"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1
This coming Sunday, May 30, is Trinity Sunday, a day in the church year devoted to reminding us who the true God of the Bible is, over against the many false concepts and ideas about God which have been held in various times and in various places.
The Bible, which is God's inspired Word, tells us: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
But who is this God of the Bible? Who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth? Who is the One who formed all of us in our mothers' wombs and gave us life (Psalm 139:13-16)?
The Hebrew word Elohim in Genesis 1:1 is the plural form of God and is the name used to describe our Creator (cf. Gen. 1:26-27). He is also called by the name Jehovah or Yehovah (some pronounce the Hebrew name Yahweh), and it is often translated as LORD (with all uppercase letters) in our English Bibles.
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God [Yehovah Elohim] made the earth and the heavens ..." (Gen. 2:4).
The Bible further defines God, when it says: "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (1 Cor. 8:6). Thus we see that all things were created by God the Father through Jesus Christ, who gave us life.
God's creation account also tells us that, in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2). And so we see that the Holy Spirit, too, was active in the creation of all things.
The opening verses of John's Gospel tell us: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4). We learn that the Word, Jesus Christ, identified in verse 14 as God Himself in the flesh and the only-begotten Son of the Father, already was in the beginning, was and is God, created all things and is the giver of life, both physical and spiritual.
In St. Paul's letter to the Colossians, the inspired Scriptures say of Christ Jesus, that He "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Col. 1:15-17).
So, who is the Creator? Who is the true God? It is God, the God the Scriptures identify for us as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Though God is one Being -- "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut. 6:4) -- God is also three Persons -- thus, Jesus' command to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28:19). This is why the God of the Bible is often called the Triune (three/one) God; He is one God and yet three distinct Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet, there are not three Gods, but one God.
The Bible tells us, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7).
Though beyond our ability to comprehend, this is how God has revealed Himself to us -- it is His account and His word. And it is this God who has created all things and has given us life. This is the God Bible-believing Christians worship and serve. It is the God confessed in the ancient creeds of the church -- the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
And any who do not worship and serve this true God (the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit) through faith in the Son do not worship and serve the true God who created us and gave us life, who redeemed us in the Son and who gives eternal life to all who believe in His name (cf. John 5:22-23; 1 John 5:11-12).
Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3; cf. John 14:6; Act 4:12).
O LORD God, our Creator and Redeemer, one God, yet three Persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- we give You thanks for revealing Yourself and all You have done for us and our salvation in Your Word. Grant that we trust in You and honor You through faith in the Son and His innocent sufferings and death for us upon the cross. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.]