Jesus is God? You bet He is!! - 11/29/2003
I have been reading your very informative site and found most things quite
interesting. I do not however agree with you that Jesus was God and
therefore I also disagree with the Trinity.
Jesus as founder of Christianity confirmed and reinforced the OT insistence
that God is One and said nothing at all to disturb believe in the absolute
oneness of God. When a Scribe quoted the famous words "God is one, and
there is none else besides Him" Jesus commended him because he had "spoken
intelligently" and was not far from the Kingdom of God" (Mark 12: 29-24) In
John's account of Jesus' ministry, Jesus equally confirmed the unrestricted
monotheism of his Jewish heritage in words which cannot be misunderstood. He
spoke of God His Father as "the one who alone is God" (john 5:44) and the
only true God (John 17:3). He always referred the word God to his Father
only. Paul spoke of his Christian belief in One God, the Father (1 Cor:8:6)
and the One God as distinct from the one mediator between God and man,
Messiah Jesus, himself man (1 Tim 2:5). Even after Jesus had been exalted to
the right hand of the Father, the Father is still, in Jesus' own words, His
God (Rev 3:12).
Jesus said - this is Eternal Life that they may know YOU the One True God
AND Jesus Christ whom you have sent. With this in mind, all the other
verses that are now used to declare Jesus as God, Creator, before Abraham
etc have all been taken out of context and misinterpreted in order to prove
incorrect manmade doctrines.
Jesus Christ is indeed
- The Way: because he has shown us the path to eternal salvation.
- The Truth: because he has revealed the One True God - not because he was God.
- The Life: because he now has Eternal Life - and has called us to be joint heirs with Him if we care to take up our cross and follow Him.
He also said that Eternal Life would be for those who believed in Him AND
Obeyed the Father.
Do you not think that making the claim that Jesus was God somewhat
undermines the gospel - wouldn't it be easy to be totally obedient to God
even unto death if you were God (which doesn't make sense) and therefore
totally confident of the outcome - that would be a distinct advantage
wouldn't it and could hardly be termed as having been tempted just like us -
also Jesus is called the second Adam - Adam failed, where Jesus succeeded -
this parallel could not be drawn if Jesus were God.
It is amazing to me how many Christians call Jesus their God and yet fail to
listen to what He taught them!
Incidentally Nicole Kidman is not a scientologist.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Sally. Thanks for contacting Contender Ministries. The doctrine of the Trinity seems to confound people so much, but the very nature of God is something very important to make clear. The nature of Jesus as fully God and fully man is scriptural as well, which we will demonstrate.
You won't find the word "Trinity" used in the Bible to describe God. I'm not sure when the term was coined, but the term aptly describes the true nature of God as evidenced in Scripture. Paul may not have used the term, but I'm sure he understood the concept. We're not talking a polytheistic doctrine (three separate gods), nor are we talking about a three-headed boogieman. The existence of one God in three Persons (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) is the only logical conclusion we can draw from Scripture.
First of all, we know that there is ONLY ONE GOD (Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Timothy 2:5, Isaiah 44:6). You are right when you point out that Jesus recognized that God is one. He would know more than anyone, that there is only one God. But when Jesus refers to the Father as distinct from the Son, you misinterpret that as saying that God is distinct from Jesus. That interpretation goes against scriptures, as you will see.
While there is one God, there is a plurality to God:
- "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26)
- "God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of us" (Genesis 3:22).
Some would say that God could be speaking to the angels in these verses, but that's simply not correct. God was speaking to co-creator(s) in these verses. The Bible tells us that Jesus - not angels - created all things:
- "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. " John 1:3
- "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, " Colossians 1:15-19.
- "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. " Hebrews 1:2
The Bible refers to each person of the triune God uniquely. There is God the Father ("Paul, an apostle--sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--", Galatians 1:1), God the Son (see John 1:1-18 and 5:18), and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 3:11, 12:32, John 14:26).
In Luke 3:22, we find the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove upon Jesus, while God the Father spoke from Heaven. Three persons - but still just One God.
In John 14:8-10, we read, "Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.’ ”
As part of the Great Commission, Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. ” While all three persons of the Trinity are listed in this verse, Jesus calls them all by one singular name (“in the NAME of….”).
Jesus assumed attributes of God. He forgave sins – something only God can do (Matthew 9:2, Mark 2:5). He also spoke of His eternal nature in John 8:58 - "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am! "
John spoke clearly on the nature of Jesus as God. In John 1:1-3, 14, 18 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. ” In fact, the entire first chapter of John is good to read to get the full picture of the deity of Jesus Christ. One of the things that upset the Pharisees so was the fact that Jesus acted as God, “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus gave them this answer: ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’ ” (John 5:18-19).
The very naming of Jesus reveals His nature: “ ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ –which means, ‘God with us.’ ” (Matthew 1:23).
Jesus was referred to in the epistles as God AND Savior:
- Titus 2:13 – “…while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. ”
- 2 Peter 1:1 – “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours”
So you can see, that while the term "trinity" developed after the Bible was written, the nature of God that it describes is evidenced in Scripture. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery said, "The doctrine of the Trinity is not 'irrational'; what is irrational is to suppress the biblical evidence for trinity in favor of unity....The choice is clear: either the Trinity or a 'God' who is only a pale imitation of the Lord of biblical and confessional Christianity. " I am not a great theologian, and I won't pretend that I fully comprehend the triune nature of our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. But I do understand the basic concept, and can easily see that it is really the only logical conclusion when scriptural evidence is assessed. I don’t question that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are distinct persons. But scripture is plain that they are ALL GOD. God’s nature is triune. That may be hard for some of us to wrap our finite brains around, but God is more magnificent than His creation, and our inability to fully comprehend His nature is testimony to that fact. Human intelligence likes to place borders and limits on things. We have difficulty fathoming concepts like eternity, infinity, and boundless universe. God is eternal and boundless, so He would naturally push our finite abilities of comprehension. If He didn’t, He would be a small shadow of a God, and that is not what the Bible teaches.
It amazes me too that people fail to listen to Jesus and His gospel. I pray that you will now recognize that you have fallen into that trap, and will recognize that Jesus IS our God and Savior.
Ben and Jennifer Rast
p.s. You’re right that Nicole Kidman is not a Scientologist. Media reports indicate that she left Scientology when she left Tom Cruise. She reports her religious beliefs are a “mish-mash” of things including Scientology, and is now reportedly feeling out the waters of Buddhism.