians but believe that Jesus was only a man, will not be convinced by scripture unless the Holy Spirit opens their understanding, and they are converted. This study will cite only a few references from scripture that together verify that Christ Jesus is the one true God: one with the Father and one with the Holy Spirit, creator of all that exists. But for every proof found in scripture there will be those who distort the truth to their own destruction because belief unto eternal life comes only through the mercy and grace of God. Christ is either the very precious Savior, or he is the stumbling block and the rock of offense. 1 Peter "2:6 Why also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. 7 To you therefore which believe he is precious: but to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." Those who depend wholly upon their own reasoning will not recognize Christ Jesus as God, because God is Spirit and he must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the American King James Bible [AKJV].


A - ONE GOD WHO IS CREATOR FROM THE BEGINNING

Genesis "1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters."

Genesis "1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made."

Isaiah "40:28 Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding."

Isaiah "45:18 For thus said the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."

Jeremiah "10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. 11 Thus shall you say to them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. 12 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens by his discretion."

Nehemiah "9:6 You, even you, are LORD alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven worships you."

John "1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."

John "1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him."

Luke "1:36 And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren."

COMMENTS: The very first verse of the Bible declares that God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning. That was the beginning of everything that exists in our material world, and it was the product of our creator God. God completed all of creation in six days, and he rested on the seventh day. The verses from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Nehemiah are representative of scripture that further verifies that the everlasting God, the LORD was the creator of all things that were created, and there is no way to search out his understanding, so we should not think we can contradict God's word. He also said in Isaiah chapter 45, "I am the LORD; and there is none else." There was not a separate or secondary god who was used as an agent of creation.

The gospel of John opens with the beginning of all of creation, and asserts that the Word (in later verses clarified to be Christ Jesus) was the God of creation. All things were made by him and there is nothing that was made without him, thus declaring that he existed before creation began to be made by God. Jesus was not created and he is not a secondary god because there is only one God. This concept of only one God is a major stumbling block to faith for those who would believe the lie of Satan that man can be like God, and the related lie that Jesus Christ is not God who came to earth in flesh. John stated that Jesus is the only begotten of God the Father, which is a singularly unique event that is not applicable to any created person. When John the baptist said "he was before me" he spoke of the eternal existence of Christ, not that Jesus was born before John. In fact scripture records that Elizabeth was already in her sixth month of pregnancy with John when the angel first spoke to Mary, so John was born before Mary gave birth to Jesus.


B - WORSHIP NO OTHER GOD

Exodus "20:2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 You shall have no other gods before me."

Exodus "34:14 For you shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"

Deuteronomy "4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and on the earth beneath: there is none else."

Deuteronomy "6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."

Isaiah "45:22 Look to me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."

Isaiah "46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,"

Mark "12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment."

COMMENTS: When the LORD God called Israel out of bondage in Egypt to be a people set apart for his glory, he gave them commandments through Moses, the law giver. The foremost of these commandments from the LORD was that they have no other gods before him. The Lord Jesus very clearly affirmed that command during his ministry among men, and there was no change in the truth of the existence of only one God brought about by the birth of Jesus. There are those who try to claim a better understanding of the original text in the gospel of John 1:1 saying the word was just "a god." But that is contrary to the various scriptures that declare that the LORD God is one LORD, and there is none else. The one true LORD is eternal, is the creator, and is preeminent above all of creation. He does not allow the worship of any other god. the LORD God, Christ Jesus, came down from heaven in a miraculous way to be born of Mary only through conception by the Holy Spirit.


C - EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US

Isaiah "42:5 Thus said God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. 8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."

Luke "1:30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. 31 And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God."

Matthew "1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

COMMENTS: The prophecy in Isaiah of one who would be given for a covenant of the people and for a light of the Gentiles came as "thus said God the LORD." This was not Isaiah's imagination, but truly from the LORD as was later verified in the New Testament to be true prophecy by being fulfilled through Christ Jesus. Again we find in the passage from Isaiah that the LORD declares that he created heaven and earth and that which comes out of it, , and gives breath and spirit to the people. He also said I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another. The passage from Luke confirmed that Mary was a virgin by her own testimony, and that she would have a son by the Holy Spirit, and that he will sit on the throne of his father David forever. The passage from Matthew tells us that Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ and was espoused to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. The angel of the LORD appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that which is conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit. We have two separate passages that state that Mary's conception was of the Holy Spirit, and in Matthew Joseph as a just man was told he could take the pregnant Mary as his wife in good conscience. Mary and Joseph were both told that the child to be born was a son who would be called Jesus, and that was before any techniques were available to determine the sex of an unborn child. the Matthew passage states that Jesus would save his people from their sins. Then we have the confirmation in Matthew that says, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."


D - WHOSE SON IS THE CHRIST?

Matthew "22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David. 43 He said to them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions."

John "3:11 Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

John "8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the middle of them, and so passed by."

John "17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was."

1 Timothy "3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

1 John "5:10 He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself: he that believes not God has made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life."

COMMENTS: The anticipated Christ was to be the son of David, and the Jewish leaders knew this from scripture. But they had not understood that he would be this truly unique son who was both son of God through conception by the Holy Spirit, and son of David through the line of Mary. When Jesus asked the Pharisees to explain the inspired writing of David in Psalm 110, that declared David's son was also his Lord, they were baffled. When the Pharisee Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, he was puzzled by things Jesus told him. Jesus did not provide a detailed intellectual explanation, but rather told Nicodemus that if things stated in earthly terms could not be believed, then heavenly things would be even more unbelievable. No man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. What a puzzle for Nicodemus and for us: the son of man came down from heaven, and is in heaven. This is Emmanuel who can do what is impossible for mere man, because he is God with us. Then Jesus spoke of the symbol of the brass serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness by God's direction, to cure the serpent's bite of death for those who looked upon that symbol in faith. When Christ spoke of himself being lifted up, he referred to the cross where he would be crucified for all who will believe in the Savior's atoning sacrifice in their behalf for eternal life. Later this transaction was made complete because of the resurrection of Christ.

In the passage from John chapter 8, Jesus said that Abraham rejoiced to see his day, and saw it and was glad. The Jews expressed their disbelief by saying Jesus was not even fifty years old, and therefore could not have seen Abraham. Jesus responded by saying "before Abraham was, I am." This was an expression that embodied not just a prior existence to Abraham, but a continual or eternal existence. In John chapter 17, Jesus says, Father, give me glory in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed. No mere man could truthfully make this statement. The truth about Jesus It is indeed a great mystery to the mind of man, but something truly beautiful when accepted by faith. Paul wrote to Timothy that the truth about Jesus cannot be disputed, but at the same time is a mystery. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. The apostle John made it very clear in his letter that if a person does not have Christ, they do not have eternal life. He then closed that letter as follows. 1 John "5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."


--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

Lord, I worship you alone as creator of all that exists, and I thank you for the ways you have worked in my life to give me the desire to search the scriptures that I might know you more fully. I believe that you have prepared your Word so those who deny Christ as God will continue in their own deception, while providing the whole counsel of God for those who depend upon your Spirit to understand the truth. I thank you for the firm connection between Genesis and the gospel of John to reveal that Christ Jesus is eternal and is creator God. The Old Testament provides passages that declare unequivocally that there is only one God, and you will not share your glory with any other. Many prophecies in the Old Testament prepared the way for the birth of the only Son of God, and I thank you Lord for opening the eyes of this blind prisoner as you have set me free from my sin. Emmanuel my Jesus, you not only came to be God with us, but you died to satisfy the penalty of sin for those who believe, and you will return to take us home to be with you forever. The writings of the apostles who saw your works on earth first hand remind me of how much I need your Spirit in my life each day that I might apply your word in my heart to avoid sin against you. Help me Lord to be your servant to honor you as long as you give me breath, and may I use my life to share your gospel with the lost, and to encourage fellow believers. I want to keep in mind that in his first letter to the church, the apostle John provided so much encouragement about what we have as believers, but he also closed his letter with the reminder that we must keep ourselves from idols. Amen.

Published 25 September 2012