By Gary Hughes (Elder)
What do we believe?
We believe in one God, who exists eternally in three persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Why do we believe this?
Deuteronomy 6:4 – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one
Why does it matter?
From the time of ancient Israel until today, one of the most honored verses in the Old Testament by the Jewish people is the “shema,” so called because that is the first Hebrew word in the verse. It is also the verse that comes immediately before what Jesus identified as the greatest of all the commands in the Old Testament: to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength.
Although the verse is short (only six words in Hebrew), it packs a lot of power. The hearers/readers are commanded to pay attention: this is important. Next, we find God identified. The proper name that he revealed to Moses from the burning bush is used (Yahweh, or the LORD), and then He is called “our God.” In the Hebrew, the word for God used here (and most other occurrences in the Old Testament) is a plural noun. Although it is plural, throughout the Old Testament when the word refers to God it is treated as a singular. Finally, to emphasize the fact, the proper name of God is used again and followed by the word for “one.” It is not until Jesus and the teachings of the New Testament that we understand how this verse is truly to be understood: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as three persons, but God is still One, both in number and in priority.
How can this mystery help you to reflect on the awesome nature of God while thanking Him for remaining so near?