How do Christians know that there is only one god?

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Transcript of the above video

In the previous video, we established that there has to be a God because the nature of our universe and our human predicament points to the existence of God. However, while God may exist, how do you know that he is the only one? What if he had a team where they all have equal power? For instance, maybe one God could be in charge of the skies or another could be in charge of the seas and so on and so forth. Are there multiple gods or is there only one God? That is our topic for today. How do Christians know that there is only one God? We’ll be breaking this question into three sub questions. 

  • What characteristics of the universe point to only one God? 
  • What characteristics of a divine God point to the existence of only one God?
  • What has God told us about there being only one God?
  1. What characteristics of the universe point to only one God? The harmony or the interrelationships in the universe points to the existence of only one God. Everything in this world exists, thanks to a deeply interconnected web of systems and processes and if one of these did not exist, the world would not be the way it is today. Our bodily cells, members and systems work together to keep us alive. Soil, air, water and heat and bacteria cooperate with each other to benefit plants. This harmony and cooperation points to a single creator of order who has absolute knowledge of the relationships and characteristics of everything and who can order everything. This creator of harmony, order and interrelationships has to be God. The power to manage everything in this world down to the smallest detail is what we can regard as “omnipotence”, also termed as “all-powerful”. God has to be all-powerful because if not, he wouldn’t be considered a God as there is nothing that sets him above everything.

2. What characteristics of a divine God point to the existence of only one God?  Firstly, the omnipotence of God points to the existence of only one God. Imagine that in front of you lies a cake. Now cut the cake into ten slices. Place the initial cake beside the final cake. Which is bigger? This analogy clearly showcases what it’s like when there are multiple gods. In this analogy, the whole cake refers to all the power in the universe. If you were to divide this power among multiple gods, we can see that the power each god possesses is significantly limited. This contradicts the notion of God being all-powerful. If there are multiple gods, this presents us with two possibilities – either the powers of each God overlap or the powers of each God are significantly limited. In both cases, it is implied that there is someone who can challenge them and possibly defeat them, making them not all-powerful. This contradicts the notion that God is a Supreme Being that is above all the second to no one. As John Piper, founder and leader of and the Chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis Minnesota, puts it: If the very meaning of being God is that he is the ultimate source of all there is, there can be only one. Two beings cannot both be the ultimate source of all things. One would be the ultimate source of the other and so only one would be called God, or both will be equally ultimate and neither will be the source of all things and so neither will be God. There is only one God, the creator and sustainer of all that is outside of God. If God is ultimate and all-powerful, there can only be one being that can be called God because if he had an equal, he would not be called God.

3. What has God told us about there being only one God. God is holy and in him is no sin. That means he does not lie. Hence, every word he says has to be true. In the Christian worldview according to the Bible, God has made himself known through Scripture, through his mighty works and through the words of the prophets that he alone is the true and living God. In Isaiah 45:5, God spoke to Isaiah the prophet “I am the Lord and there is no other, besides me there is no God.” In Deuteronomy 4:39, he also spoke through Moses who let the people of Israel out of Egypt saying “Know therefore today and take it to your heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Moreover, the Bible is clear in stating that there is only one God for all the peoples, not just Israel. Isaiah 45:22 says “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth. Before I am God and there is no other.” The Apostle Paul sums up the reality of God nicely in his letter to Timothy where he wrote in 1 Timothy 2:3-6 “It is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”

As it stands we are left with two options – to listen to God and accept the concept of his unrivaled existence or to disregard him completely and open our minds to the possibility of other multiple gods. Following this train of thought, the final destination that we will eventually reach depends on what each of us chose to believe.