It may be that human beings are so wise that they know any number of Gods. But the true God of heaven and earth knows only one. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
This final text of Isaiah also claims divine authority. Here the affirmation of the unity of God is evidence of. It may not be immediately apparent how each of these attributes can be deduced from the unity of God. But first of all, the unity of God implies eternity. If there is time which God does not control, such time in itself implies an Other which is not God.
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But this is logically and textually inadmissible. Therefore, the unity of God implies His eternity.
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In the same way, an area of knowledge outside the control of God implies a Knower and known outside the frame of reference of God, an Other. Therefore, the unity of God implies omniscience. Perfect, impartial justice must have as a bare minimum access to all knowledge pertaining to a case of dispute.
Such knowledge is available with certainty only to an omniscient God. The unity of God therefore implies perfect justice. The action of salvation is logically deduced from the attribute of justice. But to call God a Savior implies action within time and space. It does not thereby imply limitation in time and space, and as such does not therefore imply that God incarnates or takes on form.
To this point we have examined texts from the so-called Old Testament. Although Christians often refer to the Old Testament in evidence for their own belief, when they are confronted with Old Testament texts which conflict with their doctrines, they often point out that the Old Testament is done away with, nailed to the cross, and superceded by the Gospel.
What does the Gospel say about the unity of God? Matthew Jesus here rejects the implication that he is God.
His argument is that absolute goodness belongs only to God. In rejecting this attribute in the absolute sense, he rejects deity. Mark Jesus affirms the unity of God in one person, and calls this the most important fundamental of faith, the first commandment. We are therefore justified in assuming that this point is the first and most essential message in the Gospel of Christ. The questioner did not lead Jesus on to refer to this text. He gave him complete liberty to choose what he considered to be the first and most important issue.
That Christ chose this text is a devastating argument. The importance of this truth was not lost on his questioner. Mark , "Well, Master, thou hast said the truth; for there is one God; and there is none other but he. Stangely enough, many Christians actually consider the Pauline epistles of more normative authority than the Gospels themselves.
The unity of God is hardly a doctrine which can change from one revelation to another. If the early writings uphold it, the latter ones must uphold it too, or else discredit themselves.
However, the Apostle Paul is a champion of the unity of God as well. Ephesians From these texts we see that Paul, as must be expected with his Biblical faith, recognizes the absolute unity of God. His expressions leave no room for a trinity.
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Although the New Testament speaks of Jesus in terms which Christians take as proof of his divinity, yet in every case these are attributes that are given to him by God. Whatever these attributes may be, no matter how great, it remains that Jesus is in every case a recipient. But God is not a recipient.
The Apostle Paul tells us clearly what Jesus is: a man. He is certainly a great and glorious man, a man sent from God, a sinless man, a man ascended to the right hand of God, a man even given all authority in heaven and in earth, and a man to whom we owe absolute loyalty and devotion. But he remains forever a man and not God. Paul tells us clearly in 1 Timothy 2 verse 5 that there is but one God, and that the mediator at that time between God and humankind was Jesus Christ, who was a man. This Jesus Christ is therefore a different entity in this sentence than the one God to whom Paul also refers.
In addition, we know from Numbers 23 verse 19 that God is not a man. The syllogism is clear:. Some commentators suggest that James and Paul are at odds on basic issues. Be that as it may, they are agreed on the unity of God.
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James 2;19 says, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well. If we take the authority of the Bible as it is expressed in the Bible seriously, the New Testament texts have no authority to annul the Old Testament texts on the unity of God. The Old Testament texts include many which claim to be the very words of God. Any attempt to pretend that the New Testament teaches a new and different concept of God is only to discredit the New Testament. If we could show that the New Testament teaches the doctrine of the Trinity, we would have to reject the New Testament as false.
It is not more authoritative just because it is newer than the Old Testament. It is authoritative precisely because it agrees with the clear teaching of the Old Testament that God is One, and beside Him there is no other God. The true Gospel is an everlasting Gospel. In brief, I conclude that a large segment of the Bible serves to confirm the truth that God is one, unique, incomparable and without associate.
Despite the view of many Christians to the contrary, one need only refer to a host of Christian writers through the centuries to show that reasonable interpreters of the Bible have consistently upheld the doctrine of the unity of God throughout history. A good example is Edward Elwall, prominent eighteenth-century Baptist merchant and writer of religious literature.
Is not the former altogether as false as the latter? According to Elwall the Bible position is simple and straightforward. God is One Exodus 20 verse 3.
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Jesus Christ is our Lord and Master, the Messiah and reigning and soon-coming King of the promised Fifth Monarchy of Daniel chapter two, our Savior, who was born of a virgin, lived a sin less life, worked great miracles and wonders by the permission and power of God, and was snatched up from the death of the cross and the grave to ascend to the right hand of God. But he is not God. Bible faith ought to recognize the authority of the ten commandments above all.
These are the words revealed without intermediary to the multitude of humankind. These are above all the words of God Himself. To maintain that Jesus is God the Son is to break the first commandment, that is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. This Sacred Commandment was spoke by God himself, and not only so, but it was wrote by the Finger of God, therefore all those that Love him with all their Heart, and Soul, and Strength, ought to believe and obey this Law.
Now let all Men that fear God, take particular Notice, that the very last word of this glorious Law, viz. Me is a certain Confutation of those who make the most high God to be a plurality of Persons. If Jesus Christ, may the peace and blessing of God be upon him, and may our hearts be wholly submitted to him, is not God, is not divine, then what is he? He is exactly what the Bible says he is.
This text clearly contradicts the established Christian view that the mediator between God and man must be both human and divine. The logic of that thought notwithstanding, the inspired word states him to be clearly and unequivocally man and not God. Let not anyone think that we belittle Christ by saying that he is man and not God. It may be that he is a man so far above the men we know today that to human senses he would even appear to be like God. Nevertheless we must remember thathuman senses are not the criteria, but the Word of God.
To do so is to fall into polytheism and vastly to belittle and lower the concept of God. What does the Bible mean then, when it says that Jesus is the son of God? In most modern languages it is rare to use the words father and son in other but literal meanings of biological descent.
That is why readers of the Bible in translation may be honestly mistaken.