Isaiah 43:10-13 (NIV) — “You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no Savior. I have revealed, and saved and proclaimed — I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, that I am God. Yes and from ancient days I Am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
Monothelitism. Hahaha, the first time I asked someone what the difference was between Christianity and other religions, I was in my early 30s.
He started by saying that Christianity was monotheistic faith.
I must admit that much of what he said after that was lost as my brain was occupied trying to define the fancy word being introduced into my vocabulary.
I’m certain that if he had just taken a moment to say, “monotheism is the doctrine or belief of only one God,” I would have been able to listen, and then valued his answer. I truly cannot remember anything other than his opening words.
He lost me after the first sentence.
I guess I was blessed twice and didn’t realize it. The first blessing is that I know how to use a dictionary. The second blessing is it put me on the trail of comparative beliefs.
Wait! Wait for it ... “Comparative beliefs/religions is the study and comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world’s religions.”
Also in my study and search: Until God called Abram out from Polytheism … wait, wait for it! “Polytheism is the belief in many gods.”
Just a side note: Almost all world religions have a polytheism base except Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which have a monotheism tradition.
Getting back on track: In Genesis 12:1 — “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the Land I will show you.’”
In my personal study, I found these next Scriptures highly important for my coming to understand the difference from the world’s polytheism from Christian monotheism.
1 Peter 2:10 — “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.”
Romans 9:24-26 — “Even us, who He also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As He say in Hosea: ‘I will call them my people who are not my people; and I will call her my loved one,’ and it will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘Sons of the Living God.’”
In regard to the Christian monotheism, I would point to the New Testament book of Acts chapter 4.
In my Bible, the fourth chapter is titled “Peter and John before the Sanhedrin.”
In verse 10 you will find this — as an identifier, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.”
Followed by verse 12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which they must be saved.”
Luke 1:30b — “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son and you will give Him the name Jesus.”
For us this week, we’ll be lighting the fourth candle of Advent, “Love.”
Season’s Greetings and Merry Christmas!