Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

The One True and Living God

Christianity is a monotheistic religion.  We believe that there is one God.  We reject the Muslim view of Christianity that says that we are polytheistic or tritheistic and they say that we add Mary to the Godhead.  This, of course, is simply false.  Christianity has always been a monotheistic faith.  We believe that we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The same God who called His people out of Egypt through His servant Moses is the same God who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.  We believe the same God of Genesis 1 is the same God of Revelation 22 and all in-between.  We believe the same God who was the God of David is the God of Paul the Apostle of Jesus.

So how do we then understand the doctrine of the Trinity in regard to the monotheism that is taught in the Bible?  How can it be that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God yet there is only one God?  The mystery of the Trinity is indeed a profound doctrine.  Yet despite the mystery of the Trinity, I don’t believe that we should reject the Trinity because our minds cannot grasp it.  To me, the doctrine of the Trinity proves that our God is the one true and living God because we can’t grasp Him.  If you can figure your god out, how are they God?  Isaiah mentions the foolishness of false gods made in our image in Isaiah 40:18-20.  A false god is a god who can be understood by our minds.  But not the true God.  Even Paul said in Romans 11:33-36 that God’s ways and God’s thoughts are beyond our understanding.  Who can fathom a God as we find in the Bible?  This God who created all things.  This God who does miracles.  This God who saves sinners.  This God who loves us with an undying love.  This God who hears our prayers and answers them for His own glory and purposes.  This God who sovereignly controls all things by His power and even upholds the universe by His word (Hebrews 1:3).

Yet as we begin to study the doctrine of the Trinity it is important to first establish the reality of God and the oneness of God.  The Bible makes a basis assumption about God and His existence and that is that God does exist.  Genesis 1:1 simply opens with God creating the world.  The Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to give evidences for the existence of God.  In fact, Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASB).  Faith in the existence of God is by no means a “blind faith” meaning that God has not given us evidence of His existence but certainly we do need faith (and God requires faith) in order to approach God.  I believe that this applies to studying God as well.  An atheist might begin to read the Bible but until faith begins to build and the person begins to look for the living God (who does exist), they will always read and study God with a notion that He does not exist.  But when a person says honestly before God, “I don’t know if You exist but I want to find You if You do”, I believe God responds to such a heart.

Scripture gives us three basic ways that we can know God exists.  First, creation.  Secondly, the Bible.  Third, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Creation – Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20 both teach that nature itself speaks about the glory and existence of God.  The wonder of creation causes us to look behind the creation to the One who created it.  Even today scientists are always looking for the creator behind the creation.  How could one look at human DNA for example and believe that it happened merely by chance?  How can one look out at the vastness of space and believe that a “big bang” simply threw creation into order?  When one looks at a newborn baby in their arms, how can they ignore the fact that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)?  Creation cries out to us, as Psalm 19:1-3 points out, to the glory of God.  Creation causes us to stop and question, “Who created all this?”

Bible – The fact of creation should in turn lead us to the Bible.  The Bible reveals who created all things.  We can open the Bible to Genesis 1-2 and read how God created all things and how all that we see, including ourselves, came to be.  While we must accept Genesis 1-2 by faith, there is evidence that there is a creator in His creation.  How can one look at a glorious painting and ignore the painter who painted the painting?  Yet we do this all the time in secular science.  We ignore the fact that creation points to the existence of God.

Yet to just acknowledge a creator is not enough.  Some agnostics acknowledge that a creator is probably out there but they reject that the creator is the God of the Bible.  Most of the time, I have found, this rejection is not based on knowledge but upon the refusal of people to submit to the authority of God.  If God did create all things and if the Bible is true then we must submit to Him and do what He has said for us to do according to His Law (1 Timothy 1:8-11).  To simply say that we believe in God or in a creator is not enough.  There is a yearning within us to know this creator.  We don’t want to simply say that He is there but we want to know who He is and what He is like.  That is a basic human element.  To know our creator.  This mark, along with many others, raises us up above animals and plants.  We want to know our creator.  We want to learn about Him who created.

This happens in the special revelation of the Bible.  The Bible reveals God faithfully though not fully.  Nothing can fully capture who God is.  His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours.  But the Bible does reveal enough about God that we can know Him.  Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life is found in knowing God.  Paul said in Acts 17:24-27 that God created all things but through His Son, we can know Him (Acts 17:30-31).

The Lord Jesus Christ – The reality of God becoming flesh (John 1:14) is found in Jesus.  The God who created all things in Genesis 1-2 was born of the Virgin Mary in Luke 2.  The God of Job, the unseen One, is now seen in the person of Jesus Christ walking in the land of Israel (John 14:9).  Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1).  He was fully God and fully Man.  How can this be?  Certainly there is mystery in the incarnation of God but the reality is that God came down and walked among us (Isaiah 9:6-7).  Jesus was God (Romans 9:5).  In Colossians 1:15-17 we read, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created , in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”   What a wonderful view of the Lord Jesus we get from Colossians 1:15-17.

In Philippians 2:5-11 we read of the incarnation of our Lord.  We read how He left eternity and equality with God the Father in order to become man.  We read in Philippians 2:7 how Jesus emptied Himself and became a man.  He became the suffering servant of Isaiah 53.  Jesus became a man fully dependent upon the Father (Hebrews 5:8-9).  Jesus lived fully to the glory of God and lived a sinless life so that He could bear our sins (1 Peter 2:21-24).

Jesus reveals God to us.  If you want to understand God, study Jesus.  In John 14:8-11 Jesus tells His disciples to look to Him for who God is and what God is like.  Some try to paint God in the image of man, that He is a harsh judge or an evil dictator.  But the reality is that God is best seen in Jesus who loved us and died for us (1 John 4:10).  The love of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is nothing else but God incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/15/2011 at 1:18 PM

One Response

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  1. One convincing evidence of the Trinity that I see is that God is inherently personal and relational. He has always been this way. If there were no Trinity, then God would be dependent on creation in order to express his attribute of love. Even the most dogmatic Calvinist has a much better understanding of the nature of God than a Muslim or Deist does, and this is because they believe in the Trinity.

    To build on your thoughts on how people can know God exists – one way is when they see evidence of Him in the example of faithful believers. It is frightening to realize that when non-believers look at my life, they are also evaluating Christianity. May God give me grace to faithfully represent him in the way I live my life.

    Hope you enjoy wordpress! It’s nice to have your own domain name too.

    Kevin Jackson

    08/16/2011 at 6:00 PM

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