Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 9, 1956

The Unity Of The Spirit

Robert H. Farish, Lexington, Kentucky

"One God" Ephesians 4:6

"There is one God and Father of all" is the language employed by the Holy Spirit in this place to affirm that God is and that he is unique. The "one God" of the Christian is in contrast to the 'gods many' of the heathen. "We know . . . . that there is no God but one." (1 Cor. 8:4.) But such is not true of paganism. "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth: as there are gods many, and lords many; yet to us there is one God, the Father . ." (1 Cor. 8:5, 6.) Here is a fundamental difference between paganism and Christianity. Paganism recognizes gods many; true Christianity recognizes only one God!

This fundamental difference carries on through with reference to the other things which God has said were one. To think in terms of "gods many" is no more paganistic than to think approvingly of churches many, faiths many etc.

God has always required that man recognize and acknowledge him as the only true God. "I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before (besides) me." (Exodus 20:2, 3.) The acceptance of the doctrine of "one God" requires rejection of all other gods. This requirement is much more extensive than most are accustomed to allow. Some one has said, "Whatever man worships becomes his god." This is true for Christ said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24.) And Paul says that a covetous man is an idolater. An idolater cannot subscribe to the doctrine of "one god" except in lip service.

The characteristics of the "one God" should be learned. We must think of God correctly. No correct idea of God can be gained except from God's revelation. "For who among man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. But we received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God: that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God which things also we speak." (1 Cor. 2:11, 12.) Here the apostle shows that our knowledge of the things of God must be gained from studying the things expressed by the apostles to whom the Spirit revealed these things. To the words of the apostle we must go to learn of God.

In Acts 17 is the record of Paul's sermon in which he sets forth the "one God" unto the Athenians. In this sermon attention is given to the religion of the Athenians. The pagan religious concept of 'gods many' was in evidence, in the idols which Paul observed. No tolerance for such a condition is to be found in Paul's sermon, for in the sermon Paul opposed the heathen concept by setting forth the "one God."

The "one God" as set forth by Paul is is creator. He preached "the God that made the world and all things therein." To accept any theory of the origin of the world and all things therein, that fails to acknowledge the one God as creator, is to reject the "one God" as set forth by Paul.

Not only must we in our thinking acknowledge the one God as creator, but we must bow in submission to his will as Lord, for God "is Lord of heaven and earth." Linking this statement with the one made by Christ that "all authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth," we see that God's will as Lord of the universe is expressed through Christ. Christ did not become Lord independent of God. To reject the authority of Christ the Lord is to reject the lordship of the God of the universe. Many who would be horrified at the very thought of rejecting the idea of God as creator, seem to experience no qualms at rejecting him as Lord. The authority of heaven and earth is back of the Lord Jesus Christ's command to believe and be baptized for remission of sins. While some men have accepted evolutionary theories that deny God as Creator, there are others that have accepted denominational theories that deny God as Lord.

The one God "Dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is he served by men's hands as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things." (Acts 17:24, 25.) The pagans thought to honor and appease their gods by ornate and expensive temples made with hands. This idea seems to hold over in many quarters today. There is no need with God and no one can justify his contributions to the lust of the eye, by claiming that he is glorifying God with those contributions to build temples that will please man. There is no possibility of confining God within such, nor of God's revealing himself to man through such.

God is the giver. "He himself giveth to all life and breath and all things." The sentiment of the old song, "Count your many blessings," is in order. Such an exercise would help us to more fully realize our dependence upon God and realizing our dependence surely there would be more trust and gratitude, and that trust and gratitude would be expressed in our obedience to his every command.

God's design with reference to you is that you seek God. "And he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons and the bounds of their habitation: that they should seek God." The determining of man's appointed seasons and the bounds of his habitation is here said to be that man should seek God. Man frequently loses sight of his divinely ordained objective. He seeks other things, emphasizes material values and ignores his mission of seeking God.

"For we are also his offspring," Paul announced. Well, what of that? What effect is the knowledge that we are the offspring of God to have upon us? Paul answers this by stating that "being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver or stone, grown by art or device of man." God's likeness cannot be seen in images, statues graven by art and device of man. Such heathenish device should be held in scorn by any who would know him, the only true and living God. "God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:24.) We need to remember that God is Spirit and they that worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.