This is a profoundly important question. Because we live in a world with many competing truth claims—and many so-called gods—the identity of the one true God matters. The one true God is distinguished from all the false gods that have been foisted upon mankind by evil spirits and deluded men. Gods that are fashioned by the imaginations and hands of men are absolutely worthless (Isaiah 44:9–10), but the one true God is full of glory, grace, and truth (John 1:14).
The Bible says that the one true God is the sovereign, self-existent Creator of the universe (Isaiah 42:5; Ephesians 1:11). He is spirit (John 4:24), He is eternal (Psalm 90:2), and He is personal (Deuteronomy 34:10). The one true God possesses all knowledge (Isaiah 46:10) and all power (Matthew 19:26), is present in all places (Psalm 139:7–10), and is unchanging (James 1:17). There are many false gods—Hinduism alone supposedly recognizes as many as 330 million gods—but none of them possess the attributes of the one true God.
The Bible says that God is just (Acts 17:31), loving (Ephesians 2:4–5), truthful (Numbers 23:19), and holy (Isaiah 6:3). God shows compassion (2 Corinthians 1:3), mercy (Romans 9:15), and grace (Romans 5:17). God judges sin (Psalm 5:5), but He also offers forgiveness (Psalm 130:4). Any god that is not just, loving, truthful, holy, compassionate, merciful, gracious, and forgiving is not the one true God.
The one true God exists in tri-unity. The Bible speaks of three divine Persons who share the same nature and essence in one God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three in one (Matthew 3:16–17; 28:19). This characteristic of the one true God separates Him from all other gods of monotheistic religions: Islam, for example, teaches one god (Allah), but it is a false god, since Allah is not triune. Any concept of God that excludes Jesus Christ is faulty. As Scripture says, “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23).
The one true God wants to be known. He has revealed His power and glory in creation (Romans 1:20). He revealed Himself to Abram in Mesopotamia, calling him to a new life of faith and making of him a new nation (Genesis 12:1–3). The one true God later identified Himself as the “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6) and revealed Himself to Moses in Midian (verses 1–5). Using Moses, the one true God began to reveal Himself more clearly through His written Word, the Bible. And, finally, the one true God has given us the ultimate revelation of Himself in the Lord Jesus: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1–2). Jesus is “the exact representation of [God’s] being” (verse 3). Jesus is the Word of God made flesh who “made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
We all have a choice of whom to worship. Joshua told the Israelites it was time for them to choose the one true God over the gods of the Amorites (Joshua 24:15). Elijah told the people on top of Mt. Carmel that they could no longer stay ambivalent concerning God: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21). Today, people worship some of the same pagan gods mentioned in the Old Testament; or they worship more recent false gods such as Mami Wata and Cernunnos; or they worship themselves. But the worship of false deities leads only to death in the end. “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). May we be like Ruth, who chose the one true God over the idols of Moab (Ruth 1:16).