Wednesday, October 22, 2008

JESUS: GOD THE SON

Verses wrongly used to teach that Christ was created:

1. Colossians 1:15 – If Christ is “the firstborn of all creation,” was He created?

Answer: “Firstborn” cannot mean that Christ was created, because Paul says that all of creation was made in and for Christ, and that He exists before all creation and holds it together (Colossians 1:16,17). The “Firstborn” traditionally was the main heir. In context, Paul is saying that Christ, as God’s Son, is the main heir of all creation (Colossians 1:12-14).

2. John 3:16 – Does “only begotten Son” mean Jesus had a beginning?

Answer: ‘Only–begotten” does not mean that Jesus had a beginning; it means that Jesus is God’s “unique” Son. In Hebrews 11:17, Isaac is called Abraham’s “unique” son, even though Abraham had other children (Genesis 22:2; Genesis 25:1-6). Jesus is God’s unique Son because only Jesus is fully God and eternally the Father’s Son (John 1:1-3; John 1:14-18).

3. Proverbs 8:22 – Does this mean that Christ (“Wisdom”) was “created”?

Answer: This is not a literal description of Christ; it is a personification of wisdom. For example, Christ did not dwell in heaven with someone named Prudence (Proverbs 8:12); He did not build a house with seven pillars (Proverbs 9:1). This verse says in a poetic way that God used wisdom in creating the world (Proverbs 3:19-20).

Verses wrongly used to teach that Jesus is inferior to the Father:

1. John 14:28 – If “the Father is greater than” Jesus, how can Jesus be God?

Answer: In His human life on earth, Jesus voluntarily shared our natural limitations in order to save us. After He rose from the dead, Jesus returned to the glory He had with the Father (John 17:5; Philippians 2:9-11). In that restored glory, Jesus was able to send the Holy Spirit and empower His disciples to do even greater works than Jesus did while He was here in the flesh (John 14:12; John 14:26-28).

2. 1 Corinthians 15:28 – If Jesus is God, why will He be subject to the Father?
Answer: Jesus humbly and voluntarily submits Himself to the Father’s will for a time (Philippians 2:5-11). But, as the pre-existent and eternal Son, He is co-equal with God the Father.

3. Mark 13:32 – If Jesus is God, how could He not know when He would return?

Answer: Jesus voluntarily lowered Himself to experience the limitations of human life. Paradoxically, Jesus was still God and knew everything (John 16:30). Paradoxes like this (not contradictions) are exactly what we would expect if, as the Bible says, God chose to live as a real human being (John 1:1; John 1:14).


from “The Trinity,” Rose Publishing, Inc.

4 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

The “Firstborn” traditionally was the main heir.

‘Only–begotten” does not mean that Jesus had a beginning; it means that Jesus is God’s “unique” Son.

True. I have read the same.

Russ:)

Jeff said...

Thanks, Russ.

Hey, when are you going to write a new article? You must be busy, I presume.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

As for Jesus being subject to the Father, I've read somewhere that this is a powerful PROOF that Jesus was God in the flesh. The argument goes something like this:

Because Jesus is fully Man and fully God, as a man, we could conceive that Jesus would "naturally" be "subject" to the Father. However, we would tend to conclude that God the Son could never be "subject" to the Father because He is everwhere spoken of as equal to the Father. But if Jesus was who the Scripture claimed Him to be (the Son of God in the flesh) then for Him to NOT be subject to His Father would prove that He wasn't the Son of God.

In other words, for Christ to prove His humanity AND his Deity, He must live His life on earth as a true Man in perfect subjection to the Father. The fact that He subjected Himself to the Father proves that He truly is God in the flesh because the "natural" man has never and can never fully subject himself as a son to God. We are always finding ourselves living after the flesh to some extent or another. Until our perfection in the consummation, we will always fall short in our practice as sons (children) of God.

Jesus, as the Son of God, however, perfectly conformed Himself in His humanity as a "son". And this is what we would expect of Him if He truly was God in the flesh; we would expect that the relationship of son and father to be perfectly expressed in the relationship of Jesus the Man to God the Father.

I'm sure I didn't say this as well as the author :-), but you get the idea. I've read/heard this line of thinking before and it makes a lot of sense. If I come across it again, I'll re-send the more precise line of thinking.

Besides, I'm still half asleep...so I don't really want to try to fix this post with tight logic right now :-)

GGM

Jeff said...

GGM,

Your explanation is interesting, insightful and helpful.

I like your explanation. Just as verification/agreement to what you said (i.e., not disagreeing with you), Jesus is co-equal to the Father, and is not lesser than the Father. Jesus, as God the Son, is not less important than the Father. But Jesus voluntarily submitted Himself to the Father, in part as a model of how we should ideally act. And, since Jesus had no earthly biological father, the sinful nature was not passed down to Him. He was human by birth through Mary, but He was/is God from eternity past, and remained God, as He had no biological father, but rather, the Holy Spirit miraculously caused Mary, without any sexual means, to become pregnant. (After all, if God can create a universe, and if He made man in the first place, its no problem for Him to cause a person to become pregnant when no sexual intercourse has taken place.)

Jesus is equal to the Father in importance and entity and essence, but voluntarily submissive to the Father in role, just as the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son in essence, but voluntarily submissive to Jesus the Son in role. In turn, Jesus glorifies the Holy Spirit, the Father glorifies Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit glorifies both the Father and the Son. I find it interesting that, as the Holy Spirit is on the 'lowest tier,' if I may call it that, as far as voluntary roles of submission go, so Jesus said that, if anyone blasphemes the Holy Spirit, that is an unforgivable sin. Similar to the idea that those parts of the human body that we hide the most are given the most value, or the most respect.

God is spirit, not flesh and bone. He is not limited by time or space. We exist as individual, separate persons, where one man or one woman equals one person. God exists as a Trinity, where one God equals three persons. He is different from us in that respect, and well as in many other ways. If God is omnipresent, then the Father can be in one place, while the Son is in another place, at the same time. Likewise, the Holy Spirit can indwell (i.e., live inside of) all born-again believers at the same time.

Thanks, Jason.