Magnify Jehovah as the True God
1. (a) Who is the true God? (b) As we learn about him, how should our own lives be affected?
TO FELLOW Christians the apostle Paul wrote that, even though there are many who are called gods, “there is actually to us one God the Father . . . and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 8:5, 6) The “one God” to whom Paul referred is Jehovah, the Creator of all things. (Deut. 6:4; Rev. 4:11) Appreciative persons who learn of his qualities and the things that he has done for humankind find themselves irresistibly drawn to him. With what result? It is only natural for them to magnify the One that they so deeply admire, doing so by both words and deeds. As their love for God grows, they feel impelled to tell others about him, and to the extent possible for them as humans they want to imitate him. The Bible encourages all of us to do that, saying: “Become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love.” (Eph. 5:1, 2) To apply that counsel, we need to get to know Jehovah as he truly is.
The Kind of Person Jehovah Is
2. What are some of God’s outstanding qualities that move us to praise him?
2 Throughout the Bible are found numerous direct statements identifying the outstanding qualities of God. When you read these, take time to think about what the qualities really are and how important they are to you. For example: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) “All his ways are justice.” (Deut. 32:4) ‘With him there is wisdom.’ (Job 12:13) He is “vigorous in power.” (Isa. 40:26) As you reflect on these attributes, are you not moved, out of admiration for God, to praise him?
3. What other aspects of Jehovah’s personality are very appealing?
3 Further acquainting us with his appealing personality, the Bible tells us that Jehovah is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” (Ex. 34:6) “You, O Jehovah, are good and ready to forgive.” (Ps. 86:5) “As regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (2 Chron. 16:9) “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34, 35) Jehovah “gives generously” and is “the happy God.” (Jas. 1:5; 1 Tim. 1:11) How refreshing it is to serve this incomparable God and to experience his loving care!
4. (a) What kind of devotion does Jehovah require, and how important is it? (b) In what does Psalm 34:3 invite us to share?
4 Consistent with his attributes is the fact that he is “a God exacting exclusive devotion.” (Ex. 20:5) To serve him acceptably we must give him our full devotion. We cannot also love the world of which Satan is god. (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4) Jehovah sees through any mere pretense of righteousness. He knows full well not only what we do but also how we feel about it and what kind of persons we are trying to be. If we truly love righteousness, he helps us. (Jer. 17:10; Prov. 15:9) Because of the kind of person Jehovah is, millions of people earth wide have gladly accepted the invitation of the Bible psalmist who wrote: “O magnify Jehovah with me, you people, and let us exalt his name together.” (Ps. 34:3) Are you one of them?
5. What will help us to benefit fully from our study of Jehovah’s personality?
5 Your desire to talk about God will deepen, and you will be greatly assisted in your efforts to imitate him if you examine closely his lofty qualities. Find out (1) exactly what each quality is, perhaps what makes it different from other qualities, (2) how Jehovah has demonstrated it and toward whom, also (3) how you can manifest it or how it should affect your viewpoint.
6. Using love as an example, show how you might examine Jehovah’s qualities. Do this by answering the questions at the end of this paragraph, including scriptures in your answers.
6 Consider here just one example. When the Bible says, “God is love,” what does it mean? (1 John 4:8) There are, of course, a number of kinds of love. The Greek word used in this text is a·gaʹpe, which refers to the highest form of love, as exemplified in Jehovah God himself. Such love is an expression of complete unselfishness. With that in mind, frame your own answers to the questions below, using the scriptures cited.
How is this quality demonstrated in Jehovah’s works of creation? (Acts 14:16, 17)
What is the most outstanding example of Jehovah’s love for humankind? (John 3:16) Was it because of man’s goodness that Jehovah did this? (Rom. 5:8)
How should what Jehovah did by means of his Son influence the way we use our lives? (2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 18, 19)
In what ways may we as Christians show that we have the same kind of love for fellow Christians? (1 Cor. 13:4-7; 1 John 4:10, 11; 3:16-18)
Toward whom else should we show love, and how? (Matt. 5:43-48; 28:19, 20; Gal. 6:10)
7. In your personal study, how can you find similar material about Jehovah’s other qualities?
7 Would you like also to explore some of Jehovah’s other qualities? For a start, in personal study why not try “justice” and “wisdom,” then perhaps “loving-kindness” and “mercy.” With the use of indexes to Watch Tower publications and a Bible concordance, you will find a wealth of enlightening material.
Help Others to Learn the Truth About God
8. (a) What gods do people of the world worship? (b) Who is behind all this confusion, and why do you say so?
8 In opposition to the worship of the true God, literally millions of other gods are worshiped by humans. In the fourth century, Christendom adopted belief in a “Trinity,” taught by Babylonians, Egyptians, Hindus and Buddhists before then. In addition to this concept of God, there are powerful rulers, outstanding athletes and singers who have been idolized like gods. Money, self and sex have also become gods to which fervent devotion is given. Who is behind it all? “The god of this system of things,” Satan the Devil. (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Cor. 10:20) By every conceivable, crafty means he tries to turn people away from Jehovah, or at least to divide their devotion.
9. What is the best way to help anyone learn the truth about God?
9 How can we assist such persons, whether professed Christians or others, to know the truth about God? One of the finest ways is to show them in a helpful manner what the Bible itself says about the identity of the true God and the kind of person he is. Then we need to back this up by conduct that reflects godly qualities in our own lives.—1 Pet. 2:12.
10. When talking to a Trinitarian, why is it not wise to assume that we know exactly what he believes?
10 But what if some who are members of Christendom’s churches contend with you, claiming that their belief in the “Trinity” is Scriptural? First of all, realize that, although there are official statements of the “Trinity” doctrine, many persons have their own ideas. Invite them to express themselves, and then help them to compare their beliefs with what is in their own Bible. In time, also encourage them to compare official church teaching with God’s Word.
11. Taking just one of the five main points at a time, use the questions and scriptures listed with this paragraph to reason on the unscripturalness of the “Trinity” doctrine.
11 Having in mind the desire to help sincere persons, consider how you might use the texts noted below to reason on the points with which these scriptures are shown:
(1) Some Trinitarians emphasize the idea that there are three divine Persons (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) but just one God.
But does Acts 2:4, 17 indicate that the “Holy Ghost,” or “holy spirit,” is a person?
Why is it helpful to note how many persons are referred to in each of the following scriptures? (John 17:20-22; Acts 7:56; Rev. 7:10)
(2) Some believe that all members of the “Trinity” are of equal glory, that none is greater or less than another, that they are coequal as well as coeternal.
Do the Scriptures agree? (For the answer, see John 14:28; Matthew 24:36; Revelation 3:14.)
(3) Some people point to John 1:1 as proof of the “Trinity.” They argue that the Greek text here has no indefinite article (“a”) and that the scripture must therefore read: “the Word was God,” instead of “a god.”
But how many persons are spoken of in John 1:1? Three? Or two? How does John 1:18 also conflict with the “Trinity” doctrine?
It is true that Greek has no indefinite article, but many languages do, and it is used in those languages in order to express thoughts correctly. If someone feels that it is wrong to use the indefinite article when translating John 1:1, would he also want it left out at Acts 28:6 according to the King James Version and others? (Another way of rendering John 1:1, as shown in An American Translation, is “the Word was divine,” that is, he had the same divine qualities that God has.)
(4) Trinitarians also argue that at Genesis 1:1, 26 the Hebrew word translated “God” is El·o·himʹ and that this is the plural in Hebrew and actually means “Gods.”
Why does that not support the teaching of three divine Persons in “one God”?
If it indicates a “Trinity” at Genesis 1:1, what does it indicate at Judges 16:23, which uses el·o·himʹ for “god,” with the Hebrew verb in the singular number, not the plural?
Why is the plural form of God used in these texts in Hebrew? This is one way that Hebrew conveys the idea of excellence or majesty. If more than one person were meant, accompanying verbs would also be plural, but in the above instances they are not.
(5) Because of the emphasis that the churches have put on Jesus (along with the fact that the name Jehovah has been removed from many Bible translations), some persons think only of Jesus when God is mentioned.
But what example in worship did Jesus provide for us to imitate? (Luke 4:8)
12. Why did Jesus fittingly address his Father as “the only true God”?
12 Although Jesus is spoken of in the Scriptures as “a god,” even “Mighty God,” yet he magnified his Father, referring to him as “my God and your God.” (John 1:1; 20:17; Isa. 9:6) He agreed with Moses, who had earlier stated: “Jehovah is the true God; there is no other besides him.” (Deut. 4:35) Jehovah stands in utter contrast to such objects of worship as idols, deified humans and Satan the Devil. In contrast to all such, Jehovah is, as Jesus called him, “the only true God.”—John 17:3.
“Walk in the Name of Jehovah”
13, 14. What is involved in “knowing” and ‘walking in’ Jehovah’s name?
13 After years of confusion as to the identity of God, many persons find it thrilling when first they see God’s personal name, Jehovah, in their Bible. (Ex. 6:3) But they will be lastingly benefited by this knowledge only if they ‘walk in the name of Jehovah forever.’ (Mic. 4:5) This involves much more than simply knowing the name Jehovah or claiming that they are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
14 Regarding the significance of God’s name, Psalm 9:10 states: “Those knowing your name will trust in you, . . . O Jehovah.” What does that involve? It involves more than just knowing the name Jehovah, which does not automatically mean trusting in Jehovah. “Knowing” God’s name here means appreciating the kind of God that Jehovah is, respecting his authority, obeying his commands. Similarly, ‘walking in the name of Jehovah’ implies being dedicated to him and representing him as one of his worshipers, truly using one’s life in harmony with God’s will. (Luke 10:27) Are you doing that?
15. What, besides a sense of duty, is needed if we are going to serve Jehovah forever?
15 If we are going to serve Jehovah eternally, more than a sense of duty must impel us. The apostle Paul urged Timothy, who had already been serving Jehovah for many years: “Be training yourself with godly devotion as your aim.” (1 Tim. 4:7) Devotion comes from the heart; it is stirred by appreciation for the person to whom it is directed. “Godly devotion” is profound respect for Jehovah personally. It manifests loving attachment to him because of appreciation for him and his ways. It causes us to want everyone to hold his name in high esteem. We must cultivate “godly devotion” as the goal or aim in our lives if we are going to walk in the name of Jehovah, the true God, forever.—Ps. 37:4; 2 Pet. 3:11.
● What kind of person is Jehovah? How are we benefited by getting a clear understanding of each of his qualities?
● How can we help other people to learn the truth about God?
● What is involved in “knowing” Jehovah and ‘walking in his name’?