What does it mean that God is Unity?
Unity is an attribute of God that is very important to know. Seeking to know God apart from His unity will most always end with a wrong picture of God.
So what does it mean that God is unity? God’s unity means that: God is not separated into different parts. Even though different attributes of God are observed more fully at different times everything God does, is, and remains consistent with ALL His attributes (Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 6:4).
(Definition taken from my book: Found Here)
Understanding God's unity is foundational to understanding who God is. I hope you continue with me to understand why.
God is One
Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! (Deuteronomy 6:4)
God isn't divided into many different parts. He isn't sometimes one thing and sometimes something else. He is always one. He is always unity. This means that God doesn't lay down one of His attributes in order to lift up another.
He doesn't lay aside His justice to exercise His mercy. Or He doesn't lay aside His wrath to exercise His love. Rather, He upholds them all together in unity. God's attributes always work in harmony with one another. For God is unity.
God's unity can sometimes be a difficult thing for us finite beings to grasp. This is often because we aren't unified in everything we do. We as human beings are quite inconsistent in our character. We often do lay aside justice to exercise mercy. If you have ever been to a courtroom in America you will see this happening.
I was sitting in a courtroom once in support of a friend. There was a case before him where the judge let a repeat offender off with no more than a slap on the wrist. The law demanded one thing, but the judge laid that aside and gave something far less. Justice was laid aside and mercy was elevated.
God doesn't do this. For He is one, He is unity. His attributes work together in perfect harmony with one another, always.
Consistency is Key
The LORD passed by before him and proclaimed: "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. But He by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children and children's children, to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7)
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
There has never been a time where God has acted in a way that contradicts His character, and there never will be. He is consistent and unchanging. God has never, nor will He ever compromise one attribute for another. It is amongst the list of things that God cannot do. He is unity.
He will always,
love the same way
hate the same way
be merciful the same way
be faithful the same way
punish the same way
pardon the same way
You get the picture. The circumstances under which God acts are different from person to person, nation to nation. Yet, God's response to the circumstances will always be consistent with His character given to us in His Holy Scriptures.
This is a great blessing. For we can truly know what God requires of us and how He will act toward us. We know that all who believe upon His Son, Jesus the Christ will be saved. This isn't open to debate. If you truly believe in Christ you will never be cast away from His favorable presence. Likewise, if you reject Jesus Christ you will always be in God's disfavorable presence.
God's unchanging and faithful character demonstrates the truth of God's unity. Read through
the Scriptures from the beginning until the end with this in mind. You will quickly discover that God always does what He says He is going to do and how He says He is going to do it.
This can be and is a great comfort. But it can be and is very frightening. It's comforting to those who believe and remain in Christ. But frightening for all who deny Jesus Christ both in word and deed. For outside of Christ, there is only a terrifying expectation of judgment (Hebrews 10:27).
God cannot just forgive us because God is righteous and just. Yet, God demonstrated His righteousness and His justice in Jesus Christ. The Son of God who became a man to die for sin. The cross is a demonstration of God's righteousness.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in God’s merciful restraint He let the sins previously committed go unpunished; for the demonstration, that is, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26, bold added)
Thus, the cross of Christ is also a demonstration of God's unity. To save the sinner God hasn't laid down His justice to give mercy to the sinner. Rather, He has upheld His justice with His mercy because Christ has borne the punishment for the believer. Our sin has not just been overlooked it was placed upon the shoulders of Christ.
The cross is a beautiful picture of God's unity. I pray that you dwell more upon it. Considering the obedient Son of God who was displayed publically as a propitiation for all who have faith in Him.
(To discover more about God, see our page, Who is God?)