Thursday, 21 August 2014
…yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.1 Corinthians 8:6
Continuing on with his “knowledge” portion of “things offered to idols” Paul finishes up with this verse. He has just noted that “there are many gods and many lords.” In this, he meant in perception, not in reality as can be seen in this verse. “Yet for us there is one God.” Unlike the rest of the unregenerate world, we possess the knowledge of the absolute truth that there is one God. This is then in contradistinction to the lie that there are “many gods.”
This one God is “the Father.” In this, Paul is not speaking of the Father within the Godhead as separate and distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. Rather, he is using the term “Father” when speaking of God in the absolute sense. This one God is our Father. We know this is the sense in which he is speaking because he does not use the term “Son” when speaking of Jesus in the coming words. Instead, he will speak of Jesus in parallel thought. Therefore, “one God, the Father” is God who is the Father, “of whom are all things.”
God our Father is the Source of all things. They exist because He wills them to exist and nothing exists apart from His will. There is no other God and all of creation was created by Him, “and we for Him.” This refers to His faithful believers who have put their hope in the Messiah. We were created for Him and by Him to be a praise and a glory to Him. God so intended this and His will is effected in our existence and in our state in Him.
In parallel to that, Paul continues with “and one Lord Jesus Christ.” It is important to note the absence of the word “Son” to understand properly. It is parallel to, not in addition to, his prior words concerning “the Father.” Again, his previous verse noted that “there are many gods and many lords,” a set of parallels – “gods” and “lords.” He first addressed “gods” as opposed to the one “God.” He now addresses “lords” as opposed to “one Lord Jesus Christ.”
Understanding this is important because aberrant cults, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, try to subordinate Jesus by inaccurately analyzing this verse… “See there is one God, the Father, and so Jesus isn’t God.” Such misrepresentations fail to accurately handle God’s word issued through Paul’s hand. This “one Lord Jesus Christ” is “through whom are all things.” It is set in parallel with the note about the Father “of whom are all things.” God is the Source and Jesus is the member within that Source by which all things came into being; He is the Word of God (see John 1:1).
Finally, Paul says that it is the Lord Jesus Christ, “through whom we live.” This is parallel to the thought concerning God the Father which said “and we for Him.” Jesus is the Creator and He is the Re-generator. We exist physically because of Him and we are spiritually quickened by Him when we receive Him. All is a work of God and all is by Jesus Christ.
Life application: When you pray to Jesus, you are praying to God. When you pray through Jesus, you are praying through our Mediator to the Godhead. Jesus is God and Jesus is our Lord. By carefully examining Scripture in its intended context, we can see that there is no division between Jesus and God, and yet there is a Godhead in which the three Persons of the Trinity exist.
Heavenly Father – gracious, glorious, and almighty. Thank You for Your divine hand of grace which showers down upon us every wonderful blessing. You water the earth so that we are fed and re-nourished. You change the seasons for our enjoyment and for the flowering of different parts of Your creation. You heal the scars of the earth which come from time to time and You heal the wounds of our souls through the grace of Your own hand in the Person of Jesus Christ our Lord. In Him, we have the certainty of every spiritual blessing and the wondrous prospect of eternal life in Your presence. Thank You for Your attentive and divine hand of grace. Amen.