ONE GOD

The final of the seven one’s that Paul lays down as the basis for having the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is that there is “One God.”  The basis of worship among the Jews has always been “The Lord our God, the Lord is one and you shall have no other gods before Him.”  Most of the times when the Bible talks about God being one it is referring to the one divine nature that is shared by three personalities, the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit.  But in this text that obviously isn’t the case since he has already mentioned the “One Lord” and the “One Spirit.”  This use of the word “God” has reference to the one who is “Father of all, over all, in all and through all.”

Every person in the Godhead has vital functions in all of God’s works.  In Genesis 1:1 it starts with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form and empty.”  The word translated “God” is plural yet the word translated “Created” is singular.  All the godhead was involved in creation.  The Spirit of God hovered over the waters.  Without Jesus, the word that became flesh nothing that was created would have been created.  The Father spoke and things came into being.  When the Father spoke of the plan to make man, he said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.”  God made them male and female in the image of God.

When Jesus walked physically on the earth he was in constant subjection to the Father, declaring “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me.”  “I didn’t come to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.”  When he planned to go away and return to the Father he promised to send the Holy Spirit who would not glorify himself but would glorify Christ.  John explained to us that the Holy Spirit wasn’t given yet because Christ had not yet been glorified.

One of the key phrases in the Bible as a whole is “To the glory of God, the Father.”  In Galatians 3:21 Paul said, “Unto him be glory in the church, by Christ Jesus,  throughout all ages, world without end.”  God is to be gloried, through Christ for all time.  In Ephesians 1:6 as Paul described the greatness of God’s grace in making us accepted in the beloved he said it was, “To the praise of the glory of His grace.”  In Verse 12 he was discussing our hope in Christ and what awaits in heaven, when he said, “To the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”  In verse 14 he mentions the giving of the Holy Spirit to a believer as a pledge of the glory to be revealed, “To the praise of His glory.”  He tied the wonder of grace, the blessing of hope and the joy of being filled with the Holy Spirit, all to the glory of God.

Think about the emphasis in the Bible to the kingdom of God.  Daniel foretold the coming of the kingdom in the days of the Roman empire in Daniel 2 and 7.  Zechariah prophesied that the Messiah would reign as king and priest upon his throne.  John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  Jesus and his disciples took up the same message.  When Jesus sent the 72 out on the limited commission they were to say “The kingdom of God has come near you.”  He told the disciples that many of them would not die before seeing the kingdom come with power.  The whole picture of Jesus ascending back to the Father in Acts 2 and Revelation 4 is describing the coronation of Jesus as king of kings and Lord of Lord.  Today we are translated out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love (Colossians 1:13).  We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken when we follow God’s word (Hebrews 12:23-31).  But the point I want us to see most in this study is the ultimate plan for the kingdom.   In I Corinthians 15 Paul gives the longest discussion of the resurrection from the dead of any place in the Bible.  He noted that to deny the resurrection was to cut the heart out of the gospel all together and destroy the basis of our faith.  Beginning in verse 20 he said now Christ has risen from the dead and become the first fruits of those asleep.  As in Adam all die, even so in Christ will all be made alive.  Each in his own order, Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at his coming. THEN COMES THE END, WHEN HE HANDS OVER THE KINGDOM TO THE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHEN HE HAS ABOLISHED ALL RULE AND ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER.  FOR HE MUST REIGN UNTIL HE HAS PUT ALL HIS ENEMIES UNDER HIS FEET.  THE LAST ENEMY TO BE ABOLISHED IS DEATH.”

When Jesus comes again it won’t be to set up a kingdom or reign from Jerusalem over his people.  When he comes it will signal the end of all things, including death and the kingdom will at that time be turned back over to the Father.

Think of some vital truths with regard to the Father in heaven.  He loved all people enough to pay the highest price possible in order for us to be forgiven of our sins (John 3:15-16).  His grace bringing salvation has been made available to all people (Titus 2:11-16; Ephesians 2:1-10)  God doesn’t want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9).  While earthly fathers may betray us and disappoint us throughout life, He is the Father who won’t ever leave or forsake us.  He is the giver of every good and perfect gift that comes down from above (James 1:21).  God’s prized inheritance is us.  The Bible talks freely about our inheritance in Christ that it is incorruptible, unfading, and imperishable.

But there is another side of the matter that may give even more insight into the nature and heart of God.  In Ephesians 1:15-21 Paul tells of what he prays on behalf of the church.  He prays for them to be enlightened by receiving a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.  He longs for that enlightenment so they can know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

All three of these things are vital in our life for God.  We need to know of the hope we have in Christ and of the amazing power of God available in us all the time.  But it is the middle one I want to think most about.  He said that we needed the enlightenment so we can know the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.  Notice it isn’t about our inheritance, but His and it isn’t For the saints but In the saints.  The point is that God looks at us as the followers of Christ and sees us as His wonderful inheritance when this world comes to a close.

God will fill all in all.  What a wonderful God we serve.  He isn’t one who is so needy of acceptance from people that he will accept anything we offer.  When a religious group doesn’t get things right about God they miss the most basic of all truths.  It doesn’t matter what they may teach about family or good living, if they are wrong about God.

When some religious groups come up for discussion someone will say, “Well they sure produce some wonderful materials on family living.”  That is true.  But what they teach about God violates everything the Bible teaches.  While I don’t doubt the integrity of those who believe the teachings, I question how many are really aware of what is taught.  Even when their elders come to our doors we usually get off in some insignificant studies rather than looking at their beliefs about God.

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About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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