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Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord

This morning I started out thinking I was going to write about something else, something completely unrelated to Mormonism, but as soon as I started to prepare my notes they began to go in a completely different direction. This isn’t really about Mormonism, but it’s related, so I felt this was still an appropriate venue for this subject. It’s about Monotheism and the deity of Jesus Christ and I am only going to post 3 key verses of scripture from the New Testament that relate to the first of all commandments: 

Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is One LORD. (Deu 6:4)

I’ve written on this subject before, but I really don’t think this can be stressed too much, especially as it relates to Mormon Doctrine concerning the Godhead.

One God One Lord 4

I have colored the words in the verses, in the image above, to correspond to the Greek and Hebrew words being used in each verse, so we can look at how they related to each other. These passages tell us:

The Lord (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one Lord (Jehovah)!

Thou shalt worship the Lord (Jehovah) thy God (Elohim), and him only shalt thou serve!

To us there is ONE GOD (Elohim), the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD (Jehovah) Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

So what does all of this mean?

Jesus Christ is LORD!

He is the manifestation of God in the flesh: Emmanuel, God with us.

God (Yahweh/Jehovah) Himself is the REDEEMER/SAVIOUR of His people. (Isa 43:10-12; Isa 45:20-21; Hos 13:4)

Mankind is redeemed/saved from sin and death by the Spirit of God that dwells IN THEM, of which Jesus serves as the perfect pattern and our blessed assurance.

He is the pattern Son and the one into whose image we are to be conformed as sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

He is the Head of a many-membered body.

This is why all power and authority was given TO HIM; why all things were put into HIS HANDS; why the Spirit was given TO HIM WITHOUT MEASURE; why He had the power to lay down His own life and take it up again; why He has preeminence over ALL MEN, being THE HEAD of the body of Christ, whose Head is God; why we are called by HIS NAME, just as He is called by the Father’s name.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just about one individual man named Jesus, though in all things He will always have the preeminence. It is about the ONE NEW MAN “created” IN CHRIST, the only begotten Son of God. It is about one Son bringing many sons to glory, as the captain of their salvation.

This is why we are to know NO MAN after the flesh, not even Christ. We are to see ALL MEN as ONE MAN through Christ Jesus! We are to see ALL MEN as GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON… ONE MAN: ONE HEAD, ONE (many-membered) BODY. One man whose Head is God: the ONE God and Father of all.

We are ONE, just as they are ONE, because we are all joined together by ONE SPIRIT, which is THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

God is Spirit! And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit!

We are God’s offspring and because we are united in, by and through the ONE SPIRIT that IS GOD there can be ONLY UNITY in the Kingdom of God, where God is ALL IN ALL.

We are ONE! One with God and one with each other!

I wanted to keep this as simple as possible, trying to stick with just the three passages of scripture highlighted in the image. However, the temptation is to list every verse that immediately comes to mind with regard to this topic, so I did end up going beyond the three I wanted to focus on, though I did curb my desire to add so much more.

I also had to fight the temptation to make this all about Mormon Doctrine, in particular, though this is a blog dedicated to Mormon topics. This topic, however, reaches beyond Mormonism, as I believe so much is missed (by Mormons, by Jehovah’s Witnesses, by anyone else with an incorrect understanding of the Godhead) when we do not fully understand who Jesus Christ is as the mediator between God and man. If we do not properly understand their oneness, we cannot possibly understand our own.

Let God be true, but every man a liar…

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Godhead, Sons

 

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The LORD our God is one LORD

1st vision two personages 2

I don’t really want to comment very much on LDS Doctrine concerning the nature of the Godhead because I think it has changed over the years. At the very least certain teachings have been so insufficiently defined that plenty of room has been left for speculation and it is unclear, to me, what the LDS Church holds as it’s official position when it comes to whether or not God has always been God or if he is exalted man who became God. And beliefs seem to vary somewhat among the members of the church when it comes to answering this question.

Suffice it to say that LDS Doctrine is that the Godhead consists of three independent and separate persons, who are each a God and part of the one Godhead spoken of in scripture. They consist of the Father and the Son, both of whom have bodies of flesh and bone, and the Holy Ghost, who is a personage of spirit.

But rather than comment on what the LDS Church believes or doesn’t believe, I simply want to ask: What do the scriptures say?

First and foremost, the scriptures make it very clear that there is ONE GOD! Not one Godhead made up of three Gods, but ONE GOD. And that one God is THE FATHER! He is the one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in all. (Eph 4:6) And He is not only our God and Father, but the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ! (Rom 15:6, John 20:17, Eph 1:3) His is spirit (John 4:24) and invisible (1Ti 1:17, Heb 11:27). He is the one true and living God spoken of throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

So who is Jesus?

Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mat 16:16, John 6:69) He is the one in whom the fullness of the Godhead (divinity, THE FATHER) dwelled, bodily. (John 14:19, Col 2:9). He is “the image of the invisible God.” (Col 1:15) He is “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Mat 1:23) He is “the Word” and John tells us: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1) and “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

Jesus is the manifestation of God in the flesh! The one through whom the Father (who is spirit and invisible) is revealed to men.

Paul tells us: “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1Co 8:5-6) All things were created BY THE FATHER (GOD) THROUGH JESUS CHRIST (the Word of God).

God planted A SEED (HIS WORD) into the womb of Mary by which she conceived THE SON OF GOD (the Word made flesh). And it was IN CHRIST that THE SPIRIT OF GOD (THE FATHER) dwelled, making Jesus “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.” (Heb 1:3)

The Father (spirit) is in the Son (flesh) doing the work….

Joh 14:6-21 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Jesus is not claiming to be the Father, but He is making it clear that we see the Father through the Son, for the Father is “in him”.

He is also telling us who the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit) is…

the spirit OF TRUTH [Jesus said; “I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life],

the spirit OF THE LORD [there is ONE LORD, Jesus Christ],

the spirit OF CHRIST [Jesus is THE CHRIST, the Son of the living God],

the spirit OF GOD [there is ONE GOD, THE FATHER].

When we are told that the Father and the Son are ONE, we need to understand that they are not just one “in purpose”, they are ONE!! The union of flesh (Man/Son) and spirit (God/Father).

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three different Gods, for there is only one “true and living God”, who is the God and Father OF ALL. And God is manifest in the flesh through His Son, through whom He is also glorified.

Jesus is THE PATTERN SON and He is bringing MANY SONS to glory. And we are made “sons of God” in the same manner – by receiving “the spirit of God”, that Christ might be formed “in us”, whereby we are “conformed into the image of His Son” (who is THE IMAGE OF GOD), having the spirit of his Son by which we cry Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6)

Truly, much more could be said on this topic. Dozens more pages could be filled with scripture on this subject (and I may still come back another day and do that), but right now I just wanted to ‘touch on’ what I think is probably one of the most, if not the most, significant doctrines of the LDS Church which distinguishes it from Orthodox Christianity.

That the LDS Church teaches that God, the Father, is a corporeal being (separate from the Son) is another reason I believe Mormon doctrine fails.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in Godhead

 

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