The Glory of God
God is One
The Bible teaches us that there is only One true God. Deuteronomy 4:39 says, “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” The God of the Bible is the One true God, and there is no other. Though this claim is viewed as narrow minded by many, it is not unreasonable. Isn’t the very nature of truth narrow? If your car is a Honda, it is not a Chevrolet. If the God of the Bible is the Living God (and He is), then no other god worshiped by man is in reality a god at all, whether one or many. It is the One true God who has created and sustains all that is1, has established His Law2, and has promised to righteously judge mankind by it3. He is also the same God who, being rich in mercy, has made a way for guilty sinners to be forgiven through the blood of His own Son4.
The Bible shows us that while God is One, He exists as a Trinity5. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One, and are yet separate from one another as three different persons. We freely confess that this is a great mystery – how God can be One, yet He is three, but the fact that something is mysterious does not make it false. I personally do not understand the details of how gravity works, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remain firmly attached to earth by it! Human understanding does not define truth, God does, and God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible is that God is One, yet He is referred to as three persons.
The Bad News
Since Yahweh is the One true God, His Law rightly demands that we worship only Him, and no other6. God has, since the beginning of time, had His people who worshiped only Him, but since man’s fall into sin we tend to go after other gods of our own making. Men make gods out of wood and metal, or gods in their own minds. Many today worship only one god, but the god of the Qur’an is not the same God that is revealed in the Bible. Even the followers of modern Judaism claim that their god is the God of the Old Testament, but the modern Jews’ god is in reality a blasphemous denial of Yahweh of the Scriptures, since they (along with all other world religions except Biblical Christianity) worship a god that man can earn a right standing before with his good deeds, and that, if man does well enough, God will not punish his evil deeds. This is a sick denial of the holiness and righteousness of God8. Further, the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament9, and most Jews today deny Jesus Christ, who is the God of both Testaments incarnate. Worshiping false gods is idolatry, and idolatry is sin.
Making a god in one’s own imagination is the most popular form of idolatry in the United States today, where many say they believe in the God of Scripture, yet they twist their view of God, to tame Him, and make Him feel harmless – a God that simply overlooks sin. People do this because God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible makes them uncomfortable10. They must do something to soothe their burning consciences, and silence the knowledge of judgment and eternity that they were born with11. Many people give lip service to “God”, but in reality, the god they’re thinking of looks more like a careless, generous old grandpa than the God of the Bible. God is as He has revealed Himself to be in Scripture – generous, merciful, kind, and patient, yet righteous, holy, and just, seeing our deeds at all times, and purposing to bring our every thought, word and deed into judgment on the last day12.
Loving anyone or anything more than the One true God is also Idolatry. If you would take an honest look at yourself, you would likely find at least one thing that you are putting before God in your life. Are you loving a significant other, a hobby, money, the pleasure of drugs, sex, music, self image, or video games, anything more than God? Even loving your own life more than God is creating an idol before Him. Placing anything, good or bad, above God is sin. God will punish all sin on the day of judgment.
The Good News
Though you and I have dishonored God by ignoring, or even remaking Him to our liking, and giving other things the love that only He deserves, He, being rich in mercy, made a way for us to be forgiven13. He sent His Son to die in the place of sinners14. Before Jesus’s arrest, knowing the great sufferings that He was about to endure, went to a place called Gethsemane15, and “being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground”16. The Bible says He was praying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done”17. What was in this cup that was so disturbing to our Lord that “His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground”? Was it the physical torments that Jesus was about to endure? No! History tells us that many thousands of Christian martyrs through the ages have went to their deaths, even being burned alive at the stake, in a state of perfect calm; even singing praises to God in the flames! If people who know the benefits of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection could face such tortures calmly, or even with joy, why would the “Author of their salvation” be so scared of the physical pain He was about to face? No, while the physical tortures Jesus faced were unimaginably severe, they are not what filled that dreadful cup God offered to Jesus Christ (spiritually speaking) in the garden of Gethsemane. Revelation 14:10 speaks of “the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger”. If God were to succeed in His mission to save a people for Himself, and remain a just Judge while forgiving them, all the punishment that was earned for their sins had to be paid by someone. Someone has to pay!
If God’s justice says that sin deserves eternity in hell, and Jesus made a full satisfaction of the wrath of God on the cross on behalf of His people, that means Jesus suffered an eternity’s worth of wrath in that relatively short space of time18. He did not just suffer the eternity of wrath earned by just one individual, but by every man, woman, and child through all of time who had, or would ever come to Him for forgiveness19! Figuratively speaking, the wrath of God is what filled the cup that Jesus feared to drink, and Jesus obediently drank it all, making a full payment for the demands of justice.
The God of the Bible is the One true God, and the sacrifice made by the Jesus of the bible is the only one that God has ever, or ever will accept20. God proved this by raising His Son from the dead. Please do not continue in your idolatry; acknowledge God for Who He is, acknowledge yourself for what you are, repent of sin and flee to the only Savior, today.
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)
1 Is. 45:12; 2 Ex. 20:1-17; 3 Rom. 3:19; 4 Rom. 5:6-10; 5 1 Cor. 8:6; Jn. 1:8; Acts 5:3-4; Mt. 28:19; 6 Ex. 20:3-6; 7 Gen. 1-50; 8 Prv. 17:15; Ex. 34:7; 9 Ex. 3:13-14; Jn. 8:58; 10 Jn. 3:19-20; 11 Ecc. 3:11; 12 Ex. 34:5-7; 13 Jn. 3:14-16; 14 Is. 53:5-11; 15 Mt. 26:36-50; 16 Lk. 22:44; 17 Lk. 22:42; 18 Heb. 9:26; 19 Jn. 10:11; 20 Rom. 6:10