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Trinitarian Doctrine

Discussion in 'Paterology, Christology & Pneumatology' started by jbenjesus, Mar 7, 2002.

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  1. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

    How do you figure that Thomas was calling out to God?
    You believe that Jesus was created then?
    Jesus was God made flesh. In Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
    The Holy Spirit is God also. Acts 5.
  2. TorahsDisciple

    TorahsDisciple I Come To Serve

    You are wrong about calling JESUS and the HOLY GHOST (The "holy spirit" as you use it does not exist) G_D...the Bible teaches clearly that they are three invidividuals. What you speak is of the "church" not of G_D's word.

    Yes, JESUS was created by G_D..HE is the SON of G_D...there is no other way to say that in clearer. JESUS has a G_D...HIS Father, and HE is in subjection unto that G_D.
    (John 5:19; I Corinthians 11:3)
  3. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    No offense to you, but ever since you came on this board I don't know what your talking about or what you believe, clearly. I've looked at the previous 5 posts before your last one, and don't understand your issue with the "HOLY GHOST" or "holy spirit". When you write to us again, please be more specific on what issue your addressing and who you are talking to. Your posts don't make sense. And for that reason it becomes difficult to converse with you. Unless, you don't want to carry on a conversation and we'll just keep on conversing amongst ourselves.
  4. TorahsDisciple

    TorahsDisciple I Come To Serve

    My words have been perfectly clear.

    As far as what I believe, if you have read anything I wrote it should be perfectly clear as to what my posistion is on this trinity nonsense. As clearly as any human being can possible state it: G_D, HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, and the HOLY GHOST....are NOT the same "person". They are three different individuals.

    If you can not understand that, then it is because you refuse to see anyone that does not spread your own false doctrine. If that is the case then you are looking through the eyes of the "church" and not with a spirit of learning.

    Good day to you.
  5. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    And a good day to you too. Thanks.

    :) Thank you for trying to make that clear, anyway.

    Does anyone else here see the contradiciton I see?

    First he says trinity is "nonsense". Then he says "G_D", "HIS SON JESUS CHRIST", and "the HOLY GHOST" are three different individuals. :scratch:

    That's ok though. I can see you're firmly rooted and grounded in your convictions, even though I don't understand them. ;)

    I will allow others to see for themselves if the trinitarian doctrine is really tritheistic (neo-tritheistic, anyway) or not.
  6. Mandy

    Mandy Well-Known Member

    If Jesus was created then how do you explain John 1:1-5?
  7. ZoneChaos

    ZoneChaos Senior Veteran

    If Jesus is God, as you say, Who was he referring to when He said "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
  8. Rjano21

    Rjano21 New Member

    He was referring to God the Father. The problem of trying to make proof texts out of any verse that distingushes between Jesus Christ and God the Father is the failure to understand the very concept of Jesus Christ being both humanity and deity. Philippians 2:6-8 tells us Jesus Christ "thought it not robbery to be equal with God" and "made himself of no reputation" "was made in the likeness of men" and "being found in fashion as a man." These clearly teach the idea that he became a man.

    God HAD to forsake Christ when he died on the cross since he bore the sins of all men, and God cannot have fellowship with sin. That verse is speaking of the human Jesus on the cross, not the eternal Jesus spoken of in John 1:1, Micah 5:2, Isaiah 9:6, Rev 1:8, 1Tim 3:16 etc.

    Anyone who tries to deny that Jesus Christ is God must first alter the Bible, then take verses out of context to use as a proof text, and finally ignore the vast weight of history attesting to this doctrine.

    Nobody who reads their KJV can deny the deity of Christ when 1Tim 3:16 states, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels..." Heh, Paul even says it is "without controversy" yet here we are bickering over it. :(
  9. Tyler

    Tyler Member

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD.
    He was in the beginning WITH GOD.

    And the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

    For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father,THE WORD, and the Holy spirit; and these three are one.

    I and My Father are one.

    And Thomas answered and said unto Him, "My Lord and My God."

    How are we to progress as Christians if we cannot even get past the kindergarden principals of our faith?

    All praise glory and honour to my Lord, my God, Jesus Christ.
  10. dnich163

    dnich163 dnich163

    Hey Tyler,

    Well done.
    John is always so good to quote in this context. He is almost mystical in his writing.

    There seems no contradiction to me about the Trinity at all.

    I am a son to my mother, a father to my children and a husband to my wife as well as being a friend to my friends, a colleague to my workmates and a brother to the world.

    The problem with the Bible is like God's word, we very often hear but don't understand.
    The response sometimes is to try to make sense of what we don't and can't understand.
    And yet the Biblical scholars of the modern era are still learning knew things about the scriptures and the times of Jesus even today.

    The very fact that we don't/can't understand means that what we need to do is continue the search for the truth.

  11. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Hi David,

    Since your a son, and a father, and a husband, and a friend, and a colleague, and a "brother to the world" do you consider yourself 6 persons?

    I think not. Your only one person with different roles and relationships to different people you relate to.

    Trinity doesn't teach this. It teaches that you are actually 6 different persons because of your different roles and relationships, just like it tries to explain the Godhead.

    I think you haven't read this whole thread b/c the discussion here in this thread, between Zone and I, is that trinity doctrine is not really monotheistic because it teaches a 3 person God.

    To Zone, I haven't ignored your question, I will answer it soon.
  12. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Well, let us begin:

    As to your question, Jesus was speaking in His humanity. Let me explain:

    Jesus was none other than God manifest in the flesh. God who is invisible, who does not have flesh and bones, and is a Spirit, made Himself visible and perceivable in the flesh. That flesh in our history is know as Jesus Christ. It was not another person of God come in the flesh, for scripture explicitly states to the contrary. I Timothy 3:16 says, “God was manifest in the flesh.” He needed to put on flesh in order to shed the innocent blood of a perfect man. He became that man.

    God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, among so many other attributes, presented Himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ. This is the mystery. The mystery is not some mysterious number 3 in the Godhead, but that all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in the body of Jesus Christ. How? By the Spirit of God, or some can just as easily say the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9), was how He dwelt in the body.

    God manifested in the flesh for the purposes of revealing Himself to man and to become a reconciliation for man.

    It says in John 1:1,14, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh…" The Word (God) tabernacled or tented Himself in the flesh. Another way to word that is that God clothed Himself or robed Himself in flesh. That flesh is identified as the man Jesus Christ – who is none other than God Himself dressed in flesh. He is the One God, Holy One of Israel, of the Old Covenant with flesh put on. David Bernard puts it in these words by saying, “He is the Father; He is Jehovah who came in flesh to bridge the gap between man and God that man's sin had created. He put on flesh as a man puts on a coat.” See also I John 1.

    How do we know that God (the Word or the Spirit of God) was in Jesus Christ? II Corinthians 5:19 says, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” How do we know the Spirit of God was the selfsame Spirit of Jesus? See Romans 8:9.

    Jesus is described by God Himself as, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…,” (Hebrews 1:3) and is also described as, “the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15; II Corinthians 4:4). Jesus was God’s own invisible image "stamped" in the flesh.

    Bernard makes these points in regards to God in Christ:

    “He is God veiled in flesh (Hebrews 10:20). As Abraham prophesied, probably without understanding the full meaning of his own words, "God will provide himself a lamb" (Genesis 22:8). God indeed provided a body for Himself: "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me" (Hebrews 10:5).

    Jesus was the builder of the house (God the Father and Creator) and also a son over his own house (Hebrews 3:3-6).
    He came to His own creation and to His own chosen people but they did not recognize Him or receive Him (John 1:10-11).”

    Jesus Christ had two inseparable, yet clearly distinguishable (identifiable) natures, Spirit (Father) and flesh (Son).

    ...continued in next post...
  13. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    The following is quoted from Bernard’s book, The Oneness of God”, explaining the “dual-nature” of Jesus (Spirit) Christ (Humanity),

    “The meaning of Jesus and Christ

    Before we get into the heart of this chapter, let us briefly explain the meaning of the two words, Jesus and Christ. Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew word Jehoshua, which means Jehovah - Savior or Jehovah is Salvation. It is the name God chose for His Son - the name through which God has revealed Himself in the New Testament. It is a name the Son received by inheritance (Hebrews 1:4). Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah; both words mean "the anointed one." Strictly speaking, Christ is a title and not a name. However, in the epistles and in ordinary usage today, Christ is often used as simply another name for Jesus, since Jesus is the Christ. In many cases, Jesus and Christ are just two names used interchangeably to refer to the same person, with no distinction in meaning being intended.

    The Dual Nature of Christ

    From the Bible we see that Jesus Christ had two distinct natures in a way that no other human being has ever had. One nature is human or fleshly; the other nature is divine or Spirit. Jesus was both fully man and fully God. The name Jesus refers to the eternal Spirit of God (the Father) dwelling in the flesh. We can use the name Jesus to describe either one of His two natures or both. For example, when we say Jesus died on the cross, we mean His flesh died on the cross. When we say Jesus lives in our hearts, we mean His Spirit is there.

    Below is a comparative list that will illustrate what we mean when we say Jesus had two natures or a dual nature.

    The Dual Nature of Jesus Christ

    As a man, Jesus: Was born a baby (Luke 2:7)

    But as God, He: Existed from eternity (Micah 5:2; John 1:1-2)

    As a man, Jesus: Grew mentally, physically, spiritually, socially (Luke 2:52)

    But as God, He: Never changes (Hebrews 13:8)

    As a man, Jesus: Was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:2)

    But as God, He: Cast out devils (Matthew 12:28)

    As a man, Jesus: Hungered (Matthew 4:2)

    But as God, He: Was the Bread of Life and miraculously fed multitudes (John 6:35; Mark 6:38-44, 52)

    As a man, Jesus: Thirsted (John 19:28)

    But as God, He: Gave living water (John 4:14)

    As a man, Jesus: Grew weary (John 4:6)

    But as God, He: Gave rest (Matthew 11:28)

    As a man, Jesus: Slept in a storm (Mark 4:38)

    But as God, He: Calmed the storm (Mark 4:39-40)

    As a man, Jesus: Prayed (Luke 22:41)

    But as God, He: Answered prayer (John 14:14)

    As a man, Jesus: Was scourged and beaten (John 19:1-3)

    But as God, He: Healed the sick (Matthew 8:16-17; I Peter 2:24)

    As a man, Jesus: Died (Mark 15:37)

    But as God, He: Raised His own body from the dead (John 2:19-21; 20:9)

    As a man, Jesus: Was a sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:10-12)

    But as God, He: Forgave sin (Mark 2:5-7)

    As a man, Jesus: Did not know all things (Mark 13:32)

    But as God, He: Knew all things (John 21:17)

    As a man, Jesus: Had no power (John 5:30)

    But as God, He: Had all power (Matthew 28:18; Colossians 2:10)

    As a man, Jesus: Was inferior to God (John 14:28)

    But as God, He: Was equal to God - was God (John 5:18)

    As a man, Jesus: Was a servant (Philippians 2:7-8)

    But as God, He: Was King of kings (Revelation 19:16)

    We can resolve most questions about the Godhead if we properly understand the dual nature of Jesus. When we read a statement about Jesus we must determine if it describes Jesus as a man or as God. Moreover, whenever Jesus speaks in Scripture we must determine whether He is speaking as man or as God. Whenever we see a description of two natures with respect to Jesus, we should not think of two persons in the Godhead or of two Gods, but we should think of Spirit and flesh.

    Sometimes it is easy to get confused when the Bible describes Jesus in these two different roles, especially when it describes Him acting in both roles in the same story. For example, He could sleep one minute and calm the storm the next minute. He could speak as man one moment and then as God the next moment. However, we must always remember that Jesus is fully God and not merely an anointed man. At the same time, He was fully man, not just an appearance of man. He had a dual nature unlike anything we have, and we cannot adequately compare our existence or experience to His. What would seem strange or impossible if applied to a mere human becomes understandable when viewed in the context of One who is both fully God and fully man at the same time."

    ...continued next post...
  14. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    More quoted from Bernards book:

    "Historical Doctrines of Christ

    The dual nature of Christ has been viewed in many different ways throughout church history. We will discuss these various views in a brief and general way. For the sake of reference and further study, we have included in parentheses various historical names associated with these beliefs. For more on these terms and doctrines, see any good work on the history of dogma, especially the history of trinitarianism and Christology.

    Some believe that Jesus was only a man who was greatly anointed and used by the Spirit (Ebionitism; see also Unitarianism). This erroneous view completely ignores His Spirit nature. Others have said that Jesus was a spirit being only (Docetism - a doctrine in Gnosticism). This view ignores His human nature. John wrote that those who deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh are not of God but have an antichrist spirit (I John 4:2-3).

    Even among those who believe in the dual nature of Jesus Christ, there are many erroneous beliefs. Some have tried to distinguish between Jesus and Christ, saying that Christ was a divine being who temporarily dwelt in Jesus beginning at his baptism, but withdrew from the man Jesus just before death (Cerinthianism - a doctrine in Gnosticism). In a similar vein, some say Jesus was a man who became God only at some point in His adult life - such as at His baptism - as a result of an adoptive act by God (Dynamic Monarchianism, Adoptionism). In other words, this view contends that Jesus was a human who was eventually deified. Others regard Jesus as a created deity, a deity like the Father but inferior to the Father in deity, or a demigod (Arianism). Then, some believe that Jesus is of the same essence as the Father, yet not the Father but subordinate to the Father in deity (Subordinationism).

    We refuted these false theories in Chapter 4 - JESUS IS GOD by referring to the Scriptures. There we noted that Jesus is fully God (as demonstrated by Colossians 2:9) and that Jesus was fully God from the beginning of His human existence (as demonstrated by the Virgin Birth and Luke 1:35).

    The Spirit inspired John and Paul to refute many of these erroneous doctrines, particularly the Gnostic beliefs that Christ was a spirit-being only and that Christ was a being inferior to the Supreme God, Among other things, Gnostics believed that all matter was evil. Therefore, they reasoned, Christ as a divine spirit could not have had a real human body. Since they held that the Supreme God was so transcendent and holy that He could not make direct contact with the evil world of matter, they taught that from God came a series of emanations one of whom was the Spirit-being Christ, who came to this world. Of course, the Book of Colossians refutes these doctrines and establishes that Jesus is the Almighty God in the flesh.

    While the Bible is clear in emphasizing both the full deity and full humanity of Jesus, it does not describe in detail how these two natures are united in the one person of Jesus Christ. This, too, has been the subject of much speculation and debate. Perhaps there is room for divergent views on this issue since the Bible does not treat it directly. Indeed, if there is to be any mystery about the Godhead, it will be in determining precisely how God manifested Himself in flesh. (See I Timothy 3:16.) The study of the nature or natures of Christ is called Christology.

    One way to explain the human and divine in Christ is to say He was God living in a human house. In other words, He had two distinct natures unified not in substance but only in purpose, action and appearance (Nestorianism). This view implies that Christ is divided into two persons, and that the human person could have existed in the absence of the divine. The Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. condemned Nestorius' view as heresy. [14]

    Many theologians, however, including Martin Luther have thought that Nestorius, the chief exponent of this doctrine, did not really believe in such a drastic separation but that opponents distorted and misrepresented his views. Apparently, he denied that he divided Christ into two persons. The main concern Nestorius expressed was this: he wanted to so differentiate between the two natures of Christ that no one could call Mary the mother of God, which was a popular practice in his day.

    Another Christological view holds that the human and divine aspects of Christ were so intermingled that there was really only one dominant nature, and it was divine (Monophysitism). A similar belief is that Jesus did not have two wills, but only a divine-human will (Monothelitism). Others believe that Jesus had an incomplete human nature (Apollinarianism); that is, Jesus had a human body and soul but instead of a human spirit He had only the Spirit of God dwelling in Him. Other ways to state this belief are that Jesus was a human body animated solely by the Spirit of God, or that Jesus did not have a human mind but only the divine mind (the Logos).

    On the one hand we have a view that emphasizes the separation between the two natures of Christ. On the other hand, we have several views that describe one totally dominant, divine nature, a totally unified nature, or an incomplete human nature."

    ...continued in next post...
  15. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Continuing from Bernard's book:

    "Jesus Had a Complete, But Sinless, Human Nature

    The truth may lie somewhere in between these historical views expressed by various theologians. That Jesus had a complete human nature and complete divine nature at the same time is the teaching of Scripture, but we cannot separate these two natures in His earthly life. It is apparent that Jesus had a human will, mind, spirit, soul, and body, but it is equally apparent that He had the fulness of the Godhead resident in that body. From our finite view, His human spirit and His divine Spirit were inseparable.

    The divine Spirit could be separated from the human body by death, but His humanity was more than a human body - the shell of a human - with God inside. He was human in body, soul, and spirit with the fulness of the Spirit of God dwelling in that body, soul, and spirit. Jesus differed from an ordinary human (who can be filled with the Spirit of God) in that He had all of God's nature within Him. He possessed the unlimited power, authority and character of God. Furthermore, in contrast to a born-again, Spirit-filled human, the Spirit of God was inextricably and inseparably joined with the humanity of Jesus. Without the Spirit of God there would have been only a lifeless human that would not have been Jesus Christ. Only in these terms can we describe and distinguish the two natures in Jesus; we know that He acted and spoke from one role or the other, but we also know that the two natures were not actually separated in Him. With our finite minds, we can make only a distinction and not a separation in the two natures that blended perfectly in Him.

    Although Jesus had a complete human nature, He did not have the sinful nature of fallen humanity. If He would have had a sinful nature, He would have sinned. However, we know He neither had a sinful nature nor did He commit sinful acts. He was without sin, He did not sin, and sin was not in Him (Hebrews 4:15; I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5). Since He did not have a human father, He did not inherit a sinful nature from fallen Adam. Instead, He came as the second Adam, with an innocent nature like Adam had in the beginning (Romans 5:12-21; I Corinthians 15:45-49). Jesus had a complete, but sinless, human nature.

    The Bible does indicate that Jesus had a human will as well as the divine will. He prayed to the Father, saying, "Not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). John 6:38 shows the existence of two wills: He came not to do His own will (human will), but to do the Father's will (the divine will).

    That Jesus had a human spirit seems evident when He spoke on the cross, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). Although it is difficult to distinguish between the divine and human natures of His spirit, some references seemingly focus upon the human aspect. For example, "he sighed deeply in his spirit" (Mark 8:12), "waxed strong in spirit" (Luke 2:40), "rejoiced in spirit" (Luke 10:21), "groaned in the spirit" (John 11:33), and "was troubled in spirit" (John 13:21).

    Jesus had a soul, for He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:38; see Mark 14:34) and "Now is my soul troubled" (John 12:27). Upon His death, His soul visited hell (Greek hades - the grave or the underworld of departed souls), just as all souls did before Calvary (Acts 2:27) The difference was that the Spirit of God in Jesus would not let His soul stay in hell (Acts 2:27, 31); instead He conquered hell (again, hades) and death (Revelation 1:18).

    The soul of Jesus had to be inseparably bound to the divine Spirit of Jesus. Otherwise, Jesus would have lived as a man, even with the eternal Spirit taken away from Him. This did not and could not have happened, since Jesus is God made known in the flesh. We know that Jesus as God never changes (Hebrews 13:8).

    If we do not accept the fact that Jesus was fully human, then the scriptural references to His temptations lose meaning (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 2:16-18; 4:14-16). So does the description of His struggle and agony in Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-44). Two passages in Hebrews point out that since Jesus was tempted as we are, He qualifies as our High Priest, understands us perfectly, and helps us in our infirmities: "In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren" (Hebrews 2:17); "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Hebrews 5:7-8 says, "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." These verses do not present a picture of someone unaffected by the emotions of fears and doubts. Rather, they describe someone who possessed these human weaknesses; He had to subdue the human will and submit to the eternal Spirit.

    The humanity of Christ prayed, cried, learned obedience, and suffered. The divine nature was in control and God was faithful to His own plan, but the human nature had to obtain help from the Spirit and, had to learn obedience to the divine plan. Surely all these verses of Scripture show that Jesus was fully human - that He had every attribute of humanity except the sinful nature inherited from the Fall. If we deny the humanity of Jesus, we encounter a problem with the concept of redemption and atonement. Not being fully human, could His sacrifice be sufficient to redeem mankind? Could he really be a true substitute for us in death? Could He truly qualify as our kinsman redeemer?"

    ...continued in next post...
  16. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Bernard continued:

    "The Son in Biblical Terminology

    We should consider the dual nature of Christ into the framework of biblical terminology. The term Father refers to God Himself - God in all His deity. When we speak of the eternal Spirit of God, we mean God Himself, the Father. God the Father, therefore, is a perfectly acceptable and biblical phrase to use for God (Titus 1:4). However, the Bible does not use the term "God the Son" even one time. It is not a correct term because the Son of God refers to the humanity of Jesus Christ. The Bible defines the Son of God as the child born of Mary, not as the eternal Spirit of God (Luke 1:35). Son of God may refer solely to the human nature or it may refer to God manifested in flesh - that is, deity in the human nature.

    Son of God never means the incorporeal Spirit alone, however. We can never use the term "Son" correctly apart from the humanity of Jesus Christ. The terms "Son of God," "Son of man," and "Son" are appropriate and biblical. However, the term "God the Son" is inappropriate because it equates the Son with deity alone, and therefore it is unscriptural.

    The Son of God is not a separate person in the Godhead, but the physical expression of the one God. The Son is "the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:13-15) and "the express image of His [God's] person" (Hebrews 1:2-3). Just as a signature stamp leaves an exact likeness on paper, or just as a seal leaves an exact impression when pressed in wax, so the Son of God is the exact expression of the Spirit of God in flesh. Man could not see the invisible God, so God made an exact likeness of Himself in flesh, impressed His very nature in flesh, came Himself in flesh, so that man could see and know Him.

    Many other verses of Scripture reveal that we can only use the term "Son of God" correctly when it includes the humanity of Jesus. For example, the Son was made of a woman (Galatians 4:4), the Son was begotten (John 3:16), the Son was born (Matthew 1:21-23; Luke 1:35), the Son did not know the hour of the Second Coming (Mark 13:32), the Son could do nothing of Himself (John 5:19), the Son came eating and drinking (Matthew 11:19), the Son suffered (Matthew 17:12), a person can blaspheme against the Son but not the Spirit and be forgiven (Luke 12:10), the Son was crucified (John 3:14; 12:30-34), and the Son died (Matthew 27:40-54; Romans 5:10). The death of Jesus is a particularly good example. His divine Spirit did not die, but His human body did. We cannot say that God died, so we cannot say "God the Son" died. On the other hand, we can say that the Son of God died because Son refers to humanity.

    As stated above, "Son" does not always refer to the humanity alone but to the deity and humanity together as they exist in the one person of Christ. For example, the Son has power to forgive sin (Matthew 9:6), the Son was both in heaven and on earth at the same time (John 3:13), the Son ascended up into heaven (John 6:62), and the Son is coming again in glory to rule and judge (Matthew 25:31).

    Son Of God

    One note needs to be added to our discussion of the phrase "God the Son." In John 1:18 the KJV uses the phrase "the only begotten Son" and the RSV says "the only Son." However, the NIV says "God the only Son" and TAB says "the only unique Son, the only begotten God." These last two versions are based on variant readings in some Greek texts. We do not believe these variant readings are correct. If we could justify the use of the phrase "God the Son" at all, it would be by pointing out, as we have done, that "Son of God" can mean not only the humanity of Jesus but also the deity as it resides in the humanity. However, John 1:18 uses Son to refer to the humanity, for it says the Father (the deity of Jesus) is revealed through the Son. This verse of Scripture does not mean that God is revealed by God, but that God is revealed in flesh through the humanity of the Son.

    What is the significance of the title "Son of God"? It emphasizes the divine nature of Jesus and the fact of His virgin birth. He is the Son of God because He was conceived by the Spirit of God, making God literally His father (Luke 1:35). When Peter confessed that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God," he recognized the Messianic role and deity of Jesus (Matthew 16:16). The Jews understood what Jesus meant when He called Himself the Son of God and when He called God His Father, for they tried to kill Him for claiming to be God (John 5:18; 10:33). In short, the title "Son of God" recognizes the humanity while calling attention to the deity of Jesus. It means God has manifested Himself in flesh.

    We should note that the angels are called sons of God (Job 38:7) because God created them directly. Similarly, Adam was the son of God by creation (Luke 3:38). The saints (members of God's church) are also sons of God or children of God because He has adopted us into that relationship (Romans 8:14-19). We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, having all the legal rights of sonship. However, Jesus is the Son of God in the sense that no other being is or can be, for Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16). He is the only One ever conceived or begotten by the Spirit of God. Thus, His unique Sonship attests to His deity.

    Son of Man

    The term "Son of man" draws attention primarily to the humanity of Jesus; it alludes that He is the offspring of mankind. The Old Testament uses this phrase many times to refer to mankind. For example, the following verses of Scripture use it to mean mankind in general or any man without specific identification: Psalm 8:4, 146:3; Isaiah 51:12; Jeremiah 49:18. (Psalm 8:4 has an underlying meaning that refers prophetically to the Messiah, as shown by Hebrews 2:6-7.)

    The term "son of man" also refers many times to a specific man, especially in Ezekiel where it designates the prophet (Ezekiel 2:1, 3, 6, 8; Daniel 8:17). In a few verses of Scripture, it connotes a man to whom God has given sovereignty and power (Psalm 80:17; Daniel 7:13). This last meaning appears frequently in Jewish apocalyptic literature of the intertestamental period. [15]

    Jesus applied the term "Son of man" to Himself many times. In most instances, He used it as a synonym for "I" or as a title emphasizing His humanity. In some instances, it connotes not only the mere fact of His humanity, but also the power and authority given to the Son by the eternal Spirit of God (Matthew 24:30; 25:31). In short, Jesus adopted the title with its connotations of power and world rulership, but applied it to Himself in all situations. The title serves to remind us that Jesus really was a man."

    You may remember I gave you this information in another thread which you said you completely agreed with...

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  17. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Continued from Bernard:

    "Begotten Son Or Eternal Son?

    John 3:16 calls Jesus the only begotten Son of God. However, many people use the phrase "eternal Son." Is this latter phrase correct? No. The Bible never uses it and it expresses a concept contradicted by Scripture. The word begotten is a form of the verb beget, which means "to procreate, to father, to sire." Thus begotten indicates a definite point in time - the point at which conception takes place. By definition, the begetter (father) always must come before the begotten (offspring). There must be a time when the begetter exists and the begotten is not yet in existence, and there must be a point in time when the act of begetting occurs. Otherwise the word begotten has no meaning. So, the very words begotten and Son each contradict the word eternal as applied to the Son of God.
    We have already discussed that "Son of God" refers to the humanity of Jesus. Clearly the humanity of Jesus is not eternal but was born in Bethlehem. One can speak of eternality - past, present, and future - only with respect to God. Since "Son of God" refers to humanity or deity as manifest in humanity, the idea of an eternal Son is incomprehensible. The Son of God had a beginning.

    The Beginning Of The Son

    The Sonship - or the role of the Son - began with the child conceived in the womb of Mary. The Scriptures make this perfectly clear. Galatians 4:4 says, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." The Son came in the fulness of time - not in eternity past. The Son was made of a woman - not begotten eternally. The Son was made under the law - not before the law. (See also Hebrews 7:28.) The term begotten refers to the conception of Jesus described in Matthew 1:18-20 and Luke 1:35. The Son of God was begotten when the Spirit of God miraculously caused conception to take place in the womb of Mary. This is evident from the very meaning of the word begotten and also from Luke 1:35, which explains that because the Holy Ghost would overshadow Mary, therefore her child would be the Son of God. We should notice the future tense in this verse: the child to be born "shall he called the Son of God."

    Hebrews 1:5-6 also reveals that the begetting of the Son occurred at a specific point in time and that the Son had a beginning in time: "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." The following points can be deducted from these verses: the Son was begotten on a specific day in time; there was a time when the Son did not exist; God prophesied about the Son's future existence ("will be"); and God brought the Son into the world sometime after the creation of the angels.

    Other verses of Scripture emphasize that the Son was begotten on a certain day in time - "this day" (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33). All the Old Testament verses that mention the Son are clearly prophetic, looking forward to the day when the Son of God would be begotten (Psalm 2:7, 12; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). (As discussed in Chapter 2 - THE NATURE OF GOD, Daniel 3:25 refers to an angel. Even if it describes a theophany of God, it could not mean the then nonexistent body of Jesus Christ.)

    From all of these verses, it is easy to see that the Son is not eternal, but was begotten by God almost 2000 years ago. Many theologians who have not fully accepted the great truth of the oneness of God have still rejected the doctrine of the "eternal Son" as self-contradictory, unscriptural, and false. Examples are Tertullian (father of trinitarian doctrine in early church history), Adam Clarke (the well-known Bible commentator), and Finis Dake (trinity Pentecostal Bible annotator who is essentially tritheistic).

    The Ending Of The Sonship

    Not only did the Sonship have a beginning, but it will, in at least one sense, have an ending. This is evident from I Corinthians 15:23-28. In particular, verse 24 says, "Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father…" Verse 28 says, "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." This verse of Scripture is impossible to explain if one thinks of a "God the Son" who is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father. But it is easily explained if we realize that "Son of God" refers to a specific role that God temporarily assumed for the purpose of redemption. When the reasons for the Sonship cease to exist, God (Jesus) will cease acting in His role as Son, and the Sonship will be submerged back into the greatness of God, who will return to His original role as Father, Creator, and Ruler of all. Ephesians 5:27 describes this same scene in different terms: "That he [Christ] might present it to himself a glorious church…" Jesus will present the church to Himself! How can this be, in light of I Corinthians 15:24, which describes the Son presenting the kingdom to the Father? The answer is clear: Jesus in His role as Son, and as His final act as Son, will present the church to Himself in His role as God the Father.

    We find another indication that the Sonship has an ending. In Acts 2:34-35, Peter quoted David in Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool." We should note the word until. This passage describes the dual nature of Christ, with the Spirit of God (the LORD) speaking prophetically to the human manifestation of Christ (the Lord). The right hand of God represents God's power and authority. Making foes a footstool means utterly defeating the enemy and making an open show of their defeat. In ancient times, the victor sometimes did this literally, placing his foot on his enemies' heads or necks (Joshua 10:24). So the prophecy in Psalm 110 is this: The Spirit of God will give all power and authority to the man Christ Jesus, the Son of God, until the Son has completely vanquished the enemies of sin and the devil. The Son will have all power until He does this. What happens to the Son after this? Does this mean an eternal person of a trinity will stop sitting on the right hand of God or lose all power? No. It simply means that the role of the Son as ruler will cease. God will use His role as Son - God manifest in flesh - to conquer Satan, thereby fulfilling Genesis 3:15 in which God said the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the devil. After that, God will no longer need the human role to rule.
    After Satan is cast into the lake of fire and all sin is judged at the last judgment (Revelation 20), there will be no further need for the Son to exercise the throne of power. Jesus Christ will cease acting in His Sonship role and will be God forever.

    Does this mean that God will cease using the resurrected and glorified body of Christ? We believe that Jesus will continue to use His glorified body throughout eternity. This is indicated by Revelation 22:3-4, which describes a visible God even after the last judgment and after the creation of the new heaven and earth: "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." Jesus is a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 7:21), even though He will cease acting in His role as priest after the last judgment. The Lord's glorified human body is immortal just like ours will be (I John 3:2; I Corinthians 15:50-54). Although the glorified body of Christ will continue to exist, all the reasons for the reign of the Sonship will be gone and all the roles played by the Son will be over. Even the Son will be placed under subjection so that God may be all in all. It is in this sense that the Sonship will end."

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  18. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Continued from Bernard:

    "The Purposes For The Son

    Since the role of the Son of God is temporary and not eternal, why did God choose to reveal Himself through the Son? Why did He beget the Son? The primary purpose of the Son is to be our Savior. The work of salvation required many roles that only a human being could fulfill, including the roles of sacrifice, propitiation, substitute, kinsman-redeemer reconciler, mediator, advocate, high priest, second Adam, and example. These terms overlap in many ways, but each represents an important aspect of the work of salvation that, according to the plan of God, could only be done by a human being.

    According to God's plan, the shedding of blood was necessary for the remission of man's sins (Hebrews 9:22). The blood of animals could not take away man's sin because animals are inferior to man (Hebrews 10:4). No other human could purchase redemption for someone else because all had sinned and so deserved the penalty of death for themselves (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Only God was sinless, but He did not have flesh and blood. Therefore, God prepared a body for Himself (Hebrews 10:5), that He might live a sinless life in flesh and shed innocent blood to save mankind. He became flesh and blood so that He could through death defeat the devil and deliver mankind (Hebrews 2:14-15). In this way Christ is our propitiation - the means by which we obtain forgiveness, the satisfaction of God's justice, the appeasement of God's holy wrath (Romans 3:25). The sacrifice of Christ is the means by which God pardons our sin without compromising His righteousness. We are saved today through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ - through the offering of the Son of God (Hebrews 10:10-20; John 3:16). Thus the Son is the sacrifice and propitiation for our sins.

    When the Son of God became a sacrifice, He also became a substitute for us. He died in our place, bore our sins, and paid the penalty of death for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6; I Peter 2:24). He was more than a martyr; He actually took our place. He tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). Of course, the only way Jesus could be our substitute and die in our place was by coming in flesh.

    Christ's role as our kinsman-redeemer is also made possible by the Sonship. In the Old Testament, if a man sold his property or sold himself into slavery, a close relative had the right to buy back that man's property or freedom for him (Leviticus 25:25, 47-49). By coming in flesh, Jesus became our brother (Hebrews 2:11-12). Thus, He qualified Himself to be our kinsman-redeemer. The Bible describes Him as our redeemer (Romans 3:24; Revelation 5:9).

    Through His humanity, Jesus Christ is able to mediate, that is, to go between man and God and represent man to God. As a mediator, Jesus reconciles man to God; He brings man back into fellowship with God (II Corinthians 5:18-19). The gap between a holy God and sinful man was bridged by the sinless man Jesus Christ: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 2:5). We should notice how carefully Paul maintained the oneness of God in this verse. There is no distinction in God, but a distinction between God and the man Christ Jesus. There are not two personalities in God; the duality is in Jesus as God and Jesus as man. It is not God who mediates between God and man; nor is it "God the Son" who does so. Rather it is the man Jesus who mediates; only a sinless man could approach a holy God on behalf of mankind.

    Closely associated with Christ's role as mediator is His role as high priest (Hebrews 2:16-18; 4:14-16). In His humanity, Jesus was tempted just as we are; it is because of His human experience that He can help us as a compassionate high priest. He entered the heavenly tabernacle, went behind the veil into the most holy place, and there offered His own blood (Hebrews 6:19; 9:11-12). Through His sacrifice and atonement, we have direct access to the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16; 6:20). The Son is our high priest through whom we can boldly approach God.
    Similarly, the Sonship allows Christ to be our advocate, one called alongside to help (I John 2:1). If we sin even after conversion, we have someone who will plead our case for mercy before God. Again, it is the role of the Son that accomplished this, for when we confess our sins the blood of Christ is applied to those sins, making His advocacy for us successful.

    Through His humanity Jesus is the second Adam (I Corinthians 15:45-47). He came to conquer and condemn sin in the flesh and to defeat death itself (Romans 8:3; I Corinthians 15:55-57). He came as a man so that He could replace Adam as the representative of the human race. By so doing, He reversed all the consequences of Adam's fall for those who believe on Him (Romans 5:12-21). Everything that mankind lost because of Adam's sin, Jesus won it back as the second Adam, the new representative of the human race.
    There is another aspect of Christ's victory over sin in the flesh. Not only did Jesus come in the flesh to die but He also came to give us an example of an overcoming life so that we could follow in His footsteps (I Peter 2:21). He showed us how to live victoriously over sin in the flesh. He became the Word of God enacted in flesh (John 1:1). He became the living Word so that we could understand clearly what God wanted us to be like. Of course, He also gives us power to follow His example. Just as we are reconciled by His death, we are saved by His life (Romans 5:10). His Spirit gives us the power to live the righteous life that He wants us to live (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:4). The Son not only represents man to God, but He also represents God to man. He is an apostle, one chosen by God and sent by God for a specific purpose (Hebrews 3:1). He is a prophet, representing God to man and revealing God's Word to man (Acts 3:20-23; Hebrews 1:1-2). His humanity is crucial in this regard, because God used the humanity of the Son to reach man on man's level.

    In addition to proclaiming God's Word, the Son revealed God's nature to man. Through the Son, God communicated His great love for man and displayed His great power in a way that man could understand. As explained in Chapter 2 - THE NATURE OF GOD and Chapter 3 - THE NAMES AND TITLES OF GOD, God used the name of Jesus as the culminated revelation of His nature and the person of Jesus as the prophetic culmination of the Old Testament theophanies. This purpose of the Sonship is expressed by many verses of Scripture that teach the manifestation of God in flesh. John 1:18 describes this purpose of the Son: "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." Isaiah prophesied that this revelation would come: "And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together" (Isaiah 40:5). Paul wrote that this indeed came to pass in Christ: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Corinthians 4:6). In other words, the Son of God became the means by which the invisible, incomprehensible God revealed Himself to man.

    Another purpose of the Son is to provide a fulfillment of many promises in the Old Testament to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the nation of Israel, and David. Jesus Christ will fulfill completely the promises relating to the descendants of these men, and He will do it in the millennial kingdom on earth (Revelation 20:4). He will be literally the King of Israel and of all the earth (Zechariah 14:16-17; John 1:49). God promised David that his house and throne would be established for ever (II Samuel 7:16). Jesus will fulfill this literally in Himself, being of the actual bloodline of David through Mary (Luke 3) and being the heir to the throne of David through His legal father Joseph (Matthew 1).

    The Sonship also allows God to judge man. God is just and fair. He is also merciful. In His justice and mercy He decided not to judge man until He actually had experienced all the temptations and problems of humanity and until He had demonstrated that it is possible to live righteously in the flesh (with divine power, of course, but with the same power He has made available to us). The Bible specifically states that the Father will judge no one; only the Son will judge (John 5:22, 27). God will judge through Jesus Christ (Romans 2:16). In other words, God (Jesus) will judge the world in the role of One who lived in the flesh, who overcame sin in the flesh, and who made the same overcoming power available to all humanity.

    In summary, there are many purposes for the Son. In God's plan the Son was necessary to bring salvation to the world. This includes the roles of (1) sacrifice, (2) substitute, (3) kinsman-redeemer, (4) reconciler, (5) mediator, (6) high priest, (7) advocate, (8) second Adam, and (9) an example of righteousness. The Sonship also made it possible for Christ to be (10) apostle, (11) prophet, (12) revealer of God's nature, (13) king, and (14) judge. All of these roles required a human to fulfill them; from them we can see why God came to the world in flesh as the Son.
    After studying the purposes of the Sonship, it is easy to see why the Son came into existence at a point in time instead of being in existence from all eternity. God simply awaited the fulness of time when all these purposes could be put into action best (Galatians 4:4). Thus the Son did not have substantial existence until the conception of Christ in Mary's womb.

    After the millennial reign and the last judgment, the purposes for the Sonship will be fulfilled and the reign of the Son will end. When we view the purposes for the Son, we can understand that the Sonship is temporary and not eternal; in the Bible we are told when the Sonship began and when the ministry of the Sonship will end.

    In order to review and further explain a number of concepts about the Son, we can explore Hebrews 1, which contains a number of interesting references to the Son. Verse 3 describes the Son as the brightness of the glory of God and the express image of His person The Greek word hypostasis, translated as "person" in the KJV; means substance, nature, or being. The NIV translates verse 3 as follows: "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being." In a similar passage, Colossians 1:15 says the Son is the image of the invisible God. Once again, we see that the Son is a visible manifestation of the Father in flesh. The Son is an exact representation or image of God with all the glory of God. In other words, the invisible God (Father) manifested Himself in visible flesh as the Son so that men could behold God's glory and could understand what God is truly like.

    Hebrews 1 can be viewed as a restatement of John 1 in that God the Father was made flesh. Hebrews 1:2 says that God has spoken to us by His Son; John 1:14 says the Word was made flesh, and John 1:18 says the Son has declared God the Father. From these verses we understand that the Son is not distinct from the Father in personality, but is the mode by which the Father revealed Himself to man.

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  19. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Continued from Bernard:

    The Son and Creation

    Hebrews 1:2 states that God made the worlds by the Son. Similarly, Colossians 1:13-17 says all things were created by the Son, and Ephesians 3:9 says all things were created by Jesus Christ. What does creation "by the Son" mean, since the Son did not have a substantial pre-existence before the Incarnation?

    Of course, we know that Jesus as God pre-existed the Incarnation, since the deity of Jesus is none other than the Father Himself. We recognize that Jesus (the divine Spirit of Jesus) is indeed the Creator. These verses describe the eternal Spirit that was in the Son - the deity that was later incarnated as the Son - as the Creator. The humanity of Jesus Christ could not create, but God who came in the Son as Jesus Christ created the world. Hebrews 1:10 clearly states that Jesus as Lord was the Creator.

    Perhaps these scriptural passages have a deeper meaning that can be expressed as follows: Although the Son did not exist at the time of creation except as the Word in the mind of God, God used His foreknowledge of the Son when He created the world. We know He created the world by the Word of God (Hebrews 11:3). He created the world with the knowledge of His plan for the Incarnation and the redemption of the cross in mind. Perhaps in this same foreknowledge He used the Sonship to create the world. That is, He predicated the entire creation on the future arrival of Christ. As John Miller explains, "Though He did not pick up His humanity till the fulness of time, yet He used it, and acted upon it, from all eternity." [16] Thus Romans 5:14 states that Adam was the figure of Him that was to come, namely Christ; for evidently God had the Son in mind when He created Adam.

    We know that God does not live in time and He is not limited by time as we are. He knows the future with certainty and He can foreordain a plan with certainty. Thus, He can act on a future event because He knows it is going to happen. He can regard things that do not exist as though they do exist (Romans 4:17). That is how the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), and that is why the man Jesus could pray, "O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). Although God created man so that man would love and worship Him (Isaiah 43:7; Revelation 4:11), man's sin would have thwarted God's purpose in the creation had not God had the plan to restore man through the Son. God foresaw the fall of man, but He nevertheless created man since He had foreordained (predestinated) the Son and the future plan of redemption (Romans 8:29-32). The plan of the Son was in God's mind at creation and was necessary for the creation to be successful. Therefore, He created the world by the Son.

    We know that the verses of Scripture that speak of creation by the Son cannot mean the Son existed substantially at creation as a person apart from the Father. The Old Testament proclaims that one individual Being created us, and He is Jehovah, the Father: "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" (Malachi 2:10); "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself" (Isaiah 44:24).

    Jesus was not crucified in a physical sense before creation, the Son was not begotten before creation, and the man Jesus did not exist to have glory before creation. (Note: Jesus spoke as a man in John 17:5, for by definition God does not pray and does not need to pray.) How can the Bible describe all these things as existing before creation? They existed in the mind of God as a predestined future plan. Apparently, the verses of Scripture that speak of God creating the world by the Son mean that God used and took advantage of His future plan of the Sonship when He created the world. Certainly the plan for the Son and for redemption existed in God's mind before and during creation. (For more discussion of this concept see the treatment of Genesis 1:26 in Chapter 7 - OLD TESTAMENT EXPLANATIONS.)

    In summary, we can view creation by the Son in two ways: (1) The one Spirit of God, who later incarnated Himself as the Son, was the Creator. (2) Even though the Son did not physically exist, God had the plan of the Son in His mind at creation. He relied on that plan - He relied on the Sonship - to fulfill His purpose in creation despite His foreknowledge of man's sin.

    The Firstbegotten

    Hebrews 1:6 calls the Son the firstbegotten. This does not mean the Son was the first being created by God or even that He was created, for this same verse indicates that the "begetting" occurred after the creation of the angels. Certainly, the Son is not "eternally begotten" because verse 5 describes the begetting as occurring at a certain point in time: "Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee." So, in what sense is the Son the "firstbegotten"?
    The term has several meanings. In one sense of the word, the Son was not just the first begotten but also the only begotten (John 3:16). That is to say, the Son is the only person literally conceived by the Holy Ghost (God); the virgin birth made it possible for complete deity and complete humanity to unite in one person. Moreover, the Son is the firstbegotten in the sense that He was planned in the mind of God before anything else. Furthermore, the Son is the firstbegotten in that He was the first to conquer sin and death. He is "the first-begotten of the dead" (Revelation 1:5), "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29), and "the firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18). All these verses of Scripture use the same Greek word, prototokos, as in Hebrews 1:6. Christ was the firstfruits of the resurrection since He was the first to be bodily resurrected and given a glorified body (I Corinthians 15:20).

    Since Jesus Christ is the head of the church, which is called the "church of [belonging to] the firstborn" (Hebrews 12:23), we can interpret the designation of Christ as "the firstborn [prototokos] of every creature" in Colossians 1:15 to mean the firstborn of the spiritual family of God that is called out of all creation. Through faith in Him we can become sons and daughters of God by the new birth (Romans 8:14-17). Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), the captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10), the apostle and high priest of our profession (Hebrews 3:1), and our brother (Hebrews 2:11-12). It is in His redemptive role that He can be called the firstbegotten or firstborn among many brethren.

    Christ's title as firstborn has significance not only in the sense of first in order but also first in power, authority, and pre-eminence, just as the eldest brother has pre-eminence among his brothers. As applied to Christ, firstborn does not mean He was the first man physically born, but that He is first in power. This is the primary meaning of Colossians 1:15 when it says He is "the firstborn of every creature," as we see from subsequent verses. Verses 16-18 describe Jesus as the creator of all things, the head of all power, and the head of the church. In particular, verse 18 says He is "the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence."

    To summarize, Jesus is the firstbegotten or firstborn in several senses. (1) He is the first and only begotten Son of God in that He was conceived by the Holy Ghost. (2) The plan of the Incarnation existed in the mind of God from the beginning, before anything else. (3) In His humanity, Jesus is the first man to conquer sin and so He is the firstborn of the spiritual family of God. (4) In His humanity, Jesus is the first man to conquer death and so He is the firstfruits of the resurrection or the firstbegotten from the dead. (5) Jesus is the head of all creation and the head of the church, so He is the firstborn in the sense of having pre-eminence among and power over all things, just as the eldest brother traditionally has pre-eminence among his brothers. The first four points refer to being first in order while the fifth refers to being first in power and greatness.

    Christ's designation as the firstborn does not mean that He was created or generated by another God. Rather, it means that as a man Christ is the first and eldest brother in the spiritual family of God and that He has power and authority over all creation.

    Hebrews 1:8-9

    "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever… God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." The first portion of the above passage clearly refers to the deity in the Son, while the second portion refers to the humanity of the Son. The writer of Hebrews is quoting a prophetic passage in Psalm 45:6-7. This is not a conversation in the Godhead but a prophetic utterance inspired by God and looking to the future incarnation of God in flesh. God was speaking prophetically through the psalmist to describe Himself in a future role.

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  20. jbenjesus

    jbenjesus <font color="blue">Berean</font>

    Bernard concludes with this;


    In conclusion, we have learned that the term "Son of God" refers to the Incarnation, or the manifestation of God in flesh. God planned the Son before the world began, but the Son did not come into actual substantial existence until the fulness of time. The Son had a beginning, for the Spirit of God begat (caused the conception of) the Son in the womb of Mary. The Son's reign will have an ending, for when the church is presented to God and when Satan and sin and death are finally judged and subdued, the role of the Son will cease. The Son fills many roles that in the plan of God could only be fulfilled by a sinless human being. Of course, the ultimate purpose of the Son is to provide the means of salvation for fallen mankind.

    We conclude three things about the use of the term "Son of God." (1) We cannot use it apart from the humanity of Christ, for the word always refers to the flesh or to the Spirit of God in flesh. (2) Son is always used with reference to time, for the Sonship had a beginning and will have an ending. (3) As God, Jesus had all power, but as the Son He was limited in power, Jesus was both God and man.
    The biblical doctrine of the Son is a wonderful and beautiful truth. It presents some complex ideas primarily because it is difficult for the human mind to comprehend a being with both a human and a divine nature. Yet through the Son, God vividly presented His nature to man, particularly His matchless love.

    The doctrine of the Son does not teach that God the Father so loved the world He sent another person "God the Son," to die and reconcile the world to the Father. On the contrary, it teaches that God the Father so loved the world that He robed Himself in flesh and gave of Himself as the Son of God to reconcile the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5:19). The one Jehovah God of the Old Testament, the great Creator of the universe, humbled Himself in the form of man so that man could see Him, understand Him, and communicate with Him. He made a body for Himself, called the Son of God.

    God Himself provided a means of redemption for mankind: "He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him" (Isaiah 59:16). His own arm provided salvation. A proper understanding of the Son, therefore, has the effect of magnifying and glorifying the Father. In His role as the Son, Jesus prayed to the Father, "I have glorified thee on the earth… I have manifested thy name… I have declared unto them thy name" (John 17:4, 6, 26). The Father has both revealed Himself to the world and reconciled the world to Himself through the Son

    Sorry for the length, but I wanted to be thorough with you so that you can finally tell me what it is about the "Oneness philosphy", which it really isn't - I only quoted your term, that you disagree with. Up to this point you haven't really told me what about it you disagree with.

    Jesus bless you always,
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