One true God in Christianity

Reverend Martin Adhikary

7 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

One true God in Christianity

God is one, and only one. Christianity is a monotheistic faith. It is no polytheistic in any sense of the term. This means that according the Biblical teaching, God is one. This is the central theme of Judaism too. “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one”—the last book in the Pentateuch Deuteronomy teaches this Shema (the fundamental Creed) (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Hebrew word ‘Yahweh’ (originally ‘Yhwh, the vowels were added later to facilitate pronunciation) is translated into the English language ‘LORD’. Deuteronomy 4:35: “You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other”; and the Words said in verse 39 : “ Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below” and multiple other verses in different books of the Bible, as for some instances, Deuteronomy 32:39, 33:26, 1 Samuel 7:22, 1 Chronicles 17:20, 2 Chronicles 6:4, Isaiah 6, 8 clearly speak of the unity of God.

 The concept of ‘the only One true God’ in the Abrahamic faith straightly refutes and reject the polytheistic teachings of the prevailing teachings among the surrounding nations and their cultures in that ancient time. People worshipped natural objects and even animals as their gods and goddesses. In the very first two of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, and also repeated in Deuteronomy 5) that God gave to the children of Abraham through Moses he revealed himself as the only One God. The very first verse in the Holy Bible, i.e. Genesis 1:1 (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”) implies that God is one. The same God revealed himself to Adam and Eve (Genesis 2-3, to Noah 6-9) and also to Abraham in Genesis 12 and onwards. In the New Testament we have Jesus quoting Moses referring to and the teaching on the oneness of God in the Gospels as recorded by Mark, Matthew and Luke. Mark 12:26, 29; Matthew 22: 37-38, Luke 10: 27 have this teaching of Jesus where he quoted from the Old Testament. We have the same teaching on the oneness of God in Pauline epistles too. Examples are in 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Timothy 2:5, and etc scriptures.

It must be noted, however, that in Christian teaching God exists in three persons, he exists as a Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is how God relates to his creation meaningfully. God is One. In one of my previous articles, I discussed this fundamental teaching. There are not three different Gods. Christianity is no polytheism. All the three persons equal and they eternally co-exist as one God. This is a truth, and a mystery that cannot be satisfactorily explained to everybody through any human logic or by scientific investigation or by arithmetic. But it is to be believed and accepted as a Christian doctrine for meaningful comprehension of the Christian faith. We do not know everything in our world. We cannot speak about God correctly and accurately enough about who we term ‘God’. One needs to understand the different attributes, the essential nature of who we call God. This is a vast area. I hope that in the future I will have the opportunity to discuss them one by one as I have learnt so far from the Holy Bible and also from Christian theologians.

We need to believe first of all in God before we can enter into a discussion about him. Here below I wish to quote from a great Christian scholar and a mystic of great repute. He is Aiden W Tozer. His thoughts can give us good amount of help in our pursuit of God. In his book ‘The Knowledge of the Holy Tozer’, observed, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people have ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason, the greatest question before the Church is always God himself and the most portentous about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only for individual Christians, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about Church is her idea about God, just as her most significant message is what she says about him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech”. What do we think about God?

 

The writer is a Christian Theology teacher and a church leader

 


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