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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Who Is the Biblical Jesus? - Part 3
- Who Is the Biblical Jesus? - Part 1
One God? Three Gods? A Three in one trinity? The most documented doctrine also causes much confusion. It's time to sort through the facts.
- Who Is the Biblical Jesus? - Part 2
One God? Three Gods? A Three in one trinity? Jesus - the Son of God? Jesus - the Son of man? The most documented doctrine also causes much confusion. It's time to sort through the facts
This series was spawned after I read an article by a fellow hubber entitled, The Preconceived Notions Concerning the Gospel of John, Chapter 1.There is certainly no malicious intent in the writing of these articles, but I do feel a little background might be helpful.
It became clear to me that he believes Jesus is just a man. I wanted to be sure I understood so I asked. His statement, "Jesus Christ, who walked the earth was a mortal man, not God incarnate" sums up his position.
In the process of time he asked me for proof texts to show that Jesus was God incarnate. My response was that I will address it in a future article – thus this series. As I stand before God, my purpose is not to debate the Scriptures. They are what they are. My purpose is not to prove I am right and other contributors are wrong. My only purpose is to set forth the Scriptures as they appear in context. Of course, that statement will be debated by those who hold a Unitarian view of Jesus Christ.
Some may say, I am not opened to the truth, and I should explore other options. Years ago I found the truth. I have no need of exploring other options now as I have done so in the past, and the more I restudy the topic, the more sure I know what I believe. I am secure in my position as a trinitarian so I have no need of trying to prove I am right. I have let the Bible speak for itself. What conclusions are drawn are up to the individual to accept or reject.
If we do not agree, I do not see a problem. You will stand before the same God that I will to give account for your life. In short, you do not answer to me, nor do I to you. It is God who will separate the truth from the lies. I would like to add that these opening thoughts are not primarily directed to the author of The Preconceived Notion hub, but to many who have commented and display an attitude of insistence that all must believe according to their beliefs.
A Quick Review
In our last installment we looked at a few references of Christ in the Old Testament. In Isahiah 9:6 we see the child who is born and the son who is given (Jesus Christ) is the almighty God, the everlasting Father. We looked at the Son of God in Daniel 3:25-25 as well.
We also mentioned that Jesus was accuse of blasphemy by the Pharisees He was crucified for claiming to be God (John 10:30-33). Realizing that only God can forgive sin, we see Jesus taking on that role of granting forgiveness (Luke 5:20, 21).
.So let us move on.
The Fullness of Time
Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” At a particular time in eternity it was planned that God would take on human flesh to redeem His most prized possession--man. It was for the joy that was set before Him that He endured humanity. Humanity includes death. Unless the rapture takes place, every single human being will taste death. Jesus likewise tasted death. But the fullness of time began at His birth—the incarnation. This may not suffice in the mind of the Unitarian, but it does show that the Son existed before Bethlehem. He had to have been sent from somewhere.
God sent forth His Son. In the Greek, the term sent forth means to send away, to dispatch. When the time was right, God the Father dispatched, or sent away His Son to take on human flesh. Bethlehem was not the beginning of Jesus. It was the beginning of His humanity.
It seems that some Unitarians believe that Trinitarians worship three gods. That is not the case. We worship One and only One God who consists of three persons. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal, co-existing, and of one essence. We do not worship three separate gods, thus we are monotheistic.
Other False Views
It is not just a matter of trinity or Unitarian. There are several false views that have been around for ages. They still manage to find their way into the “Christian” church from time to time. Some of these false views are the following:
Some would say, How can that be? It is impossible/ It sounds impossible to me too, but we forget a very important Scripture - “. . . The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). We think we have to have everything figured out, that if we cannot understand something, God cannot either. How foolish! How prideful!. If we reject the possibility of the trinity, then we also must reject the message of Luke 18:27.
We need to face it. The possibility exists.
1. The Ebionites - they did not recognize the divinity of Christ. This false teaching is refuted by John 1:1; 2. The Gnostics - they did not recognize the humanity of Christ (refuted by I John 1:14). 3. The Arians - denied Christ’s deity, but believed in His preexistence. This would be the position of the present day Jehovah’s Witnesses. 4. The Nestorians - believed in two separate beings inhabiting the body of Christ. One was human, the other God. 5. The Eutychians - claimed that both natures mingled and became a separate third nature. In Strong’s Systematic Theology, he gives a definition that fits the truth of the incarnation. “In the one person, Jesus Christ, there are two natures—a human nature and a divine nature, each in its completeness and integrity, and these two natures are organically and indissolubly united, yet so that no third nature is formed thereby” (A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology,p. 673).
The True view is that Jesus Christ is as much man as if He had never been God, and that He is as much God as if He had never been man. The theological term for this is “hypostatic union.” Man has unsuccessfully been able to describe this union because it is a miracle. It is supernatural. However, they do try. Some examples given are the following: 1. relationship between body and soul. 2. A relationship between husband and wife resulting in one flesh. 3. A relationship between oxygen and hydrogen while producing water. In each attempt to make an analogy there are two entities, but in the hypostatic union there is one entity with two natures.
In the example of the hydrogen and oxygen, water can be formed from its two components and broken down or separated again. In the hypostatic union, the components (divinity and humanity) cannot be separated. Christ cannot separate His deity from His humanity.
We must also understand the perpetuity of the incarnation. God’s plan was that when His Son joined Himself to a body in Bethlehem, it would be permanent. The same body that grew from a babe and was crucified on the cross is the same body in existence today, albeit glorified. It is the same body that will soon return to earth to claim His saints and set up His kingdom.
Son of Man? Son of God?
As I mentioned in the first installment of this series, the doctrine of the trinity is one of the most documented doctrines to be found in the Bible. Scripture confirms over and over the humanity of Jesus as well as His Godhood.
But is Jesus the Son of man or the Son of God? In the book of Luke alone the term Son of man is used over 45 times. Yet in the Fourth gospel (John) we see the term Son of God repeated over and over. So which is it? Son of man? Or Son of God? I agree in this with the Unitarian. Jesus is 100% man. Son of man points to His humanity. Son of God points to His divinity? Either John or Luke were lying or Jesus truly does fit the description of both – and He does.
In our next and final chapter we will collect a list of verses that speak of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Be looking for it.