02
Feb
14

Unity of God

These days I am preaching/teaching through the UMJC statement of faith. I almost always teach through books of the bible but I felt that we needed to clarify our basic beliefs so that we would be reminded of the wondrous truths that serve as the foundation of our faith and life in Messiah.   It has taken me over a month to simply get through the first few words..There is one God, who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Every divine action in the world is accomplished by the Father working through the Son and in the power of the Spirit.

 

This is a marvelous truth but   the way that the  unity of God has been described through history   can be difficult for us. As Jewish people it feels quite foreign.  Words like “trinity” and “person” give us the impression that God is made up of three people.  In addition, when we talk about the “job descriptions” and the differences of roles of the Father , Son and Holy Spirit it can feels as if we are describing three people. I’m not saying that we should not describe the Unity of God but simply acknowledging that we are limited by language to be able to adequately describe the relationships within the Godhead.   I think too much time is spent trying to figure out how God can be Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not enough time appreciating this truth as it has been revealed to us.  And that is the key – it is a truth that is revealed to us. It is revealed to us in our hearts (Romans 8:16)  and it is revealed to us in the Scriptures.   From the beginning of Genesis, the identity of YHVH is described as Father, Son and Spirit in a variety of passages but it is not until the coming of the Messiah that this great truth about God is given great clarity.  It is like seeing a drop of blood with the naked eye verses looking at the same drop of blood under a microscope. Under the microscope, we can see much more clearly the “identity” of that drop of blood.

 

The God of Israel, YHVH, is above and beyond all humanity but at the same time  cares deeply for us and  via covenant relationship has committed himself to humanity and to this world. Through the incarnation of Yeshua and the subsequent sending of the Holy Spirit we can have a unique relationship with God. It is in his “differentiated unity” that the transcendent God can reach down  to us and forgive our sins, restore us to the image and likeness of God, dwell within us, lead us, teach us, and enable us to live godly lives.  This is a description of all that the God of Israel does.  That is why I believe in the triunity of God – not in spite of being Jewish but because I am Jewish.

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2 Responses to “Unity of God”


  1. 1 Rob Larsen
    February 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Rabbi Daniel Boyarin, professor at University of California, says in his rather recent book, “The Jewish Jesus”, the thought of the plurality in the Godhead was believed by many Jews before the 1st century A.D. Boyarin, not a Messianic Jew, writes that many ideas we find in Christianity were quite common before the time of Messiah but were suppressed in Judaism some time after the Christian era because it was too similar to Christianity. Interesting book and recommended.

    Thanks.

    • 2 howard silverman
      February 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      hello rob,
      yes Boyarin’s book “The Jewish Gospels” is very helpful and I appreciate you mentioning it. I trust that is the book you are referring to. I actually read a passage from the book in a recent message.
      thanks again
      howard


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