February 20 – LD 8, Day 2: God is One Divine Essence
Tuesday the 20th of February
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Deut. 6:4, “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD."
The first article of the Apostle’s Creed is “I believe in God”.
We noticed already that this God is the object of our faith. We make confession to Him and about Him in the love of His friendship established with us.
Two things have to be said about this God as the object of our faith.
First, we confess that He is the ONLY God. This was demonstrated over and over in the Old Covenant. The passage quoted above consists of the words of Moses as he summarized for Israel the instruction given to them in Mount Sinai. One thing is for sure, Jehovah is ONE Jehovah which means that there is only one Jehovah and He is not a god among many gods, rather He is the one and ONLY God there is. The history which followed demonstrated that Jehovah put down all the supposed gods of Egypt. He killed with a mighty hand the dwellers in the land of Canaan who worshipped other gods. How could He do this? Think about Mt. Carmel in the days of the Prophet Elijah. Let the living and true God answer by fire. Baal and Ashtoreth remained silent while Jehovah consumed the altar and the land with fire. The people shouted, “Jehovah He is THE God”. So through the ages, Jehovah is the same, the one only true God.
Second, He is three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We will see later that even though God revealed Himself as three Persons, He nevertheless is ONE God, not three. The catechism expresses it this way, “Why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? A. Because God hath so revealed himself in His Word, that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.”
We speak of this one and only true and eternal God as a description of the ESSENCE of God.
God’s nature or composition (so to speak) is that He possesses one mind, one will, one heart as He relates to others. We can say this because God made man in His image and we know the image of God is what distinguishes man from animals or other creatures. Man thinks, man has feeling, man desires, man loves and these things reflect His creator.
The Lord our God is ONE.