The Bible does not teach any form of tritheism or polytheism, as in the Mormon faith, but that there is only one true God from all eternity. As Jesus taught: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
The following scriptures prove there is only one God:
- … the only true God… (John 17:3)
- there is no God but one (1 Corinthians 8:4)
- there is but one God, … (1 Corinthians 8:6)
- For there is one God… (1 Timothy 2:5)
- This is what the LORD says… “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6)
- I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God (Isaiah 45:5)
- I am the LORD, and there is no other (Isaiah 45:6)
- I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me (Isaiah 46:9)
God Is a Trinity or Triune
Simultaneously, this one true God has revealed that He is three Persons, or centers of consciousness, within one Godhead. Because the concept cannot be fully comprehended does not mean the doctrine is irrational or cannot be accurately defined. A good definition of the Trinity is provided by noted church historian Philip Schaff:
- God is one in three persons or hypostases [distinct persons of the same nature], each person expressing the whole fullness of the Godhead, with all his attributes. The term persona is taken neither in the old sense of a mere personation or form of manifestation (prosopon, face, mask), nor in the modern sense of an independent, separate being or individual, but in a sense which lies between these two conceptions, and thus avoids Sabellianism on the one hand, and Tritheism on the other. [Sabellianism taught that God was one person only who existed in three different forms or manifestations; tritheism refers to a belief in three separate gods.] The divine persons are in one another, and form a perpetual intercommunication and motion within the divine essence. Each person has all the divine attributes which are inherent in the divine essence, but each has also a characteristic individuality or property, which is peculiar to the person, and can not be communicated; the Father is unbegotten, the Son begotten, the Holy Ghost is proceeding. In this Trinity there is no priority or posteriority of time, no superiority or inferiority of rank, but the three persons are co-eternal and coequal.
The biblical doctrine of the Trinity is vital to understand because it concerns who God is, which is essential for having a proper realization of the nature of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To understand the Trinity is to understand God as He has revealed Himself to be. To misunderstand the Trinity is to fail to understand who God is.
This is important because if we are to worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24), as Jesus commanded, we must know and worship the one true God as He really is. To fail to do this is to fail to know and worship God, and this cannot bring Him glory. Thus, those who reject the Trinity, by definition, deny the nature of God. Without a biblical theological formulation about God, heretical views arise. This in turn can lead to rejection of the one true God and the worship of a false God. And if the Bible is clear on anything, it is clear that faith in a false God cannot save people from their sins. Jesus Himself emphasized the importance of having an accurate knowledge of God when He said, “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Dr. John Weldon (born February 6, 1948) went to be with the Lord on August 30, 2014 following a long-time battle with cancer. John served for more than 20 years as a researcher for The John Ankerberg Show. During his tenure, he authored or coauthored more than 100 books, including the best-selling Facts On Series of books that has sold more than 2.5 million copies in 16 languages.
His final book, published in July 2014 with Harvest House Publishers (coauthored with John Ankerberg), is especially fitting. How to Know You’re Going to Heaven offers a biblical and personal look at the way God has provided salvation through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12) and the confidence the believer can have of eternity with Him in heaven (1 John 5:13).
John’s life and work have touched countless others seeking to grow spiritually and better understand the Bible. His friends describe him as genuine, humble, and passionate to share the hope of eternal life with everyone he met. His work will continue through his many books, his online writings at The John Ankerberg Show website (JAshow.org), as well as through the many people John has personally influenced through his ministry.
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