In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. This week I want to answer the question, ‘Are there more Gods than one?’
The Bible very clearly states that there is only one God. Moses says to the Israelites in Deuteronomy: ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one’ (Deuteronomy 6:4). The prophet Jeremiah also tells us that there is only one God and that God is the LORD: ‘But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King’ (Jeremiah 10:10).
Now this is not to suggest that there are no other gods that people worship. Indeed the apostle Paul admits the existence of many idols that people worship but is careful to show that they are not actual gods, as there is only one God: ‘We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live’ (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
Now if there is only one God, we must firstly acknowledge this as Moses says we should: ‘Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other’ (Deuteronomy 4:39). But we mustn’t only acknowledge God’s existence, we must love him as Jesus says we should: ‘One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’’ (Mark 12:28-30).
How do you love God? Jesus says: ‘This is love for God: to obey his commands’ (1 John 5:3-5). Any command in particular? Jesus says we obey by believing in him: ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent’ (John 6:29).
Do you acknowledge that God is one AND love him by believing in Jesus?