Of all the different types of theisms, monotheism is practiced by more than half the world’s population. The term monotheism is derived from two root words: “mono,” meaning one, and “theism,” meaning God. Together the root words create the meaning of monotheism, which is the belief in the existence of one god while also denying the existence of any other gods.
There are three major world religions that are monotheistic: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. These three religions all believe in one god but have distinct differences. Under Judaism, Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In Islam, Muslims also do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God but is a highly regarded prophet. Instead, Mohammed is the creator of Islam, and they have their own holy book called the Quran.
The One True God
The Bible testifies that there is only One God who exists.
“‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.” -Isaiah 43:10
Scripture affirms the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while also acknowledging that the three Persons are distinct from each other. Some people may argue that Christianity is not monotheistic but rather polytheistic—believing in multiple gods—because of the belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, scripture makes it clear that God is one being while existing as three equal persons.
“I and the Father are one.” -John 10:30
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” -Deuteronomy 6:4
The Bible also calls on Christians to not worship other gods, denouncing the idea of the existence of other gods.
“‘You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me … .” -Exodus 20:3-5
These religions may all believe in one god, but the important thing is to believe in the right God. There are many religions including Judaism and Islam that believe in the existence of one god that is different from the God of the Bible. These religions fall short by placing their faith in a god that is not the one true God mentioned in Scripture. In the end, Christianity is the only faith that proclaims the correct truth about the one God who exists.
It can seem difficult to share the gospel with someone who sees their belief in a god to be the same as believing in the one true God. There are some practical ways to approach sharing the gospel with those who practice monotheistic faiths that do not affirm the Father as the true God.
When sharing the gospel with Jewish friends, it is important to understand that most Jews are born into the faith rather than converting. This makes it very difficult for Jews to convert because there are strong cultural implications with their beliefs. A good approach to take is answering questions they ask with a follow-up question like Jesus did. This allows the person to get to the root of why they believe what they believe.
For someone who practices Islam, it is important to show them the love of the Father because they do not have a personal relationship with their god.
Take heart because the Lord has equipped us with the most powerful truth in Scripture to combat the lies. The Scriptures mentioned above and countless others point to the existence of one God and the call to deny the existence of any other gods. We can trust that God-breathed Scriptures are strong and powerful enough that an encounter with the Word of God can penetrate the hardest hearts.