I was in a classroom in college, listening to a debate between a local pastor and a profligate philosophy professor. After a particularly exciting exchange between them, the professor finally said, “What makes you so confident in what you are saying about God and the things of God?” The pastor slowly stood up, and in a very quiet and bold voice said, “I’m confident because I know him.” The professor just sat down. He had nothing to say. I was blown away. What an incredible answer! What a great gift. That is exactly what our great God has called us to. To know him, to worship him, to share him and his knowledge with others.
The announcement in Deuteronomy 6, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” is followed quickly by, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (v. 4, 5). What glorious announcement and command! The command tells us what we must do in the light of who it is we are dealing with, but it is also an invitation to relate to the living God. “Come and worship the only God there is!” Or “Hey, there’s one God! And he is inviting us to know him, to love him, to follow him, and to be like him! It doesn’t get any better than this!”
We want our counselees to know God. We want them to know him because they have read about him. More than that, we want them to know him because they have spent time with him. And as they spend time with him, they will become like him. Jesus said the student will become like his teacher (Lk. 6:40). The Psalmist says we become like what we worship (Psa. 115:8). We want our friends and counselees to become like God because they know him and are learning to worship him more accurately and more effectively.
God is one (Deut. 6:4). That is there is only one God. We are monotheists. At the same time the Bible clearly portrays him as existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each deserving worship, because each is him. The Father sent the Son (Jn. 5:23). The Father and the Son sent the Spirit (Jn. 14:26; 15:26). Son reflects and reveals the Father (Jn. 8:19). The Spirit reveals the Father and the Son (1 Cor. 2:10; Eph. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:12). The Spirit is called the spirit of the Father and of the Son (Jn. 15:26; Gal. 4:6). They are distinct but not distinguishable (Cf. Eph. 1:3-14).