How Many Gods Do Christians Believe In?

  How many gods do Christians believe in?

  As we have explained in previous articles, a few of which are linked to below, Bible-believing Christians believe in one and only one God. Orthodox Christianity never strays from the clear teaching of the Scriptures.

  Let us remind ourselves of what it was that Moses taught Israel:

  “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One." Deuteronomy 6:4

  Which we can transliterate to:

  "Shema Yisrael YHWH Elohim (plural, and can be translated as "gods") echad YHWH."

  Or, literally,

  "Hear, Israel, YHWH our God(s) One YHWH."

  And there is the little hint thrown in by YHWH to Moses, whether Moses was aware of it or not. God deliberately chose the Hebrew word "echad," which means "to be one in unity," rather than "yachid," which refers to a numerical oneness.

  Some say that the Jewish Sh'ma (Deuteronomy 6:4) subtly shows us the Trinity in that it calls on the name of God thrice:

  YHWH -- God -- YHWH.

  The Lord -- our God -- the Lord.

  But there is yet another hint of the complex unity of God as early as the very first chapter of the Bible. Take a look:

  26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

27 So God created man in His own image;

     He created him in the image of God;
     He created them male and female." Genesis 1

  Who is God speaking to when He says (italics mine), "Let Us make man in Our image?"

  We know from other Scriptures that God alone is the creator and so He could not have been addressing His angels. Since the royal "We" would not be invented for another 2,600 years, we know that YHWH is not using what is known as "the plural of majesty," either.

  Thus, we can infer that we are being let in on a conversation within the Triune Godhead in which the Father, the Son and the Spirit decide to create man. But as though to remind us that God is one, the very next verse, verse 27, returns to a singular noun after the Hebrew word "Elohim," which is a plural noun meaning three or more Eli, or "god."

  Elohim (plural) says, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."

  And then Moses writes:

27 So God created man in His own image;

     He created him in the image of God;
     He created them male and female.

  Elohim (plural) created man in HIS own image (singular).

  Elohim didn't create us in Their own images, but in His own image.

  Here once again, the adage remains true, "The New Testament reveals what the Old Testament concealed."

  The Christian doctrine of God is perfectly in line with what Moses taught in the Old Testament. When Jesus is asked, “Which command is the most important of all?,” His reply is:

  “This is the most important,” Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One." Mark 12:29

  Previous to this, Mark had already recorded the appearance of all Three Divine Persons at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.

 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.

10 As soon as He came up out of the water, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending to Him like a dove.

11 And a voice came from heaven:

     "You are My beloved Son;
      I take delight in You!" Mark 1

  Jesus is in the River, the Spirit alights on Him in the form of a dove, and the Father speaks from Heaven. All Three are present as separate and distinct and yet, what does Jesus say at the end of Matthew's  Gospel? They all share One Name (italics mine):

19 "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." Matthew 28

Jordan Baptism

  God is a complex unity: Three Persons in One Divine Being. 

  One in equality. 

  One in eternality. 

  One in divine essence.

  Since the complex unity of God is precisely that, complex, Christians are sometimes hard put to respond when asked to explain the Trinity. 

  Some well-meaning Christians try to explain it by comparing the Almighty God to water. They say water is like the Trinity because first, it can be found in the form of a liquid. Then, once it is frozen into ice it becomes a solid, and when it is boiled and converts to steam, it is now a gas. But the water analogy fails because water can only take one of these forms at a time. It cannot be all three things at once. It is either a solid, a liquid or a gas. It is not all three things at one time, as the Triune God is at all times.

  What these Christians may not be aware of is that what they are propounding in the water-ice-steam analogy is a heresy called Modalism. Also called Sabellianism, Modalism is the heretical belief that YWHW consists of only one Person. It is called Modalism because the belief is that the one God made Himself manifest in various modes in the Bible. But, as we have seen above, this is not what the Scriptures teach.

  There is nothing and no one who can compare with YHWH, and so it is a waste of time to try to reduce Him to a frail and erroneous analogy or equally inadequate mathematical equations, such as 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 or 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. 

  YHWH in the Bible repeatedly shows Himself to be a much more complex Being than the human mind can comprehend. 

  As the Scriptures tell us again and again (italics mine): 

  "For who in the skies can compare with the Lord?

   Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord?" Psalm 89:6

  "This is why You are great, Lord God. There is no one like You, and there is no God besides you, as all we have heard confirms." 2 Samuel 7:22 

  When it comes to describing the greatness of our amazing and almighty God, words will never suffice!

"Yahweh, there is no one like You
You are great; 
Your name is great in power." 
Jeremiah 10:6 

  See also:

  The Lord Our God is One!  

  The Jewish Concept of the Complex Unity of God

  Hear O Israel... Jesus is Lord!

  Lightning photo is by James Collier


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