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The Oneness of Jesus Christ
While I was preparing to sit down and map this whole subject tout, I came across one of our most used Men of God in the Apostolic/Holiness church and decided after reading his breakdown that I couldn’t have said it any more plain and detailed as he put it so why reinvent the wheel.
If after this you still have reservations then you might as well seek another belief because all who are apostolic and holy cling to every scripture in this article and believe it to be the clear evidence and proof what we have been saying all along.
The Mighty God in Christ
The first verse of the Bible introduces God as the Creator of the universe. The Bible does not try to prove that God exists; it assumes His existence as fundamental. The Bible teaches that there is one God. He is a personal being, not an abstract substance that contains a plurality of persons. The Bible further teaches that Jesus Christ is the one God manifested in the flesh. In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
The Existence of God
There can be only one of three explanations for the existence of the universe: (1) it has always existed (eternal universe); (2) it came into existence by its own power (self-creating universe), or (3) God created it. Accepting any of these requires a faith that transcends scientific proof. It is more plausible to believe in an intelligent, eternal, omnipotent Creator than in the eternity or self-creative ability of non-rational matter.
The orderliness and design of the universe require the existence of a Designer. The incredible complexity of even the simplest forms of life shows that life did not begin by accident or blind chance. The moral nature of humanity reveals that we are more than intelligent animals; we were created in the image of a rational, spiritual, moral Being. Every human child develops a conscience, and every human society has a sense of morality (Romans 2:15).
How could the finite human mind even conceive of an infinite and perfect God unless God imparted that concept? Every society in history has expressed belief in a Supreme Being, and anthropological studies show that the most fundamental religious concept is not belief in many gods but belief in a supreme God. The testimony of the Scriptures and the confirmation of personal experience assure us that God indeed lives and communicates with humanity. Ultimately, we accept the truth of His existence by faith (Hebrews 11:6).
The Oneness of God
God is absolutely and indivisibly one. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is the First and the Last; there is no God beside Him; He created everything alone and by Himself; and He is the only Savior (Isaiah 44:6, 8, 24; 45:21-23). Many other passages emphasize God’s oneness. (See Isaiah 42:8; 43:10-11; 46:6-9; Mark 12:28-30; Galatians 3:20; I Timothy 2:5; James 2:19.) Consequently, there are no distinctions in God’s eternal being; the Godhead does not consist of plural centers of consciousness. All names and titles of the Deity refer to one and the same being.
God has revealed Himself as Father, in the Son, and as the Holy Spirit. These roles are necessary to God’s plan of redemption for fallen humanity. In order to save us, God provided a sinless Man to die in our place—the Son, in whose name we receive salvation (John 20:31). In foreordaining the plan of salvation and begetting the Son, God is the Father. In working to transform and empower us, applying salvation to us individually, God is the Holy Spirit. In sum, these titles describe God’s redemptive works but do not indicate three eternal persons, just as the Incarnation does not indicate that God had eternally preexistent flesh.
The title of Father describes God as father of all creation and more specifically of His people (Deuteronomy 32:6; Malachi 2:10). In the New Testament, God is the Father of the Son. The title of Son refers to God coming in the flesh, for the child Jesus was begotten miraculously by God’s Spirit and thus was actually the Son of God (Luke 1:35). The title of Holy Spirit describes God’s fundamental character, as holiness is the basis of His moral attributes while spirituality is the basis of His nonmoral attributes. The Holy Spirit is not a different person from the Father (Matthew 1:18-20; 10:20) but is God working in the world and in human lives (Genesis 1:2; Acts 1:5-8). In short, “Father” refers to the one God in family relationship to humans; “Son” refers to the one God incarnate; and “Spirit” refers to the one God in action. As an analogy, one human can have three significant relationships, functions, or titles—such as parent, child, and counselor—and yet be one person with a unique name. The Bible nowhere speaks of God as a “trinity” or as “three persons” but often calls Him “the Holy One.”
The terms “Father” and “Son” in the New Testament serve to emphasize the true humanity of Jesus, not to make distinctions within God’s being. The title of Father reminds us of God’s transcendence, while the title of Son focuses on the Incarnation. Any attempt to identify two divine persons tends toward belief in two gods or else subordination of one person to the other. Defining the Son as a second divine person would result in two Sons—an eternal, divine Son who could not die and a temporal, human Son who did die. The Bible describes God as Father and Spirit before the Incarnation but as Son only in the Incarnation. While Jesus walked on earth as God incarnate, the Spirit of God continued to be transcendent and omnipresent.
The title of Word relates to God’s self-expression or self-revelation. The Word is God Himself (John 1:1), particularly His thought, mind, and plan. In the person of Jesus Christ, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). God revealed Himself in Christ.
Till next week,
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD – firstname.lastname@example.org, @drrobharrison (Twitter), Robert Bob Harrison (Facebook)
Pastor – The Apostolic Open Door Church of God & True Holiness – 2800 41st Ave. N, St. Pete – www.weareholiness.org | Church of God and True Holiness, Intl. – www.trueholinesschurches.org
First Vice President – NAACP St. Petersburg Branch
Chaplain – Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Pinellas