God is the only "I AM"

God is the only "I AM"

I am really excited to be going over the bones of our belief because I think it is important to us to explore what we believe. There are many confessions of faith out there, some of them are very similar, give or take a heresy. The Bones of our Belief are 5 concise statements that are the bones of the Christian faith. Check out the Assemblies of God 16 Fundamental Truths or the Westminster Confession of Faith as some examples of longer statements of faith.

Hear Everyone

Monotheism (one God) has been a tenant to Judaism and by, proxy, Christianity. This belief is expressed in the Shema: “Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad” or “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The full Shema Yisrael refers to Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37–41. The second of the 10 commandments is not to have any other gods besides the one true God. Any gods that humans made up or made out of a created substance are false.

Eternally Self-existent "I AM"

When Moses came upon a flaming bush that was not consumed he did not know that he was about to talk to the God of their fathers. This fact quickly became clear, but Moses still asked for the name of the one he was talking to, for the Israelites of course:

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. - Exodus 3:13-15

Sparing you verb tenses 'I am who I am' can also be understood as “I will be who I will be,” “I what I am,” or even “I cause to be what is.”[1] God answered in this way to describe His nature rather than a specific name, the God of their fathers cannot be limited or put into a box. God acts as He wills. God is self-sufficient.

God makes it clear in Isaiah 43:10-11 that He is the only one:

10 “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 there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 “I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.

We are suppose to bear witness to God’s glory. Yet again "I am" appears and this time in conjunction with “Yahweh” one of the names for God, which actually comes from the word for 'I am' and is translated as LORD. There is no other god before or after God. God is the only one who can save (in this context Israel) us.

“I AM” has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with who God is. God is the only God who is and was and is to come. The power of the I AM is not a power that comes from us but the power from the only Being that was not created and stands outside of time to be eternally self-sufficient and self-existent. If “I AM” is used to for a power within ourselves that is not referring to the Holy Spirit but to a ego self, we are making ourselves god of ourselves rather than the only, I AM WHO AM I AM, God.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming post on Jesus' use of "I am" statements and what they might have implied to the religious leaders of that day.

About the Author | Sean Kready
An imperfect Christian, who sins on the daily, but tries to share his journey so that we all might know God better.

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[1] Chris Church, “I AM,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 802.

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