Our Foundation: The One True God
By David K. Bernard
It is important for us to examine our doctrinal foundation periodically, because it is the basis for our salvation. The Scriptures make us wise unto salvation (II Timothy 3:15). As we continue in the apostles’ doctrine we will save ourselves and those we lead. “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (I Timothy 4:16, NKJV)
The Bible emphasizes the oneness of God and the identity of Jesus Christ as the almighty God revealed in flesh. These truths are the foundation of apostolic doctrine.
When a scribe asked Jesus, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus replied, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, 0 Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength: This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31, NKJV).
Clearly, Jesus regarded the oneness of God as the foundation of truth. The distinctive message that we preach is based on this foundation:
The oneness of God shows us the necessity of repentance: we must turn away from all other gods, priorities, and desires and dedicate ourselves wholly to the one God. There are no other gods for us to serve.
Water baptism in Jesus’ name is vitally important because Jesus is the revelation of God in all His fullness and the name of Jesus is the only saving name of God (Acts 4:12).
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is vitally important because there is only one Spirit of God, not two or three. We do not receive Christ on one occasion and the Holy Spirit on another. The way to receive Christ in His fullness to dwell in our lives is to receive the Holy Spirit.
Since there is only one God and since He deserves all our devotion, we should worship Him joyfully and exuberantly with all our strength. Our worship should involve intellect, emotions, inward personality, and outward effort.
Since there is only one God and since He deserves all our devotion, we should live a holy life dedicated to Him in all aspects, both inwardly and outwardly.
In order to save humans, the one God had to come in the flesh. As sinners, we could not rise to His level, so He came to our level to restore us to fellowship with Him. Only God has power and authority to save us, but only by coming in flesh could He provide the sacrifice of atonement, become our substitute, and shed innocent blood for the remission of our sins.
The saving gospel (good news) is that Christ died for our sins, was buried in the tomb, and rose again on the third day to win victory over death, sin, and the devil. (See I Corinthians 15:1-4.) This message is the basis of Christian initiation we die to sin in repentance, are buried with Him in water baptism, and rise to new life through the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-4; 7:6; 8:2.)
The Incarnation God coming in the flesh to be our Savior is the foundation for everything we believe. Jesus prayed as a human to God as His Father: “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3, NKJV). To be saved, we must know the one God who created us (our Father), but we must also know that God has become our Savior in Jesus Christ and thereby believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him…. He who has seen Me has seen the Father…. The Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:6-10, NKJV).
Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead incarnate, and we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10). If all we know is Jesus, we know enough to be saved, healed, and delivered. He is the supreme revelation of God to us. His atoning death, burial, and resurrection are the focal point of human history.
From, “Forward Magazine” /March-April 2009/Volume 40, Issue 2/Page 13, by David Bernard