Have you ever wondered just how God the Father and Jesus Christ are one? They are individual beings, but they exist in a relationship of perfect unity. In mathematics, the number one is a unit, or unity. With the Father and Jesus Christ, it means they are in perfect agreement in purpose and function, and they are not divided any way. That unity was on Jesus’ mind even as He approached His own brutal torture and death, but His concern was not about His relationship with His Father; His concern was for those whom His Father was calling and would call. His concern was that they would be in unity with the Father and with Him. He prayed, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:11). He went on, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us” and “that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:20-23). That is a pretty amazing passage. To think that we should be in unity with each other just as Jesus Christ is in unity with His Father. Imagine that!
It is the Father who forgives our sins; thereby allowing us to be restored, and to be in unity with Him. Psalm 103 portrays God’s incredible mercy as something beyond measure: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:11-14). The Father truly does understand what it takes for us to be in unity with each other, with Jesus Christ and with Him.
God and Christ are one in character, in love and in spirit. They are also one in how they work in harmony, the Father working through the Son. A few examples are in the creation, in the resurrections, in judgment and in salvation.
Paul stated: “There is only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6). The Father is the supreme being; He has all power and authority, and yet He works through Jesus Christ in a perfect way. That means that Christ also responds perfectly to His Father. He always seeks and does His Father’s will.
The Creation Is of the Father and Through the Son
The setting of Revelation 4 is the throne room of God in heaven, and in chapter 5 Jesus comes before His Father. The four living creatures and the 24 elders are described praising God. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11). God is the Creator. He directed and had authority over all creation. But Scripture is clear in showing that He created all things through Jesus Christ. “God … has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
John made a similar reference when he said, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). Paul said the same thing when he stated: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-16). In a human sense we might think of God as the developer and architect and Christ as the builder. There could be various analogies, but their relationship, scripturally, is clear.
The Resurrection Is of the Father and Through the Son
It is the Father who resurrected His Son Jesus Christ, and it is the Father who will also give eternal spirit life to the rest of His children. Paul states, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
Jesus portrays His part in the way God is working through Him: “All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:37-40). Jesus then went on to emphasize the statement “I will raise him up at the last day” by stating it twice again (John 6:44; John 6:55). The entire passage repeatedly emphasizes that the Father is working through Jesus Christ in fulfilling His plan.
Judgment Is of the Father and Through the Son
We are told to “call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work” (1 Peter 1:17). At the same time, scripture records “the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father (John 5:22-23). So which is it?
Again, with God working through Jesus Christ, it is explained. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He ordained” (Acts 17:30-31). And further, “He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). The apparent differences in some of these scriptures can often be resolved by understanding the intended focus. Sometimes the reference is to the Father and sometimes it is to Jesus Christ. The Bible explains the Bible, and it clearly shows that God is working in perfect harmony with and through His Son.
Salvation Is of the Father and Through the Son
God is our Savior (1 Timothy 1:1), Jesus Christ is our Savior (2 Timothy 1:10), and the relationship between Them in this way is the same as we have seen. The Father is our Savior in that He offered the sacrifice. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). And Christ is our Savior in that He willingly died for our sins. He said: “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself … This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:17-18). We come to God through Jesus Christ. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Salvation is one more example of how God and Christ are in perfect harmony, or one.
The Kingdom Is of the Father and Through the Son
The term “the kingdom of God” is a reference to the kingdom of the Father. Jesus, in keeping the Passover for the last time before His death, referred to it as “My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). Prior to His entry into Jerusalem, He told His disciples that He was going to die and then be resurrected, and the question arose as to who would sit at His right and His left hand in His Kingdom. His instruction to them was that they needed to seek to serve, rather than to be served, but He also told them that those positions were not His to give. He said, “It is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father” (Matthew 20:23).
There is a prophecy in Daniel 7 that portrays the Father granting authority in the Kingdom to Jesus Christ. “And behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14). The kingdom is indeed the Father’s to give. It is in this context that Paul referred to it as “the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). Another example of perfect unity, or oneness, between the Father and His Son is the way in which God is administering His Kingdom.
Truly Being One
God and Jesus Christ are two in existence, but they are one in relationship. They are one in mind and spirit, and we are to be one in mind and spirit with them. We are also to be one in mind and spirit with each other. “If someone says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he if does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20).
From our perspective, we approach that in stages, but the Kingdom of God is not entered into by degree. God is either first in our lives, or He is not, and we are either in unity with Him and Jesus Christ, or we are not. There is no middle position. Those who truly do put God first in responding to His call will be in His family. They will be one. There won’t be any number-twos.