Christians say we believe there is one God… but do we really? How can we say that there is one God, while also seeming to believe in more than one god? Believe it or not, there is a good answer to this question. But it’s not an easy one.
The nature of God is one of the great mysteries of Christian faith because, from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible affirms that God is One. But it also seems to affirm that God is more than One.
The way theologians have summarized the Bible’s teaching on the nature of God this way:
There one God who simultaneously exists as three Persons. The Father, Yahweh, the Lord, in all caps, is God. The Word, the Son, Jesus Christ is God. And the Holy Spirit is God. All three are eternal. All are divine. And all are distinct from one another.
There is arguably no simpler way to explain the mystery of God’s nature. Many have tried to explain it in different ways, comparing the Persons of God the differing states of water, light and heat emanating from the sun, or even the family structure. But every attempt falls short, and leads to serious error:
- If the Father, Son and Spirit are like the states of water, they are not actually distinct Persons.
- If they are like light and heat from the sun, they are not equally eternal.
- If they are like a family, they are not one God, but three distinct beings.
God’s revelation of His nature is incomparable. There is literally nothing else like Him in all the universe. And while God’s nature may be a great mystery, we are called to embrace the mystery with joy.