Tuesday, December 1, 2015

One God and Father (Ephesians 4:6)

“(4) There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4–6, NASB95)

In these three verses we see together the fullness of our God who is one yet exists in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scripture declares repeatedly that God is one and that there is no other besides Him. A typical doctrinal statement for churches might read, “There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

We see this in passages such as Deuteronomy 4:35 where we read starting with verse 32, “Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” (Deuteronomy 4:32–35, NASB95) There is no other god from creation who exists other than the Lord who is God alone. This is the message declared before the people of Israel. Later in Deuteronomy we read again, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NASB95) … “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” (Deuteronomy 32:39, NASB95)

With the coming of Jesus we find Him repeatedly in the gospels submitting to the will of the Father, distinguishing Himself from Him as the Son who was sent. Speaking to those who did not believe Him, “Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”” (John 10:25–30, NASB95)

In John we read that it is Jesus who knew the Father because He was from God. “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” (John 6:46, NASB95) And later He added in speaking to one of His disciples, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9, NASB95) Philip had asked Jesus to show them the Father, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” (John 14:8, NASB95) And Jesus’ response was clearly stated—“He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

And not only has God made Himself known through the Son, but as Paul wrote in chapter 1 of Romans, He has made Himself known in His creation and the very things that He has put into the hearts of ALL. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18–20, NASB95)

And for us who have been called to salvation by faith in His Son we have the incredible privilege of being a part of His working in and through us. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” (1 Corinthians 12:4–6, NASB95)

In these three verses as in many others we clearly see that our God is real, that He is One, and that He has not only shown Himself to us, but has reached into our lives and drawn us to Him into a relationship that will never end. There is only one God, and not many paths to God as some declare. God is not Allah. God is not of the earth. God is not found in some form of transcendence of continual improvement through various manifestations of life. And God the Father is not separate from the Spirit or the Son.

God is found in us because of His Son. We are temples of His Spirit. And through us others are brought to see Him and come to know His Son as the Spirit opens their eyes. This is how God intends it that we are His ambassadors, His cracked vessels through which the light of life shines through, and His voices proclaiming truth into a dark and desperately lost world.

As members of His body the church we are to be reminded that it is God who makes us to be one. We are bound together by the blood of His Son and we are indwelt by His Spirit. As such we are to constantly carry that oneness in our hearts as we walk with one another showing love through our deference toward and our support of each other. It is in Christ that we are made one and it is Him who is head over His church.

Paul’s last words to the Corinthian believers recorded for us are, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NASB95) Amen.

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