I. "MANY THAT ARE CALLED GODS."
A. The Greeks had many so called gods.
1. When Paul was standing on Mars hill speaking to the Greeks in Athens, above on the acropolis was the Parthenon with the great temples to Athena, below him the Agora with the great temples on either end, and on every corner a altar to some god including the altar to the unknown god.
2. When Paul said, "Many that are called gods" They understood exactly what he was saying.
B. God spelled with a small "g" is whatever master passion that controls a persons life.
1. Many worship the sex god. The Greeks worshipped Eros, and Aphrodite.
a. Eros was the male god who caused people to fall in love. We get words such as erotic from his name.
b. Aphrodite was the female goddess of love and fertility. She had many lovers among the gods.
c. Those today whose lives are mastered by their passion sex are worshippers of Aphrodite.
2. The Greeks also worshipped Zeus. He was the god of power who controlled the other gods.
a. A person whose master passion is to gain wealth that they might control others is a worshipper of Zeus.
b. We have all known people who will lie, steal, cheat, do whatever is necessary to gain wealth and power.
3. Some people are controlled by their passion to know. They spend their time in the pursuit of knowledge. Their intellect is their god.
4. As Paul said, "There are gods many."
C. Note that they are called gods.
1. Men called them gods.
2. Men worshipped them and devoted their lives to them, but they are not true gods.
3. They were only pretend or make believe gods.
4. As the Psalmist noted,
a. Though they have eyes, they cannot see.
b. Though they have ears, they cannot hear.
c. Though they have feet, they cannot walk.
D. Isaiah pointed out the absurdity of the false gods.
The carpenter stretchs out [his] ruler; he marks a outline; he shapes it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may place it in his house.
He cuts down the cedar, he takes the cypress or the oak, which he planted for himself among the trees of the forest: he plants an ash, and the rain nourishes [it].
Then he places part of it in the fire to burn: so that he might warm himself, and bake bread; then with part of it he makes a god, and worships [it]; he makes of it a graven image, and bows down to it.
He has burned part of it in the fire to keep warm; with part of it he roasted his meat, and was satisfied, and now he sits back and says, "I am warm, I have seen the fire."
Then with the rest he makes a god, [even] his graven image: he bows down to it, and worships [it], and prays to it, and says Deliver me; for you are my god.
They seem to be void of reason: for He has shut their eyes, that they cannot see; [and] their hearts, that they cannot understand.
And none considers in his heart, neither [is there] knowledge or understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; also I have baked bread upon the coals; I have roasted flesh, and eaten [it]: and shall I make a god with the residue. He is bowing down to a branch of a tree.
He feeds on ashes: a deluded heart misleads him, he cannot deliver him, nor can he say, this thing in my right hand is a lie.
E. The psalmist said concerning the false idols that the people worshipped that they were blind, mute, deaf, lame, he then added so is everyone that worships them.
II. TO US, THERE IS BUT ONE GOD THE FATHER.
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I [am] the first, and I [am] the last; and beside me [there is] no God.
Is there a God beside me? [there is] no God; I know not [any].
Remember the former things of old: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [I am] God, and [there is] none like me,
A. There is only one true and living God, the Father of all of whom are all things.
1. This eternal living God is manifested in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. Paul then made this awesome statement, "And we are in Him."
a. Jesus said to His disciples, "In that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you are in Me and I am in you."
b. You cannot escape Him, the psalmist said,
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there].
[If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
c. We read in the book of Acts concerning Paul:
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, [Ye] men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious.
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, I want to tell you about Him.
He is the God that made the world and all things that are in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth, and does not dwell in temples made with hands;
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things;
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
That they should seek the Lord, and perhaps reach out for Him and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
B. And One Lord, Jesus Christ.
1. As the Greeks had many gods, so also because of the practice of slavery there were many lords.
2. Paul wrote earlier in this letter, "For he that is called in the Lord being a slave, is the Lord's freeman."
3. There are many who have found Christ in prison, who are freer than those who walk the streets bound by sin.
4. Paul wrote to Timothy that God in His time will show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.
5. In Revelation we read that Satan will make war with the Lamb and the Lamb will overcome him, for He is the Lord of lords, and the King of kings.
6. Finally in Revelation we read that when Jesus returns to the earth to set up the kingdom of God on the earth that He will have a name written on His thigh, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
7. The prophet Zechariah also spoke of the day of His return and declared, "In that day the Lord will be King over all the earth, and there shall be one Lord."
8. In our text Paul declares, "One Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
a. The apostle John said of Him,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
b. Writing to the Colossians Paul said of Jesus:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;
9. Is Jesus your Lord? Is your life mastered by Him?