How many gods does the Christian faith has? Is it 1, 2 or 3? Answer – we only have one God! Some would wonder than if the God of the old testament is the same as the God of the new…. Well, in this blog, we will answer this question..
I’m currently doing a one year Bible reading plan covering both the old and the new testament, and have just recently finished reading the book of Exodus and co-currently reading the book of Matthew. I was initially quite appalled by the fact that God commanded death/violence for so many occasions. (Exodus 21: 12-36). Whereas, in the new testament, we don’t see that happening. In fact, quite a stark difference, we have a peaceful, gentle and loving one as demonstrated by Jesus. Initially, when I read the account in Exodus where God apparently appears to be so violent, I had problems reconciling the two together. Yet as I ponder, I realised and remembered what I was taught last time – The New Testament is the Old Testament fulfilled, therefore the Old and New Testament God is the same.
In the old testament, the people were given the law of God, by God Himself through Moses, and they were required to follow them. Because God is a just and Holy God, He cannot let sin go unpunished, and since at that time, there was only God and his people. Therefore, when they did wrong, they had to pay for their own sins (because that was and still is the penalty – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23). And as there wasn’t any one at that time who is able to atone for them, except for the animal sacrifice which was done by the priest once annually. This, however, was only a temporary measure, since it has to be done on a yearly basis.
Now fast forward to the new testament, where Jesus is now in the picture. Jesus himself said that He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it (Matt 5:17, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.) Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:14), Jesus was God’s own son (John 3:16) And only a sinless man like Jesus (Hebrews 4:16) can atone for the sin of others – the sinner is not able to atone for himself or for someone else that’s why an animal atonement was required in the old testament. This is however, unnecessary in the new testament because of Jesus. God had made Him (Jesus) the object of the wrath we deserve. “God made him who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf, that we might have the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Therefore, Jesus, became the “sacrificial lamb” by which His blood, all mankind were saved, making Christ the only way to salvation. Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) As all of judgement due to us were poured on Christ, when He went to the cross, we no longer see “death threats” as sin requires in the new testament as compared to the old, except for two instances in the book of Acts in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:3-10) and King Herald (Acts 12:20-22). Death is still the penalty for sin, but now it is no longer the just physical death but a spiritual one. (A soul that is away from God for eternity).
We have just learnt that the old testament God is the same as the new testament. Now some will start to ask, about the Holy Spirit? Christian worship the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Some mistaken this as 3 different gods, but they are actually the same. Just like we have learnt that Jesus was God in the flesh (being the 2nd person in the Holy Trinity) The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity as demonstrated in Acts 5:3-10 in the death of the Ananias and Sapphira. The Holy Spirit was given to the followers of Jesus Christ as a promise by Jesus Himself after His resurrection from the death and before His ascension into heaven and it was also a mark of identity and empowerment for those who are in Him. (Acts 1:4,8)
Now back to the main question – Is the old testament God different from the new testament God? Nope, they are one and the same! And how many gods does the Christian faith have again? Just one! “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
God bless you!
Serving with you in His Kingdom with love;
Princess Michelle –
Beloved Daughter of the Most High King