Back To The Basics, Part 1:
God Is The Only True God
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
(Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8;
Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6;
Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7)
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.
(Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11;
Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24;
7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5;
Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews
1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14;
12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16)
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
(Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12;
Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28;
16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19;
1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17)
(Article II of The Baptist Faith And Message)
So many people are unaware of what the Bible says about the One true God. They think all gods are equal, all religions are equally
valid, and that there are many ways to heaven. This belief is known as polytheism, defined as the belief that there are many different gods.
There is also a prevailing belief that
everything in nature is a part of god, and god is part of everything, a belief known as pantheism. Neither of these beliefs are anything new: the ancient
Greeks and Romans worshiped many gods, and Hinduism and Buddhism have always been pantheistic.
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, we all worship the same God, we just have different names for Him"? That simply is not true! Comparing
YHWH with Allah, for instance, we see that
Allah is an indifferent god, unwilling to intervene in man's affairs, while YHWH desires a personal relationship with each of us, and will intercede in our
behalf. Allah says the only sure way to heaven is to become a martyr for his cause, while YHWH sent His only Son to become a martyr for us. Allah sacrifices nothing, and is only willing to save if one has enough good works.
Muslims (followers of Allah) do not have a Savior,
merely an authoritative god, and they cannot know until they die whether they've been "good enough" to enter heaven.We have a Savior who promises us a place in heaven when we accept Him:
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I
would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go
and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you
unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3)
Allah is a name given by a man (Muhammed) for a god, in a religion that worshiped many gods.YHWH is the main name God gives to Himself, and His name
is important enough that one of the Ten Commandments instructs us not to take His name in vain, using it frivolously, carelessly, or as a curse. We are not
free to tamper with His name, because God wants us to know Him personally.
We do not give Him names, instead, He reveals Himself to us by the names He gives to Himself.
YHWH is separate from all other gods. Only He is without beginning or end. Only He created all the universe, with man being the crowning glory of His creation, formed in His own image.
Only He desires a real and personal relationship with His created beings. Only He had a plan to redeem man before He even set the foundations of the earth. He alone is the True God, there is no other!
- Hear, O Israel: The LORD thy God is one LORD. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- Unto you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD he is God; there is none else besides him. (Deuteronomy 4:35)
- Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the
earth beneath: there is none else. (Deuteronomy 4:39)
- See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal:
neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)
- Yahweh is God; there is no one else." (1 Kings 8:60)
- "O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You" (1 Chronicles 17:20)
- "Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me." (Isaiah 43:10)
- "I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me." (Isaiah 44:6)
- "Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me." (Isaiah 45:21)
- "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me" (Isaiah 46:9)
- And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the
first commandment. (Mark 12:29-30)
- "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God" (John 17:3)
- "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," (1 Timothy 2:5)
From the beginning to the end, Old and New Testaments affirm and re-affirm that there is only one true God, the LORD
Jehovah, who exists in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all at the same time. He alone has has substance, power, and authority. He is unchanging and everlasting. It is clearly evident that the God
of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is still God today. He alone is the only God,
the Living God, the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God.
It is true that YHWH has many names in the Scriptures. Names used in the Bible designate the character of the one bearing the name.
By studying the names of God we can learn a lot
about His character. The way He reveals Himself to us through His names show us His superiority and authority, giving us reason to trust Him.
They assure us of His love, His purpose, His protection, and His plan of salvation.
- Yahweh: Lord, Jehovah. This covenant name of God is too holy to voice, according to
Jewish tradition. It is actually spelled "YHWH"
without vowels. It means "Lord and Master", denoting the omnipotence of God and His absolute authority to rule. Strictly speaking, "YHWH" is
the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles as “LORD” in all capital letters,
to distinguish it from Adonai, “Lord.”. In the Old Testament Yahweh occurs 6,519 times, more than any other name.
- Adonai: Lord and Master.The name Adonai (Adonay) is found over four hundred times
in the Bible, and means “master” or “ruler.” It refers to God's dominion, rulership, and ownership.
The name also acknowledges the Master's responsibility for the care and well-being of that which is owned.
The Master will provide for, protect, and guide those people and things belonging to Him. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in
God’s dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.
- El Shaddai: Lord God Almighty. El is translated as "God" and can be combined with other
words to describe various qualities of God's character, such as integrity (Numbers 23:19), jealousy (Deuteronomy 5:9), and compassion
(Nehemiah 9:31), but in all of these, the root idea of “might” remains.
The name El Shaddai refers to God's almighty strength and power. This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, and supplying His people
with all their needs as a mother would her child.
Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer.
- El Elyon: The Most High God. Elyon literally means
"Most High" It expresses the extreme sovereignty of God and speaks of absolute right to lordship. It denotes the majesty of God and His
highest preeminence. The combination of these two words - El Elyon - literally means "the most exalted God."
- Jehovah Nissi: The Lord My Banner. Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from
the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or more specifically "to become known". This denotes a God
who reveals Himself to us. Nissi means "banner" in Hebrew, and is sometimes depicted as a pole with an insignia attached, as flags flying on a pole in battle,
giving soldiers a feeling of unity, hope,and strength, as well as a focal point.
This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us strength, unity, and hope. He is our banner, to give us focus and
purpose in all of life's battles.
- Jehovah-Raah: The Lord My Shepherd. Raah means "shepherd" in Hebrew. A shepherd
tends to the needs of his flock, feeding them, protecting them, and leading them to safe pastures.
An extend translation of this word, rea', is "friend" or "companion." This indicates the close relationship God desires between Himself and
His people. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Raah - it can be translated as "The Lord my Friend."
- Jehovah Rapha: The Lord That Heals. Rapha means "to restore" or "to heal" in Hebrew.
When the two words are combined - Jehovah Rapha -they can be translated as "Jehovah Who Heals". Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals
the physical and emotional needs of His people.
- Jehovah Shammah: The Lord Is There. Shammah is used only once in the Old Testament.
It comes from the Hebrew word sham, which can be translated as "there." Jehovah Shammah is a symbolic name for the earthly Jerusalem.
The name indicates that God has not and will abandoned Jerusalem, but will restore His chosen people.
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem:The Lord Who Sanctifies You. Mekoddishkem is from the
Hebrew word qâdash meaning "sanctify," "holy," or "dedicate." Sanctification is the separation of an object or person to the dedication of the Holy.
When the words - Jehovah Mekoddishkem - are combined- it can be translated as "The Lord who sanctifies you, or sets you apart."
This name of God makes it very clear that He alone, not obedience to the law, can make His people holy.
- Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness. Tsedek (tseh'-dek), from which
Tsidkenu derived, means "to be straight," or "righteous" in Hebrew. The two words are combined - Jehovah Tsidkenu - can be translated as
"The Lord Is Our Righteousness." As with YHWH-M’Kaddesh, this name signifies that it is God alone who provides righteousness
to man, ultimately in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who became sin for us “that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him”
(2 Corinthians 5:21).
- El Olam: The Everlasting God. El is another name that is translated as "God" and can be
used in conjunction with other words to designate various aspects of God's character. Olam derives from the root word 'lm (which means "eternity").
Olam literally means "forever," "eternity," or "everlasting". When the two words are combined - El Olam - it can be translated as "The Eternal God."
God’s nature is without beginning or end, free from all constraints of time; He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. God always was,
always is, and always will be the Everlasting God.
- Elohim: God, Creator, Mighty and Strong. Elohim occurs over 2000 times in the Old Testament. It's very first use occurs
in Gen 1:1, in the the plural form of Eloah, thus firmly establishing the doctrine of the Trinity. From the Bible’s first sentence, God’s superlative
power is evident as God speaks the world into existence.
- Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Will Provide. Used only once in the Old Testament, Jehovah-Jireh
is a symbolic name given by Abraham to Mount Moriah, when God interceded to prevent the sacrifice of Abraham's only son, Isaac by providing a substitutionary sacrifice.
This was a foreshadowing of the great sacrifice God would later provide, that of His only son, Jesus Christ.
- Jehovah Shalom: The Lord Is Peace. Shalom is a derivative of shâlêm, which means "be complete" or "sound".
Shalom is translated as "peace" or "absence from strife." Used only once in the Old Testament, Jehovah-Shalom is the name of an altar built by
Gideon when he was fearful of dying, because he had seen an angel of the Lord face-to-face. God reassured him that he would not die,
giving him peace and comfort.
- Jehovah Sabaoth:The Lord of Hosts. Sabaoth means "armies" or "hosts."
Jehovah Sabaoth can be translated as "The Lord of Armies", declaring His universal sovereignty over every army, both spiritual and earthly.
The Lord of Hosts is the king of all heaven and earth, of heavenly angels and of Jews and Gentiles; of rich and poor, master and slave.
The name expresses the majesty, power, and authority of God, and shows that He is able to accomplish what He determines to do.
Jehovah and Elohim occur with Sabaoth over 285 times in the Old Testament.