Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:…
I. WHY GOD IS CALLED THE LIVING GOD.
1. In opposition to, and to distinguish Him from, dead idols (Psalm 115:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9).
2. Because God is the fountain of life, having all life in Himself (John 5:26), and giving life to all things else. All life is in Him and from Him.
(1) Natural life (Acts 17:28; 1 Timothy 6:13).
(2) Spiritual life (Ephesians 2:1).
(3) Eternal life (Colossians 3:4).
II. WHY GOD IS CALLED THE TRUE GOD. To distinguish Him from all false or fictitious gods (1 Thessalonians 1:9). There is a two-fold truth.
1. Of fidelity or faithfulness. Thus God is true — that is, faithful But that is not the truth here meant.
2. A truth of essence, whereby a thing really is, and does not exist in opinion only. The meaning is, that there is a true God, and but one true God.
III. THAT THERE IS BUT ONE GOD.
1. The Scripture is very express and pointed on this head (chap. Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; Mark 12:32; 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 18:31; Isaiah 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:4, 6).
2. This truth is clear from reason.
(1) There can be but one First Cause, which hath its being of itself, and gave being to all other things, and on which all other things depend, and that is God; for one such is sufficient for the production, preservation, and government of all things; and therefore more are superfluous, for there is no need of them at all.
(2) There can be but one Infinite Being, and therefore there is but one God. Two infinites imply a contradiction.
(3) There can be but one independent Being, and therefore but one God.
(a) There can be but one independent in being; for if there were more gods, either one of them would be the cause and author of being to the rest, and then that one would be the only God; or none of them would be the cause and author of being to the rest, and so none of them would be God, because none of them would be independent, or the fountain of being to all.
(b) There can be but one independent in working. For if there were more independent beings, then in those things wherein they will and act freely they might will and act contrary things, and so oppose and hinder one another; so that, being equal in power, nothing would be done by either of them.
(4) There can be but one omnipotent.
(5) The supposition of a plurality of gods is destructive to all true religion. For if there were more than one God, we would be obliged to worship and serve more than one. But this it is impossible for us to do, as will appear if ye consider what Divine worship and service is. Religious worship and adoration must be performed with the whole man.
(6) If there might be more gods than one, nothing would hinder why there might not be one, or two, or three millions of them. No argument can be brought for a plurality of gods, suppose two or three, but what a man might, by parity of reason, make use of forever so many. Hence it is that when men have once begun to fancy a plurality of gods, they have been endless in such fancies and imaginations.
(T. Boston D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: