The Triunity of God : An Exposition of Galatians 3:20 — “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one”: Paul had been a very analytical and legalistic man prior to his encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road. Being a Pharisee of the Pharisees, he knew that God communicated his precepts to man through covenants by the hands of a mediator. Now, in writing this verse, he is reconciling an apparent contradiction between the office of a mediator and the oneness of God. Paul must have thought, “Why does God need a mediator if He is one?” The answer is probably this: Ever since he was a child, he had been taught to recite the Shema, which forms the very basis of the Law of Moses and is the foundation of all Judaism. This saying, found in Deuteronomy, was quoted by our Lord Jesus and recorded in Mark, along with the next verse, in response to a question posed by one of the Jewish scribes, “tempting Him” (Matt. 22:35). When asked which is the first commandment of all. He responded by quoting the introductory verse first, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deut. 6:4; Mk. 12:29). Our Lord quoted the “Shema” first, named so because it is based on the first word of the passage translated as “Hear“. The scribe was quite satisfied with His answer for he replied, “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is but one God; and there is none other but He: and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mk. 12:32-33). But like the Apostle Paul, until the Lord opened his eyes, they, along with most other Jews, probably thought the Shema was the strongest statement for the indivisible oneness of God and therefore no Jew could ever acknowledge and worship Jesus as God, and even worse, as the only Mediator between God and men. After all, He was a “false prophet” from Galilee! However, now that the heart of Paul had turned to the Lord, having been circumcised by the Spirit of the living God, the veil which masked his understanding had been taken away. He looked at this passage which he had recited for so many years, rendered in the Hebrew as: “Shema Yisroel JEHOVAH Elohenu JEHOVAH Echad.” and discovered that the word “echad” is a compound unity noun, emphasizing unity and oneness, as in a marital relationship, but not one in number. The Greek equivalent found in this passage, “but God is one” is “eis” (pronounced “heis”), the same word found in I Cor. 8:4, 6. The equivalent word in the Hebrew tongue is “yachid”, which communicated indivisible oneness – as one, two, three, etc. – and can be translated as “only” in our Bible. Paul further discovered in reading the Shema that the Lord also used the plural word “Elohenu” (our God), derived from “Elohim” (gods) the plural form of “El” ( god) to show the plurality of God within His unity. So, he discovered the Trinity or, better said, the Triunity of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. So, to those who have seeking hearts, the Lord will reveal His Triunity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – within the Old Testament. (See if you can discover the triunity of God in Isa. 48:9-17.) This same oneness is found in our Lord’s prayer to His Father, “That they [those who believe on Christ] all may be one; as thou Father, art in Me, and I in them, that they also may be one in Us” (Jn. 17:21). The Law was commanded in perfect unity and plurality to the nation of Israel by the Father, through the Preincarnate Son, who acted as Mediator, communicated by the Holy Spirit to angels by the hand of Moses. The New Covenant was commanded by the Father, through the Son acting as sole Mediator and communicated to men by the Holy Spirit with no angelic beings involved.
A true pastor will derive his sense of oneness with the Triune God based on what the genuine Holy Bible teaches and not on feelings and emotions derived from “those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Col. 2:18). With so many modern translations around, based on 1% of manuscripts rejected by the early church as heretical, each saying something different, no wonder a person has to turn to their feelings and sensibilities in an effort to link faith with reality. One has to add to the finished work of our Lord Jesus and detract from His full Deity in a legalistic effort to gain a sense of stability. These false pastors, teachers and evangelists in doing this, deny the sole authority of the Scriptures in their own lives. Not believing that Jesus, being truly both the Son of God and Son of Man, want to usurp His role as Sole Mediator of the New Covenant. To add insult to injury, they do not believe that the Holy Spirit will actually “guide you into all truth” (Jn. 16:13). Consequently, they themselves, following the traditions of men, strive to become both the mediator of the New Covenant, to which their hearts are still blinded, because they believe that the Old Covenant is still partially in effect, or even worse, that the Old and New Covenants are one in the same, and that the Bible is a book or rules and regulations for “victorious” living. The proliferation of “how-to” books suggest that they also want to attain the title of “unHoly Spirit” and “Profit” and thus be the interpreter of the Sacred Writings in general. “Their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 16).
(Copyright © June, 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Includes “Broken Cross” image – Reprints can be obtained by contacting us at galatianspilgrimage.com)
(Note: Don’t let our “Broken Cross” image fool you into thinking this particular cross is pagan in its origin. Actually, designed by the authors, it is intended to depict what legalism and lies has attempted to do to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike other “crosses” you may see which carry a negative connotation, ours is a sign of victory for those “in Christ”.)