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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Trinity: One God in Three Persons

Don Stewart :: Does the Bible Teach That Only One God Exists?

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Does the Bible Teach That Only One God Exists?

The Trinity: One God in Three Persons – Question 5

The doctrine of the Trinity is not clearly taught in the Old Testament. Since God progressively revealed Himself to the human race it is not until the New Testament that we find the doctrine of the Trinity fully revealed. However, one truth which was revealed from the very beginning is that there is only one God who exists. Indeed, this is the consistent teaching of Scripture from the first page of until the last. The evidence for this is as follows:

The Testimony of the Old Testament

The Old Testament leaves no doubt that there is only one God who exists in His essential being. This is the consistent teaching in all its parts.

The Law of Moses

We find a number of references to the existence of one God in the Law of Moses. We read in the Book of Exodus about the unique nature of the God of Israel. It says,

“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11 NIV)

There is only one God; no one is like Him. Scripture makes this clear.

In the Ten Commandments, the following is written:

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me, and showing covenant faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold guiltless anyone takes his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:3-7 NET)

Unlike the nations around them, the people of Israel were not to have any other gods. Neither were they to make any image of God.

Moses elsewhere emphasized that the Lord is the only God who exists. He wrote,

You have been taught that the Lord alone is God—there is no other besides him...Today realize and carefully consider that the LORD is God in heaven above and on earth below—there is no other! (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39 NET)

The Lord is God. There are no other gods!

One of the clearest verses as to the oneness of God is found in Deuteronomy. This testimony cannot be misunderstood!

Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God, the Lord is one! You must love the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and your whole strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 NET)

The Lord is one. He is a unity.

There is no one like the Lord. He alone is God. Again, Moses wrote these words:

Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you?—majestic in holiness, fearful in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11 NET)

One God, and only one God, exists.

Samuel

The same truth about God is taught after the time of Moses. In the Book of First Samuel, we read about the uniqueness of the Lord. The Bible puts it this way:

“There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2 NRSV)

He is the only One who is holy. There is none like Him.

In Second Samuel, it also emphasizes that there is no one like God:

“Therefore you are great, O LORD God, for there is none like you! There is no God besides you! What we have heard is true!” (2 Samuel 7:22 NET)

The books of Samuel teach there is only one God.

Kings

In the Book of First Kings, we find Solomon testifying to God as the only God who exists. It says the following:

“May people all over the earth know that the LORD is God and that there is no other god.” (1 Kings 8:60 NLT)

There is no other God except the God of the Bible.

Psalms

The psalmist rejoiced in the fact that the Lord is the only God. He wrote,

Let them know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. (Psalm 83:18 NRSV)

The psalmist also wrote,

For you are great and do amazing things. You alone are God. (Psalm 86:10 NET)

In contrast to the neighbors of Israel, the Bible presents one God that is big enough to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The Bible says,

The LORD God of Jacob blesses everyone who trusts him and depends on him. God made heaven and earth; he created the sea and everything else. God always keeps his word. (Psalm 146:5-6 CEV)

The gods of the nations could not do this. The creation and governing of the universe was shared by several gods.

Isaiah

The writings of the prophet Isaiah emphasized the oneness of God. He quoted the Lord saying the following:

“You are my witnesses,” says the LORD, “my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may consider and believe in me, and understand that I am he. No god was formed before me, and none will outlive me.” (Isaiah 43:10 NET)

There was no God which existed before the God of the Bible neither shall there be any god. This could not be any clearer!

In that same context in Isaiah, the Lord again emphasizes that He is only one God:

“This is what the LORD, Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty, says: I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.” (Isaiah 44:6 NLT)

Again, in this context, we also read another statement of the Lord:

I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:5, 6 NRSV)

Once more, God emphasizes that there is no one but Him. Scripture says,

Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:21, 22 NRSV)

These verses show that there is only one God who exists. While Scripture speaks of false gods that other nations worshipped, they do not actually exist. When God speaks, it is not one God among three; He alone is God.

The Testimony of the New Testament

The New Testament echoes the Old Testament. Indeed, there is only one God who exists and this is the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Gospels

In the gospels we read about the existence of only one God. Jesus emphasized this truth during His entire ministry.

Mark records the following answer of Jesus to the question of the greatest commandment in the Law:

Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one...’” (Mark 12:29 NRSV)

Jesus said we must understand that the Lord is a unity. He is one God. This is the first and greatest commandment of the Law.

An expert of the law appreciated this truth. He said to Jesus,

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.” (Mark 12:32 NLT)

There was no question among the Jews of Jesus’ day that only one God existed.

In another place, Jesus emphasized that the Lord alone is God. He said the following to the religious leaders:

“How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God?” (John 5:44 NRSV)

Only one God exists, it is the Lord.

Again, Jesus emphasized this truth when He prayed to God the Father on the night of His betrayal. He said,

“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” (John 17:3 NLT)

The God of Scripture is the only true God.

The four gospels are unanimous in their testimony to the existence of one God. There is no doubt whatsoever about this.

Paul

The writings of Paul echo this same truth. He wrote the following to the Corinthians about the fact that only one God exists:

So now, what about it? Should we eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God and no other. According to some people, there are many so-called gods and many lords, both in heaven and on earth. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6 NLT)

According to Paul, there is no other God.

Writing to the church at Rome, Paul spoke of the oneness of God. He stated it in this manner:

Since God is one, he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. (Romans 3:30 NET)

God is one.

In another place, Paul again said that there is only one Lord, one God. When he wrote to the Ephesians, he said,

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 NET)

There is only one Lord, one God and Father. The testimony is clear.

To Timothy, Paul wrote about the only God who exists:

To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17 NRSV)

He is the only God. Consequently He deserves glory and honor forever.

In the same letter, he emphasized it again. He wrote,

For there is one God... (1 Timothy 2:5a KJV).

Paul consistently taught that one God exists, the God of the Bible. There is certainly no doubt about this.

James

James, the brother of Jesus, also emphasized that only one God exists. Indeed, he stated that even the demons realize this truth.

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. (James 2:19 NRSV)

James also taught the existence of one God.

It Is the Same God as Found in the Old Testament

Not only does the New Testament recognize the existence of one God, it recognizes Him as the same God who is revealed in the Old Testament. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt in the Exodus. Jesus spoke of this. He said,

“I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8:11 NRSV)

At no point in the New Testament do we find any hint that there is any God who exists except the one who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, and gave the people the Law at Mt. Sinai. This is the same God who brought Jesus Christ back from the dead. He is Yahweh, or Jehovah; the only God who exists.

Conclusion: From Beginning To End, The Bible Teaches That Only One God Exists

The Bible, from beginning to end, makes it clear that only one God exists. Of this, there is no doubt. Indeed, there is a unanimous testimony by the authors of Scripture that the Lord alone, the God of Israel, is God.

Summary – Question 5
Does the Bible Teach That Only One God Exists?

There are a number of statements in Scripture that make it clear that there is only one God who exists. From the first page until the last, the Scripture affirms that only one God has genuine existence. Indeed, beginning with the writings of Moses to the writings of the last New Testament author we find that only one God exists.

Scripture does speak about false god. The false gods that Scripture speaks about have no substance. They do not exist. There is nothing to them.

It is also evident that the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is the same God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. He alone is God.

Therefore, we find no hint that the God of the Old Testament is a different personage than the God of the New Testament. He is the same God, the only God.

Hence, the totality of Scripture clearly testifies that only one God has real existence. There are no other gods.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions People Have about the Doctrine of the Trinity? ← Prior Section
In What Sense Is the God of Scripture a Unity? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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