Yet for us there is one God

The study of the nature of God is a deep and wide well. To plumb the depths and probe the bounds would require more than we can give. How can mortal mind parse the divine? God has given us a good bit of information concerning himself. But try to fully understand God in the flesh. You can have until heaven.

“Yet for us there is one God.”

To the Corinthians, who struggled mightily with idols, Paul wrote:

“Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that ‘there is no God but one.’ For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

In contrast to these dead idols who have “no real existence,” there stands the one God.

While idols are fashioned by man, the Father is the source of all things. While the personalities of idols are attributed to them by their makers, humanity exists for the Father.

Contemplate God being your Father. It should prompt in your mind one who cares for your well-being, one who has loved you from before your birth. Jesus spoke of the Father in such personal terms. It caused the Jews to desire to kill him (John 5:18). While Jesus had a special connection to the Father (John 10:30), he also taught us to view God as our Father (John 20:17).

This Father is the source of all things animate and inanimate, “For from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). Our very existence is tied to him, “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He is “over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6).

Beside this one Father, dwells this one Lord, Jesus Christ.

Slaves in the Roman world would have known well the Latin, “dominus.” Their lord determined everything in their life. It seems free men were willing to give themselves over to these fake gods in a similar fashion.

Yet for us there is one Lord, one master, one king. Many claim that Jesus is their Lord, but Jesus asks the probing question: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46). If we do not personalize that question, and probe our hearts, we may find ourselves recipients of that question on the day of reckoning.

Every knee should bow to Jesus now, every tongue should confess him as Lord now (Philippians 2:9-11). Words and actions need to be in harmonious subjection to our Lord.

This Lord, Jesus the Messiah, is the creative power behind all things. “Through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

This is similar to Paul’s praise of Jesus in Colossians 1:16-17: “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.”

Do not think that Paul is saying Jesus is something less than God. Passages such as John 1:1; John 20:28; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; and Acts 20:28, among others, speak of Jesus as the eternal God. The inspired writings are not in conflict.

Rather, be amazed at the harmonious and parsimonious nature of God. God is one. Because of him we exist. To him we must yield. Accept no substitutes in your life.

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