The Lord is One

Isn’t it amazing how something you have heard and read many times can all of a sudden just jump out at you or create a whole new meaning in your mind? This is what happened to me last night.

In our Bible study, we referenced Deuteronomy 6, from which Jesus quoted what He said is the greatest commandment. Most of us have heard this verse before, maybe even in a song by Lincoln Brewster: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This is a powerful statement, and from it we get that the greatest thing we can do is to love God. Pretty awesome.

But what got me thinking last night was the phrase preceding this commandment. The phrase is in Deuteronomy 6:4, which says, “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (emphasis mine) This simple statement conveys multiple meanings, and they are incredible!

The first one that sticks out to me is the number used to describe the Lord: one. To me, this simple phrase speaks to God’s sole authority. There are no other gods that have dominion and power the way our God does. Allah or Krishna or Baal (which by the way if you pronounce the way we do in western culture it sounds like “bail,” which is pretty funny and somewhat descriptive of this god) cannot do the things that the God of Israel can. The Lord is THE one, which is why Jesus doesn’t say, “I am A way, I am A truth…” but instead says, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life.” There is one God, and we believe in His authority.

The other piece to this speaks to God’s perfect unity. Christians are well aware that the Bible speaks to three distinct parts to God’s nature: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, a phrase like this speaks to the harmony that exists between these entities. The verb in this phrase is singular: “is”. The word “one” in this sentence is called in parts of speech a “predicate nominative,” which means that it is a noun that refers to the subject of the sentence in a different way (i.e. if you say, “she is my mom,” the words “she” and “mom” refer to the same person). This means that God, being three parts, is also a singular being. This simple phrase also references how these three pieces of the picture work together to make up the one God. That is why there are not three authorities; they are all unified with the same authority.

Man it’s amazing what God can say with just four words. It’s interesting that a lot of times we gloss over these verses as filler verses getting us from one memory verse to the next. It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that as the inspired Word of God, the Bible doesn’t contain words or phrases that aren’t important for us to understand. I thank Him this morning for giving me a reinforcement of His nature, and I hope that the rest of you, like me, will continue to look for these hidden (but not really) gems in the Scriptures.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Greetings HubboIn actuality, the Shema ( Deuteronomy 6:4) forbids any interpretation that the ONE GOD consists of distinct parts, whether three or otherwise!It does not speak of unity, but rather speaks of solely one Person being GOD, namely, the Father.This was Jesus the Messiah's understanding of the verse, and also the understanding of those who heard him.See Mark 12.28ff.Note the scribe's response:(Mark 12:32) And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: Obviously then, neither Jesus nor the scribe believed that their were three distinct parts to God's nature.So neither should we!!Therefore, Hubbo,on the subject of who the ONE GOD is & who Jesus is,I recommend this video:The Human Jesus Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.Yours In MessiahAdam Pastor

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  2. Adam Pastor,I have to disagree with you on this. The Hebrew word in the Shema for "One" is echad, which implies a unity in diversity. This Hebrew word is used in verses such as Exodus 26:6, Ezekiel 37:19 and Genesis 2:24, where the "one" in each case is constructed from more than one part. The Hebrew word yachid is the word used for a unique and single meaning of the English word "one." Yachid is not found in this part of the Shema.Furthermore, Jesus Himself claims in the Bible many times that He is not only the Son but is also God. See John 10:25-30 for an explicit word from Jesus explaining both His separation from and unity with the Father. Here are some other reasons that we can easily believe Jesus and God are one and the same:1. His claims to pre-existence. See Galatians 4:4-6, 1 Corinthians 15:47, Romans 8:3 just to name a few, plus John 3:13, 6:33, 6:38, 6:62, 8:23, 8:42, 10:30-39, 16:28 and 17:5.2. His claims relative to worship as God. Jesus never corrected those who either accused or venerated Him of making Himself equal to God (see Mark 2:5ff; John 5:17ff; John 8:58-59; John 10:30-39; John 20:28).3. His Authority as God. –To forgive sins (Mark 2:5ff; Luke 7:48f). –Over the Sabbath (Mark 2:28; Matt. 12:8) –Over evil and principalities (Luke 10:19; John 17:2)4. His Equality with the Father. Jesus claims that one's response to Jesus is equated to one's response to God (John 15:23). He claims that to see Him is to see the Father (John 14:9). He claims that His coming was the same as God's coming (Luke 19:43ff).This is just a starting point. I would ask the same thing of you that you asked of me in your comment–that you would prayerfully read these verses and take them for what they mean. Jesus quotes the Shema not in contradiction to God's nature, but in affirmation of God's nature and His relationship as Son but also as God.Lastly, I would encourage you to read C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity." While I have not read the entire book myself, excerpts WIFE has shared with me allude to the subject of your response. I pray that your heart will be teachable and open to what the Spirit wants to show it.In Jesus Christ the Lord,Hubbo

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  3. Great post! It is amazing how much every little thing in the Bible is so important and contains so much information in just a few short words. I have found it amazing, reading through the Gospels again this year,.how much more I am seeing and realizing and God is revealing to me through the words and stories that I have read so many times before. I have not gone and watched the video that was posted above, but I am going to have to disagree with the assumption that was made in that post. Jesus clearly states in multiple places that He is God. I believe that Hubbo has provided a great amount of references for this so I am not going to restate what he already has, but simply state that the Bible, while never directly stating it, makes the Tri-union of God clear. Belief in distinct natures of God is not contradictory to belief in the ONENESS of God. There is one God, Christianity is monotheistic, but there are distinct natures of this one God as well.

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  4. Greetings HubboThe adjective One/Echad simply means ONE!The noun is collectivee.g. flesh/stick, etc.A married couple is still ONE, SINGLE, couple (although a couple consists of 2 persons).The words flesh/couple are collective not the adjective ONE/echad.The video goes into further details about echad.Please watch it and also read:Elohim and Echad Read John 10:25ff again!Nowhere in these verses does Jesus claim to be GOD;rather he claims: John 10.36Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? That's who Jesus claimed to be,the ONE GOD's Son.The video discusses John 10.30ff.As a starting-point then (to save me reiterating points) please watch the video first, and then we can proceed with the discussion.Yours In MessiahAdam Pastor The Human Jesus

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  5. Adam Pastor,Jesus claims over and over that He is one with the Father (I'm guessing you didn't reference any of the verses I listed above). Romans 8:9 refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God. Again and again the Bible clearly speaks to the nature of God as having three persons, responsible for unique functions. The married couple is one entity consisting of multiple persons with unique roles and responsibilities. This is the example God gives us for attempting to understand His nature.In response to the John 10:25ff, if you say that God the Father is the one God, and Jesus says that He and the Father are one, then Jesus is also claiming to be the one God. Verse 36 speaks to the unique person Jesus is as part of the Godhead. I would encourage you to read this passage again for its literal interpretation.I will not be watching your videos. If the Bible is truth, then let us simply go based on what the Bible says, and not what a man says on a video. The Bible does not lie, does not err. So let that be the sole basis on which we have this discussion. To do anything else is to challenge the authority of God as the author of His book. If we look solely at the Bible, I think it becomes quite clear that the Word speaks to three separate entities that comprise one God, having authority over all of creation.In God Christ Jesus,Hubbo

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  6. Adam Pastor,With regards to the debate of Jesus' deity: John 10:30 says, "I and the Father are one." That is a direct quote from Jesus, by the way.Your comment above suggests that the disciples and the Jews at the time of Jesus' existence understood Jesus' claims to mean that He was Messiah, but not God. Matthew 26:64-65, however, clearly shows that the High Priest at the time believed Jesus' claims amounted to blasphemy – why would that be so if he did not understand Jesus' claims to mean He said He was God?And in regards to your claim that Jesus is Messiah but not God Himself, take a look at the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6 – a prophecy regarding the Messiah – which says, "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." Clearly, Old Testament prophecy also supports the idea that the Messiah would also be called by the names of God, the Eternal Father.

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  7. Hey Adam,I completely agree with you. The concept of the Trinity has been a Christian doctrine for thousands of years. Jesus did not ever disagree with others said that he was God, which is important, and when Jesus said "I AM" (john 8:58), that left little doubt as to his opinion.Unfortunately there are those that want to have the Bible say or mean something other than what it does. They do not listen to reason or to hundreds of years world of theologians. No matter how hard you try to show someone the truth, some people simply will not accept it.Besides, anyone that is affiliated with a group that claims that they are the restoration of the first century, apostolic church is probably part of a cult. Mormons claim this, Jehovah's Witnesses claim this, Christian Science claims this.Jesus is God and the only way that his sacrifice on the cross could have paid the price for our sins is if he was God. No one but God himself could have been an acceptable sacrifice to substitutionally atone for the sins of mankind.

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