I remember the first concert I ever went to. I mean a real concert – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles don’t count! It was in the early 1990s, and I was a huge Alan Jackson fan. So I was beyond excited when my dad told me that he had tickets for us to go to his show at the old Greenville Memorial Auditorium. I mean this was Alan Jackson! And to this second-grade boy, he seemed larger than life.
I had no idea what it would be like to see him on stage – much less hear my favorite songs in person. I couldn’t wait! And as if things couldn’t get any better, I later learned that my dad had been able to secure us a backstage pass so that I could actually meet Alan himself. What an amazing first concert experience.
I mention this story because the first belief at Village Presbyterian Church we want to highlight is our 100% certainty in the existence and authority of the one living and true God. This is a point that is debated in many circles around the world. So it is critical for us to make absolutely clear that we believe in the one living and true God. But what do we mean by this phrase?
Well, the phrase “one living and true God” is used in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Question #5 asks, “Are there more Gods than one?” And the answer succinctly given is “There is but one only, the living and true God.” Fair enough. But, again, what does that mean? The answer is seen if we look at each of those adjectives one by one.
We first mean that there is but only one God. That is, there is only one eternal being who existed before creation itself – the God of the Bible. There is only one creator of the universe – the God of the Bible. There is only one redeemer of sinful mankind – the God of the Bible. And there is only one judge who sits in authority over everything that exists – the God of the Bible. Simply put, there is only one God – and He is the God of the Bible.
Now, of course, this is not something that is popular today. In making this claim we are also denying many things. We are denying that the deities worshipped by every other religion or belief are real gods. The god of human achievement did not exist in eternity past. The gods of Hinduism had nothing to do with the creation of the world. The god of the Muslim faith is completely impotent to save people from their sin. And the god of science has no ultimate authority over anything in the created world – much less the heavenly realms. They are false gods who do nothing to their followers but steal, kill, and destroy. But they are also dead gods – unlike the God of the Bible.
That is because secondly, we see that the God of the Bible is also the living God. What we mean by this is not only that the God of the Bible is alive, because the previous point implies that already. We are also saying that He is active in this world. God is Himself living and active. There is no detail in this world that happens apart from His involvement, foreknowledge, and wisdom. And it is this one living God who ensures that all things in this world work out for the good of His children. So contrary to the common belief in our world that God is an uninvolved third party to the activities on Earth, we believe with 100% certainty that He is the living and active God.
And third, the God of the Bible is the true God. This statement, of course, acknowledges that in our world we find many false gods with false claims. But it is the true God who is, Himself, the truth. And He can utter nothing but truth claims by His very nature. And this true God has given us the true Word which contains for us the only true way to be made right with Him.
So our first belief here at Village Presbyterian Church is that the God of the Bible is the one living and true God. But this belief is not merely something we hold internally. It is something that permeates our very way of life. Because we desire for all to meet and know and experience the one living and true God.
I remember on the day that I met Alan Jackson how nervous I was. It would have been one thing to have seen him from a distant seat in that old auditorium. That would have been cool enough. But meeting him brought an added level of nervousness that I wouldn’t have had back in my seat. That is because I wasn’t just going to hear from Alan Jackson. I was going to meet the one, the only, the real Alan Jackson in the flesh. And boy was he even larger than I had imagined as he stood there in his tall cowboy hat, large boots, and his 6 foot 4-inch frame. The picture shows me barely up to his waist. With a huge smile on my face!
Our belief in the one living and true God comes also with our belief that He is present with us each Sunday morning as we worship Him. So we invite you not to just hear something about God. Don’t just sit back from afar and wonder what it would be like to personally meet Him. Come worship with us one Sunday and find out. We can’t wait to introduce – or re-introduce – the one living and true God to you!
“But the Lord is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King!” – Jeremiah 10:10a (NLT)