Christianity affirms the existence of One God. However, the nature of God ... as Father, Son and Holy Spirit ... three in One, has been debated for nearly 2000 years. Why does the Bible present such a complex view of the Godhead? What does this mean for those who believe in Jesus Christ?
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The Bible says: “God is One”. But, the Bible also shows that God is more than One. How are we to understand this? Why has God presented us with what seems to be a contradiction?
Five times Paul writes that “God is One” ... in Romans (Rom 3:30), in 1 Corinthians (1 Cor 8:4-6), in Galatians (Gal 3:20), in Ephesians (Eph 4:6) and in 1 Timothy (1 Tim 2:5).
However, in the Gospel of John we have this ... “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
Two are on view. “... the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” There is God the Father, and there is God the Son.
Several times the Bible says that Jesus is God. (John 1:1; John 20:28; Rom 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; Rev 1:8).
And, indeed, Jesus said: “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30)
In Philippians it says that Jesus is equal with God (see Php 2:6)
And in the Gospel of John, we are told that Jews wanted to stone Jesus because He was making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
And that’s entirely possible with God. It’s a principle that is established at the start of the Bible. “... a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen 2:24)
Note: A man leaves his natural family. He is joined to his wife. They don’t become two people simply having the same goals in life. They become one flesh. And Jesus confirmed this principle ... twice in the Gospels, and it’s affirmed again in the writings of Paul. (Gen 2:24; Matt 19:4-6; Mark 10:7-8; Eph 5:31).
It’s a remarkable statement. It’s not just placing a high value on the union of a man and a woman, and the need for faithfulness. It tells us something important about God, and it hints at what God has in mind for us in eternity.
We have to see the statement: “God is One” in the sense of unity ... being united in Spirit, one with another. There is such unity, that they can’t be separated.
Before He went to the cross, Jesus said that the Father would send another Helper, the Spirit of Truth, and He will be with us (John 14:16-17). The passage reveals the Holy Spirit in a personal form ... He ... Him. “He will be in you ...” He will testify of Jesus (John 15:26; John 16:7-15), and He comes in the Name of Jesus. (John 14:26).
Isaiah 9:6 says: “... a Child will be born to us; a Son will be given to us ... and His Name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The Child ... the Son ... is Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Note: His Name is the Name of the Counselor (the Holy Spirit); and His Name is the Name of the Father (the everlasting Father).
There is only One Name for God ... and that Name is Jesus.
John 17 is known as Jesus’ High Priestly prayer. Jesus prayed to the Father in heaven: “I have manifested Your Name to those You gave to Me out of the world ... (John 17:6). “... keep them in Your Name, the name which You gave to Me ...” (John 17:11-12).
The Name of the Father is Jesus. The Name of the Holy Spirit is Jesus. And the Name of the Son is Jesus. There is only One Name to call on for salvation ... the Name of Jesus (see Acts 4:10-12).
So ... why has God arranged redemption in this way? Because He is alerting us to what He has in mind for us in eternity. We shall be One with Him. That’s an incredible privilege. One day, we shall be gods, sons of the Most High.
Jesus is God. He gave up the privileges of heaven to be with us. He suffered. He gave up His rights. He took the way of the cross (see Philippians 2:5-11). And Jesus wants us to do the same, because of what is to come one day in heaven.
God has a purpose: “ ... to bring all things together in Christ ..." (Eph 1:10)
Because there will be no marriage in heaven (Matt 22:30) no male or female, the Bible can say: Jesus is bringing sons to glory (see Heb 2:10 and Gal 4:5-7).
The plan is to have a people for God, from among the Jews and from among the Gentiles (see Gal 3:28).
God’s plan is to make us all one ... united (see John 11:52 and Eph 4:13). One flock with One Shepherd (John 10:16). One new man (Eph 2:14-15) The unity that God seeks is not only that His people will be in faith in Jesus Christ. It’s deeper than that. Jesus declared that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him. (John 10:38)
And Jesus prayed that His people will be One, just as He and the Father are One (John 17:11). He will be in us, and we will be in Him, and we will be perfected in this unity (see John 17:21-23). United in His love ... one for another (John 17:26)
A day is coming when everyone will understand this (see John 14:20). And then, when all is accomplished, Jesus will hand over the Kingdom to the Father (see 1 Cor 15:24-28).
It is not accomplished yet (see Heb 2:8) ... but it will be.
God is One. And, one day, we shall all be One.
Psalm 133:1-3: "Behold how good and how pleasant it is ... brethren resting together in unity ... for there the Lord commanded the blessing ... life everlasting."
With understanding of Hebraic thought, and awareness of design elements in the Scriptures, we take a journey of growth in Christ Jesus.
The seminar “Bringing sons to glory” starts with Session 1: “You are gods” What did Jesus mean? ... and continues through the Psalms of Ascent.
This series will increase your knowledge of biblical Hebrew.