Time and again Jehovah blessed the children of Israel when they wandered in the wilderness. He provided for their every need, guided them, and protected them. His care for them was an ongoing process. Later, again and again the Lord sent His messengers, the prophets, to exhort the children of Israel to turn from their wicked path and return to Him (2 Chronicles 36:15).
Yes, there are some actions of God which He repeated a number of times in history. There are, however, some things that the Lord did only once. They were unique, one-time events that He will never repeat. Doing them one time was sufficient. What are some of the great events the Lord carried out only once?
CREATION — No matter how many times we read the account of creation in Genesis 1 we are always amazed with its clarity, brevity, and completeness. Much later, at Mount Sinai God told the nation of Israel, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). God created all things — one time. Once was enough.
THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF JESUS — Just as Isaiah the prophet had predicted in about 700 B.C. (Isaiah 7:14), a virgin gave birth to a son and His name was called “Emmanuel.” The virgin, of course, was Mary, and the son was Jesus (Matthew 1:20-23). The virgin birth of Jesus was no accident, as “the power of the Highest” came upon Mary (Luke 1:35). This miraculous event, a virgin conceiving and giving birth, was a one-time event that will never be repeated. The Lord did it only once.
THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS — During the time the Law of Moses was in effect, the Levitical priests stood “daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11). There is absolutely no way to count all the animal sacrifices that were offered under the old covenant. In great contrast to that system, Jesus, “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). One sacrifice! Again we read: “Who [Jesus, rdc] needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27). Jesus’ one, perfect sacrifice got the job done. There was no need for Him to repeat it. God had it planned before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20; Revelation 13:8). There was no need for “trial and error” or to adjust the plan.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH — Old Testament prophecies pointed to the establishment of the Lord’s house (Isaiah 2:2-3). Daniel called it God’s “kingdom” (Danial 2:44). Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18). That promise was fulfilled. The Christ purchased the church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). In Acts 2:47 we read that “the church” already existed. It was established in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 2:5) on the Jewish Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). The historical date was about 30 A.D. The Lord never established a church before that day, and He has never established any other churches since that day. Any religious organization that did not begin in the city of Jerusalem just a few days after Jesus ascended to heaven, is not the Lord’s church. God established His church once. He got it right the first time.
DELIVERED THE TRUTH — Jude 3reads, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” [once for all delivered unto the saints, ASV]. “The faith” is the “one faith” noted inEphesians 4:5. The Bible says that Paul once destroyed it, but later preached it (Galatians 1:23). Since the message that Paul preached was “the gospel” (Romans 1:15-16), then “the faith” and “the gospel” are the same thing. God gave mankind the system of faith one time — once for all time. Through the Holy Spirit, God gave men “all truth” in the first century (John 16:13). There will be no new Gospel from the Lord because His one Gospel gets the job done! If someone comes to us with what he claims is “a new gospel,” be assured that it is not the Lord’s message (Galaians 1:6-9).
What do the creation of the world, virgin birth of Jesus, sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, establishment of the church, and delivering of the truth have in common? They are all things the Lord did; and, He did each of them only once. Not one of these is a trivial matter. We owe our existence and eternal salvation to the Lord. May we all determine to serve Him with reverence and grateful hearts, being ever ready to tell others of His great deeds.