Is God Singular or Plural?

Genesis 1:26,27

“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”the trinityfivebyfive

Is God singular (Deut. 6:4; 32:39; Isa.45:5; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6) or plural (Gen. 3:22; 18:1-3; Ps.97:7; Isa.48:16; John 10:34-38)? The Hebrew word for God is `elohim Strong’s #430, a plural noun.

In Genesis 1:1 it is used in grammatical agreement with a singular verb, bara strong’s#1254, “created.” When the plural pronouns in “Let us make man in our image after our likeness: are used, does it mean an august plural of excellence or majesty? Is God speaking to the angels or to the earth or nature? Or is this a germinal hint of (first mention) a distinction in the divine personality?

No one can be certain. Until Jesus came, the internal unity of the Godhead was not understood. God is essentially Spirit (John 4:24). Therefore, man, who is similar to God, possesses an immortal spirit. We resemble God in certain respects without being equal with Him (Isa. 40:25).

God the Father has a soul (Matt.12:18), God has a body (John 1:14) in Jesus, and God is Spirit in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33). Man’s likeness to God is what truly distinguishes mankind from the rest of creation. Man is a person with the power to think, feel, and decide.

He has the capacity for moral choices and spiritual growth or decline. In the beginning, man loved God and hated unrighteousness. The fall reversed this. Man was still a person with the capacity for good, but his spirit was altered by sin so much that he now generally runs away from God and loves evil more than righteousness (John 3:19,20).

Man is no longer in the perfect state of innocence as at the time of creation. Therefore, he does not have the same spiritual, God like attributes and qualities of that original state. Jesus, the last Adam (Rom.5:18, 19), came to undue Satan’s works (1 John 3:8), to restore a spiritual likeness to God.

The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God.

 

 

 

 

Speak the truth in love, stop being passive.

Westminster Theological Seminary President: Christians Need to Stand Up in Public Square, Politics to ‘Reclaim Judeo-Christian Heritage’

BY SAMUEL SMITH , CP REPORTER

February 28, 2015|8:38 am

Speaking at Westminster Theological Seminary’s second-ever “Real State of the Union” conference last Saturday, three Christian scholars stressed to attendees that it is time for Christians to faithfully stand up in the public square and reclaim America’s Judeo-Christian heritage from what has become a prominently secular society.

“I am calling on all believers to have a recommitment to the truth of Christ to speak the truth and love, to be who we are and to engage in justice by being committed to justice and seeing to it by speaking in the public square,” Westminster Theological Seminary President Peter Lillback said. “We are not forcing ourselves into a place that we don’t belong. This public square was created by this Judeo-Christian heritage that we are speaking about.”

I’ve had a complaint for a while that far too many Christians have become intimidated into
being passive.   That’s not what we’re supposed to be and it isn’t what’s required of us.   Islam poses a great threat and passivity won’t cut it.   love and passivity

Christian Post …Lillback set the tone for the day-long conference, which was held at First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs, Florida, with an event-opening speech providing a rundown of how America has transformed from a country that was discovered and founded on Christian values to a society that now largely mocks and ridicules Christians who act in accordance to their religious beliefs.

“We are now in a day that was much like what first century Christians faced in a pluralistic world that was antagonistic to their Christian values,” Lillback told The Christian Post. “We aren’t even beginning to pay the price that our forefathers did for their faith.”

“Yes, we will be persecuted. Yes, we will be criticized. Yes, we will be assaulted. But Jesus said, ‘Be glad and rejoice for that is what they did to the prophets before you,'” Lillback continued.

Providing an example of how the government is now treats Christians and their faith, Lillback highlighted the military chaplain who was “condemned” in December for talking about his faith during a suicide prevention class.

Lillback explained that although many secularists today claim that religion has no role in government or the public sector, America’s Founding Fathers actually intended for the country to be one where politicians and public officials are free to make decisions based on their faith.

Lillback points out that the Founding Fathers specifically included four references to God in the Declaration of Independence and opines that they are indications that more trust needs to be put into God when it comes to leading and governing a nation that is supposed to be free of tyranny.

“So its been observed that the four references to God actually reflect the very form of government that the Constitution will eventually create,” Lillback said. “There are lawgivers. God is a giver of law. There are judges. God is the supreme judge. There are executives. God is the executor of his will through providence.”

Lillback added that God is also present in the Constitution, although others might disagree. Things such as the president having the option to take Sundays for sabbath and the president having to swear on the Bible when he takes his oath of office are clear reminders of how the Founding Fathers intended for the light of God to help drive the success of the nation, and protect it from human imperfection.

“Some people have said that the Constitution is a godless constitution, but it’s actually remarkably Christian in many ways,” Lillback asserted. “The most Christian element of all the Constitution is the lack of trust in human nature. All the ways in which there are checks and balances and there are different branches of government and the severance of power. Those are a recognition that man has basically corrupted and he will be even more corrupted when he has power.”

Lillback further explained that Christianity was a crucial part of public education and helped fuel the country’s Judeo-Christian morals up until the 1890s, as half of the boards of public universities were comprised of clergymen.

“When you get to the 1890s with the Holy Trinity case, you get to the highwater mark for Judeo-Christian value structure. But at this point, this is where we begin to see the movement from the very highest levels beginning to de-christianize the Universities,” Lillback said. “They began to push theological and seminary studies out of the universities and replaced it with the study of religions. Over time, it becomes more and more committed, not to deism but ultimately a form of practical atheism to where atheism became the prevailing view of our universities. That begins to take hold in the progressive era in the early 1900s.”

Harry Reeder, senior pastor at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, followed Lillback’s historical rundown with his speech on the “downward spiral of the culture.”

Secular viewpoints became dominant in America in the later half of the 20th century and now 21st century pluralistic and post-modern culture has created hostility towards the same morals and values that America was founded on.things that matter

Following Reeder’s lecture, Bruce Waltke, a reformed evangelical professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, told the audience that Christians and the church need to be far more active in politics than they currently are.

“[Waltke’s] Impact has been enormous. In studying the Proverbs, he has come to the conclusion that the church ought to be far more involved in the public square and the political activity if we take the teaching of the Proverbs seriously,” Lillback explained. “I think it is quite a statement for a Biblical theologian, because he is moving out of his normal sphere to say, ‘These principles really do matter for what we are doing as a country.'”

The heart-adorning of a godly women.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty of a quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3,4 NKJV.

1peterverse_blog

Heart, kardia, Strong’s #2588: The definition of this word is, “thoughts, feelings, mind, middle,” as the deepest, most inner recess of our being. A godly woman, abiding in the Holy Spirit (who Himself lives in the hidden place of our hearts) can grow to learn a trust in the insights and understanding the Lord gives her.
With a gentle and quiet spirit, God wants her to bring insight and value to her husband and their marriage. She is to be “adorned” with a spirit that is not self-exalting or casting herself as her husband’s teacher; yet, they are still ordained to be and become full partners as the husband receives the day-to-day relational “help” God has given to him in his wife.
Genesis 2:18 says, And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” A helper indicates that Adam’s strength for all he was called to be and do was inadequate in itself. Comparable to him denotes complementarity. The needed help is for daily work, procreation, and mutual support through companionship.

 

 

 

 

As a former lump, are you cracked and allowing Jesus to shine from within you?

For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.
We are pressed in on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair;
We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:6-9 (Amplified Bible)     pot  

 Vessel, skeuos, a vessel, utensil, implement. Figuratively of the human body as formed of clay and thus frail and feeble (2 Cor. 4:7); of persons, ina moral respect (Rom. 9:22,23, refering to those in whom the divine mercy is to be exercised according to the purpose of the divine potter.

I take these verse’s as a warrant for us to be cracked-pots that leak His glorious presence to a darkened world.  This epistle’s theme which is ministry through weak vessels expresses the paradox of how weak human beings can be the vessels of the power of God. In the clay pot my weakness and God’s power come together.

A jar is designed to hold something, so let God fill your jar with His treasures!     

Receive what you were created to hold – HIS life
Receive what you were created to hold – HIS light 

 

Are you spending your inheritance in Christ?

…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints… Ephesians 1:17,18 NKJV.

Wisdom and revelation are not meant to be understood as mystical. “Wisdom” speaks of practical, workable principals; “revelation” refers to clear perception and applicable understanding . The Holy Spirit is the divine and supernatural source of both (vs.17).

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened litterally means that your heart may receive the brightness of hope resulting when the wealth of God’s investment in you is understood (vs.18).

eph11718

 Mind, dianoia; Strong’s # 1271: Literally, “a thinking through.” Dianoia, is a combination of nous, “mind” and dia “through.” The word suggests understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension, the faculty of thought. When this faculty is renewed (process, not a one time experience) by the Holy Spirit, the whole mind-set of the fearful negativism of the diseased carnal mind to the vibrant, positive thinking of the quickened spiritual mind.

The Lord is One!

 

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One!”  Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV.

Called Shema by orthodox Jews, after the first word, “Hear,” this famous passage supports the Trinitarian concept of deity—the Lord (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one Lord, the one echad, expressing compound unity, not yahid, meaning a single one. He alone to whom the name of Jehovah (Yahweh, “the self-existing One”) belongs is absolutely God (Ex. 3:14).  “Hear, O Israel: YHVH is God, YHVH alone is God,”is also an acceptable translation. good-evening-music

It is at once a testimony against Unitarianism as well as polytheism.

Because He is the one and only God, of one eternal, uncreated essence, yet manifested tripersonally as Scripture shows. He must be loved by the creature (us ins) with the whole being: heart, soul, (mind, will and emotions) and might (v.5), Jesus added the “mind” (Mark 12:30).

We who believe today know this same Yahweh, Israel Redeemer, as our Redeemer, who in the process of time became incarnate and died in our place. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

One, echad, Strong’s # 259: One, a unit; united; unity. The root of echad is achad, to bring together, to unify; to collect one’s thoughts. Echad paints a range of meaning as “one” does in English, from the very narrowest sense (one and one only, as in Ecc.9:18, one sinner destroys much good”) to the broadest sense (one made up of many, as in Gen.2:24, where a man and his wife “shall become one flesh”).

The foundational truth for the redemption of the world is that there is one God who creates and redeems, and yet the NT shows that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Compare the unity of God to the unity of man made in His image: Man is comprised of spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23). Man is not three “beings” but “one being” with physical, emotional, and spiritual elements.deu-6-4-web-watermarked

The word God is used here in its plural form in the Hebrew text. So, our God, the Lord is one likely emphasizes the Christian doctrine of the trinity, three Persons of the same substance in the one Godhead; this understanding, however, would not have been apparent to the people of the OT.

Are we growing in our long temper?

  1. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12. That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:10-12 NKJV.

The Apostle expresses confidence that his readers will remain steadfast. Faith looks to the One who promises; (v10) hope looks to the things promised (v 11).

Patience, makrothumia, Strong’s # 3115- roots are makros, “long,” and thumos, “temper.” Some of the qualities are lenience, tolerance, fortitude, patient endurance, longsuffering. This speaks of the person who has power to avenge himself, yet refrains from the exercise of this power; a long holding of the mind before it gives room to action or passion. clip_image006

Makrothumia, is associated with mercy and is used of God (Rom.2:4; 1 Peter 3:20). When exercised toward another person, one suffers long and extends himself to the life of that person wishing to win such a one to a godly life in spite of his sinfulness (Acts 26:3). 27patienthen

 

A balance of the Demonstration of the Gospel is needed.

  1. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the powerof God. 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5. NKJV.

The text reveals an apostolic priority that leadership must contend for in an era when the intellect is often deified and the “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (Greek apodeixis, Strong’s # 585) either unsought or ridiculed.

The word comes from a term used to describe actions that “exhibit or accredit, validate” a claim, a truth or a presence.  waveone third

The NT apostolic value system sought and was grateful for the Holy Spirit’s power-works, and so their manifestation is a worthy pursuit and expectation today as we declare God’s Word or testify to the lost (Mark 16:20).

We should expect manifestations of the Holy Spirit, not for show or sensation, but as means for God to validate the glory of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 1:7 says, So that you come short in no gift eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus…

Gift, Charisma, Strong’s #5486 id related to other words derived from the root char. Chara is joy, cheerfulness, delight. Charis is grace, goodwill, undeserved favor. Charisma is a gift of grace, a free gift, divine gratuity, spiritual endowment, miraculous faculty.

It is especially used to designate the gifts of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 12:4-10. The gifts come with the Giver of the gifts for the purpose of accompanying them who are preaching, reaching the lost. The Lord is working with and confirming the word through signs.

 

Let’s join Jesus in Praise!

God truly inhabits the praises of His people. 11. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12. saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”inhabits praise

This quotation from a messianic prophecy (Ps. 22:22) gives understanding as to how the Spirit of the Christ fills the N.T. church, as Jesus identifies Himself so closely with His people (Heb. 2:11) and enters into songs of worship with them. Notice:

  1. How the Lord Himself enters into the gathering (“in the midst”) and
  2. How the joint-praise releases the spirit of prophecy (“I will declare Your to My brethren”), as the holy power of praise ignites :the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 19:10).

But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel (Ps.22:3). Few principals are more essential to our understanding than this one: the presence of God’s kingdom power is directly related to the practice of God’s praise.

The verb : “enthroned”means that wherever God’s people exalt His name, He is ready to manifest His kingdom’s power in the way most approprite to the situation. His rule is invited to invade our setting, to change the atmosphere as only He can.

Glory to God in the highest!

Are we killing all our darlings, pride,fear,sloth?

I remember back when I attended church with my parents, the church we went to sang three songs and sat down. I also remember many years later participating in praise worship when the saints entered into high praises; where the air is thick with the presence of the Holy Spirit and demons literally screamed out of a person who needed deliverance. Our sacrifice reached heaven as a sweet smelling aroma.

  1. We have an alter from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:10-15 NKJV.

Why is praising God a sacrifice? The word “sacrifice” (Greek thusia) comes from the root thuo, a verb meaning “to kill or slaughter for a purpose.” Praise often requires that we “kill” our pride, fear, or sloth—anything that threatens to diminish or interfere with our worship of the Lord.

We discover here the Basis of all our praise: the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by Him, in Him, with Him, to Him, and for Him that we offer our sacrifice of praise to God. Praise will never be successfully hindered when we keep its focus on Him—the Founder and Completer of our salvation.

His Cross, His blood—His love gift of life and forgiveness to us—Keep praise as a living sacrifice!pwbnr-960x430

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